Do you love heavy metal music?
Well, your chinchilla does not.
What about other types of music? Or other louder everyday sounds, like a baby crying, the TV, a vacuum cleaner, and more?
Do chinchillas have good hearing and are they sensitive to loud noises?
They do have large ears, and many other rodents are sensitive to loud sounds.
Keep reading to learn all about chinchilla hearing. We’ll also give you a good rule of thumb to determine whether a sound or music is too loud for your little big-eared pet.
Do Chinchillas Have Good Hearing?
Chinchillas have great hearing. These small rodents have large ears compared to the rest of their body and this makes their hearing very sensitive.
How sensitive? Let’s take a closer look at chinchilla hearing. We will cover everything you need to know about it, including a good way to determine whether a given sound is too loud for your pet.
A chinchilla’s hearing ranges from 50 hz to 33 khz, which is very similar to a human’s hearing. Sometimes, chinchillas can even hear things we can’t.
For example, we know that they can make squeaks that we can’t even hear. But they can obviously hear them. They are able to pick up on higher-pitched tones than we can.
Humans have a hearing range of 20 hz to 20 khz. Those extra 13,000 hz on the high end is what allows chinchillas to can hear slightly more than we can when it comes to higher pitches. On the other side, we can hear slightly lower tones than they can.
Chinchillas have similar hearing to humans because we have similar ear anatomy. The cochlea, a spiral-shaped bone in the ear, is a similar length in both humans and chinchillas which is what makes both our hearing ranges similar.
Hearing And Survival
In the wild, a chinchilla’s sensitive hearing is what helps them to survive. Thanks to the chinchilla’s excellent high-pitched hearing, they are able to pick up on even the smallest sounds that a potential predator may make. This gives them the chance to run and hide before the predator can get close enough to harm them.
Hearing Loss In Chinchillas
Just like humans can lose their hearing, so can chinchillas. There are two ways chinchillas can go deaf: through old age or through exposure to loud noises.
A chinchilla can lose its hearing from exposure to loud noises quickly, or over a long period of time. Over a longer time period, it is usually due to an accumulation of noises that are just a bit too loud. You may want to think about how loud your TV is, if your chinchilla’s cage is in the same room.
Managing Sound Levels In Your Home
You’re going to want to make your chinchilla feel as comfortable as you possibly can in your home. There are a number of different things you can do to allow your chinchilla to adjust to the sounds in your home.
Chinchillas like a calm and quiet environment. If you’re able to keep your chinchillas in a spare room or a quieter room in your house, then do so. It will find this much more comfortable than being kept somewhere where there are noisy televisions or stereos.
If you do not have that option, you will have to give your chinchilla some time to adjust to any new sounds. It may take it a while to become used to new sounds, but eventually, it should stop panicking at any loud or unexpected noises, like the doorbell or a child’s laughter or crying.
Since chinchillas have similar hearing to us, a great rule to follow is: if something is too loud for us, then it will most certainly be too loud for your chinchilla. And remember: many sounds we feel comfortable with are actually too loud and cause us hearing loss.
Do Chinchillas Like Music?
Of course, all chinchillas are different. Some might enjoy music and some won’t like it at all.. But in general, the answer is yes, chinchillas do like music.
Just like us humans, chinchillas enjoy music because it is a great way to either relax or to stimulate them, depending on what type of music you play for your pet.
Music can be a great way to calm your chinchilla, especially if it seems to be on edge. Because they have similar hearing to us, whatever songs relax you will most likely relax your chinchilla as well.
The same goes for stimulating your chinchilla. For example, when it comes to playtime, you may choose to put on some happy and exciting music that will energise your chinchilla and help to tire it out. But if you’re a heavy metal fan, then maybe keep that just for you and your headphones!
Chinchillas Have Good Hearing: Final Thoughts
Chinchillas have good hearing, especially in the higher frequencies. On the high end, they can hear a bit better than us. On the flip side, we can hear better than them on the low end. All in all, we have a similar hearing range.
If a sound is too loud for you, you can be sure it is too loud for your chinchilla. That said, many sounds we are used to in everyday life actually cause us hearing damage, and they will do the same to your chinchilla.
Some common examples are loud vacuum cleaners, loud TVs or stereos, blenders, lawnmowers, and many more. Try to be mindful of these and do not use them near your chinchilla’s cage, to avoid and long term hearing loss.