Are Chinchillas fighting or playing? How To Tell?

Do you have more than one chinchilla as a pet? Do you often see them grappling and rolling with each other? Are you worried that they might hurt and maim each other?

Well, just wait. They might be playing also. Though if it is a fight you should break them apart immediately. So how to recognize if it is a fight or if they are being playful?

In this article, we have listed some tips about how to tell if chinchillas are fighting or playing. We have also talked about some facts related to chinchilla fights. To understand better, read ahead!

Signs Of Fighting vs Signs Of Playing 

New pet owners have reported frequently their confusion in understanding if their chinchillas are fighting or merely playing and having fun with each other. Telling apart fights from plays is indeed a difficult task for beginners because in both activities the chinchillas appear to be engaging in almost the same sort of behavior.

So how do I distinguish? Here are some tips!


  • Keep an eye out for these signs if you have more than one chinchilla as a pet. 
  • Suppose you are passing by the chinchilla’s cage one fine morning and you see them standing on their hind legs, in a stiff posture almost like glaring at each other. 
  • This is a telltale sign of chinchillas Getting ready to get into a fight. Like squirrels, erect posturing is a fighting stance.

While if they were just about to play, the chinchillas would not engage in this posturing as such. They would just jump and grapple with each other.


Young chinchillas fighting
  • You should remember that chinchillas are not that aggressive when they are young
  • So if you see two adult Chinchillas grappling with each other, biting and scratching each other, this in most cases indicates that yes they are Fighting.

But if you have young chinchillas nipping and tussling with each other that probably is their way of playing.


Sounds like chinchillasbarks and teeth chattering are often associated with fighting chinchillas. So if you find your chinchillas barking, growling,  screaming, kicking, and trying to dominate each other, that’s likely a fight!

Whereas sounds like squeaking (gentle and continuous) and teeth grinding can be associated with playing chinchillas. 


  • Chinchillas are social creatures so it’s not common to see them fighting. 
  • They like the company of other chins. 
  • But sometimes they might act cold or defensive towards each other and this might lead to fights. 
  • Keep an eye out for such behaviors and always try to ensure they are socializing and playing with one another.

Why And How Do Chinchillas Fight?

Chinchillas are not usually aggressive creatures. But might get aggressive for a few reasons like,

  • For instance, if you place a male and a female chinchilla together they might get into a fight where the male would try to prove his dominance when the female is in the season.
  • Keeping two adult male chinchillas in presence of a female can also be problematic since they might end up fighting each other to win the lady!
  • Sometimes providing not enough treats can lead chinchillas to fight among themselves to have the treats.

Chinchillas fight generally by grappling with each other, alternating that with biting and scratching at each other. Severe chinchilla fights might lead to grave injuries and fur slips!

Dangers Of Chinchillas Fights

The biggest problem with chinchillas is that during fights chinchillas tend to bite very much. They have sharp teeth and very strong jaws. So they bite and pack a huge punch. Which they use on each other.

Final Words

As established earlier chinchillas are not naturally aggressive creatures but they can show aggression if provoked. They are triggered by stress (due to unfamiliar presence), an urgency to show dominance, or if bitten by another chinchilla. 

Chinchilla fights can get dangerous. But try and observe first to be sure that the chinchillas are actually fighting and not playing. Because it might spoil their mood if you try to interrupt their play. 

We hope our article could provide you with some hints on how to tell apart if chinchillas are fighting or playing.