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Gerbil Care

By: April Metroulas

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There are several options when choosing a house for your gerbil:

  • Hamster cages
  • Aquariums
  • Tube habitats
  • Metal cages

    The floor of the cage should be solid, and a wire roof should always be in place. A gerbil can escape with as little as 1 centimeter of space, so be sure the lid is secure. There should be at least 10 inches of space between your gerbil and the top of its cage.

    Gerbils require plenty of bedding, at least 3 inches, as they love to dig. The bedding should be an absorbent, non-abrasive, clean material such as hardwood shavings, shredded paper, or shredded paper towels. Sand, corncob litter, and cat litter should never be used in your gerbils' cage. These materials can cause ulceration on the gerbils face due to burrowing and digging. Your gerbil's bedding should be changed and the cage should be rinsed with hot water and detergent at least every 2 weeks, and droppings should be removed daily.

    Gerbils are very social animals. They should always be housed in groups of at least two. They enjoy grooming each other, and have communal sleeping habits. They cannot be housed with mice or hamsters, as they will fight. And, unless you intend to have lots of gerbils, it is a good idea to have same sex groups housed togethers. Gerbils can be very prolific.

    Your gerbils' cage should be kept in a room where the temperature is kept at a steady 68 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. A rapid change in temperature can cause respiratory disease. They should also be kept out of direct sunlight.

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