It is only natural to wonder if your chinchilla recognizes you.
You spend so much time loving and showing affection toward your furry friend, you want to know if it returns those feelings.
Will your chinchilla learn who you are and come to form a bond with you?
Not all animals do this.
Many simply don’t have the capacity to recognize us and bond with us.
Keep reading to learn if chinchillas are among them.
- 1 Do Chinchillas Recognize Their Owners?
- 2 Do Chinchillas Bond With Their Owners?
- 3 Do Chinchillas Know Their Name?
- 4 Chinchillas Recognizing Owner: Final Thoughts
Do Chinchillas Recognize Their Owners?
I have now been raising my chinchilla for almost 5 years and here is what I can tell you on this topic.
Yes, chinchillas recognize their owners. Over time your chinchilla will learn your smell and voice.
It will greet you enthusiastically and act happier when are around. It might take a bit of time, but chinchillas can learn to recognize, and begin to form a bond with, their owners.
I’m sure you have a few more questions about your chinchilla and your relationship, and how it can begin to flourish even more.
Let’s dive into some specifics about how chinchillas interact with, and grow to recognize, their owners.
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Yes, Your Chinchilla Recognizes You
To be 100% clear, chinchillas recognize their owners, love their owners, and are capable of building a strong bond with their owners.
Let’s start with a quick video I’ve put together for you on this topic.
You can see that video directly below.👇
For those of you who prefer to read, feel free to move on. Also please excuse the poor lighting at the beginning of the video, it gets better about 30 seconds in.🙄
Many chinchilla owners also state that their chinchillas grow accustomed to their voice, which is step 1 for your chinchilla beginning to recognize you as the owner.
One of the biggest things that I did personally that I believed helped my chinchilla grow a bond with me was daily activity out of the cage.
Even more specifically, I purchased an enclosed pet play tent that made the space in which we interacted together even smaller.
I think the limited space helped my chinchilla to recognize me and build a bond with me even faster.
I highly recommend this approach, even if you currently have a chinchilla safe/proofed room in which to interact with your chinchilla.
I especially recommend it for any new chinchilla owners, or anyone looking to adopt a chinchilla in the near future.
Simply let your chinchilla out for playtime as planned, but use a small pet tent for time out of the cage.
I used this specific pet play tent from Jespet:
It’s plenty large enough for you to sit inside with your chinchilla and interact. It’s also big enough to allow your chinchilla to run and jump without the worry of any danger or injury.
You can also view my post about the best chinchilla playpens here for other options.
I can’t say for certain what impact it had for me and my now 5-year-old chin.
But compared to other stories I read, I feel as if my chinchilla warmed up and began recognizing me much faster than others report.
Within a few days, she was sitting on my shoulders, taking treats from me, and showing that the trust had been built in a positive way.
If this isn’t the approach you prefer to take, simply understanding a chinchilla’s behavior will help you understand the bonding process.
If you are curious about a chinchillas behavior and temperament in general, you can see my post here.
Many chinchillas will also act completely different when their owners are in the room.
This is not something to fear.
Even if it’s family and friends around, chinchillas are naturally friendly in most circumstances. You don’t need to worry about your chinchilla biting another individual.
This is a big reason chinchillas make such fantastic pets, which is a question that comes up often. For the sake of time, I dedicated a post discussing this matter.
You can read if chinchillas make good pets here.
Chinchillas build a bond over time with their owners. That’s for sure.
Chinchillas are also known to love some good old fashion cuddling and being closely held. However, not all chinchillas enjoy this as much as others.
Some chinchillas, depending on where you purchased or adopted them, may be less social.
Owners often report that chinchillas may be a bit less social in the beginning if purchased from common pet-stores such as PetSmart or PetCo.
This can have a lot to do with how much your chinchilla was socialized with humans and other chinchillas, from the day it was born.
If you are struggling with this, be sure to check out my post about how to socialize a chinchilla here.
You can also read my post that breaks down how you can get your chinchilla to enjoy being held here.
You can also view my post about the pros and cons of adopting a chinchilla from a breeder opposed to a pet-store here.
Do Chinchillas Bond With Their Owners?
This is another question that pops up frequently. Yes, chinchillas bond with their owners.
Chinchillas grow attached to their owners and enjoy interaction and time out of the cage with their owners on a frequent basis.
A chinchilla is much like owning any other pet that’s capable of bonding and growing connected with us as the owners.
The biggest problem you run into with these bonding times is that they can often be during odd hours, due to how chinchillas sleep and how many hours chinchillas typically sleep.
At night, your chinchilla will be a completely different story. You can read my post about what chinchillas do at night here for more details.
During the day, chinchillas enjoy just taking it easy and snoozing on and off during the daylight hours.
But when the sun goes down, and you’re in the mood for it, you can get some high-quality bonding time in with your chinchilla.
It’s even been shown that bonding and building trust with your chinchilla can reduce the chances of your chinchilla ever biting you again.
Heck, my chinchilla has never attempted to bite me.
I’m a firm believer that a well-socialized chinchilla will not bite unless extremely fearful or irritated by something you, or someone else, are doing.
Chinchillas Also Bond With Other Chinchillas
Chinchillas not only love you, but they love each other. They prefer to be with other chinchillas (or at least one) when possible.
It’s not always necessarily about bonding with you as the owner. Ensuring that your chinchilla has another chinchilla mate to bond with will make him or her very happy.
Understanding If Your Chinchilla Wants To Bond
Chinchillas are timid in nature and very shy in some situations. In other cases, they may love cuddling and interacting with you, as stated before.
We discussed how they can begin to warm up to you slowly, but it does take time. It’s rare that you find a chinchilla that will be a complete cuddle bug from day one.
Most chinchillas will never reach a stage where they are a big-time cuddle type animal for extended periods of time, but they do get used to it and enjoy it, if you do not overdo it.
This is one reason chinchillas are not necessarily the best pets for beginners. Read “Are Chinchillas Good Beginner Pets?” for more.
After some time and bonding with your chinchilla, it is entirely possible that you get one that wants to snuggle up from time to time and show you some love.
In the beginning, don’t worry about forcing this bond or striving to make your chinchilla recognize you as the owner.
Your goal is to provide a safe environment, feed your chinchilla, and provide it the ideal temperatures it needs to feel comfortable. This helps to avoid potential issues such as heat stroke.
Additionally, always remember that if you plan to pair chinchillas, you need to provide adequate space or a large enough cage.
Understanding Chinchillas Will Build The Bond Even Further
Chinchillas do build a bond with their owners. Plain and simple.
Although chinchillas love a cage mate, they also love their own space, room to jump and climb and separate hiding boxes for safe areas.
You can see my post about how and why chinchillas climb here.
Additionally, you can read my post covering if chinchillas can jump here.
The cage of choice for me to do this successfully would be the Critter Nation 2 Dual Level Cage.
- Solid and durable construction
- Great size with four levels
- Great platform fit for accessories like fleece liners
- Sits on wheels making cleaning easy
- Under cage storage
- Total of four doors, making access very easy
- Large cage making it unsuitable for tiny spaces
- One of the higher costing cages but for good reason; it is easily the best value for money
Review of Critter Nation 2 Cage here.
If this isn’t quite the cage for you, I recommend visiting my blog post detailing the Best Chinchilla Cages here.
It not only breaks down each of the cages but gives you different options based on size, budget, and preference.
Not to mention I spent my own money testing the cages to create the most detailed resource possible to ensure you find the best home for your new chinchilla, which is a sure-fire way to build the bond and keep your chinchilla happy.
Not to toot my own horn of course.
Anyways, back on topic.
Although I don’t have a 2nd chinchilla at this time, this cage is plenty large enough and gives adequate space for one or two chinchillas.
It’s a great set-up but other options certainly exist as well.
On the other hand, remember never to force socialization with other chinchillas. Don’t overstep your boundaries with your chinchilla if it takes time for it to warm up to you.
Don’t be discouraged. Some chinchillas don’t even like to be held until you are very comfortable and warmed up to each other.
Finding the next cuddling machine chinchilla is a lot of luck, patience, and bonding time required.
This is usually always required before you reach that stage of the relationship, but it definitely can happen.
It’s also definitely worth it when this does finally take place. It’s a great feeling.
For my chinchilla, this took about ten days of adjusting to sounds, smells, and the environment. I didn’t rush it and just waited for the magic to happen.
Well, it did happen, and owning a chinchilla has been a fantastic experience thus far.
Do Chinchillas Get Attached To Their Owners?
Yes, chinchillas get attached to their owners and love to spend time with them after the relationship has been built and after your chinchilla trusts you.
Unfortunately, when strangers try to hold and pet it, your chinchilla may be skittish or timid. Be careful allowing others to hold your chinchilla for this reason.
It’s not that they will bite but they may attempt to flee.
If you don’t have a chinchilla proofed room, they may find a way to chew wires or find other dangers.
Make sure anyone handling your chinchilla is familiar with the best practices and at least understands how to pick up and hold a chinchilla properly.
The base of the tail technique can be a great beginner’s method to teach family and friends who won’t handle your chinchilla frequently.
Chinchillas take some time warm-up and get used to their owners. Before that period happens, don’t be surprised if it is tough to get much interaction and calm petting sessions.
Don’t worry it won’t be long until your chinchilla is begging for some attention. Just try and not let them wake you up to get it!
Signs Your Chinchillas Likes You
Lastly, I wanted to provide a quick 5 bullet point list of behaviors and signs your chinchilla may give you to show it likes you or loves you.
Here’s that quick summary for you:
- They get excited to see you
- Will climb and jump on you
- They allow you to hold them
- They relax in your lap
- They eat treats from your hands
Gaining a chinchilla’s trust takes a bit of time and effort. However, if your chinchilla currently does any of the behaviors above, you can rest assured knowing your chinchilla likes you and loves you.
Do Chinchillas Know Their Name?
Yes, over time, your chinchilla will learn its name after hearing it enough times.
To speed up the process you can treat your chinchilla just like a pet dog. The more you say the chinchilla’s name, the faster it will learn it and recognize his or her name when you say it.
Don’t get too excited, though. Your chinchilla isn’t going to pick up many other tricks like a dog can.
Keep saying your chinchilla’s name. You will begin noticing your chinchilla looking up at you before you know it when you say his or her name.
Outside of this positive skill that your chinchilla learns, the most likely skill it can also learn will be learning to pee in a litter box or becoming potty trained in this fashion.
Outside of this, it’s tough to teach your chinchilla many tricks or commands. That’s been my experience thus far at least.
Why Does My Chinchilla Stare At Me?
Your chinchilla may be staring at you due to not fully being warmed up and comfortable with you yet.
This will happen most often when you’re in the first few weeks of having your chinchilla home after the adoption.
Once your chinchilla is more acclimated with its environment, it will become more interactive as opposed to just sitting in the corner of the cage staring at you.
While out for playtime, your pet may also be staring at you if it feels threatened or scared.
But if your chinchilla is staring at you and you are past the initial warm-up phase, it may be trying to send you a message, like if it wants to come out of the cage or perhaps wants a treat.
Clearly, a chinchilla can’t speak. But based on my 5 years of raising my chinchilla and learning her body language, this is what I suspect to be the common reasons for a chinchilla staring at you.
Chinchillas Recognizing Owner: Final Thoughts
Chinchillas are fun and interactive pets to have around. They can even be great to have for the kids.
Although they are shy and timid in the beginning, don’t worry. It won’t be long until your chinchilla is recognizing your voice, smell, and the call of his or her name.
At this point, I think it’s safe to assume your chinchilla recognizes you as the owner.
Chinchillas love the affection and the attention so give them plenty of it. With the long life spans of chinchillas, it’s easy for them to get attached to their owners quickly.
Over time you will share an unforgettable bond and your chinchilla will become a member of the family just like any other favorite pets that we frequently adopt.
Share your thoughts on the topic.
Do you have anything further you can provide the community about a chinchilla bonding, recognizing, and loving its owner?
Be sure to share those thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.
As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading today and will see you again next time. We wish you the best of luck with your chinchilla and hope the bond, love, affection gets off to a great start.
Hi Josh…I adopted a Chinchilla 2 wks ago..and so far he’s been warming up to me ,comes to the cage door ,sometimes let’s me handle him and hold him for alittle bit ,my first Chinchilla..🤗🥰..Actually I got him free for my adult son ,but …I got him in my bedroom close by, since my son works all day ( so he’s mines now …lol.)..anyway my only question is..He’s 12 yrs old and his lower back hair looks uneven.?..or like patchy ? It’s not falling out ,it just isn’t as smooth as the rest..so I’m just wondering if that’s common thing ,or from stress from moving to a new home..?..,,Other then that ,he’s adjusting really good..
I dont work ,so I do give him pretty much alot of attention..just need to purchase a cage like yours..because he’s in a smaller one ,( guess he’s been living in this one all his life ) and my son wants to get a baby …no time soon ..told him to wait till we get a bigger cage …but that’s pretty much is it my concern on his fur …love our new family member …❣Don’t know why we never considered getting one yrs ago…lol..my sons always had hamsters, rabbits…Thanks for your time
I had my chinchilla now for two days and she has fallen asleep in my lap jumped all over my shoulders and everything and is the warmest animal I’ve had so far I think me and her are going to be great buds.you know the day I got her She let me pick her up hold her and give her kisses so she is the most affectionate animal I have ever seen and I’ve seen a lot of animals dogs cats and ferrets and she is the greatest