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?
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.