Last Modified

June 6, 2022 by Umair Shahid

The chinchillas are cute little furballs that can easily experience stress. If you are a new pet parent, you must be thinking about the right environment for chinchillas. The chinchillas are rodents, and the first thought that comes to our mind is that chinchillas love to stay in darkness. But, can chinchillas see in the dark?

 Looking at their cute little eyes, nobody can tell if they can see in the dark or not. However, yes, the chinchillas can efficiently see in the dark. This ability helps chinchillas capture their prey at the night. However, it depends on the personal likeness of your pet if it needs light at the night or not.

Can Chinchilla See in the Dark?

What is a suitable environment for chinchillas?

The chinchillas need well ventilated indoor environment. They are very sensitive. Some people ask if chinchillas need sunlight or not.

The sunlight is extremely harmful to chinchillas. Their heavy fur makes chinchillas prone to heatstroke. The chinchillas are most active at dawn and dusk. But this does not mean that you must keep the lights dim always.

Chinchillas can also see effectively in sharp lights. However, when your pet is sleeping, you can dimmer or switch off the lights entirely. If your chinchilla panics or gets scared in complete darkness, keep the lights dim and do not turn them off.

Do chinchillas see colors?

The color perception depends on the presence of rods and cones in the eyes. The rods are the cells that are necessary for vision.

The cons give color perception to the eyes. Each cone cell is specialized to view a specific color. The chinchillas cannot see as many colors as humans.

According to researchers, the chinchillas have only two color cones in their eyes. They can see only red and green colors. This type of vision is common in rodents, and we know it as dichromatic vision.

Are chinchillas nocturnal?

The chinchillas are rodents, and the common perception about rodents is that they live in dark places. It is correct that chinchillas, in their natural habitat, stay in deep burrows in mountains. But you cannot say that chinchillas are completely nocturnal.

The chinchillas are partially nocturnal and partially crepuscular animals. Therefore, you might need to provide a combination of darkness and dim light for chinchillas.    

The completely nocturnal animals are active at night. The nocturnal animals sleep during the day and hunt for their food at night. Bats are the best example of nocturnal animals.

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On the other hand, the crepuscular animals are those which are active in dim light. These animals are most active during the twilight period.

Chinchillas are a combination of both. But this does not mean that chinchillas do not need daylight at all. It is a bit difficult to develop the best light environment for chinchillas.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Do chinchillas have good eyesight?

The chinchillas do not have eyesight as fine as humans. They are crepuscular animals, and their vision is best during dawn and dusk. Therefore, we can say that chinchillas have their best eyesight in a dim light environment.

  • Do chinchillas like bright lights?

The chinchillas dislike bright lights. They are crepuscular. They love to stay in dim Lights. In their natural habitat, they stay inside the burrows during the daylight and come out at night to prey. However, a pet chinchilla can stay in any environment. They get habitual of bright lights as well. But never take a chinchilla out in the sunlight.   

  • Do chinchillas like darkness?

The chinchillas are not completely nocturnal. It is not a good idea to keep chinchillas in darkness all the time. They prefer dim lights over complete darkness. They might need a dark environment only for sleeping.


The chinchillas are not completely nocturnal. But if you ask can chinchillas see in the dark? They cannot see in complete darkness.

But they have good night vision. It means they can see clearer than humans in dim light. However, they are crepuscular, so they prefer to stay in dim lights.

They can also play in the bright lights. They need dim light or complete darkness for sleeping. If your chinchilla feels agitated in bright lights, take them to the veterinarian.

Author 2

I am a proud veterinarian from Lahore, Pakistan. A passionate animal lover who pursued her passion for animal care as a career.
My eagerness to learn and my love for animals grew stronger even during my teenage days. Having a lovely pet, a German Shepherd, in my home allowed me to bond with animals in the best way.
This bonding with my pet provided me with a firm foundation to research and preach about the best animal care methods.

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