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Chinchilla Sounds: What Your Pet Is Really Telling You

chinchilla sounds

When it comes to chinchilla care, knowing what your pet is trying to tell you is crucial to your pet's well-being. Chinchilla sounds can often be hard for new chinchilla owners to assign meaning to. 

Today we’re going to bridge the gap between chinchilla-speak and human-speak! To help you understand exactly what your furry friend needs, this article will introduce you to all the sounds that chinchillas make and what they mean.

What Do Different Chinchilla Sounds Mean?

In the wild, chinchillas communicate with each other to warn of danger. Domesticated chinchillas will often tap into these instincts and communicate fear when they sense danger. 

Chinchillas may be more vocal when they live with other chinchillas but you can certainly feel loved when it appears they are warning you of danger as well. 

chinchilla sounds

Some chinchilla sounds are happy and others are angry or warning sounds. Once you can tell the difference you’ll understand what your chinchilla needs to stay comfortable. 

The more you understand what your chinchilla is trying to tell you, the better you’ll be able to bond with your chinchilla! Let’s start with some of the happy sounds and then we’ll get into the sounds you hear when your chinchilla is bothered. 


Gentle squeaks are a chinchilla’s way of saying they’re happy and content. The coast is clear, everyone is safe and they’re enjoying their hay on a nice day. 

Quicker high-pitched squeaks tell you your chin is very excited. They probably found the goji berry you hid behind their hideout or you got out a new toy for them. 

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding actually means your chinchilla is happy or content! Consider it similar to a cat purring except it sounds like your chin is chewing something hard.

It may seem strange when you first hear it but the more you get to know your chin the more familiar you’ll be with their chinchilla sounds. 

Teeth grinding is different from teeth chattering which we will talk about soon. Also if your chinchillas' usual teeth grinding changes and they’re grinding more often, this could be a sign of tooth pain and you should get them checked out with their vet. 


Quiet grunting is often heard when a mother chinchilla is with her kits. Adult chinchillas can also grunt with each other and it’s their way of saying hello!


A chinchilla barks to say "Stay away!”. They may bark at another chinchilla or a human if they feel unsafe with who is coming into their space. Some people say a chinchilla bark sounds like a duck quacking. 

If you hear your chinchilla bark, give them space. If they’re barking at other chinchillas then you need to separate them before a fight breaks out. 

Barks usually come in short spurts but at a high volume!  

Kacking or Spitting

Kacking or making a quick coughing or spitting sound is often a chinchilla's first attempt at telling someone to get away. 

If your chinchilla makes this sound then stop what you’re doing and leave them alone. If they are with other chinchillas then try to separate them until the situation calms down. 


Screaming may sound similar to squeaking on paper, but in real life, it’s very clear when it's a scream. It may startle you when you hear a loud high-pitched screech which is what they want! 

Chinchillas scream to get your attention. They’re warning everyone of danger and letting you know they’re scared. 

Some chinchilla owners notice their chinchilla making this screaming noise when they’re trying to get your attention for other reasons. So although this is a good guide to understanding your chinchilla, it's important to recognize your chinchillas' individual personality. 

The more time you spend together, the more communication you’ll pick up on! 

Teeth Chattering

Teeth chattering sounds exactly how you would expect. It’s a quicker sound than teeth grinding and happens when your chinchilla is angry, upset, or again needs some space. 

Chinchilla Body Language

Body language is a crucial aspect of how a chinchilla communicates with you. If you’re ever unsure what sound you’re hearing, your chinchilla’s body language will help clear things up. 

Popcorning is one of the most common signs that your chinchilla is happy. Chinchillas tend to jump uncontrollably around their cage when they’re extremely happy. 

Wall surfing is another similar behavior that indicates happiness. This is where your chinchilla will run up and down the walls of their enclosure. 

chinchilla sounds

Grooming is also a sign that your chinchilla is content and feels happy and healthy. When irritated or angry, chinchillas may bite, spray, or throw poop at their owners or cagemates. If these warning signs are ignored, chinchillas will typically resort to lunging towards whatever is bothering them.

 Lastly, pay attention to how a chinchilla shows sickness or injury. Due to their prey nature, they don't usually vocalize their weakness which makes it crucial to pick up on their body language. 

Signs of sickness include a hunched-over posture, lethargy, and a decreased appetite. Fur chewing is also another common sign that something may be wrong with your chinchilla. If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to take your chinchilla to an exotic vet ASAP. 

Decoding Chinchilla Sounds

In conclusion, chinchillas are capable of making a variety of sounds to communicate different emotions, such as happiness, anger, and distress. Understanding these sounds can help owners gain better insight into their chinchilla's mental state. 

When you know how your chin is feeling, you can respond appropriately so that they’ll trust you to respect and take care of them. 

Finally, remember that every chinchilla is unique, especially in terms of their communication. By understanding how your chinchilla communicates, you will be able to take the best possible care of them. Nobody knows your chinchilla better than you do!


Chinchilla research is continuously growing! If you have any doubts or concerns contact your exotic vet.

We are not veterinarians, and none of our information should be construed as veterinary advice.

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