Why Do Chinchillas Bark?[+How To Stop Chinchilla Barking]

Chinchillas are known to make some amusing but also questionable sounds from time to time which certainly includes barking.

It often leaves a new chinchilla owner curious as to why their new chinchilla is barking and what they can do to stop their chinchilla from barking.

Why do chinchilla’s bark?

I have now been raising my chinchilla for 5 years and here is what I can tell you on this topic.

Chinchilla’s bark due to being frightened, scared, or upset. Chinchillas will also bark as a warning signal to other chinchillas that danger could be near. A chinchilla will also bark if they do not want to be picked up.


Although the reasons mentioned above are common reasons your chinchilla may bark, there are other possibilities that could explain your chinchilla barking.

I get it and sometimes we want answers to explain our chinchilla’s odd behaviors they display from time to time.

If you stick around, we will dive into other reasons your chinchilla may be barking.

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What Does Chinchilla Barking Mean?

Some chinchillas may bark for reasons other than being scared or threatened.

We all know that our chins can pick up an attitude from time to time.

This is one of those times when that attitude may show its face and 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, it’s ethical and best to respect and recognize these signals and body language from your chinchilla.

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 chinchilla’s 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 Likely Will Decrease As Your Chinchilla Warms Up To You

Chinchillas begin to recognize their owners.

It would be odd if you began frightening your chinchilla on a random day attempting to pick them up for some cuddle time.

Especially after they have had time to adjust to you and adapt to their new environment.

If you believe this is the case, simply back off and give it some time and continue building trust with your chinchilla.

Whether you are wanting to provide your chinchilla a dust bath or simply get them 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 well after I knew we had 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 them.

Don’t be offended by this.

It happens to all chinchilla owners at one point or another.

Common Times You May Hear A Chinchilla Barking

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 will only bark when being interacted with to let you know that they are scared but others will bark without necessarily being provoked by you as the owner.

Here is what I mean.

Why Do Chinchillas Bark At Night?

As mentioned previously, chinchillas bark most commonly due to fear, stress or to warn other chinchillas.

A chinchilla may bark at night due to noises they hear, to indicate something else has scared them or even due to other stimuli in the environment such as loud music or a car driving by.

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.

My Chinchilla Is Barking While They Sleep

Most commonly, a chinchilla will bark in their sleep if they become frightened.

I have not actually witnessed my chinchilla barking in her sleep but my chinchilla is not necessarily a vocal chinchilla that barks very often.

While other chinchilla owners have stated that their chinchillas will bark in their sleep, I am sure that the reasons and causes for the barking vary by the chinchilla.

In short, the reason your chinchilla is barking in their sleep is likely due to being startled but if that is not the case, your guess is as good as mine and I would not be overly concerned with the barking taking place.

A Chinchilla Barking Does Not Always Cause For Concern

Maybe your chinchilla is a barker and maybe they are not.

Maybe they 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 always important to monitor these situations and keep a mental note about what your chinchilla’s behavior has been doing recently.

Your Chinchilla May Be Barking Due To Illness

Chinchillas can get ill or contract diseases.

Not barking by no means indicates that your chinchilla is suffering from one of these causes.

On the flip side, if your chinchilla is displaying other out of the ordinary behavior, it’s worth a call to your veterinarian just to play things on the safe side.

You see, chinchillas don’t progress through an illness slowly like we can experience when we get sick.

If your chinchilla is ill, the illnesses tend to become advanced and dangerous quickly.

I’m by no means trying to alarm you due to excessive barking from your chin or lack of barking.

I’m simply informing you, that if the behavior seems way compared to your chinchilla’s normal behavior, it may be worth making a call to your vet.

How Do I Get My Chinchilla To Stop Barking?

To get a chinchilla to stop barking, my number 1 piece of advice I can give you is to continue spending time with them as much as possible.

The more comfortable they become with you, the less they should get scared or stressed by any situation.

This can be done easily simply by allowing them time out of the cage.

Be sure to chinchilla proof a room in the 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 in my opinion, 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, their new home, and all the commotion that happens in the household, the less barking you should notice from your chinchilla.

Reduce Stress and Fear To Reduce Your Chinchilla Barking

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 situation.

At the end of the day, the most important thing to always do is interact with your chinchilla, get them comfortable with you, and begin building that trust.

Also, always watch out for odd behaviors just to be sure it’s nothing more serious causing your chinchilla to make some odd noises that are not ordinary.

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 that you have witnessed and 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.

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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