Are Chinchillas Good Pets for Children?[Yes, If You Do This]

Chinchillas have become a pet growing in popularity and demand in recent years.

It’s not surprising considering how adorable and soft they are.

Especially compared to other rodents, you can choose to adopt or other small pets in general.

However, sometimes as the individual considering adopting a chinchilla, it’s more complicated than that, and you also must ensure it’s going to be an excellent pet for the entire family.

This leads me to a question that arises from concerned parents before they ultimately decide to purchase a chinchilla as the new family pet.

Are chinchillas’ good pets for kids?

After several years of owning a chinchilla and raising a chinchilla during my sons’ youngest years, here is what I can tell you on this topic.

So, are chinchillas’ good pets for children? Yes, chinchillas are good pets for children. Children need to be taught how to handle a chinchilla properly and how to interact with a chinchilla. Children also need to build a bond with your new chinchilla slowly. Following these steps can ensure a chinchilla will be a good pet for children.

So, how do you go about raising a chinchilla correctly and keeping your kid and your new chinchilla safe?

Well, that’s what this entire post is designed to teach you.

I’m going to break down and debunk some common myths about chinchillas with kids and adequately explain how a chinchilla and your kids of any age can co-exist.

Directly below, I’ve created easy to navigate links that will allow you to skip to any specific section of this post that you desire to learn more about.


Here is what I intend on covering in today’s brief 3-minute post:

As mentioned previously, if you want to skip around in this post, feel free to use the links placed directly above for you.

If, however, you have those 3-minutes to spare, I recommend you check out the full post directly below and learn how a chinchilla can be a fantastic family pet whether you have young children or not.

Here are the details you need to know.

Are Chinchillas Good Pets for Children?

Okay, so I’m torn on this subject because I know what other websites will tell you.

They will explain how chinchillas, in some situations, do not make great pets for kids because of their unique needs and their need to be handled with care.

While this is partially true, I still disagree entirely.

I think chinchillas make great pets for kids, and hopefully, I have plenty who agree with the statement.

The reason that some individuals believe a chinchilla is not suitable for a child is due to how fragile a chinchilla can be.

Here’s the deal.

Teach your kids how to handle your chinchilla.

Allow the chinchilla to get used to your kids, and I can tell you from firsthand experience that you won’t have issues.

I adopted my chinchilla when my son was 18 months old.

He’s a mad man and runs around with a lot of energy.

Sure, in the beginning, this scared my chinchilla bit, but my son is now almost 4.

My chinchilla and son now interact with each other the bond has been formed.

Don’t worry about how to do this properly.

The rest of my post is designed to walk you through recommendations and information to understand to make sure you have the same luck that I had with your new chinchilla.

Let’s start diving into those details now.

Understanding Chinchilla Behavior and Temperament

The next most important thing to understand when it comes to having your kids co-exist with chinchillas successfully is to understand how a chinchilla tends to behave.

For starters, be sure to read my full guide on chinchilla behavior that you can see here.

Chinchillas are naturally timid and shy during the first weeks of arriving home.

During this period, it’s imperative not to overstimulate them.

In all reality, they don’t even need to be out of the cage during this period.

Simply allow them to get used to the smells, noises, and even your voice during these initial weeks.

Once you have completed this step, the next best thing you do is to allow your chinchilla out for playtime.

Chinchillas love this time out of their cage.

What I did with my kid was ensured that I had a very controlled space to do this in.

Instead of stressing over having the perfect proofed room for your kid, and your chinchilla, I recommend purchasing one of the large pop animal play tents.

I’ve been using one for 3 years, even though I have a chinchilla proofed room.

It’s a great way to monitor your kids during interactions and allows your chinchilla to interact with you closely.

This helps build trust faster.

Just ensure that you instruct your children how to handle the chinchilla properly.

The pop-up animal play tent will make this even easier to accomplish because of the space you will be working with.

It’s large enough to be comfortable for all of you but still enclosed enough to allow for proper technique teaching and to keep an eye on your children while they interact with your chinchilla.

Here’s the exact pop-up animal play tent I’ve been using for 3 years and love it (Link to Amazon).

Trust me, it’s an investment you won’t regret making for the benefits it can provide new chinchilla owners.

If you need further information on this topic, be sure to read my post about how to encourage your chinchilla to enjoy being held here.

It’s also the area of conversation we are going to cover next.

Instruct Proper Handling and Best Practices

Okay, we ended the last section by discussing that you need to keep an eye on proper handling techniques.

The best thing to do with your kid is to instruct your children to allow your chinchilla to come to them.

Trust me, it will only take a day or two before your chinchilla is jumping in your child’s lap, allowing them to pet them and loving every second of it.

That’s how it was for me, at least.

My chinchilla has never decided to bite me, my kid, or anyone else.

Even through the initial rough handling days and the learning curve.

I think all the talk that chinchillas for younger kids should be to put rest personally.

I think the children simply need to learn to remain relatively calm (as in not screaming or throwing things) when interacting with a chinchilla, and you won’t have much if any issues.

Keep in mind again, this is the opinion of someone who has been there and done that.

Ensure your kid doesn’t grab your chinchilla in a forceful manner and allow the bond to grow naturally, and I can assure you, it’s much easier than you believe having your kids interact with your chinchillas on a daily basis.

Treats and How to Offer them Effectively

Another area of concern that comes into play is the ever so tempting treats.

It’s always tempting to give treats to our furry friends, but with chinchillas, it’s important not to overdo it.

This is even more difficult for a child to understand, so plan accordingly.

Give your children a set number of treats they can offer your chinchilla during playtime.

If you aren’t sure which treats are the best for chinchillas, start by reading my post here.

It will guide you towards the best treats you can offer without risking any illness for your chinchilla.

This again is one of those concerns that if you keep an eye on it, you don’t have anything to stress over.

Monitor and Correct Social Interactions

We have already touched on this, but I wanted to cover the calmness factor one more time.

Especially during those first initial weeks when you have your chinchilla home.

Ensure that your children understand that patient interaction is best during these weeks.

Your chinchilla won’t bite or get aggressive due to wild behavior, but it may scare them.

They are just a small rodent, after all.

The calmer your kids can remain during those initial weeks, the faster the bond and trust can be established, which is what we will cover next.

Build the Bond Slowly with Family

Last on my list of critical information to keep in mind is to take it slowly.

Sometimes chinchillas need a few weeks to get used to their environment and new owners.

If your chinchilla is more reserved and shyer during these weeks, there is no need to force the interaction.

Simply allow your chinchilla to come to you.

It won’t be long until they are jumping on you, enjoy being held, and enjoy being interacted with.

Chinchillas are social creatures and love to jump and play.

Trust me, it will all work out just fine.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, I’m a firm believer that chinchillas can make excellent family pets for individuals with children.

It does take more supervision and teaching the proper methods for your children.

Nonetheless, with a bit of effort and oversight, it’s 100% feasible to have your children and a new pet chinchilla co-exist.

I do it every day and have been doing it for the past 3 years.

I even survived the “terrible 2’s” with my son, and my chinchilla, which leads me to 100% believe you can do the same.

Chili and I wish you the best of luck with your upcoming adoption and journey.

Share Your Thoughts

What’s your opinion about chinchillas being good pets for families with children?

Have you raised chinchillas with young children in the home?

What further advice can you provide the readers?

Be sure to share those thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.

As always, Chili and I appreciate you stopping by and reading, and we will see you next time.

Josh Martin

My Name is Josh and this is my 4 year-old female chinchilla "Chili". We created Planet Chinchilla to share all the stories about owning a chinchilla that you need to know. I'm the Author of the eBook "The Ultimate Chinchilla Care Guide, From Adoption and On"

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