Did you know that chinchillas’ hearing range is closer to human hearing than any other rodent’s hearing range?
That’s right, chinchilla ears work quite similarly to how human ears do. Some happy chinchilla owners would even tell you they have a similar taste in music!
In a nutshell, chinchillas do like music or at least some of it. While most would be annoyed by loud and sharp sounds, how chinchillas respond to music largely depends on their personality and habits. Not only do they enjoy music, chinchillas actually love watching TV, too!
These intelligent, active creatures need a lot of stimulation. Audio and visual entertainment can be crucial for a healthy chinchilla. Stick around to learn more.
What Kind of Music Should I Play for My Chinchilla?
It’s important to note before going into details that these furballs have different tastes and quirks. When choosing some music to play for your chinchilla, you might need to do some experimenting.
Relaxing Music for Chinchillas
Choosing the right music to relax your chinchilla is a lot like choosing music for a newborn in more ways than one.
One of the perks of having a similar sense of hearing is that it’s kind of easy to guess what works for them. Chinchillas’ sensitivity towards high-pitch sounds makes ambient music the best choice to relax them. Calm classical music like Debussy, for example, is almost always a win.
Playtime Music for Chinchillas
This is where your individual chinchilla’s taste really comes into play. If you go through some chinchilla forums, you’ll find talk about chinchillas that enjoy everything from country music to heavy metal.
One genre that most chinchilla owners mentioned on these forums are rock music. String music is also a good option, though whether it excites or calms your chinchilla is, again, a matter of preference.
Music that Stresses Chinchillas Out
Okay, maybe some chinchilla owners mentioned that their pets like that one metal song on that one forum, but that’s highly unusual. Most genres of music that have sharp, loud sounds will stress your chinchilla out.
Another thing to look out for is simply the volume of your music. Those big ears pick up a lot of sound waves. While humans can sometimes dismiss loud noises, chinchillas are hardwired to fear for their lives when they hear something loud.
To see if what you’re playing is too loud for them, stand as close as possible to their cage and see if you can kind of ignore the music. It should sound to you more or less like background music. This is, again, because our sense of hearing is very close to theirs.
[Related Article: What You Must Know Today About Your Chinchilla Depression]
How Do Chinchillas Respond to Music?
How your chinchilla will respond to different types of music will depend on factors like age and preference.
For example, a chinchilla that was adopted in its adult years can be a little bit more sensitive to unfamiliar sounds.
How Will I Know If They Like My Tunes?
If a chinchilla likes what it’s listening to, it can react in one of two ways. The first is to simply settle down and listen, zoning in on the source of the sound.
The second is the stark opposite of that. Happy chinchillas will literally bounce off the walls of their cage in full-throttle play mode.
They also “popcorn,” which is the ultimate chinchilla happy jump-dance. Popcorning means they jump straight up using all four limbs.
How Will I Know If They Hate What’s Playing?
Chinchillas are pretty expressive and will make it clear if they don’t like the music playing. They’ll put their ears back, possibly hide in a safe spot in their cage, scratch their ears, or they’ll “bark” and throw things around. Yes, chinchillas actually bark.
How Can I Use Music to Improve My Chinchilla’s Life?
Chinchillas are sensitive beings with a wide range of emotions. This means that they have ups and downs, need support from you, and can sometimes make your life difficult if they’re unhappy.
Training for a Good Night’s Sleep
One example of how they can do that is their sleep cycle. Chinchillas are crepuscular; they’re most active at dusk and dawn.
One of the most crucial ways music therapy can help you and your chinchilla get along is by getting them relaxed and calm from the moment you set your head on the pillow till your alarm goes off.
To do that, find the type of music that gets your chinchilla to sit still and focus on the music. Try to make this a habit as soon as they come into your home to get them used to a daily routine.
Getting Them Accustomed to Being Handled
Rodents are prey animals. Unlike cats and dogs, they do not take well to big creatures approaching them. They don’t like being touched or feel trapped, so being held by a human is a scary experience for them.
That’s why training them to relax around you is a must when you first get a chinchilla. This can be done by associating your presence with calming, enjoyable tunes. You can also use your own voice to calm them, much like you would with a crying infant or around a horse.
Active Time for Exercise and Enrichment
Your chinchilla needs to have loads of fun during their day. This doesn’t only mean having fun toys in their cage; they need to be out of their cage at least once a day to explore, interact and play with you.
Upbeat and exciting music can help them get that energy out in a healthy way; jumping up and down and running around. If they don’t get that outlet, their energy might turn into anxious behavior such as fur biting.
Finding the kind of music that works for both of you can be very uplifting and creates an immense cross-species mental connection.
Not only does your chinchilla benefit from having music in their lives, but it can also be an incredible bonding activity to do with them.
These feel-good fluff balls can enjoy a petting-and-meditation-music session for longer than you’d imagine.