Chinchillas are nocturnal animals, meaning their night is our day. They are most active at night and in the early mornings – and this can be a nuisance for us humans who like to sleep through the night!
5 Helpful Tips to Keep Chinchillas Quiet at Night
Depending on how your cage is set up, chinchillas can make quite a bit of noise as they go about their nightly activities, like jumping and climbing. But there are some simple tricks and tips so you can enjoy your precious furry friend and a good night’s sleep, too.
1. Give Your Chinchilla Playtime in the Day
Your chinchilla needs time outside its cage to exert some of its energy. You wouldn’t like being cooped up in one spot all day – and neither does your chinchilla!
Playing with your chinchilla during the day can help its mood, and allow it to use some of its energy. This means that your chinchilla will be quieter at night, because it’s already tired from playing during the day. If its cage at night is the only place your chinchilla has to play, you can bet it will make the most of it – and keep you up for hours!
Besides, we all love time to play with our beloved pets! You probably didn’t get a chinchilla just so it could sit in its cage all day. You got a chinchilla because you wanted to care for and form a relationship with an adorable creature. This playing time can benefit you as much as it benefits your chinchilla – if not more.
Ideally, your chinchilla needs time every day to play outside of its cage. It’s okay if you miss a day every now and then, but aim for daily excursions for your chinchilla. Make this bonding time part of your daily routine, and watch as you and your chinchilla both become happier and more affectionate.
2. Figure Out Where Noise Is Coming From
Most of the noise coming from your chinchillas is from their nighttime activity. This noise can come from a variety of places as your chinchilla jumps, plays, and climbs through the night.
There are no hard and fast rules: different products from different manufacturers may be noisier than others. Watch your chinchillas play at night, and figure out which things are making the most noise in your individual case. Once you understand what the problem actually is, you’ll be able to visit your local pet store and buy quieter entertainment or cage supplies for your chinchillas.
You may discover that part of your cage is not securely attached, and that is leading to excess noise. You may discover that one of your toys is unexpectedly causing most of the noise. You may discover that your chinchillas are extremely active at night, and need more exercise time during the day.
You are the person who knows your chinchillas best – so take the time to investigate the situation yourself, and see what changes you can safely make to your chinchilla’s environment.
The Rattling Cage
Perhaps the chinchilla itself is not making most of the noise that wakes you up; rather, it’s the jumping and climbing on a noisy cage that’s the problem. You can’t swap out the chinchilla, but you can swap out the cage!
If a noisy cage is keeping you up at night, there are measures you can take to make the cage quieter.
Many cages are set up so that you can add fleece liners to their plastic trays. The fleece deadens the sound of your chinchilla’s running and playing. Just imagine: can you hear your footsteps better on a tile floor, or on a carpeted floor? The fleece liner is this same exact concept.
If you have a wire bottom cage, consider switching it out for the quieter plastic cage. The metallic clanging of the wire cage may be what’s bothering you, and many open wire cages are able to support a plastic base. Plastic quiets much of the sound that your chinchilla will make.
Your Chinchilla’s Toys
You can also pay attention to which of your chinchilla’s toys make the most noise. If you have a noisy toy like a wheel, consider replacing it (at least at night) with more chew toys. If your chinchilla has ledges to play on and chew toys, they should be plenty entertained (and much quieter) through the night even without the wheel.
Some exercise wheels are quieter than others. If yours is noisy, consider investing in a nicer wheel that will not make as much noise, based on the product’s reviews. If your chinchillas like it, they may spend more time on this quiet wheel than jumping around the cage.
In other words, if the wheel is noisy – take it out at night. If the wheel is quiet – it may reduce overall noise. So buy your wheel carefully!
Chinchillas do vocalize: you might hear them cooing, barking, or even crying occasionally during the night. But, in general, most of the nighttime noise that wakes you up should be coming from the cage or the toys.
If the chinchilla itself is making excessive noise, that may be a sign that your chinchilla is stressed or afraid. Chinchillas often demonstrate these emotions through barking and whistling.
While some vocalization is normal, contact your veterinarian if your chinchilla seems upset or stressed. You may need to make some changes to the cage and environment to create a space where your chinchilla feels at ease.
So, if your chinchilla is making so much noise that it’s keep you up at night – it’s probably trying to wake you up for a reason! Take care of your chinchilla’s psychological needs so you can get some shut-eye and your chinchilla can go back to playing happily.
3. Try White Noise on Yourself
Maybe you’ve tried swapping out all the materials you can, made sure your chinchilla is happy and has a regular exercise schedule, and still, your chinchilla is waking you up at night.
You might just be a light sleeper – and that’s okay. You can still have your chinchilla in your bedroom with you without sacrificing sleep! While heavy sleepers often won’t notice the noise a chinchilla makes even with a cage in the bedroom, we all have different sleeping patterns.
If cage adjustments and quality play time still don’t give you a good night’s sleep, try buying yourself a white noise machine. Many light sleepers use these in noisy neighborhoods, but they work to drown out any kind of noise. Keeping a fan on through the night will serve the same purpose if you’re trying to save money.
4. Sleep In A Different Room
If all else fails, the easiest way to enjoy a night of uninterrupted sleep is to keep your chinchilla in another room. This allows your chinchilla to play through its active hours without bothering you, and unless your walls are incredibly thin, they can really make as much noise as they want.
A chinchilla should be kept in a large cage in a room with a comfortable temperature. If you have a room like this separate from your bedroom, that’s a great place for your chinchilla to hang out at night.
Make sure that your chinchillas are in a room that is fairly quiet during the daytime, so they can get their full days’ rest. It’s also best for them to get a full 12 hours of darkness, when they will be the most active.
If you live in a studio apartment or other situation where the chinchillas need to be in the same room as you, try to create as much space between yourself and the cage as possible. Chinchillas won’t be active the entire night; they do still take naps at certain points. Do everything you can to keep their noise away from your ears even within your enclosed space.
5. Accept That Some Noise Is Inevitable
While these measures will certainly help your chinchilla be quieter at night, know that it is perfectly normal for your chinchilla to be active and playing while you are trying to sleep.
This is part of owning a nocturnal pet, and it is unlikely you will be able to get your chinchilla to be completely quiet. You definitely won’t be able to get your chinchilla on the same sleep schedule as you! So, accept that some noise is a trade-off for these cute little guys.
This is why the best solution is to have enough play time with your chinchillas in the day so that they will take the time at night to rest.
Alternatively, you can fill their cages with an exercise wheel, plenty of wooden toys, and whatever material ledges are best for your chinchilla and your budget.
We know you love your chinchilla – we all just want our chinchillas to lead happy, healthy lives! But, of course we need that for ourselves, too. There is definitely a way for chinchilla owners to sleep well and undisturbed. We hope this article has helped show you the many ways chinchillas’ noise can be minimized, and paved the way for you to sleep soundly as your chinchillas go about their nightly romps.