It usually comes as a pleasant surprise for many that chinchillas can actually make noises. They have specific noises for calling attention to their owners and fellow chinchillas, alarm calls when they’re agitated or threatened, and playful noises when their going about with their daily activities. A common thing that you can hear from these animals is a series of tiny, gentle “barks” which may mean nothing in particular, but simply to signal that they are present.
Some owners prefer having many chinchillas. If you have more than one, expect the cage to be extra noisy especially in the evenings. Chinchillas are a nocturnal species, so most of their activities occur in low light, a habit they picked up to evade predators while in the wild. It’s funny because as noisy as these furry creatures are when put together, they remain sensitive to other noises, requiring their cage to be placed in an area that doesn’t have too much commotion. Other noises, especially loud and sudden, agitate them.
Aside from the swell of noises you can hear in having more than one chinchilla, also expect a pregnancy later on. Obviously, a male and female tandem is needed for this to happen in a cage. Chinchillas have no specific time to mate, so the male is usually ready to do so whenever a female reaches her sexual peak and is interested with his advances. The mating call is usually a set of gargling noises, followed by a mating dance that includes him rubbing his chin on the floor and wagging his tail. He will try to get on top of her eventually causing even more noises to be heard. If the female refuses him, she fights back by either running away from him or takes on a defensive stance by standing on her hind legs. The noises heard when she is disturbed includes a chattering of teeth and an aggressive set of squeaks. When the male is turned down, he lets out small, lonely sobs that actually sound like tiny hiccups.
If the mating act is successful, the male makes odd noises to signal his accomplishment. They, though still sounding like hiccups, are made farther apart.
During pregnancy, there aren’t really any distinctly different noises made by the female. She usually goes about her normal routine, nibbling and scurrying about but in a slower pace. Possible noises may include hostile squeaks if she is being harassed by a male or the common “barking” noise. It’s when she eventually begins to contract that one can hear something that sounds like a DJ scratching on a record. The noise gets more constant and quicker by the time she has to push out her kits.
Mother chinchillas after birth will clean and eat off the placenta from their brood. While doing so, you may observe her to nibble at her kits till they squeak. She is in no way hurting them. She actually needs to bite them till they peep in order to clear their lungs of fluid.
Expect baby chinchillas to let out small yet shriller squeaks to signal their need to be fed or warmed by their mothers. She in turn gently grunts to acknowledge her kit, nibbling on its ears. This grunting continues even while the kit feeds on her teat. While feeding, the kit makes noises like a rag does while cleaning your window. It has moments also where the squeaks sound like tiny bubbles popping.