9 Things to Consider When Buying a Gerbil

Updated on July 18, 2019
notnym profile image

Ritchie is a gerbil parent who enjoys sharing his rodent knowledge with other pet keepers.

A gerbil can be a fantastic addition to your home and family. They are fun, placid, and intelligent and make fantastic pets. They are active rodents and, unlike many hamsters, they enjoy being handled. Before jumping into gerbil ownership, however, there are a few things prospective keepers should consider.

9 Things You Should Know Before Buying a Gerbil

  1. They can be messy.
  2. They need space to burrow.
  3. They like to gnaw.
  4. They need to live in pairs.
  5. They need plenty of exercise.
  6. They should only live with gerbils of the same sex.
  7. They should be separated if they fight.
  8. You should buy from a reputable seller.
  9. You must clean their cage once a week.

Make sure you consider all the pros and cons before buying a gerbil.
Make sure you consider all the pros and cons before buying a gerbil.

1. Gerbils Can Be a Little Bit Messy

Gerbils are clean rodents that love to burrow, but this can mean that they kick the sawdust out of their cage, which requires you to constantly clean the floor and surrounding area.

For this reason, you may want to consider buying an aquarium. It stops the gerbils from throwing their sawdust out of the wire cage and thus results in very little mess.

Alternatively, you might like to make a cover for the sides of your gerbil’s wire cage. This is the only problem with gerbils in terms of cleanliness and can be easily managed. It definitely shouldn't put you off buying a gerbil.

2. Gerbils Need Plenty of Space to Burrow

Gerbils love to dig and burrow. It’s ingrained in their DNA. So it’s vital that you provide your gerbil with the facility to burrow in their gerbilarium. Fill the cage with plenty of sawdust and give them some toys such as brown toilet rolls or approved toys.

They need something to do or they become bored and lethargic. So make sure there cage is deep enough to burrow and don't skimp on the wood shavings.

You might also like to introduce some approved pips for them to hide it. Gerbils love to hide in the dark!

3. Gerbils Like to Gnaw

Gnawing is something your gerbil needs to do to keep their teeth at a healthy length and prevent an overbite. When buying a gerbil, look at some toys that you can add to the cage to help them keep their teeth in tip-top condition. Good pet stores sell these items, and you can buy them online.

4. Gerbils Need to Live in Pairs

Gerbils are social animals and they need company, so you should buy gerbils in pairs. Never buy just one gerbil. It will become lonely, depressed, and inactive. I cannot overstate the importance of buying a gerbil along with a gerbil friend.

5. Gerbils Need Plenty of Exercise

Gerbils love to run around, and they’ll need more than just their cage for activity. You should handle your gerbils daily and let them run around.

Gerbil exercise balls are an ideal way of letting your pet run around indoors, and if you haven’t got much space you can buy exercise balls that sit in a stand.

You might even like to consider building a gerbil run, but make sure the sides are high enough to stop you gerbils from escaping – they’re excellent climbers!

6. Buy Gerbils in Pairs of the Same Sex

Unless you want lots of little gerbils (pups), I suggest you buy same sex pairs. If you have more than two gerbils, keep them separated by sex (but never alone).

8. Buying a Gerbil From a Reputable Seller Is Vital

Make sure that you buy your gerbils from a reputable seller, such as a verified pet store or breeder. Check out reviews and make sure you’re buying healthy animals without illness or disease.

7. Separate Gerbils If They Fight

It’s not uncommon to see gerbils play fighting (it looks like they are boxing), and this is a perfectly normal behaviour. But if they begin to seriously fight (scratching, biting, etc.) they need to be separated as they may end up killing one another.

9. Clean Your Gerbil's Cage Once a Week

Because they burrow, it’s hard to see where your gerbils poop and pee is, so it’s important that you clean the cage out weekly. Don’t assume that the cage is clean just because you cant see or smell anything, as the poo has a habit of falling to the bottom of the cage or gerbilarium.

Live alone?
Likely to bite?

Which rodent pet do you prefer?

See results

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

  • Should I get two boy or girl gerbils?

    Males are often the more docile sex. We bought males.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)