Do Chinchillas Have Emotions?[Yes and 5 Ways They Show It]

While chinchillas are certainly a unique pet to own, they still behave and interact with their owners like the fashion many other pets will display.

They are intelligent animals, and they pick up on your behavior just as much as you pick up on theirs.

It leads us to the question of the day.

Do chinchillas have emotions?

I’ve owned a chinchilla for several years now and spoke with countless other chinchilla owners and breeders, and here’s what I can tell you on this topic.

So, do chinchillas have emotions? Yes, chinchillas have emotions. Chinchillas can indicate and communicate with their owners when they feel happy, frustrated, and scared. Chinchillas may even get depressed with improper care or lack of social activity.

That’s right, my friends.

Chinchillas surely can display emotions in many ways. It’s up to you to recognize those emotions and feelings.

Luckily, I plan to take a closer look at some of those signs your chinchilla may present to you in today’s brief 2-minute post.

Directly below, you can see an outline of what I intend to cover today.


Feel free to use those links to skip around as you wish.

As stated previously, don’t hesitate to use the links directly below to navigate this post if you are in a hurry.

You can also check out my brief video a few paragraphs down discussing chinchilla emotions in more depth.

Otherwise, if you have those 2 minutes to spare, let’s begin breaking down how to recognize chinchilla emotions and feelings so ensure you can provide the best chinchilla care possible.

Here are the details that you need to know.

Do Chinchillas Have Emotions?

Yes, chinchillas have emotions, and chinchillas have feelings.

They are much like owning any other pet. They even tend to show their emotions and feelings in unique ways (we will cover this shortly).

Chinchillas love social attention. Without it, they can begin to go a bit stir crazy and even become depressed.

For more information about a chinchilla becoming depressed, you can read my post here.

It breaks down chinchilla depression in much more depth.

It’s vital as a current chinchilla owner or someone considering adopting a chinchilla that you understand these common chinchilla behaviors.

Not only can it lead to a better relationship with your chinchilla over the course of time, but it can also ensure you are keeping your chinchilla in optimal health not only physically but also mentally.

Now that we know that chinchillas do, in fact, have feelings, let’s cover how your new chinchilla may begin tossing you clues that they are upset or even pleased with something that you are doing.

5 Ways Chinchillas Demonstrate Emotions

Directly below, I’m going to demonstrate 5 ways chinchillas can display emotions and feelings towards their owners or even towards their environments.

Keep in mind, these are from personal experience and what I’ve noticed with my chinchilla.

All chinchillas may behave slightly differently depending on how they have been raised etc.

Nonetheless, I’m confident that if this is how my chin displays her emotions, that someone reading is likely to notice the same behaviors, so it’s worth checking out.

#1- Displeasure and The Cold Shoulder If No Play Time Occurs

If this isn’t a chinchilla showing emotion, I don’t know what is.

My chinchilla tends to be much more displeased with me on a day I didn’t have the time to get her out of the cage for playtime.

She doesn’t greet me in the same fashion, and she surely doesn’t have the same spring in her step.

Make sure you are affording your chinchilla this time as often as possible.

In case you miss a day or two from time to time, ensure you have your chinchillas cage set up correctly with some of the best toys and accessories to keep their little minds occupied.

You can read my post about how often to play with a chinchilla here.

You can also read my post about the best chinchilla accessories here.

#2- Greeting Me Front and Center Each Morning

This didn’t happen in the beginning. It takes time for a chinchilla to adapt to their environment and build a bond with their owners.

Some individuals state that it can even take years.

However, it’s now been years for me, and each morning, like clockwork, she knows I’m coming down the stairs to interact with her, and she has her front two paws on the front of the cage greeting me with enthusiasm.

If it wasn’t for the days at the beginning where this didn’t happen, I wouldn’t think much of it.

However, since I know she was more scared in the beginning shortly after adoption, I’m 100% confident that this my chinchilla displaying happy emotion to see me.

#3- Odd Noises When She’s Frightened

When we have company over for the holidays or just in general, we need to use the room where my chinchilla is kept as a spare bedroom.

It’s incredible how quickly she recognizes that these individuals are not me, and she can almost get into a scared and timid state.

Most of the time, she will just retreat towards her nesting box.

She may hide in her hammock or even one of her tunnels as well.

Nonetheless, her fear of strangers and the environment change surely can be considered an emotion that is taking place.

#4- Climbing, Jumping and Enthusiastic When Out of The Cage

This should be one of the feelings all of you will experience right out of the gates after adopting a chinchilla.

Most chinchillas get excited to exit the cage and interact with their owners.

Sometimes, in the beginning, this may not be as apparent until they have built more trust with you.

With time, they will begin understanding the time of the day and how you act right before it’s time to come out and play.

This is typically when my chinchilla is at her happiest state.

These are the kinds of emotions we want to see each day being a chinchilla parent.

#5- The Frantic Dust Bath Enthusiasm

Sorry for making you feel like you were the one thing that brings the most happiness to your chinchilla.

Kidding, of course.

But seriously, chinchillas display a happy and incredible amount of excitement for their dust baths.

Most chinchillas absolutely love dust bath time.

It’s likely because they only get 3 ish per week in most households.

Don’t you like to shower?

Well, they do to, and you will quickly recognize this early on while owning your chinchilla.

Not to mention it’s just part of ensuring your chinchilla is being provided proper care and keeping up with their hygiene needs accordingly.

Be sure to continue to afford them this opportunity to use their dust bath several times a week and enjoy your happy chinchilla!

Well, there you have it, those are 5 surefire ways to know your chinchilla is displaying emotion towards you.

Now, let’s cover a couple of questions that tend to arise before sending you on your way.

Can Chinchillas Cry?

Yes, chinchillas can cry. Chinchillas will make an audible crying noise when they are in pain or discomfort. A chinchilla may also cry when they do not want to be held.

However, this doesn’t always mean that it’s in typical sadness that we would associate crying with.

Chinchillas are known to make several different noises to express emotion or displeasure.

Crying just happens to be one of those verbal communications that a chinchilla is capable of.

Sometimes a chinchilla will cry or make one of these audible noises to inform you that they don’t want to be picked up.

If your chinchilla typically does not cry and is beginning to make this noise, it may be wise to consult a vet about what the issue may be.

It’s also tough to distinguish all the noises chinchillas can make and what they mean.

I recommend beginning with my post about several different chinchilla noises that you can see here.

Can A Chinchilla Be an Emotional Support Animal?

While a chinchilla may be an emotional and affectionate pet to own, they likely won’t be the best emotional support animal purely because they don’t always like being held.

This does not mean that they can’t be an emotional support animal.

Some chinchillas would likely be great at being an emotional support animal, but in the grand scheme of what emotional support animals typically offer, a chinchilla is probably not the best candidate.

Final Thoughts

If you wound up on this post because you were curious if chinchillas can be emotional or show emotions, then I hope I answered all your questions.

Chinchillas are friendly companions and make for great additions to any family.

They have emotions just like any other pet you may choose to adopt.

Treat them with respect and love you would like any other family pet and watch the relationship flourish.

Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your chinchilla endeavors.

Share your thoughts on this Topic

Does your chinchilla show emotion?

What does your chinchilla do to demonstrate happiness or frustration?

Be sure to share your thoughts, comments, and concerns by dropping a comment below.

As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by.

Thanks again, and we will see you next time.

Josh Martin

My Name is Josh and this is my 4 year-old female chinchilla "Chili". We created Planet Chinchilla to share all the stories about owning a chinchilla that you need to know. I'm the Author of the eBook "The Ultimate Chinchilla Care Guide, From Adoption and On"

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