Last Modified

June 6, 2022 by Umair Shahid

The chinchillas are rodents with impressive personalities. They do not look very sharp, and people consider them to lack cognitive abilities. However, this is not true. You are here to find the answer to the question, how smart are chinchillas? 

I will explain that in detail. But, let me tell you that chinchillas are very energetic creatures. They can understand their name, key signals, and cognitive games. Chinchillas have a great memory, and they can solve many picture puzzle problems and mazes.

How smart are chinchillas?

1. Chinchillas are good learners:

Chinchillas are a type of small rodent which are shrewder than most people believe. They have a wide range of abilities that show what geniuses they are. They learn social skills, respond to their names, identify their owner, and even pick up on new commands when you train them well. Although you can’t give these animals an IQ test, it’s clear that they can use their brains to the best of their abilities.

You can litter train a chinchilla using treats and a rewarding system. They also learn other positive interactions like habituation learning. Chinchillas have a great memory, but you might need some patience to teach the basic command to your chinchillas. They are not quick learners, and they need some time to grab things.

2. Chinchillas have a good memory:

Memory goes hand in hand with intelligence. An intelligent person can learn and memorize the experience quickly. All rodents have good memories. So do chinchillas. They can memorize the pictures, places, voices, and people.

They identify the sound of their owner and respond with excitement when they see them. Chinchillas are also good at memorizing spatial arrangements. They can learn the designs of their cage and house. Their memorizing ability makes it easy to litter train them

3. Chinchillas can learn commands:

Keeping a pet in your house is difficult. You will need to train your pet for many things. Animals need the training to live in captivity and in cages.

You can also teach some basic commands to chinchillas. They might not be good at following the vocal signal. But you can use positive reinforcements to teach them.

Following are some instructions that you can follow while training your chinchilla:

  1. Try to teach them in an open, spacious place where they can feel comfortable running and following commands.
  2. Be patient with your pets. The chinchillas might take some time to grab the instructions. Give them time to learn.
  3. Use treats and positive reinforcements to train the chinchillas.
  4. Don’t raise your voice or punish your chinchillas unnecessarily. Give treats or punishments only when they do anything opposite to your command.
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4. Chinchillas can memorize the scent:

Chinchillas can also remember the scents effectively. Rodents are good at picking scents. Chinchillas can memorize your face, but they can also commemorate you with your body scent. Similarly, they memorize the smell of food, treats, etc. They can also distinguish between different scents at once.

5. Chinchillas can learn names:

It is a very interesting observation that chinchillas learn and remember their names. You can give a nickname to your pet’s chinchilla, and after a few weeks of practice, they respond to this name. Their way of responding can vary from animal to animal.

They might stop moving when you call their name and turn their head toward you. Sometimes they act excited, expecting any fun activity or treats. Like names, chinchillas can also memorize different phrases that you use as commands.

Frequently asked questions:

  1. Are chinchillas equally intelligent as cats and dogs?

Chinchillas are intelligent and witty animals. They are more intelligent than many pets, like rabbits and squirrels. According to some research, chinchillas are as wise as cats and dogs.

  • How can I measure the intelligence of my pet chinchilla?

Currently, there is no technical way to measure intelligence levels in chinchillas. You can only use experiments to test the wittiness of your pet chinchilla. You can teach them commands and phrases and test their intelligence after a few weeks.


Chinchillas are not very good at responding to commands if you do not teach them. But, the question persists: How smart are chinchillas?

According to some researchers, chinchillas are equally intelligent as popular pets, like cats and dogs. However, they need time to learn and get used to the training and commands. Therefore, be patient with your lovely chinchilla and teach them whatever you want with love.

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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