6 Comments on GERBILS AS PETS – YES OR NO?

If you are reading this you probably are considering of getting gerbils as pets. But you are still unsure if you should really get a pair of them or not, and you are reasearching and asking yourself a lot of questions like: do they bite, are they friendly, is the care complycated, etc.
Well search no more, because here I am going to tell you a few cons and pros of being an ovner of gerbils. Also I will be answering some most common asked questions about them.
So sit back, relax and enjoy your reading.


Do they bite?  – No, they usually don’t bite, unless they really fell in danger or threathened.
Are the friendly? – Yes, gerbils are friendly and social animals who like being in company of other      gerbils, and even you when they get used to you.
Is the care complycated? – No, the care is actually very easy.
Do they eat a lot? – No, they don’t eat a lot. One handfull of food would be enough for a few days, but it is good to check from time to time if it needs refilling just in case, you don’t want them to starve.

What do they eat? – They can eat almost anything (not really anything). From fresh fruit to vegetables (not all of course), seeds and allready prepared seed mixes that you can buy in almos any pet shop. Don’ forget fresh and clean water.
How to tell males from females?
– The female gerbil has four niples on outer edges od her belly and under her tail there is a hairless bump of skin with the anus and urinary opening very close to each other. The males urinary opening is about a centimeter away from the anus, and under the tail there is a small sac of skin, those are the testicles – some are hairy some not. Learn more here.

Can I keep gerbil with another animal or rodent? – Unfortunatelly no. Every specie of rodents has to be kept with the same members of their specie. There are some exeptions with the guinea pig and rabit. But other rodents are better kept with the same specie.

How long does a gerbil live? – On average gerbils live from 2-3 to 5 years.

Where should I keep my gerbil? – You keep it in a cage.
Best cages are aquariums / terrariums or those with deep bases, because they need a lot of bedding for burrowing and ad a tank topper. The bigger the cage the better (but not too big). Avoid plastic cages.  You can read more here.

What to put in a gerbils cage? – A layer of bedding (a bit deeper fo digging), watter bottle (glass with metal sput so they can’t chew it), food dish (ceramic recommended), a wooden or ceramic hide/ nest box, toys for climbing and chewing (wooden toys, piceses of wood, rock, ladders… – not plastic), exercise wheel without big holes in it, because their feet or tail could get stuck.

What kind of bedding should I use? – By most experts Aspen, Carefresh and Corn Cob are recommended. Avoid using pine or cedar wood shavings.
What toys do i give my gerbil? – Wooden toys, pieces of wood, toilet rolls, cardborad boxes – not plastic!
How do i clean the cage? – Completely change the bedding at least every week or two, when needed wash the cage.
Do they smell? – No, they are actually the least stinky of all small pets. Because they are desert animals their urine and feces doesn’t have a strong smell and they only drink a teaspoonful of water a day, so they don’t produce a lot o waste.


– You will have lots of fun playing with them, I could watch and play with them for hours.
-The care for them is very easy once you get the hang of it.
They like company.
-They are friendly animals.
-There is no bitting unless they get really scared or are somehow hurt.
-Their curious nature and playfullness will make your day.
-Food for them is not expensive.
-They don’t eat a lot.
-They don’t smell and are very clean animals.
-Unlike hamsters, gerbils will be pleased with your attention even if you wake them up.

-It will be an all day entertainment  for you watching them play, run, jump, dig, eat, sleep.
-Almost everything you see they do is just too cute.
-They make great pets for children, because all of the reasons above.
-Once you get to know them, you will become best friends.


There are not many cons of having gerbils that i noticed. But the only two thing that bother me about owning gerbils is that there is wood dust and bedding everywhere and all over my room, even if I clean up there will be bedding soon after I finish playing with them. And another thing is that they can be really loud during night time.
But it isn’t that bad once you get used to it.


If you still didn’t decide about getting gerbils or not, it is time that you definatelly get at least a pair. You will have lots of fun getting to know them and watching them run, jump, dig… Every gerbils has its own personality which you will find out through spending time with them and it will be the best part when you finally get to know your own gerbils and how they function. Learning to take care for them will be a piece of cake and  on MyGerbil you can find many usefull information and advice if you have any trouble. Also you can ask us anytime!

6 thoughts on “GERBILS AS PETS – YES OR NO?

  1. Jorda

    Hi there, great article and thanks for sharing. I have never owned gerbils before but my little sister has two. She loves them and quite frequently plays with them a lot.
    I found it interesting that you included in your post about how to tell the gender. Until now, I couldn’t tell the difference between a male or female. Not sure if my little sister even knows the gender but I will make sure to show her. Once again, great article. It’s very informative and great for beginners!

    1. Kristina Post author

      Hi Jorda! Gerbils are easy to fall in love and play with, especialy for children because of their playful nature,,I am glad that your little sister loves them so.:)
      I am glad that you found my post interesting and that it helped you.

  2. NemiraB

    Hello here, thanks for the informative article. I heard about gerbils but I was not sure that kind of animal it is.
    I wonder what do they do at night? You mentioned that they are pretty noisy at night. Are they nocturnal animals?
    It is a pitty that they live so short lives. My aunt had quinea pig. After she died, my aunt missed her very much. I wonder if it is the same would be with these cute animals.
    How about their fur? Do we need to comb them? Do gerbils like to be touched as cats?
    Thanks again for the great read, all the best, Nemira.

    1. Kristina Post author

      Hello, gerbils are mouse-like rodents and they usually sleep at night, but they can also be very active and dig, chew on everything and that makes a lot of noise. Most of us think they are diurnal, but some people say that gerbils are nocturnal and some even say they are crepuscural – mostly active at dawn.
      Yes, gerbils are easy to fall in love with because of their curious and playful nature.
      They groom each other, and you can give them a chinchila sand bath for their fur to be shiny and smooth but no combing is needed. Some gerbils like to be touched and some don’t, it depends – every gerbil has its own personality.
      Thank you Nemira, all the best to you too!

  3. jeffrey16201


    I never had a gerbil for a pet when I was a boy, I have always been a dog owner. Gerbils do sound like an interesting pet to have and observe, great for kids it sounds as well as a first pet.

    how long does Gerbil usually live, what is a gerbil a rodents or something else?

    1. Kristina Post author

      that’s nice, I always was a dog owner too until two years now when I discovered gerbils. Yes, I agree for someone who is getting their first pet they are ideal because they are easy to take care of and are friendly.

      Usually they live for about 2-3 years, but if taken good care they can have long and happy lives (4-5 years or above). Yes, you are correct gerbils are rodents.


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