Do Chinchillas Blink?


It’s very difficult to predict chinchilla behavior except when you have years of experience dealing with them. For example, many people don’t know whether chinchillas blink or not.

Admittedly, this is because chinchillas usually keep their eyes open for so long that it’s near impossible to tell. In this article, we’ll be answering that question and any more questions that you may have on the nature of chinchilla behavior. 

So, do chinchillas blink? The answer is yes.

Chinchillas do blink. However, they rarely do so, and may only blink once or twice in a ten minutes period. 

Summary of today’s article:

Do Chinchillas Really Blink? 

The answer is yes. Chinchillas do blink, but they certainly don’t blink as we do.

They may only blink about once or twice in ten minutes. They could even go longer without blinking. 

But why is this so? Well, scientists say that this behavior may have helped chinchillas survive in the wild.

In a world where there are no shortages of predators, blinking too many times could be a death sentence. If the chinchilla’s eyes are constantly open, it will be able to see threats faster than anyone, and will thus be able to warn others and protect itself better. 

chinchilla's eyes

Despite this, blinking serves roughly the same purpose in people as it does in chinchillas. It moistens the eyeball by keeping it wet and it ensures that it continues working properly.

So, yeah, chinchillas do need to blink— but they’ve evolved to blink less than we do because of their status as prey. Since every carnivore in the wild wants a taste of chinchilla meat, it’s only reasonable that these furry little creatures keep themselves safe. 

Can Somebody Teach My Chinchilla To Wink?

You may think that this is unlikely. And you’re not alone.

Despite the fact that chinchillas are some of the smartest rodents in the world, people don’t really think of them as smart. 

But that’s wrong. Chinchillas are very smart and then can learn a great deal from human beings if given the chance.

And one of the things that chinchillas can learn from human beings is winking. Yes, chinchillas can learn to wink. 

If you want to teach your chinchilla how to wink, you can. However, chinchillas could also learn to wink on accident.

If your chinchilla winks at you, you’re very likely to wink back. If this sequence of events is repeated enough times, your pet may learn to wink whenever you wink at it.

This also applies to strangers. So if you’ve had a stranger winning at your chinchilla, you now know where it learnt winking from 

If you got your chinchilla from a friend, or if it was rescued, it may have learnt how to wink from previous owners too.

What If My Chinchilla Has An Eye Infection?

This is a distinct possibility. It’s not likely, but it is definitely possible.

chinchilla eye infection

Your chinchilla may be winking a lot because it suffers from eye Infections. There are many eye conditions your chinchilla could suffer from, and some of them include conjunctivitis, cataracts, and lens luxation.

Most times, these conditions affect only one eye— but they could affect two too. 

Some of these eye conditions cause symptoms like swelling, irritation and infection. If your chinchilla’s eye is irritated or swelling, this may force it to blink more often than necessary or normal.

If the condition is in one eye, this may force your chin to blink with that eye often— and this may be what you refer to as winking. 

If you notice your chin winking frequently, then you should check its eyes for signs of an infection. Some of these signs include wet, matted fur around the eye, redness and swelling in the eye, and white goop coming from the eye.

READ :  Do Chinchillas Climb Trees?

You may also notice your chinchilla incessantly pawing at its nose and eyes. 

The presence of these signs means that your chinchilla may be suffering from an eye infection and should be sent to see the vet. Eye infections are no joke, and you should take them seriously.

If you don’t take them seriously, your chinchilla may eventually get blind in one eye or both eyes. 

Could It Be Dust? 

It is possible that the reason your chinchilla winks all the time is because of dust. If a particle of dust or two gets into its eyes, it could cause irritation and bring on heavy blinking. 

If this happens, the symptoms your chinchilla will experience (and those you’ll see) are similar to when it has an infection. Some of these symptoms include the watering of the eye, and your chinchilla may paw at its eye (or eyes) more than it often does.

If you don’t solve the problem quickly, your chinchilla’s eyes may get infected. 

To solve this, you’d also need to take your pet to the vet. At the vet, they’ll be checked out, and the dust can be washed from their eyes. 

Are There Any Tests I Can Use To Check If My Chinchilla Is Blind? 

It’s important to regularly check your chinchilla’s eyesight to see if it is good or if it is getting blind. If you’re able to detect sight problems quickly, you’ll be able to stop it from deteriorating into full blindness.

There are a few ways to check if your chin is experiencing blindness, or if its eyesight is deteriorating. One of such ways is the finger test.

Try to move your fingers slowly to your chinchilla’s eyes without touching it. If it flinches, blinks or moves, that means it’s seen it and it is not blind. However, if it doesn’t, that means it has really severe sight problems. 

You should note, though, that the finger test can be misleading. Chinchillas have really sensitive whiskers, so even the slightest change in air pressure towards its face can cause it to blink. So it’s not a really reliable test. 

The best thing to do would be to haul it to the vet and have a competent hand check it out. 

How Good Is Chinchilla Eyesight

There are some people who think that chinchillas are blind. Well, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Chinchillas can see. The problem is that they can’t see as well as human beings.

That’s one of the reasons why it’s important for them to blink as little as possible. 

But if chinchillas can’t see that well, how are they able to succeed in the wild? Well, they have long and sensitive whiskers that help them navigate the world. 

Do Chinchillas See In The Dark?

Yes, Chinchilla can see well in the dark. Better than humans can, in fact.

This is because they have a lot of rod cells in their eyes, and these cells are responsible for seeing at low light levels. Asides that, chinchillas have pupils that open wide and allow more light into the eye than normal.


Yes, chinchillas do blink. However, they do not blink as much as we do. They only blink about twice in ten minutes.

What’s the reason for this peculiar behavior? Well, in the wild, a fraction of darkness is all a fox needs to pounce.

Chinchillas thus evolved to blink as little as possible so that they would be able to protect themselves.

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