Chinchillas make some funny sounds.
They also make some questionable, and perhaps annoying, sounds.
This definitely includes barking.
New owners are often taken aback the first time they hear chinchilla barking.
It is only natural to wonder why your chinchilla is barking, and what this strange chinchilla sound means.
Keep reading to learn why chinchillas bark, what you can do to ensure they no longer feel the need to bark, plus everything else you need to know about chinchilla barking.
- 1 Why Do Chinchillas Bark?
- 1.1 Other Reasons For Chinchilla Barking
- 1.2 Barking Should Decrease As Your Chinchilla Warms Up To You
- 1.3 Common Times Chinchillas Bark
- 1.4 Don’t Worry If Your Chinchilla Does Not Bark
- 1.5 Your Chinchilla May Be Barking Due To Illness
- 2 How To Get Your Chinchilla To Stop Barking
- 3 Why Chinchillas Bark: Final Thoughts
Why Do Chinchillas Bark?
I have now been raising my chinchilla for 5 years and here is what I can tell you on this topic.
Chinchillas bark when they are frightened, scared, or upset. They also bark as a warning signal to other chinchillas that danger could be near.
These are the most common reasons your chinchilla might bark, but there are other possibilities as well. So let’s dive into some other reasons your chinchilla may be barking.
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Other Reasons For Chinchilla Barking
This is one of those times when that attitude may show its face and you pet wants to let you know who’s boss by barking.
Your chinchilla may also be barking or making bark-like noises if he or she is not in the mood to be picked up. If this is the case, you need to learn how to get your chinchilla to enjoy being held.
Although this is rare, you want to recognize and respect these signals and body language from your pet.
In most circumstances, your chinchilla will be friendly and this won’t be an issue, but if it does become an issue, stay back and respect your its wishes.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you are scaring your chinchilla or that your chinchilla is trying to warn a cage mate or second chinchilla you have in the home.
It may just mean that your chinchilla has not warmed up to you and is not ready to be held yet.
Barking Should Decrease As Your Chinchilla Warms Up To You
Nevertheless, you can still frighten your chinchilla on a random day when attempting to pick it up for some cuddle time. If this happens, simply back off and give it some time.
Whether you want to give your chinchilla a dust bath or simply get it out to interact and play for a bit, there could be times where your chinchilla would prefer to just relax and not be bothered.
I have had my chinchilla bark at me before, long after I knew we had already built a close connection.
Another piece of advice I have for you is to learn how to get your chinchilla in and out of the cage correctly.
This may help eliminate your chinchilla audibly barking at you when you try and interact with it.
Even if it does happen, don’t be offended by this. It happens to all chinchilla owners at one point or another.
Common Times Chinchillas Bark
In my experience with my chinchilla, I have noticed that she has a tendency to bark at random times of the day, or in kind of weird situations.
Some chinchillas only bark when you interacting with them, to let you know that they are scared. Others will bark without being provoked in any way at all. Here is what I mean.
Chinchillas May Bark At Night
As mentioned previously, chinchillas bark most commonly due to fear, stress or to warn other chinchillas.
Chinchillas may bark at night due to noises they hear, like loud music or a car driving by, or to indicate something else has scared them.
My chinchilla typically barks at night if I startle her by entering the room, or if she hears something outside of the window.
While this is not necessarily a scientific answer by any means, it is what I have experienced in my first 5 years of raising my chinchilla.
Chinchillas May Bark While Sleeping
Most commonly, chinchillas will bark in their sleep if they become frightened. I have not actually witnessed my chinchilla barking in her sleep but she is also not really a vocal chinchilla that barks very often.
But plenty of other chinchilla owners have stated that their pets bark in their sleep. I am sure that the reasons and causes for the barking vary from one case to the next.
In short, the reason your chinchilla is barking in its sleep is likely due to being startled. If that is not the case, your guess is as good as mine. whatever the reason, I would not be overly concerned.
Don’t Worry If Your Chinchilla Does Not Bark
Maybe your chinchilla is a barker and maybe it is not. Maybe it barked at you last week ,or barked at something else, and hasn’t barked since.
This is completely normal.
Your chinchilla not making audible noises or stopping a barking behavior isn’t immediately something to become overly concerned with.
This could mean nothing more than your chinchilla is content and has no message that he or she would like to relay to you at this time.
However, it is always important to monitor these situations and keep a mental note about what your chinchilla’s behavior has been like recently.
Your Chinchilla May Be Barking Due To Illness
Chinchillas can get ill. But barking, or not barking, by no means indicates that your chinchilla is suffering from a disease.
But if your chinchilla usually barks and suddenly doesn’t anymore (or vice versa), and it is displaying other out of the ordinary behavior, it’s worth a call to your veterinarian just to play it safe.
It is always best to call a vet quickly, because chinchillas don’t progress through an illness slowly like we usually do when we get sick.
If your chinchilla is ill, the illnesses tends to become advanced and dangerous quickly.
I don’t want to alarm you if you chinchilla is suddenly barking a lot more, or has suddenly stopped barking all together.
I’m simply informing you that if your chinchilla’s behavior differs from its normal behavior, it may be worth making a call to your vet.
How To Get Your Chinchilla To Stop Barking
To get a chinchilla to stop barking, my number 1 piece of advice is to continue spending as much time as possible with it.
Be sure to chinchilla proof a room in your home before doing so.
You can also use my top recommended method to bond with your chinchilla which is to interact in a safe chinchilla playpen.
This forces a closer interaction between you and your new chinchilla and gets your chinchilla warmed up to you much faster.
Just be sure to choose one of the best playpens off my list here.
Overall, the more comfortable your chinchilla becomes with you, its new home, and all the commotion that happens in the household, the less barking you should notice.
Why Chinchillas Bark: Final Thoughts
A chinchilla barking may mean one thing for one chinchilla owner and something different for another owner.
Don’t be overly concerned.
The main question we started with was: why do chinchillas bark?
Like we stated previously, most likely this is due to fear or trying to relay to you that they are uncomfortable with a given situation.
At the end of the day, the most important thing to do is to interact with your chinchilla, get it comfortable with you, and begin building that trust.
Also, always watch out for odd behaviors just to be sure there isn’t anything more serious causing your chinchilla to make odd noises.
Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your new chinchilla and hope the barking does not remain an issue in the future.
Share your thoughts about why chinchillas bark.
Do you have any chinchilla barking related stories to share?
How about other odd chinchilla noises have you heard your chinchilla make recently?
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 we will see you again next time.