Chinchillas, Children & Schools
On average chinchillas are not recommended for young children (under 14 years). Children want an animal they can hold and pet, and a chinchilla will not usually allow this for more than a short time, if at all. Chinchillas are not 'lap' animals so the expectations of what a person wants and what the chinchilla is comfortable doing can be two totally different things. Children tend to be very active/hyper, as are chinchillas and the two together can be overwhelming. Chinchillas are very delicate and even if unintentional, kids tend to be a little rougher than a chin can tolerate. This is a very stressful situation for the chinchilla and they can be easily injured. Chinchillas are nocturnal which means they sleep all day and will be up playing all night. This is not meant to be taken personally against anyones children. This is to give you honest information about the care of chinchillas and what to expect from them. It is not unusual for parents to get chinchillas for their young children despite this information and then want to give them up within a short time after getting them. All factors considered, chinchillas are best for responsible teenagers and adults in a home environment.
This also means chinchillas are not suitable for a classroom of any age group. Considering they are nocturnal and are very sensitive to such a hectic environment, a classroom is not an appropriate place for a chinchilla, and we do not endorse it. This also includes dorms or any other college atmosphere which is really not the place for a chinchilla. These places are much too stressful for a chinchilla. So please consider the chinchilla and his physical as well as emotional health before bringing him into an environment such as one of these that are not calm or friendly for him.