Common Chinchilla Sounds and What They Mean

by Morgan Mulac

Common Chinchilla Sounds and What They Mean Image

Squeaks, barking, and warning calls! Every chinchillas make a variety of different sounds use to communicate, and a good chinchilla owner needs to know what their chinchillas are trying to communicate to them.

No matter how big or small your chinchilla noises are, we are going to break them down and explain what some of the most common chinchilla noises are and what chinchillas could mean by them.

Do Chinchillas Make Noise?

The answer is yes, chinchillas make noise! Chinchillas are vocal animals that make a different sounds, including squeaking, barking, teeth chattering, and screaming. (In a moment, we are going to discuss the exact sounds and meanings)

Why Do Chinchillas Make These Sounds

White Chinchilla Image
A chinchilla can make these noises for a number of different reasons, but the majority of the time they use them to communicate their feelings to you and other chinchillas.

These sounds can be helpful in warning other chinchillas, communicating with a new baby chinchilla, or telling you how they are feeling.

Therefore, it is important for you to learn all you can about your chinchilla and to understand what it is that they are telling you when they use these different sounds.

What Does It Mean When A Chinchilla Squeaks?

Chinchilla will make the sound most often make when they are playing. Squeaking can mean different things depending on its volume and amount, but in almost all cases, low gentle squeaking sounds is a sign that your chin is happy and in good health.

When a chinchilla squeaks gently, they are letting you or your other chinchillas know they are safe and happy. In the same way, continuous and high-pitched chirping signals that your chinchilla is extremely happy and excited.

It is important to know your chinchilla’s body language in order to understand its squeaks because some squeaks might sound like they are in distress,which sound similar to an short alarm call.

Why Is My Chinchilla Barking?

Black Chinchilla on ledge Image
There are a variety of sounds a chinchilla makes, but barking is one of the most aggressive. Typically, this is to warn other chinchillas that they should stay away - some owners will have their less social chinchilla make barking noises at them when they try to pet them or play with them. Chinchilla owners often say it sounds like a duck quacking when their chinchilla is barking.

You should know that if they have been barking at their cage mates, this is a typical sign that they are about to squabble. Therefore, if you see any other warning signs of fighting, you should keep a watch on them. If they do get in a fight this blog can help.

Why Is My Chinchilla Screaming?

Typically when a chinchilla screams, it sounds like a high-pitched squeaking sounds that can sometimes frighten a chinchilla owner the first time they may hear it. A scream means they’re either in distress, in pain, or have been scared by something (a nightmare, loud noise sudden outside, a fire alarm, etc.).

Many owners also note that their chinchillas can be naughty and will let out a high-pitched scream like this when they want attention, so it’s once again important to read your chinchilla’s body language once you enter the room. 

Chinchilla chewing yellow flowers Image

What Other Happy Chinchilla Sounds Are There?

Since we've already covered three different chinchilla sounds and what they mean, let's take a look at the three umbrellas of emotions that your chinchilla may be trying to communicate to you.

Although we'll only briefly discuss body language since we're focusing on vocalizations, body language is such an important part of the way chinchillas communicate and should also be monitored to discern how your chinchilla is feeling.

Chinchilla resting its head Image


Teeth grinding

To hear this sound can be scary to new owners as it sounds like your chinchilla is chewing plastic, but rest assured this is a noise that means your chinchilla is happy and content to be with you. It is worth noting that this is different from what a chinchilla chattering their teeth sounds like, which we touch on later.

Quiet grunts

Differing from low gentle squeaking, a chinchilla grunting sounds like a low rumbling noise from the gut. Often, this sound is either directed at your chinchilla's cage mate or directly towards you, but low gentle grunts are another common sound of a happy and peaceful chinchilla.


This is another chinchilla sound that your chinchilla can either direct at you or their cage mate. This is also a common sound between a baby chinchillas and their mother, though many chinchillas are capable of retaining this sound into adulthood.

Baby chinchilla Image

Behaviors Combined With Sounds:

Nibbling on your hand

Often your chinchillas will show you this type of grooming technique as a sign of affection, as chinchillas groom each other, indicating that they are accepting you as one of the family members. It is often accompanied by gentle teeth grinding.


Your chinchilla may occasionally jump uncontrollably; this is called popcorning and is completely harmless. Your chinchilla will often accompany this with low gentle squeaks as a sign that it is extremely happy.

Some chinchilla owners have noticed that their animals popcorn more often during playtime or when they take dust baths.

Wall surfing

You may notice that your chinchilla is jumping off the sides of the cage when you walk in the door. This is known as wall surfing and with other happy chinchilla, sounds is another sign that your chinchilla is experiencing happiness and excitement.

Angry Chinchilla Sounds

Mean looking Chinchilla Image

Now that we have discussed what it sounds like to have a chinchilla that is happy, let's take a moment to take a closer look at what they may be trying to tell you when they are angry or frustrated with you.

The good news about these behaviors is that a chinchilla is often prone to puffing themselves up and making themselves larger to anyone they consider as being a threat, so it is usually easy to identify.


Kacking Or Spitting

Kicking sounds like a sharp coughing sound and is typically one of the first signals a chinchilla will give you that they want you to stay away, so if you notice that your chinchilla makes this sound, be sure to close their cage and give them some space.

If you notice your chinchilla kicking or spitting to warn other chinchillas, it could be worth taking one of them out of the cage until tempers calm down between the two.

Teeth Chattering

As an early sign of irritation or anger, your chinchilla may also chatter their teeth slightly. The difference between this and teeth grinding is clear to the ear, as the sound of their teeth chattering sounds exactly like what you might imagine.

Chinchilla being pet image

Aggressive Behaviors:

Poop throwing

A chinchilla that is angry may stand on its hind legs and throw its poop. This is one of the more obvious warning signs that you should let the chinchilla relax on its own until they are no longer angry.

We also recommend looking closely at your chinchilla's environment if you notice them being so agitated as this could be caused by a dirty or too small cage.


While chinchillas do groom and nibble on each other and their owners from time to time, a chinchilla biting you or a cage mates can be an indication of dominance or anger when barking or teeth chattering fails to achieve the desired outcome. If one of your two chinchillas does get heart it would be good to have a chinchilla first aid handy.

Distressed Chinchilla Sounds

worried looking Chinchilla Image
To conclude the three significant emotions your chinchilla is able to communicate to you, we would like to discuss perhaps the most important emotion of all: distress. It is possible for your chinchilla to express distress by using a few specific sounds.

As a rule, it is important that you know these chinchilla sounds and behaviors because a chinchilla will typically hide their distress well, as they serve as prey in the wild. As a result, they have trained themselves to not show weakness when they are in pain, scared, or otherwise distressed.


Alarm Call

As opposed to barking, an alarm call is more in the form of short bursts. In general, chinchillas make this sound when they are scared by something in their immediate area. Sometimes, short alarm calls can be a more common behavior that occurs in a newly adopted chinchilla who is not yet used to their surroundings or their new owner.


In some cases, crying sounds like screaming as a chinchilla sound. Generally speaking, the reason your chinchilla may cry out is that they are scared or in pain.

You may find that in some cases, your chinchilla is lonely and that is the reason some owners make chinchilla-shaped pillows to keep their chinchilla company, especially if they do not have another chinchilla to bond with.

Round Chinchilla image


Excessive Fur Chewing

In some cases, chewing on fur is a form of grooming that your chinchilla will use, but if you notice excess chewing, thinning patches of fur, or other problems as a result of excessive chewing, you may want to check with your vet to make sure that everything is alright.


The most telling sign that your chinchilla is in distress is if it appears lethargic. Lethargy in chinchillas can be caused by extreme pain, so seeing the vet is highly recommended.

In Conclusion

4 chinchillas in 4 blue boxes image

While we can provide you with this guide on chinchilla different sounds, your chinchilla will often try to speak to you in their own way, so it’s vital you listen to them and get a feel for exactly how they communicate with you so the two of you can create your own bond together.

It may take time to understand chinchilla sounds and what they're trying to communicate but with a little patience, the two of you can chat away with one another in no time!


Have Questions About Any Chinchilla Sounds Or Chinchillas?

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Author Bio: Morgan Mulac
Morgan has been a professional copywriter for over five years. Morgan also happens to be a chinchilla owner for many years. Now she is merging her two passions to create chinchilla expert care guides to help other chinchilla owners.
Morgan loves all things artistic and enjoys making others happy through her art and stories.

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