Are chinchillas nocturnal? Find Out Here

  • By: FerretGuides
  • Time to read: 5 min.
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Chinchillas are excellent pets because they are active and gentle at the same time. However, as with every other pet, you must understand a few facts about chinchillas. One of the controversies surrounding chinchillas is whether they are nocturnal or not.

chinchillas are calm, adorable, and small. This makes them amazing creatures to keep as pets, even when you have limited space in your house. Well, guess what else? Chinchillas can live in apartments as they do not need to go outside often.

Below, we are going to look at what it is like to live with a chinchilla. We will also find out what they need to be comfortable in our homes.


Chinchillas as pets


Are chinchillas nocturnal


Living with a chinchilla is rewarding. It is mainly if you know how to take care of them, as well as comprehend their needs. These pets are usually mistaken to be nocturnal. Well, I wouldn’t blame you if you thought so as well.

While they might exhibit the nocturnal character, being active at night, chinchillas are more crepuscular. If you are thinking about getting one, then be prepared for vibrant evenings and early mornings. Well, I tend to feel like this is an instinctual thing that takes us back to their lives in the wild.

Chinchillas in the wild will sleep during the day. In the evening, they come out to look for food. Well, this is to avoid running into potential predators. Therefore, they are accustomed to thinking that darkness means it is safe as most predators have gone back to their dens.

At home, chinchillas also learn to play and become very active at dawn and dusk, respectively. During this time, they will play and run around their cage. It is the best time to interact with your chinchilla.


Is there a way I can adjust my chinchilla’s schedule


Most people prefer keeping chinchillas because they are quiet, gentle, and will rarely bite. They are very good with kids, even though they should be supervised. Well, how do you play with a pet who spends their days sleeping and most nights active?

While it is not easy to change a chinchilla’s schedule, it is possible. You can only be able to do this by using lights. For instance, use lighting to alter his instinctual schedule. The lighting you use should match the daylight but should not generate a lot of heat.

At this point, I have to mention that you shouldn’t keep his cage in your bedroom. So when you get back from work, or even school, you get some time to hang out with your pet. Also, with such amount of light, your chinchilla will sleep at night, thinking that it is day time.

Also, you must be careful with the lighting you use. If it gives off a lot of heat, it could affect your chinchilla.

So generally, it can be quite challenging to alter a chinchilla’s crepuscular schedule. It is both unfair and unhealthy to change his plan. Instead, it is best to get home early so that you can have the time to play and interact with him.


Where should I keep my chinchilla’s cage? For Prices click on Image.



Earlier in this article, I mentioned that you should not keep your chinchilla’s cage in your bedroom. Well, neither should you place it anywhere with direct sunlight. As I have mentioned above, chinchillas do not like a lot of heat. So let’s talk about chinchilla housing.

Because chinchillas are small and quite jumpy, we keep them in cages. The cage should be spacious enough to leave room to run around play and even accommodate a few toys. I prefer the multi-level cages as they love to jump and climb when active.

Well, you will find a chinchilla-specific cage in your local pet store or order an amazing spacious cage online. Do not forget to include a flying saucer wheel. It will keep your chinchilla active and occupied when he is awake.

You will need to make the cage as comfortable as you can. Use hardwood shavings on the floor, but be careful not to use pine or cedar shavings. These are harmful to your chinchilla and could cause skin irritation and respiratory illnesses.


When should I play with my chinchilla when we have conflicting schedules?


If you have been considering getting a chinchilla, but you are concerned that they are nocturnal, you should not give up. While controlling their schedule poses a valid challenge, it does not mean you should not get one.

You can always play and interact with your chinchilla in the late afternoons and evenings. Well, when you get back from work or running errands, you will get home, and your chinchilla will have just woken up.

Play is essential for all pets. Your chinchilla will, therefore, need 30 minutes to one hour out of his cage. During this time, you can engage in various games or challenge him with the flying saucer wheel.


are chinchillas nocturnal

Are chinchillas friendly?


Besides being gentle, chinchillas are also good with each other. So yes, chinchillas are very friendly, and it couldn’t hurt getting two of them. In fact, they will keep each other company when you are asleep or not around.

If you are worried that your chinchilla is probably lonely, get another one. They will play during those wee hours that they are awake. My advice for you is to keep the cage away from your bedroom as the two are going to keep you awake as they play.




Chinchillas are always mistaken for being nocturnal. Well, this is because they will sleep the day off and get all active in the evening. What most people tend to ignore is that these pets will also fall asleep at night, well, a few hours at night.

For this reason, I disagree with the notion that chinchillas are nocturnal creatures. Instead, I believe they are crepuscular, just as cats and even ferrets.

You cannot regret getting a chinchilla as they are friendly, gentle, and easy to care for. So if you are considering getting one, by all means, go ahead.

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