Gerbil Bedding

gerbil toysOne of the most important factors for the care and comfort of your gerbil is having the appropriate bedding. Just as we would like a comfortable place to sleep, so does your pet gerbil. You should aim to keep the bedding the same for your gerbil, as they may get distressed if the bedding is always different to what it was before you cleaned the cage.

The bedding in your gerbil’s cage will usually be made up of three sections which are the bottom litter, the support bedding, and finally nesting material as extra comfort. It is recommended to use sand as the bottom layer, filled to about 3 cm high, as gerbils will love to bath in the sand and dig and scratch at it, this can also help with wearing down their claws. A quick tip is to use cat litter as with the sand as it can help reduce the amount of time you need to clean the area and helps prevent the spread of viruses.

The support bedding layer is used to keep dirt and moisture to a minimum and also serve as a chewing and burrowing material. You should always offer a variety of things for your gerbil to chew on such as cardboard pieces, wood shavings from natural untreated wood, twigs and small pieces of wood.

Gerbils love to build nests so the nesting material is very important in the overall bedding area as it will be used to create a nest for sleeping, resting and getting some peace. Sometimes gerbils will build two nests, this is very common when a female is raising litter and they need their privacy. The room temperature of where you keep your gerbils will dictate how much bedding or what type of bedding you need to put in the cage or enclosure. If the temperature is below around 70 degrees F then the gerbils will usually like an enclosed area with a roof and enough bedding to fill it out. If the temperature is above 70 degrees then they like an opened top nest so you wouldn’t use as much bedding.

Each time you clean the cage replace the nesting material as it quickly gets chewed up and soiled when the gerbils drag it outside of their nest area.