Last Modified

June 21, 2022 by Umair Shahid

One problem that some owners of chinchillas might face is that chinchillas bite. Wild chinchillas are prey animals that are eaten up by predators. So, chinchillas do bite for self-defense and for some other reasons described later in this article and furthermore how to stop them from biting.

Do Chinchillas bite

Yes! These little chins can bite you even so hard sometimes that they can pierce your skin. Figuring out why these little chins bite is the first step to stopping them from biting.

Chinchillas are one of the most loved small creatures that their pet parents own them for years even.

According to my own experience, chinchillas bite but here is the good news; they don’t bite often. They only bite when they feel threatened or due to other specific reasons which I am going to tell you later in this topic.

If you are not familiar that why chinchillas bite and what steps you should take to stop biting them then yes, you are on the right website. This basic knowledge can prevent you from those silly hard bites that can pierce your skin.

Still, you don’t have to hate these beautiful little creatures because of bites because they don’t bite often, they only bite to defend themselves when they feel threatened. Or they can bite you when you offend them and when they have not adapted to the environment yet.

Why do chinchillas bite?

Without any delay, we are going toward the reasons why chinchillas bite.


Wild chinchillas have become endangered species. This is because they are eaten up by predators. Chinchillas are prey. Not only predators, but humans also haunt them because of their thick, soft and beautiful fur.

The first thing chinchillas do to save themselves is escape. They run away from danger and protect their life.

However, in cages, they don’t find much space to run and escape. As a result, they bite the threat mostly when someone approaches them suddenly to grab them. Chinchillas have long and sharp teeth. Their bite can be deep and very painful.


The Chinchillas get scared easily. Even if their owner wants to handle them gently they can still bite their pet parent because they can’t trust you immediately after their adoption.

This thing requires time. So, according to my personal experience, allow your pet to adapt to their environment firstly then make a trusting bond with them.

If someone gets too close to your chinchilla in a sudden way, most probably he will get bit because these little chins can scare you for any reason.

This smart creature doesn’t trust anyone too quickly. Forced handling by strangers or even their owners can compel them to bite to defend themselves.


Another reason why your pet can bite is aggression. Now, if I tell you that chinchillas can also become angry then it is correct. Bites due to aggression are more painful because an angry chinchilla doesn’t want to let you go. These aggressive bites can tear your skin apart.

There are many reasons why your pet can become aggressive. Chinchillas can become aggressive while fighting with each other.

They can also become aggressive as a result of competing for food, toys, and other things with other chinchillas.

The other reason for aggression can be habitat. Moreover, chinchillas can get offended easily when they are not happy or during the daytime when they are sleepy as they’re nocturnal.

Unfamiliar environment

If you have recently adopted a new chinchilla then there is a higher chance of getting bitten. Let your chin adjust to the new environment and then try to handle him.

Chinchillas are very smart creatures and they don’t trust you and the environment immediately.

Give them time to get used to the new environment. This thing will happen slowly so you have to remain patient. Otherwise, when you will try to handle them forcefully they will react immediately by biting you.


Chinchilla’s groom to make a stronger bond with their human companions. This is absolutely a good sign and doesn’t confuse this sign with actual aggressive biting. This feels like biting but your chinchilla nibbles on your skin and they do this to clean the skin.

Chinchillas are very affectionate creatures and they can make a strong bond with their pet parents. So, I would recommend you not to confuse nibbling with biting. Chinchillas have a grooming behavior with each other too.

Taste biting

If a chinchilla smells something yummy on your fingers, it will gently nibble on your fingers to taste your fingers.

Even they can bite hard considering your fingers the yummy treat. But these bites are not because of danger or aggression.

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Now I am telling you guys according to my own experience, what measures you should take to stop biting your chins or at least decrease their urge to bite.

Steps you should take to stop your chinchilla from biting.

Gain the trust of your pet

These small creatures don’t trust immediately. But here is the good news, once they gain trust, they are very affectionate. So to gain the trust of your newly adopted pet you have to remain patient.

Handle them with a gentle touch and make them feel safe around you.

Once they gain trust, they will come to you by themselves but when you forcefully grab them they will not only bite you but they will get scared. As a result, they will not safe around you this stress can make your pet ill.

Make their environment stress free.

To prevent your pet from anxiety, keep your little chin in a safe environment where they don’t get disturbed by other animals. Moreover, if they listen to surrounding noises and get disturbed then you have to keep them calm.

Draw their attention to something else.

If your pet nibbles and you feel uncomfortable or you feel any pain because of hard nibbles. You can stop them by redirecting their direction to something chewable or some toy.

As a vet, I would suggest you not stop your chinchilla from nibbling and allow them to groom. This will make a strong bond between you and your pet.

Wash your hands before grabbing them.

Chinchillas can bite you if they smell something yummy on your fingers, so to prevent yourself from getting hard bites you should always wash your hands before reaching them. Otherwise, they will consider your fingers as a treat and you can be bitten very hard.

Don’t approach them suddenly

Chinchillas are very smart creatures. If you try to handle them forcefully they will bite you off course. If you want to grab them, don’t approach them in a hidden way instead you should make a strong bond with your pet. Otherwise, they can bite you because of frightening and to protect themselves.


What to do when you get bitten by your little chin?

I would recommend you not to make loud noise immediately because this can cause them to bite you even hard. Also, show them that this behavior is not ok.

But don’t become angry with them or don’t show that because of biting you stay away from them. As a result, they can bite you often to avoid you.

And as a vet, I would suggest you clean your wound immediately and use antibacterial or take other necessary measures after getting bitten because bacteria can be transferred into your wound.

Do Chinchilla bites hurt?

It depends upon the kind of bite. If Chinchilla bites you aggressively and because of self-defense then it can even pierce your skin. If your chinchilla just nibbles you then these are painless bites.

What is the difference between biting and nibbling?

Chinchillas bite you when they are aggressive and don’t feel safe around you. Moreover, they can bite you when they feel hungry, and if someone approaches them immediately and tries to grab them forcefully they can bite you hard to defend themselves.

Nibbling is painless bites that a chinchilla does to the groom. Nibbling is a good sign. It is a sign that your pet wants to make a stronger bond with you.


Chinchillas are the prey of wildlife. They are eaten up by predators and even haunted by humans. So, they are curious creatures and as a result of self-defense, they can bite you.

They can bite you so hard sometimes that they can pierce your skin. But the good news here is that they don’t bite often. They only bite if you irritate them, make them feel unsafe, or frighten them.

Otherwise, these beautiful fluffy rodents are very affectionate and nibble to groom. So, if you are patient and can provide a safe and happy environment to your pet then, of course, adopt these little chins and enjoy.


I am a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and have a keen interest in animal health care. Working as a veterinary content writer, I intend to stay with professional approach in producing quality content. I like research-based reading and currently seeking my veterinary profession. My hobbies are travelling to exotic places and observing nature to the fullest.

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