Are Chinchillas Aggressive? {Why Do Chinchillas Bite?}

My chinchilla bit me a few times at first. Are chinchillas aggressive?

Surely, there is something you can do about an aggressive pocket pet like a chinchilla. This is the right article to help you realize that we are all in this together and your negative experience is shared.

Chinchillas may misbehave, but they might be scared or uncomfortable. In this article, will will discuss the topic, “Are chinchillas aggressive?”

Are Chinchillas Aggressive?

Each chinchilla is unique, but overall, chinchillas are not usually aggressive. Changes can be made to calm, relax and shift any aggression into a positive chinchilla temperament.

They can bully each other in their cage and chinchillas who are not yet bonded with their owners can bite, lunge or bark to let us know that they don’t feel ready yet for contact or captivity in our homes.

Helpful tips to socialize and relax an aggressive, fearful or uncomfortable chinchilla include:

  • Take your time and exercise patience.
  • Use soothing vocal tones.
  • Try treat praising.
  • Separate any bullies.
  • Add more hiding spaces.
  • Get a larger cage.
  • Supply more chew toys.
  • Spend increased time with you in the same room. 

Will a Chinchilla Bite You?

A chinchilla wants to evade or escape a situation where they sense a perceived fear or threat. Without any options as they back away in their cage and a hand continues to move towards them, they may bite a finger.

Initiating contact should be the chinchilla’s decision. We should stay nearby, use our gentle voice, present treats, but remain on the other side of the cage for now.

Sometimes chinchillas nibble out of affection. These love bites happen when a chinchilla wishes to groom you or express their care and attachment towards you.

Do Chinchillas Like to Be Petted?

Chinchillas will learn to trust you and enjoy your company. They are social animals and will enjoy cuddling with you or being held and petted. This will not happen overnight however.

Bonding could take several weeks. Chinchillas may struggle when you try to make contact and act out from fear by trying to bite you instead. Take it slow.

Can Chinchillas Get Mad?

Yes. Chinchillas are social, but they can get into scuffles with their counterparts over territory. They may also bully each other to establish hierarchy within their colony in the wild.

Chinchillas in cages that are overcrowded, lack hiding spaces or are not adjusted to life together may get

  • territorial
  • possessive
  • aggressive

The most common reason is that the cage is too small. You can separate two chinchillas for now or get a larger cage.

YouTube video

Do Chinchillas Spray Urine?

Yes. It happens when females feel the need to exert dominance, claim territory or try to warn others to back off. They can stand on their hind legs and shoot out a stream or their urine.

The urethra opens up and allows for the urine to spray out in this fashion. This is not as common when a female is comfortable in a cage with you caring for her.

Are Female or Male Chinchillas Nicer?

It is not as simple as identifying which gender is nicer when chinchillas demonstrate unique behaviors and characteristics. Female chinchillas are usually recommended for beginners and first timers.

Two females together may get along better than two males. They are not as territorial and do not fight or injure each other as often as males seem to do.

You can control these negative acts of aggression with larger sized cages and time-out breaks where they are separated.

Why Do Chinchillas Bite?

Chinchillas would rather run away. Biting happens when they are cornered in a cage and are not comfortable with our hands poking around in their safe space.

A chinchillas can bite a novice who mishandles them or tries to pick them up before any bonding has taken place. Once again, let’s review why chinchillas bite:

  • Putting your hand in the cage too soon
  • Trying to pick them up right away or too quickly
  • Mishandling
  • Cornering them with no room for them to evade or resist contact
  • Two chinchillas who haven’t bonded yet

Accidents occur when training is rushed in many cases. It’s ok to dial it back and start back from square one.

Get acquainted with vocal tones, treat praise and settle your chinchilla with a roomy cage full of things to chew on.

Negative Chinchilla Behavior

A stressed chinchilla will misbehave or hurt themselves. They may:

  • Chew their own fur
  • Chew Cage Bars
  • Lunging

Chew Their Own Fur

Small cages, parasites, overcrowding, dirty without a recent dust bath or a new caregiver can cause this reaction.

Chew Cage Bars

A frustrated chinchilla may chew the bars to display their dissatisfaction of being captive. You will need to add boxes, tubes, and chew toys. More exercise and enrichment with treats as well will help to relax a chinchilla who needs to warm up to this new home.


Lunging is a form of aggressiveness displayed by angry chinchillas. They do it to you or another cagemate. They might be saying that they need more room to hide or some much needed privacy.

Much of the aggressive or negative behaviors can be assisted with larger cages and more time interacting with your furry pocket pet.


Why do chinchillas fight? Why are they aggressive? Chinchillas have their unique personalities and need time to adjust to each other in the same cage or with us as their caregivers. Time, patience and dedication is needed to develop a rapport with your chinchilla.

Just because your chinchilla was aggressive this week, it doesn’t mean that next week will be the same. If your chinchilla is left alone for hours at a time. This loneliness can turn into aggressiveness.

  • They need to chew and play.
  • They need to be social.
  • They also need quiet time and rest during the day.

Chinchillas would also benefit from free roaming time in a secure room for 10 minutes a day at least. The aggressiveness could be out of fear, stress or disliking to cage mates and the overall cramped cage size.

Adjustments can be made by both parties and your chinchilla will love you more when you dedicate more time to help make their life more comfortable and enriched.


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.