Chinchillas anyone? Funny story and help needed! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-03-2006, 10:57 PM Thread Starter
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Chinchillas anyone? Funny story and help needed!

Any of you who have kids or as a kid begged your parents for a pet...here's a story you'll appreciate.

I was in Petco with one of my kids and her friend recently. There was a chinchilla for sale, and the girls were asking me and the other girl's mom for it as a pet. We said no because we both have cats (and don't want any more pets right now!), so I suggested they ask their teacher about getting one for a class pet. Of course, I assumed the teacher would say no also...but she didn't.

Instead, she told the kids to research some pet choices and decide how the pet would be cared for and how to come up with the money to pay for the pet, its supplies, etc. Again, I thought the whole idea would probably fade away...until today, when a note comes home from the teacher, stating that they are adopting the chinchilla!!!

And the kids need to volunteer to take turns caring for it on weekends and in the summer.



Apparently, the girls rallied the whole class to get involved. My daughter did the research and a presentation on chinchilla care for her class.

So, I guess we'll be having a visitor....

So, does anyone have any knowledge of these critters? I don't know a thing about them. I'm also worried about bringing it in the house with my cats.

Any advice or info appreciated!

Owned by Pepper and Pumpkin RIP Snickers 8/22/00 -- 11/28/06

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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-03-2006, 11:06 PM
 
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Google it.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-03-2006, 11:07 PM
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all I know is that they're really cute as babies

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-03-2006, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pookie769
Google it.
My daughter already did that. I'm hoping that someone here has owned one and could offer some advice based on experience.

Owned by Pepper and Pumpkin RIP Snickers 8/22/00 -- 11/28/06

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-03-2006, 11:14 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cassandra
all I know is that they're really cute as babies

Yes, they are. That's how this whole thing got started! One cute baby and the kids go nuts.

Owned by Pepper and Pumpkin RIP Snickers 8/22/00 -- 11/28/06

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-04-2006, 12:01 AM
 
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wow, it sounds like there are some really bright and driven kids in that class!


here is a link for a forum, it's the first one google came up with. With all the animals I have (2 cats, a bunch of fish and adopting a parrot) I always find it helps to have a forum where you can ask questions and such.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-04-2006, 12:27 AM
 
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1) Chinchillas are not a child's pet.
2)They aren't cuddly, don't like to be held, and are very active.
3)They need specialised vet care, not a cat/dog vet but an exotics vet which can sometimes be expensive.
4)They need a good amount of time out of their cage every day.
They can live for 10 yrs or more, but as an intelligent, active, personable, inquisitive animal, it is wrong to be bouncing it around from home to home, never to have a family of its own.
I do hope the teacher knows the negatives of a class pet, which are much greater than any positives. It is a sad thing for a pet to have to go through.

5)Like rabbits, they overheat easily and can't survive for long in hot temperatures. I am sure a classroom with alot of kids gets very hot.
6)Chinchillas are nocturnal.
Which is a problem. Kids are pestering them when they would rather be resting.
My biggest problem with the kids "volunteering" to look after it is that it will not get the proper vet care when it needs it, and that the kids may take shortcuts. They will probably want to pick it up and hold it, but the chin will probably not like that.
Bottom line is, chinchillas are neither a good child's pet, nor' is it good for them to be a class pet.
The novelty of the chinchilla will wear off in the next couple of months, and most of the kids will not want to "volunteer" to look after it anymore.

Please make sure your daughter's teacher knows what a terrible situation this is for the chinchilla.

Also, if the chin ends up surviving this whole year, what is going to happen next year?
Is the teacher going to become his/her full time owner?
Are you?
Does he/she have a home that will want it for 10 yrs or longer?
They aren't like a hamster, living only for a year or two.
They live as long as a dog or a cat, and need a home and family to call their own, just like a dog or a cat.
In fact, pets should all have a family, not be a "learning adventure" for students.
It's usually a sad ending for pets that were once class pets.

You can have the chin while owning cats. However, you will want the chin's cage in a room where the cats won't be. This is because the cats will probably spend most of their time sticking their paws in through the bars and swatting at it.
When the chin comes out of the cage, keep a good close eye on it, but you don't want it around the cats if you don't know how they will react; It takes less than 3 seconds for something terrible to happen right before your eyes.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-04-2006, 12:37 AM
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I completley agree with everything Furbabies said!

I desperatley want a chinchilla myself, but I live in a house without air conditioning, and this humid heat in the summer would kill a chin. So for now I wait.

I do NOT think a chinchilla is at all suitable for a classroom pet. Not only for all the reasons already listed, but do you have ANY idea how big a chinchilla cage should be?! I can't imagine a child bringing a chinchilla home on weekends and keeping it in a proper environment.

<--Julia

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-04-2006, 01:00 AM
 
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lymekaps, PLEASE make a copy of Furbabies post and give it to the teacher! What a horrible idea of hers to make, without doing the proper research!!
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-04-2006, 03:45 AM
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I agree with others, I don' think a chinchilla could be a happy class pet. They are very active, and need lots of time out, which would not be possible in a class room. Vet care can be very expensive, I don't think a class could pay for it. Rats are not happy as class pets usually, so a chinchilla definitly would not be, either.
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