My Chinchilla’s Ears Are Down[Causes, Concerns, and Tips]

Chinchillas make for fantastic family pets and are about as unique as it gets when it comes to a companion and a new pet for the family.

However, chinchillas are naturally known as a prey animal in the wild and can often present some unique body language that not all chinchilla owners may understand.

It is essential that you know how to take care of a chinchilla and what specific body language may mean if presented by your chinchilla.

It is essential to understand your chinchilla’s personality in addition to their behavior characteristics as well.

While staying on this topic, I am often asked by other chinchilla owners what individual body language may indicate.

More specifically, why are my chinchilla’s ears down?

I have now owned my chinchilla for roughly 4.5 years, and here is the knowledge and information I can provide you on this topic.

A chinchilla’s ears may be down for a variety of reasons. Often, if a chinchilla will sleep with their ears in a down position. Chinchilla’s in a relaxed state may present with their ears down as well. As the owner and parent of the chinchilla, you want to ensure your chinchilla’s ears do not remain down for an extended period. A chinchilla’s ears down too long can indicate illness or other problems.

That is the basic and most straightforward way to present and answer the question.

I do, however, want to go into more detail on this topic to ensure you have a full understanding.

The more you know when you own a chinchilla, the better.

Trust me, it is not always black and white and reliable information is imperative when owning one of these loveable and affectionate pets.

To make your life easy, I have created easy to navigate links directly below that will allow you to skip to any specific section of this post that you desire or need to learn more about.


Here is the outline of what I intend on covering for you in today’s brief 2-minute post:

As stated, a moment ago, feel free to use the links directly above to skip to any section of this post that you need further information about.

Otherwise, if you can give me about 2 minutes, I’ll break down everything you need to know about your chinchilla’s ears being down and what you can do to provide comfort, safety and keep your chinchilla happy and healthy.

Here is the critical information to understand.

Understanding Why Your Chinchilla’s Ears May Be Down

As mentioned at the beginning of this post, a chinchilla’s ears may be down due to a variety of factors.

Understanding your chinchilla’s behavior is essential to be an ethical chinchilla owner.

It is also how you can take care of a chinchilla in the best possible fashion.

Beginning to understand your chinchilla’s body language can help you dramatically and help you recognize if your chinchilla is having issues with illness, pain, and even fear.

With that in mind, let us begin covering the primary reasons as to why you may spot your chinchilla with their ears in the laid back or down position.

Here are the most common reasons for this that I have noticed in my time owning a chinchilla.

Sleeping and Relaxing Can Cause Your Chinchillas Ear to Be Down

This is the first reason you may notice your chinchilla’s ears back or in the down position.

It is also one of the reasons on this list that causes no concern.

It is 100% natural and common or chinchillas to rest and relax in this fashion.

If, however, you begin noticing your chinchilla’s ears down or back when they are not relaxed, sleeping, or resting, then you may have a more significant issue to worry about.

Let us cover those details next.

Ears Down with Chinchillas Can Indicate Fear

One reason I have noticed with my chinchilla in the early days after adoption that can indicate something more worrisome if your chinchilla’s ears are back and down is fear.

Chinchilla’s do get scared relatively easily.

They are hunted in the wild and tend to be timid and are used to running and hiding in order to survive.

While you pose no threat to their safety, that does not mean that they don’t get scared from time to time.

Typically, this will occur the most often during the first few weeks of returning home with your chinchilla while they are still getting used to their environment.

It is most likely going to be due to overstimulation, loud noises, or an individual who corners or chases their chinchilla around in order to get them in and out of the cage.

Avoid doing this.

If your chinchilla’s ears are down indicating that they are scared, you may worsen the problem if they cannot calm down.

Issues such as overheating can take place, which can cause a chinchilla to die relatively easily.

If you are noticing your chinchilla’s ears are back or down and believe this is the case, be sure that you do what you can to approach your chinchilla in a calm manner and attempt to calm them down and get them to trust you more.

Perhaps even limit playtime in the first weeks while your chinchilla gets used to you, their surroundings, and begins building trust and bond with you and the other family members in the home.

Nonetheless, ears back for a chinchilla can certainly indicate fear, and it is your job to ensure that this does not persist or cause further issues in the future.

Now, lastly, before moving on, I want to touch on illness and what it can mean if your chinchilla is acting more lethargic or presenting with their ears in the down or back position.

Here are those details now.

Illness, Pain and Other Causes for Your Chinchilla’s Ears to Be Down

The last common reason why you may notice your chinchilla’s ears are down is the most alarming of them all.

If your chinchilla is not resting or in a natural sleeping position and their ears are down, it is likely a more severe issue.

It also means that you need to consult a vet as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, it is exceedingly difficult to pinpoint what illness may be causing them to be in pain or to have their ears back and acting more lethargic than usual.

It could be something such as stomach pains or bloating or could be a more severe issue such as teeth problems or an infection.

Nonetheless, if it is something you have not noticed in the past and something clearly seems off with your chinchilla, seek a vet to help you navigate the situation and to find out the best treatments for the problem.

It is always better to be safe than sorry in these situations where it is just too difficult to understand the issue on our own.

Things You Can Do to Improve the Situation

I only have 1 essential tip to give you on this topic today.

Pay attention and interact with your chinchilla when possible.

It is tough to understand a chinchilla’s body language and to even notice if something is off with your chinchilla if you do not spend enough time with them in the first place.

How are you going to notice you have different behavior or body language if you do not what’s normal behavior and what’s not normal behavior?

The more you interact with your chinchilla, the happier they will be in general.

Not to mention, it will significantly heighten your awareness of situations such as this now and in the future.

Final Thoughts

Chinchillas make for excellent family pets.

They can even make great pets for families who have young children.

However, some situations, such as their ears being back or down, may present themselves, and it is imperative you understand what to do and what is to be expected along the way.

Understanding and educating yourself on these topics is a great start and goes to show you intend to provide the best care possible for your new chinchilla.

Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchilla and the journey and bond you have ahead of you.

Share Your Thoughts

Do you have anything that can help the Planet Chinchilla community when it comes to a chinchilla’s ears being down?

Do you feel like any other potential reasons could be the cause, and what are your recommendations for helping your chinchilla in this situation?

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, 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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