Do Chinchillas Recognize Their Owners?[Bonding+Tips]


Many chinchillas’ owners spend a lot of time loving and showing affection toward there furry friends. It’s natural to wonder what your chinchilla is thinking and if they love you back.

For me, I always curious about one thing.

Do Chinchillas recognize their owners? Here is what I can tell you on this topic.

So, do chinchillas recognize their owners? Yes, chinchillas recognize their owners. Chinchillas can live up to 20 years. Over time your chinchillas learn your smell and voice. Many chinchillas’ owners state that their chinchilla will greet them enthusiastically and act happier when they around.

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 and grow to recognize their owners.

I’ve also created easy to navigate links directly below that will allow you to skip to any specific section of this post that you desire to learn more about.

Here’s what I intend on covering in today’s post:

As stated previously, if you need to get information quickly, feel free to skip ahead in this post using the links above.

Otherwise, if you have 2-3 minutes to let me explain the ins and outs of a chinchilla recognizing and bonding with their owners, I recommend you read my brief and quick summary below.

Here is what you need to be aware of.

Another tip, if you want the ultimate advantage towards providing the best care for your new chinchilla and understanding the ins and outs of the adoption process, be sure to check out the latest E-Book (Instant Download) available that you can see here.

Your Chinchilla Recognizes You

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 and have confidence that their chinchillas also grow accustomed to there voice which is step 1 for your chinchilla beginning to recognize you as the owner.

1 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 we interacted together even smaller.

I think with the limited space, this 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 room to interact with your chinchilla in.

Especially 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 here. (Link to Amazon)

It’s plenty large enough for you and your chinchilla to sit and interact.

It’s also big enough to allow your chinchilla to run and jump without the worry of any danger or injury.

I can’t say for certain what impact it had for me and my 1-year-old chin.

However, 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 chinchillas 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 about if chinchillas make good pets here.

Chinchillas build a bond over time with there 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 other chinchillas. Some chinchillas, depending on where you purchased or adopted them from, maybe less social.

This can have a lot to do with how much your chinchilla was socialized with other humans and other chinchillas from the day they were born.

Chinchillas Bond With Their Owners and 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 or the owner but ensuring that your chinchilla has someone or another chinchilla mate to bond with and he or she will be perfectly happy.

Understanding If Chinchillas Wants to Be Held

Chinchillas are timid in nature and very shy in some situations and in other cases, they may love cuddling and interacting with individuals as we stated before.

We discussed how they can begin to warm up to you slowly, but it does take time.

It’s also 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.

After some time and bonding with your chinchilla, it is entirely possible that you get one that wants to snug 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 an environment that consists of ideal temperatures.

This keeps your chinchilla comfortable and not in danger of a heat stroke or other health hazards.

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 about if chinchillas can jump here.

The cage of choice for me to do this successfully would be the Critter Nation 2 Dual Level Cage (Link to Amazon).

Review of Critter Nation 2 Cage Here.

If this isn’t quite the cage for you, I recommend visiting my blog post detailing the 3 Best Chinchilla Cages here.

It not only breaks down each of the three 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 1 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 your chinchilla 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 Bond with Their Owners?

This is another question that pops up frequently.

Do chinchillas bond with their owners?

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.

When the sun goes down however 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 are doing or another friend or family owner is doing.

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 trust you.

Unfortunately, when it comes to strangers and other people trying to hold and pet your chinchilla, they may often be skid dish or timid.

Be careful allowing others to hold your chinchilla because of this fact.

It’s not that they will bite but they may attempt to flee or runoff.

If you don’t have a chinchilla proofed room, they may find a way to chew wires or find other dangers.

Make sure individuals handling your chinchilla are familiar with best practices and at least understand 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 they are 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 they like you or love 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 chinchillas 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?

I’m sure many chinchilla owners are frustrated and confused about this question.

Do chinchillas know their names?

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, however, your chinchilla isn’t going to pick up many other tricks as a dog could.

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 they 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.

Final Thoughts

Chinchillas are quite 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.

In case, I didn’t quite cover all the questions you may have, be sure to check out the related questions below!

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.

Thanks for reading and see you next time! I appreciate you.


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"

One thought on “Do Chinchillas Recognize Their Owners?[Bonding+Tips]

  1. 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 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… sons always had hamsters, rabbits…Thanks for your time

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