Why Do Chinchillas Bark? (& Other Sounds They Make)

Why is my chinchilla barking at me? Have I done something wrong? Do all chinchillas bark?

If it’s your first time hearing your chinchilla bark, you’re probably puzzled. You didn’t even know your little whisker puff could make that sound! But he can, and it’s normal.

Okay, but why do chinchillas bark?

In this article, we’ll look at the details of chinchilla barking. We’ll discuss what it means and how you can respond. This information will help you keep your pet calm and feeling safe. Also, understanding chinchilla language will improve your bond with your adorable furry friend. You want to earn those chinny hugs, right?

Key Takeaway:

Chinchillas bark when they’re upset, freaked out, or angry. They also use the sound to warn other chinchillas of danger, like a predator in their vicinity, or when caught off guard by a loud sound. Male chinchillas bark before getting into a fight. Some chins will bark when in pain.

Why is my chinchilla barking for no reason? Are there any other sounds that chinchillas make? What do they mean?

We have all the answers for you below. Let’s get started.

chinchilla bark

Why Do Chinchillas Bark?

Chinchillas bark?? Isn’t that a canine thing?

Nope, barking isn’t only a canine thing. Chinchillas can bark, too. It’s not like a typical dog’s bark, though. It’s more like a duck quacking.

Why do they bark?

Chinchillas are prey animals in the wild. So, they’ve learned to be on their toes (or, shall we say, paws!) to stay safe.

Since chinchillas are social critters, they also watch out for each other. If they spot danger, they’ll notify their furry gang by barking! It’s like their way of saying, “Hey, watch out, danger’s coming!”

Now, this instinct doesn't disappear when chinchillas become pets. Your chinny may bark if he feels threatened by an unfamiliar face or animal in or around his home.

Since the purpose of barking is to alert other chinchillas and warn humans, the sound is pretty loud and repetitive.

Other Reasons Why Chinchillas Bark

Caught Off-Guard

Chinchillas also bark when they’re startled. If they hear a loud noise, like outside traffic or the slamming of doors, they’ll let out a sharp bark. New chinchilla owners are more likely to hear this bark.

Fighting

Male chinchillas bark before getting into a fight. If you have two male chinchillas who don’t get along too well, living in the same cage, brace your ears. If they bark and fight too often, it’s best to separate them.

Dominance

Chinchillas also bark to prove dominance. This behavior is more common among female chinchillas. Female chins are more territorial and aggressive as compared to male chins. It is because they form the bulk of the herds. In contrast, male chinchillas move from one herd to another. This role gives female chins more authority and power in the herd.

Angry

Upset chinchillas bark, too. If you do something that your chinny doesn’t appreciate, like picking him up when he still doesn’t trust you, he’ll bark at you.

Pain

Chinchillas usually hide their illnesses and pain. They don’t want to appear vulnerable and attract predators. But if it gets too much to tolerate, they may bark to signal their discomfort. If you hear your chinchilla barking for no apparent reason, just keep an eye on him for a while.

What Does it Mean When a Chinchilla Barks?

allergic chinchilla

A chinchilla’s bark signals different things. If you want to be certain of what your chinchilla is trying to tell you, look at his body language and expression. That should give you a better idea of why he’s barking.

Here’s a lowdown on chinchilla barking coupled with body language:

  • Fright: When chinchillas get spooked, they sometimes start shaking their heads or even do a little full-body shimmy.
  • Dislike: If your chinchilla is barking because he doesn’t like you, he’ll also hop up and down.
  • Discomfort: A chinchilla in pain will show signs of lethargy. Some will also chew their fur excessively.
  • Anger: A grumpy chinchilla will release his scent gland while standing on his hind legs.

What Does a Chinchilla Barking in Sleep Mean?

If your chinny is barking in his sleep, it’s because he’s dreaming a dream that’s freaking him out big time. It’s okay, it happens. You don’t have to rush your bub to the vet.

What Does a Chinchilla Barking at Night Mean?

Chinchillas are crepuscular animals, meaning they’re active during twilight. If your chinchilla is barking at night, he’s probably communicating with other chins. It could be a warning call or just a chatty session between friends.

What Does a Chinchilla Barking for Attention Mean?

A chinchilla will bark to get your attention when he's bored or hungry. You'll be able to tell this one apart because your chinny will be standing on his hind legs close to where you are. If you don't respond, he'll start biting the cage.

Do Baby Chinchillas Bark Too?

Baby chinchillas are quite the chatterboxes. They are also feistier than adult chinchillas. They bark when they are hungry, need love, or are scared.

A baby chinchilla barks differently than an adult chinchilla – it sounds more like high-pitched squeaks.

How Do You Stop Chinchillas From Barking?

A chinchilla’s bark can become annoying if it happens too often. If you can’t take it anymore, here’s how you can deal with it:

  1. Make sure your chinchilla feels safe in his environment by reducing any sources of stress or fear that may be causing him to bark.
  2. Make sure your chinchilla trusts you before trying to pick the little guy. If your pet isn’t yet comfortable around you, he’ll bark when you get too close.
  3. Give your chinchilla lots of attention and affection. Play with him, cuddle him, and reward him with a treat when he’s quiet.
  4. Give your chinny enough out-of-cage playtime. The more he’s comfortable around you and in his surroundings, the less he’ll bark.
  5. Keep the noise level in your home low. Chinchillas are sensitive to loud noises and may bark if there is too much of it.
  6. Provide plenty of enrichment activities for your chinny. Give him toys like a chinchilla wheel, a hideout, or a wooden chew. This will help keep him mentally and physically stimulated and reduce the chances of him barking out of boredom.
  7. If you have two male chinchillas living together, make sure there’s enough space for each one. Also, give both the boys their own toys and hay racks.
  8. If your chinchilla is barking for no reason, look for signs of pain or illness. Take him to the vet if you think he may be sick.

Other Common Chinchilla Sounds

chinchilla sounds

Chinchillas have their versions of “Hey, how are you?” and “Back off, you!” They talk to each other, and they express their feelings to their human pals. Yep, these little furballs can communicate in more ways than barking alone.

But do you know how to decipher chinchilla-speak? No?

No worries. Scroll down for the scoop!

Happy Chinchilla Sounds

Gentle Squeaking

When a chinchilla feels super happy, he will let out these soft, gentle squeaks that say, “Life is good, guys!” Chinchillas also squeak to know where their chinny mate is and whether he’s safe.

If your chinchilla squeaks while you’re petting him, that’s like a big thumbs-up. It is a sign your pet trusts you and is happy with your touch. So, keep doing what you’re doing!

Continuous Squeaking

This is the sound of excitement chinchillas make upon getting treats, seeing another chinchilla, or having you around. It is similar to the usual squeaking, just louder and faster.

If a male chinchilla is squeaking continuously, it’s because he’s in the mood for some romance. He will also wiggle his little bottom and wag his fluffy tail when he wants to mate.

Do female chinchillas make this sound?

Yep, they do! It’s mostly during their to-be mommy phase or when they’re feeling playful.

Teeth Grinding

When your chinchilla rubs his molars (the back teeth) to make a sound, it’s known as teeth grinding. This is a happy sound, showing that your chinchilla is loving his life as your pet. You’ll hear more of this sound when you offer your chinny a treat or give it a loving scratch.

Cute Chinchilla Sounds

The Decoy Sound

Your chinchilla will make this cute sound when he’s looking for his playmate in the cage. If your chinny doesn’t have a mate, then the sound is directed toward you. Rush human, it’s playtime with your little fluffball.

Hiccupping

Although this chinchilla sound is similar to barking, the intent is way different. It’s not urgent-sounding, loud, or fast at all.

Chinchilla hiccupping is like human hiccupping – involuntary and nothing to fret about.

Chinchilla hiccups mostly happen to male chinchillas after they’ve had a little romantic encounter.

Cooing

This is one of the cutest sounds you’ll hear your chinny make. It’s even better than a cat’s loving purr! When your chinchilla coos, it’ll sound like whistling or gentle squeaking.

Usually, chinchillas coo to let their cage pals know how much fun they’re having. Some chinchillas also coo to themselves – how adorable!

Angry Chinchilla Sounds

Teeth Chattering

Chinchillas chatter their incisors (the front teeth) whenever they’re angry or in pain. This sound is sharp, loud, and repetitive.

Your chinny will click his teeth together to let other chinchillas know that he isn't in the mood for any trouble. A chinchilla will also chatter his teeth (and stand tall on his hind legs) to scare away the predators. If you have a female chinchilla, she might also spray urine while chattering her teeth.

Spitting or Kecking

Here’s another sound that shows your chinchilla’s not too thrilled – the spitting sound. It’s like a tiny cough-like sound chinchillas make to scare away predators, other chinchillas, or humans.

Spitting (or kecking) is sharp and loud. This sound is more common than screaming, but if you’re doing your chinchilla parenting job right and keeping your pet out of harm’s way, you might not hear it much.

Frightened Chinchilla Sounds

A Warning Call or Alarm

A chinchilla warning call is a sharp yet short bark that your chinny will make when he senses danger. It’s like a warning to his cage pals or to you that some potential mischief is heading their way. You might hear 15 of these in a go.

Chinchilla alarm barking is often paired with him running sporadically around his cage. This is your pet’s way of saying, “Protect me from danger! I need help!”

Chinchilla Screaming

Chinchillas only bust out this sound when things are seriously wrong in Chinchilla-Ville or when they’re in pain.

Chinchilla screaming sounds like a crying human baby. It's high-pitched and repetitive. It's your cue to jump into action pronto and fix whatever's causing the distress.

Why would my pet chinchilla scream?

A pet chinchilla will scream when he hurts himself or is having a showdown with a bigger chinchilla and is scared to fight.

Mother and Baby Chinchilla Sounds

Quiet Grunting

When mother chinchillas hang out with their kits (chinchilla babies), they communicate with each other through quiet grunting. It’s like a happy little rumble from their tiny tummies. The mommy chinny will also give her little ones some gentle licks while making the sound.

Sometimes, chinchillas share quiet grunts with humans, too!

Grunt of Anger

Nursing mama chinchillas can only take so much of baby fuss. And when they’ve had too much, they’ll let out an angry grunt to tell the little ones to behave. This usually happens when rowdy little chinchilla babies are fighting over milk.

If a female chinchilla gets annoyed by a clingy male chinchilla, she’ll throw in a grumble to say, “Argh, leave me alone!” It might come with a little urine surprise, too. Looks like chinchillas have a knack for making a point!

Annoyed Chinchilla Sounds

Donkey Sounds

Ever heard a donkey’s “ee-haw”? Well, that’s pretty spot-on for this chinchilla protest sound. When your chinchilla wants some alone time, he’ll make the donkey sound to say, “Give me some space. Don’t push it.”

You’ll also hear the donkey sound when your chinchilla is hungry and can’t get to his food because of the chinny traffic jam. Since a hungry chinchilla is not a happy camper, we suggest you quickly get him another bowl and keep the grub coming!

Chinny Jargon Unveiled: Cracking the Code of Chinchilla Sounds

Chinchillas are expressive critters. They make a lot of different sounds, like squeaking, cooing, grunting, spitting, and barking, to communicate their feelings to humans, predators, and fellow chinchillas.

Barking is the loudest and the most urgent-sounding chinchilla noise. As a new parent, you must wonder, “Why do chinchillas bark?”

This article told us that chinchillas bark out of fear, shock, pain, and anger. A chinchilla will also bark to prove dominance.

Luckily, there are ways to understand the exact meaning of each sound and help your chinny in distress.

Did you find the information in this article helpful?

At Oddly Cute Pets, we want to make your chinchilla parenting journey a breeze. That’s why we provide helpful articles on all aspects of chinchilla care – from eating habits to sleeping routines. Don’t forget to check out our website for more resources.

Thanks for reading.

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