Care Information for Pet Gerbils

Description: Gerbils are friendly and inquisitive. They make lively, active pets that are easy and relatively inexpensive to keep and interesting to watch. Most domesticated gerbils are Mongolian gerbils. They have large middle ears, which gives them the ability to detect the soft beat of bird wings, their natural predators in the wild, and they have a long tail that acts like a stabilizer when jumping. Gerbils have large dark eyes and come in many colors or combinations of colors.

Size: Gerbils weigh between 2.5 and 3.5 oz. The males are slightly heavier than the females.

Compatibility: Gerbils should be kept in groups as they are highly social animals. They are prolific reproducers and should be kept in groups of the same sex unless you want LOTS of babies.

Appeal: Gerbils are lively, friendly, and relatively clean and odor-free. They are low maintenance and inexpensive to keep. They make better pets than cats and dogs for people with allergies. They are active during the day and evening and rarely bite.

Drawbacks: They are not as keen as some rodents are about being handled and can be hard to catch. They are delicate and can be seriously injured if not handled properly. If not properly housed they can scatter bedding and make a mess. They are also escape artists and will try to chew or gnaw their way out of enclosures.


Diet: Gerbils should be fed a seed mix or pellets that are designed for gerbils. They should not be fed oily seeds like sunflower seeds in large quantities.

Problems & Health Issues: Gerbils are susceptible to epileptic seizures. If given an improper diet, they can suffer from digestive upsets. The tips of their tails are fragile and easily damaged.

Lifespan: Healthy Gerbils can live an average of 4-5 years.

Interesting Facts: Gerbils are prolific breeders and can produce three litters a year of up to 12 young.

Caring for Gerbils, Gerbil in it's cage.

About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services.


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By Tiffany Klemack (Guest Post)
June 16, 20070 found this helpful

My mom said yes my dad said no, do gerbils really stink are they cute and worth buying them and can you keep them in your room while your sleeping and make noise and will hide under your dresser, bed ect.?

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January 28, 20210 found this helpful

it does not stink but is bite very sore they are still at night but it must be in a fish tank because it knibble thru anything except class and steel

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By Kimberly (Guest Post)
September 9, 20070 found this helpful

I was thinking about geting one and i was thinking do they bite?
Are they very actice at night?

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By adisa and alma (Guest Post)
March 2, 20080 found this helpful

Did you take that picture from petsmart ? Because I think tha'ts my gerbil. It was in the same cage and looks the same.

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By Tyman (Guest Post)
March 15, 20080 found this helpful

Hey, do gerbils have to have a certain temperature to live in and are they nocturnal?

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By Val (Guest Post)
March 25, 20080 found this helpful

Ok, gerbils can have a lot more than 3 litters a year. They mate as soon as they give birth to a litter if the dad is left in the cage. So a mom could be having a litter ever 4 weeks to 6 weeks.


The only time gerbils smell is if you dont clean the cage, I clean mine at least every 2 weeks. It is advised to clean it every week.

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By Amanda (Guest Post)
April 3, 20080 found this helpful

First off guys, gerbils are somewhat nocturnal. My two like to make scraping sounds with their claws if you put anything like cardboard in their cage. If you handle your gerbil regularly, or at least get them used to you, they will not bite you at all. Mine have not bitten me ever since I got them two years ago. You do NOT want the gerbils loose in your room. They are very small and make a quick getaway. They can slip right under the door and even be gone from your house if left alone. They are most certainly caged animals, and if properly treated and let out with a fencing type thing occasionally, then your gerbil should be perfectly happy living in a cage.


They do not smell much; if cage is properly cleaned and maintained. I recommend a wire cage; the type with 2 stories or a loft. Here is one important thing to remember when getting a gerbie---they hate living alone! Gerbils get very lonely and live healthier, happier lives when with a litter-mate. As I brought up, two gerbils are better than one. but there are circumstances...males and females together..NO. Unless you are into breeding gerbils. Females & females sometimes. Males and males. NO. The top-notch deal is to get two of the same litter mates. I hope I could clear it up for you guys!


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By Sophie (Guest Post)
June 4, 20080 found this helpful

No, they don't smell. They don't keep you awake at night, apart from the first night because they need to settle in. They are lovely, I keep mine in my room, and they don't smell, apart from when they need cleaning out, which is like once a week.

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By bob (Guest Post)
June 23, 20080 found this helpful

Thanks for the info.

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By appletosh (Guest Post)
July 19, 20080 found this helpful

I'm thinking about getting a gerbil cause my mom says no guinea pigs. Should I get aquarium or wire cage. I know they have to be able to see through so please post some helpful words.

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By katie. (Guest Post)
July 20, 20080 found this helpful

I have a gerbil and his name is Jerry. I play with him and he goes around in a ball. He stays awake at night but I have gotten used to him. He likes apple, carrots and toilet roll holders.

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By Clay (Guest Post)
July 21, 20080 found this helpful

I got 2 gerbils 3 days ago. I was wondering when the start sitting on your shoulder and won't run away from you?

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By asia (Guest Post)
July 23, 20080 found this helpful

I was wondering can you breed gerbils and sell them to a pet store? I'm about to get two of them, but what combinations work best, 2 females, 2 males or a group? Please type info soon.

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By Not alowed to give name (Guest Post)
November 18, 20080 found this helpful

I'm thinking about getting a gerbil, anything I should know before I do?

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November 19, 20080 found this helpful

My gerbil is a sweety.her sister died at age 5 months because my brother killed her.but chewy has lived almost a year without her sis i think its a miracle heres a cute pic of her.

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