Are Chinchillas Nocturnal?

Are chinchillas nocturnal

If you want to get a chinchilla as a pet, you will need to know when it is active and when it sleeps. 

This will give you a better idea as to whether or not it is actually a good idea for you to own this particular animal.

Are Chinchillas Nocturnal?

Chinchillas are not classified as nocturnal animals, as they are actually crepuscular. This basically means that they are up and active during the early morning and late evening hours or nighttime hours. These animals sleep from about 9am to 5pm, which is ideal for a lot of people in terms of their schedule.

Nocturnal animals are active primarily during the nighttime, which is not completely the case with chinchillas. They are also active in the early morning hours.

There are also diurnal animals, which are active primarily in the daytime and go to sleep when it gets dark out. Human beings are just one example of this. Squirrels are also diurnal, along with a number of other animals.

Will my Chinchilla Adapt to my Schedule?

If you do not have a tradition 9 to 5 schedule, you don’t necessarily have to worry. Chinchillas are incredibly adaptable animals, so yours will likely adjust to your schedule fairly quickly.

You have a pretty good chance of getting your pet to become active and sleep when you do. It could take a couple of weeks before they fully adjust to your schedule though. That being said, it is not a good idea to try adjusting your pet’s schedule if you can help it. This can be very stressful for them, which is not a good thing.

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night wild chinchilla

Chinchilla Activity

You might wonder what exactly chinchillas do when they are most active, and it’s definitely a good question.

These animals spend much of their time climbing and jumping around inside their enclosure. This provides them with physical exercise and mental stimulation. Both of these things are very important to your pet’s overall health.

It is important that you provide your chinchilla with plenty of different toys to play with while they are active. This will help to keep them stimulated and happy.

Cage Placement

When you are trying to decide on a place to keep your chinchilla’s cage, you need to consider that they are crepuscular creatures. You don’t want to put their cage in an area of the house that is close to your bedroom. Those who do this often have problems with getting woken up by all the noise their pet is making at night. Never underestimate how noisy just one of these little animals can be.

You should give your chinchilla its own room, if possible. This will keep them isolated from all the noise and foot traffic in your household during the daytime. These animals can get stressed out very easily, so you don’t want them getting constantly woken up by other people or animals in the house.

Cage Size

It’s also crucial that you provide your chinchilla with an adequate size cage. They should have plenty of space to climb and jump around in while they are active. 

The fact is that putting your pet in a cage that is too small will take a real toll on their overall health. It can even shorten their lifespan significantly. These animals can become severely depressed if their environment is too limited.

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The material you use for your chinchilla’s bedding will ultimately affect how easily they get to sleep each day. You will, therefore, want to carefully select a material that is not abrasive. Dried pine shavings or cedar mixed wood shavings are two excellent options. If you want your pet to get adequate rest on a daily basis, this is something you’ll have to consider.

chinchilla in the night

Playing with Your Chinchilla

Playtime is an important part of every chinchilla’s daily schedule. This means taking them out their cage to roam around freely for a little while. Make sure that you keep them isolated in one room so they can’t run away. This will only increase the chances of your pet getting injured or worse.

Your chinchilla will need at least a half an hour of out-of-cage playtime every day. This will ensure that they get a good amount of exercise and stimulation.

Ignoring your furry friend can have serious consequences with their overall health. You’ll need to carve out time each day to get them out of their cage. While this can be inconvenient at times, it is definitely necessary.

Waking Your Chinchilla

You should always try to avoid waking up your chinchilla unless it is absolutely necessary. If you do ever have to wake them, you’ll want to do gradually. This will reduce the chances of your pet getting startled and stressed out.

You can start by simply standing by their cage and saying their name softly. This should get them to stir eventually. It is never a good idea to yell or reach in and pick them up while they are sleeping.

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Avoid waking your chinchilla to handle or play with it. Disturbing your pet’s sleep can throw off their entire schedule, which can cause serious problems.


  • Chinchillas are actually crepuscular, which means that they are active mostly in the early morning and at night.
  • Nocturnal animals are only active at night and sleep during the day.
  • Diurnal animals are active during the day and sleep at night. Humans are therefore considered diurnal.
  • While it is possible for chinchillas to adapt to their owner’s schedule, you should try to avoid getting them to do this.
  • Make sure that you keep your chinchilla’s cage in an area that isn’t too noisy during the day.
  • It is also very important to get a good size cage with multiple levels so your pet can jump and climb around freely.
  • Choose a comfortable material for your chinchilla’s bedding so they can sleep comfortably each day.
  • Try to avoid waking your pet unless you absolutely need to.