The 9 ‘Tell-Tale’ Signs Your Chinchilla Likes You!

As a Chinchilla owner, the thought may have crossed your mind at one point or another as to whether your Chinchilla likes you. 

It’s only natural to want to be liked by our pets and with some species, it is much easier to determine than others.

You would expect it to be pretty tricky trying to figure out whether your Chinchilla likes you but surprisingly they are often pretty easy to figure out once you know the signs to look for. 

Chinchillas may not follow you around the house all the time like other pets but they still have their unique ways of letting us know if they like us or not.

So here are the 9 signs your Chinchilla likes you:

  • They greet you most of the time
  • They let you pet and scratch them
  • They don’t hide from you
  • They climb over you during playtime
  • They don’t bark at you
  • They cuddle up to you
  • They nibble you
  • They don’t try to attack you
  • They take treats from your hand

The 9 Signs Your Chinchilla Like You (more info)

Ok, so now we have looked briefly at the 9 signs that your chinchilla likes you, let’s now take a deeper look at these reasons and what they mean.

1. They Greet You Most of The Time

You will find that Chinchillas who like you will make the effort to be near you. More often than not they will greet you when you go to the cage. 

They won’t completely ignore you or stay tucked up in their trusty cave, but will actively go out of their way to come and see you.

If your Chinchilla does this during daylight this is a particular honour. It is fair to say that your Chin really does like you. 

Chinchillas sleep for most of the day so you will find they are not very active during those hours. 

This is the time when a Chin is most likely to ignore you, but some well-liked owners do find their Chinchilla wakes up especially to greet them.

Chinchillas can be a bit inconsistent with this behaviour and just because they don’t greet you all the time does not mean they don’t like you. 

Even if you get just a small amount of this behaviour it is safe to say your Chin likes you.

2. They Let You Pet and Scratch Them

If your Chinchilla willingly lets you pet and scratch them this is a great sign that they like you. Chins don’t tend to go anywhere near people they don’t like let alone let them scratch and pet them. 

In general, Chinchillas do not like to be touched. Many hate being picked up and held and will often struggle and bite to get away.

Chin’s that let you interact with them in this way are letting you know that they feel comfortable and safe around you. 

If they are feeling content then it is usually a good sign. Building a solid bond usually takes time and it may be the case that when you first purchase a Chinchilla they are not keen on you touching or picking them up. 

Try not to take offence to this. Over time the two of you should be able to create a great bond that means your Chin will be more than happy for you to give them a scratch behind their ears.

3. They Don’t Hide From You

Chinchillas love to hide away particularly during the daytime where you can usually find them sleeping. 

Chin’s tend to hide themselves away for protection and warmth. It is not uncommon to find your Chinchilla hiding away, they love the peace and quiet. This isn’t something you should be concerned about.

Chinchillas that like you often want to be in your presence and spend as much time as possible with you. 

They are unable to follow you around like a cat or dog would and therefore when you approach the cage they love to come out of hiding to see you.

If you experience this type of behaviour during the daytime in particular you can be assured that your Chin thinks you are quite possibly the best thing since sliced bread.

If you are worried that your chinchillas won’t let you hold them, then here are the 10 reasons why chinchillas don’t like to be held…

4. They Climb Over You During Playtime

Playtime out of the cage can be the most exciting part of the day for your Chinchilla. They get to escape the confines of their cage and have a real good run around to let off some energy. 

Being let out of the cage for some Chinchillas can be quite a daunting experience. Especially when they have just arrived in the new home and are in unfamiliar territory.

Chin’s that like you tend to climb and jump all over you during playtime. You can’t keep them away from you. This is a sign that your Chin feels most comfortable around you and totally trusts you. 

They do not feel threatened by you in any way and feel safe touching you.

This can be a great bonding experience for the two of you and if you are not at the point yet where your Chin is climbing all over you during playtime, persevere some more. Do not give up. 

It takes time and patience to get your Chin to trust you, but once they do you will be sure to feel the love.

If you’re not sure how much time your chin needs out of their cage each day, then head over to this post that explains everything you need to know…

5. They Don’t Bark at You

Chinchillas that bark, are angry or stressed Chinchillas. There is no other way about it. It is safe to say if you get a bark directed towards you, your Chin is not very happy with you. 

They are known to get quite aggressive with their barking and if you find they direct this behaviour towards you regularly they may not like you very much.

This could be partly due to them feeling uncomfortable around you for various reasons. Bonds take time to form and it is usually completely possible to turn this aggression around.

Chinchillas that like you, will never bark at you. You may experience some other types of vocals from your chin that could mean boredom or excitement, but they will never outright bark. 

 Check out this barking chin…

6. They Cuddle Up to You

When a Chinchilla likes you they will often want to be very close to you. It can be difficult for them to express this type of emotion when in the confines of their cage, but you will often experience this when they are out for playtime. 

Usually when they have been out for a while and tired themselves out.

If you are kneeling on the floor with them you will often find your Chin will snuggle up next to you just like they would if they had a cage mate. 

This is an ultimate sign of affection and if you experience this with your Chinchilla there should be no doubt in your mind whether they like you.

Chinchilla’s are prey animals that are often very wary of people and their surroundings. They would never get this close to you if they felt threatened or uncomfortable.

7. They Nibble You

Sometimes your Chin will nibble you. Some owners see this as aggressive behaviour as they think their Chin has bitten them. Nibbling and biting are two very different things. You really can’t compare the two. 

I’m not sure if you have ever experienced the wrath of a Chinchilla bite, but you will know when you do. It hurts!

You can find out all you need to know about biting in this post here…

Nibbling is a different behaviour altogether. You can still often feel teeth when your Chin is nibbling, but they do not bite down on your skin. Nibbling shouldn’t hurt and will feel like multiple pinches of the skin.

Some believe that Chin’s do this to their owners as a sign of affection. It is directly mimicking what they do to other Chinchillas. 

They like to groom each other in this way, but they also use nibbling as a way of communicating and showing affection towards one another.

If your Chin is doing this to you it is possible they like you very much and want to take care of you. This works similarly to the way that cats show humans affection. They lick and knead you which is a sign of caring.

8. They Don’t Try and Attack You

This is always a good sign! If you Chinchilla is trying to attack you on the regular then you can be sure they don’t like you or at the very least are not happy with you at that moment. 

Chinchillas can become quite aggressive when they want to, particularly towards each other. If they don’t like you very much they also have no issues with turning their violent rage towards you.

This could, however, be for a few different reasons:

  • Territory – Chins can be very territorial over their environment and cage mates
  • Cage size – the cage is too small and they feel crowded when you try to reach in the cage
  • Threatened – They see you as some kind of threat
  • Nervousness – some Chinchillas are nervous and attack out of fear 

It is safe to say that if your Chinchilla is non-aggressive towards you then they like you. Even if it’s just a little bit! 

They generally feel comfortable around you, non-threatened and have no reason to feel nervous around you, even when you reach into the cage.

9. They Take Treats From your Hand 

If your chinchilla will calmly and confidently take a treat from your hand then this is a great way to show that they both like and trust you.

If your chin didn’t like you and feel comfortable with you then they wouldn’t take food from your hand.

The next time you offer your chinchilla a little treat, you can see if they will take it from your hand just to see what their reaction is.

Remember not to over do it with treats as this can be extremely bad for your chins health.

In fact, you can head over to our chinchilla diet guide that shows you what treats are a good option to offer your chin as well as how often to offer treats too.

Do All Chinchillas Like Their Owners?

I would say that in general most Chinchillas like their owners. There is a small proportion of Chins who may not like their owners very much. 

Chinchilla personalities do vary and some just like to be left alone. Every time you go near them or put your hand innocently in their cage you are an inconvenience to them. You’ve disturbed their peace.

Most Chinchillas are rather social creatures and if they don’t like you then it may be for a particular reason. 

You may now be wondering if chinchillas can get lonely? well , you can actually find out here…

You may not have been very nice to them at some point and the trust has gone. This will usually be the case if a Chin doesn’t like you and you may need to work on regaining their trust.

For the most part, Chin’s are happy and content and love their owners to pieces.

Is it Important That Your Chinchilla Likes You?

I think for most owners it is important that their Chinchilla likes them. If mine hadn’t had liked me I would have been most upset and feel liked I’d failed as an owner in some way. 

For a Chinchilla to like you, you must create a bond that can take time and patience. Trust is key for Chinchillas and usually when the trust is present a Chin will truly show you how much they like you by exhibiting the behaviours we discussed previously.

How Long Can It Take For a New Chinchilla to Like You?

Bonding with your Chinchilla and building up the trust can take time with Chinchillas. Some Chin’s are open to bonding right away however others may need much more time and patience. 

It is very similar to the way humans bond in life. Some are far more trusting than others.

Under usual circumstances you can expect the timeframe for bonding to be something like this:

Chinchillas | Estimated Bonding Period

0-8 WeeksDo not expect any bonding to take place during this time. The baby kits will still be weaning from their mother and the only likely bonding taking place will be between the two of them. Do not try to interfere with this process.
8 Weeks - 8 MonthsThis is the very best time to try and bond with your Chinchillas and really get them to like you. They learn the most during this phase of life which is both a learning and growing phase.
8 Months +At the 8 months stage Chinchillas are classed as full-grown adults. This is the point where they start to get set in their ways and it may be harder after this stage to bond and get the trust between the two of you. It isn’t impossible to try to bond with an older Chinchilla and learning is still possible at all stages of life so don’t give up!

Can Chinchillas Stop Liking You?

One of the main reasons Chinchillas would all of a sudden stop liking you is if you have done something that they didn’t like. Sometimes it can be hard for them to forgive and forget.

For instance, say, you have always had a great bond with your Chin and as a result of that they have never minded you picking them up. 

Maybe one day you’re in a rush and pick them up in a rough way unintentionally. 

This may have not felt good to your Chinchilla and as a consequence, your Chin is now feeling less bonded to you and may have decided that they don’t like you picking them up anymore.

Usually, a Chinchilla who once didn’t mind something has now decided they don’t like it anymore. You will find that it is often the case that they take a dislike to that particular something rather than a dislike to you personally.

How Can I Bond With My Chinchilla?

There are so many ways in which we can successfully bond with our Chinchillas. Many believe that it is much harder to bond in general with smaller pets that are caged as opposed to animals living freely in our homes. 

This is not necessarily the case and Chinchillas can bond with us just as well as say a cat or a dog, just in different ways.

Let’s look at some of the ways in which we can bond with our Chinchillas which in turn might help with getting them to like us more.

Provide Plenty of Exercise

Chinchillas need plenty of exercise and one of the best ways to provide them with that is by giving them plenty of time outside of their cages. 

Having the right housing conditions is important but allowing them that freedom to exercise out of their cage will ultimately mean you becoming their favourite person by providing them with something they love.

Always make sure you are supervising them during exercise time as they can be cheeky monkey’s when they want to be and can cause much damage to the home. 

By making yourself present during this positive experience your chin associates you with something they like doing.


Chin’s absolutely love toys. Anything to keep them fully entertained and active gets the thumbs up from our furry friends. 

In the same way with exercise, by playing with your Chin and being present in this fun experience they associate you with only positive things. Everything boils down to positive and fun experiences when it comes to Chinchillas.

When you let your Chinchilla out for exercise, think about investing in some interactive fun toys such as balls and chew toys to keep them fully engaged. 

Make sure you fully interact during playtime and be that fun pet mum or dad you truly are!

Be Present

Being present is one of the key components of bonding with your Chinchilla. If you don’t spend enough quality time with them whilst they are both in and out of the cage you will likely not be successful at forming any sort of connection.

Make sure you visit them at their cage side as much as possible so they are familiar with you. You can still easily play with them whilst they are in their cage and stroke and pet them if they will allow you to. 

Try to do this either first thing in the morning and late in the evening. Disturbing them during their sleep time can be counterproductive.

Always supervise and play with your Chin whilst they are out of their cage. Stay close to them so they are always aware that you are there. Interact and play with them so they can associate you with all the fun stuff.


Chin’s love a good treat just like most animals. If they can associate you as being the ‘treat giver’ then it is likely you will have found a best friend for life. A tasty snack always works a treat when trying to bond with your chinchilla.

Treats are a lovely way to bond with your Chinchilla however be aware that most treats are very fattening and therefore caution must be taken to overfeeding. 

This can easily occur without careful monitoring and it is always a wise idea to allocate a certain amount of treats per week so you have consistency. The health of your Chin is very important.

Careful Handling

Above all, careful handling goes a long way to bonding and building trust with your Chinchilla. Think about it from a human perspective. If a friend of yours started treating you in a bad way and pushing you about you probably wouldn’t be friends with them for long right?

The same goes for your Chin. Always handle your Chinchilla with care and love. Adopt gentle hands when picking them up and treat them with the love and respect they deserve. 

Animals are amazing creatures that can always detect when someone is being kind to them and when they are not. Be kind to your Chin and they will love you back. It’s as simple as that.


Overall, I would consider most Chinchillas to like their owners. With the right amount of care and dedication, your Chin may like you more. Some Chinchillas are more loveable than others so always remember to treat them all as complete individuals.

Spend as much time interacting with your Chin as possible, trying to avoid daytime hours as much as possible when they are likely to be sleeping. Introduce toys into the mix and play with them at every available opportunity.

Above all, treat your Chinchilla with love, care, and as you would a member of your family. Chins are highly sociable creatures and if you treat them in the correct way you can be sure of a friend for life.


Adam Woods

Hi, My name is Adam. I'm the main author of Pocket Pets Forever. I'm a pocket pet enthusiast and I love sharing my knowledge and passion for these amazing animals. Thank you for supporting us on our journey as we continue to publish content with the aim of helping owners care for their pets in the best way possible!

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