Why Do Chinchillas Bark? [Plus Other Chinchilla Sounds]

why-do-chinchillas-bark

Any of us who own any small pets, know that they tend to some hilarious, crazy things from time to time. It’s these moments that usually get us that smile from ear to ear.  Chinchillas are no different. Chinchillas do many things that can leave you smiling day in and day out. It’s a big reason that they make such great pets. Anyone who has seen a chinchilla taking a dust bath would probably 100% agree with me and these statements. Although most of the things these furry creatures do are adorable, some of these actions leave us curious. It left me curious at least. I had some questions in the beginning. Why do chinchillas bark? After looking into it and performing some research, here is what I learned.

So, why do chinchillas bark? Chinchillas bark most frequently due to being frightened or scared. Chinchillas will also bark as a warning signal to other chinchillas that danger could be near. A chinchilla barking can be set off my various events such as loud unexpected noises startling your chinchilla. This could be a vehicle alarm, small children yelling or even loud music.

Although the reasons mentioned above are common reasons your chinchilla may bark, there are other possibilities that could explain your chinchilla barking or making other odd noises that many of us may have heard recently. 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 is audibly trying to relay a message.

Other Reasons That May Be Causing Your Chinchilla to Bark Explained

Some feisty chinchillas may bark for reasons other than being scared. 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. Your chinchilla may also be barking or making bark like noises if he or she is not in the mood to be picked up.

Although this is rare, it’s ethical and best to respect and recognize these signals 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. In most circumstances, this would never be true.

We discuss how 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.

Instead, your chinchilla may simply not be in the mood. 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.

Don’t be offended by this. It happens to all chinchilla owners at one point or another.

Barking And Other Noises Doesn’t Necessarily Need To Cause 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 in recent time.

Not Likely, But Still Worth Double Checking. Better Safe Than Sorry.

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 behavior seems way off in this fashion or other fashions. Make a brief phone call to double check.

Other Noises Your Chinchilla is Making? What Are Those All About?

I’m sure you know where I’m going with this. Barking is by far not even scratching the surface of the potential sounds you are used to hearing from your chinchilla. Our chins have a wide variety of squeaks and sounds they like to let shine from time to time.

Let’s break those down briefly and discuss what those could mean.

Teeth Chatter or Teeth Chattering

Teeth chattering from your chinchilla is when things may get a bit confusing. This is another sign that your chinchilla may be frightened. So how do you know the difference?

You don’t.

The point is to understand that a teeth chatter could be fear and to really confuse things anymore, it can also mean your chinchilla is content. Talk about a tough to read furry little creature.

Frustrating, I know.

The Chinchilla Cry

This is a sound no chinchilla owner wants to hear. In most circumstances, the only time you will hear an audible cry out of your chinchilla is if he or she is in pain. This is a cause of concern of course. It’s important to double check what’s causing the chinchilla pain and if you can’t physically see any indication of why your chinchilla is crying, you may want to make a call to your vet to double check.

The Chinchilla Coo

This is the opposite of the chinchilla cry. This is a sound a chinchilla owner loves to hear. Your chinchilla will coo when your chinchilla is happy or communicating with another chinchilla or maybe even you. Sometimes they just want to let you know that they approve or there is nothing to fret over.

It’s all going to be okay.

These are some of the most common sounds you hear from your chinchilla on a routine basis. Not long ago, I ran into another post and chinchilla forum that mentioned a few other sounds your chinchillas can make that could help you distinguish what’s going on with your chinchilla.

The Warning Call

The warning call is a lot like the chinchilla barking. However, your chinchilla may make the sound repeatedly in short burst. Most believe this is to warn the rest of the group of something that just isn’t right or something your chinchilla may have heard.

The Second Version of The Warning Call- The Short Alarm

This is another bark-like sound but it’s quick and usually audible in a rapid outburst in response to a scare. Usually, if this is the sound you hear your chinchilla make, it will be followed by a quick run as if the chinchilla is running from its worst fear.

The Angry Mother Call

Female chinchilla is going to be your candidate for this sound.  This is one of the more entertaining sounds on the list. A mother chinchilla can have up to 4 baby chinchillas. When she does, the baby chinchillas will fight over the food source and audibly chatter their teeth while doing so.

The mother will become outraged and attempt to say, knock it off will let out a loud screech to get her point across.

Sounds like every other household in the world if you ask me.

The Bring It On (Marriage Dispute Cry)

We have discussed in depth how much energy and personality chinchillas have. Well, this personality can shine through at extremes when you have a female and male chinchilla living under the same roof. If the male provokes or irritates the female chinchilla, she is sure to let you and the male chinchilla know about it. You will hear a sudden scream come from the female chinchilla when this divorce is entering its beginning stages.

The Touch Me, No Don’t Touch Me Contact Grunt

This is a sound your chinchilla may let off when contacting another chinchilla. In most circumstances, this means that your chinchilla is happy with the contact it’s having with another chinchilla. Chinchillas are very loving creatures and enjoy the company of one another, but they are also like teenagers.

One moment they are perfectly content and the next, it’s an entirely new sound indicating they are in the mood to do something different.

Here is a great resource for an even more detailed list of other sounds your chinchilla may be making. It should help you gain a better understanding of what’s going through your chinchilla’s mind when they make all these funny noises.

Putting It All Together Chinchillas Are Fun and Loving and Very Confusing With Sounds

Some chinchilla noises mean one thing and other chinchilla noises mean a completely different thing. The main question we started with was, why do chinchillas bark? Like we stated previously, most likely this is due to fear but at the end of the day, all the other chinchilla noises, your guess could be as good as mine.

Sometimes chinchillas even make the exact same noises for the complete opposite reason such as being angry or being content.

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

Do you have any chinchilla barking related stories to share? How about other odd chinchilla noises that you have witnessed and heard your furry friend make recently? Be sure to drop a comment below.

Josh Martin

My Name is Josh and this is my 1 year old female chinchilla "Chili". We created Planet Chinchilla to share all the stories about owning a chinchilla that you need to know.

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