What Are The Differences Between a Male and Female Chinchilla?

I’m sure you think that’s obvious, right? You have boys that have specific parts and girls that have other pieces, and you should visually be able to tell whether your chinchilla is a girl or a boy. It’s not exactly so straightforward. We’ll find out why in this article.

That’s not the only thing that differs between chinchilla genders. Today we are going to discuss those differences and shed a little more light on male and female chinchillas.

What is the Physical Difference Between Chinchilla Genders?

When it comes to discerning the sex of your chinchilla, you’ll need to pay attention. There isn’t a massive difference in the appearance of male and female sex organs. However, you can tell the difference if you look close. Males have a noticeable space between their anus and penis pocket. Females don’t have that gap, and both their vulva and anal area appear as slits.

Females are larger than males most of the time. They are also the more aggressive and territorial of the two genders. Females can get pregnant if you keep mixed genders. If you don’t want your female to have kits, you will want to house her with other females. Female chinchillas also spray urine where the males don’t. Females do this to mark territory or as warning shots to other chinchillas, including their kits, when they get out of hand. They can spray urine up to ten feet.

If you get a male or males, be aware they can get hair rings around their penises. The ring of hair can be painful and even harmful if you don’t keep a check. Be sure to check your male(s) once a month for a hair around their penis and remove it if your male has one.

When choosing your chinchilla, it’s not the gender that’s a vital factor in the decision unless you don’t want to do hair ring checks or you don’t want a pregnant chinchilla. That depends on you and what responsibility you are willing to take.

Are There Personality Differences?

There isn’t a distinct difference in personalities between sexes. There are many differences in each chinchilla’s personality. The gender of your chinchilla doesn’t have as much to do with their characters as their individuality.

Males do have a more playful, upbeat personality than females. They are sweeter than their female counterparts.

Females are territorial. In the wild, chinchillas live in herds of up to twelve animals with a female leader. So, chinchillas, in the wild, are matriarchal in their society.

To avoid your female being too territorial or aggressive, you need to make sure the cage is large enough that each chinchilla you own has two square feet of space. If you have more than two chinchillas, you may want to add an extra water bottle and feeding spot.

Who is Smarter?

Both genders are similar in intelligence and can be trained with enough work to use a specific spot in their cage to go potty, basic tricks such as rollover or sit up, and in some cases respond to voice commands, such as one to return to their cage or to come to you.

Males may have a slight advantage over a female here as they have more playful personalities, which could make them easier to train.

Which is Better, a Male or Female?

That is entirely up to you. You should weigh the pros and cons of each gender. Personality-wise there isn’t a difference between the genders, except the males may be a bit more playful. Each chinchilla will have their personality or will develop one in the case of a kit.

The biggest thing you should be aware of and keep in mind is that a female can get pregnant and have kits. That is fine if you want to take the responsibility of caring for a mother chinchilla and her kits. A lot of owners don’t even realize their female is pregnant until the kits are born. If you don’t want a pregnant female, you should be sure any other chinchillas you house with her are female.

Males can’t get pregnant, but they can get hair rings around their penises. You, as the owner, will have to commit to hair ring checks each month, and also be the one who carefully removes the hair. Occasionally your male may clean himself, but you should still do the check each month.

Which is better? Either. It’s up to you, your preference.


I hope you enjoyed this article, and it helps you decide which gender chinchilla(s) you may like to have. Chinchillas are a unique, exotic pet. They are a rodent, but they are quite different from rats, gerbils, or hamsters.

Do you have anything to add about your chinchilla? Do you have gender-specific or personality-specific stories?  Leave a comment below.

2 thoughts on “What Are The Differences Between a Male and Female Chinchilla?”

  1. I thought this was very helpful in deciding which gender I would like! Thank you, I have been planning on getting a chin chin a few years later.


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