Gerbil Cages

When selecting a gerbil, it is generally recommended to adopt more than one at a time, as this lends to improved social interaction, and a healthier gerbil.  When choosing from the litter, a gerbil should not demonstrate fear of humans, nor should you choose a gerbil from a cage where there is a sick animal.  Therefore it is best to choose gerbils that have already been caged together, or that at least six to eight weeks old.  Home made gerbil cages are relatively easy to make, often by using an old aquarium, or a cage from another animal, such as a hamster.  Gerbils will attempt to chew through plastic cages, and may get sores, so these are not highly recommended. 

Gerbil numbers must be taken into consideration.  Therefore, the more gerbils there are, the bigger the cage needs to be.  Just remember there needs to be ventilation, so if in an aquarium, is a good idea to put on a tightly fitted mesh roof.  Next, the cage needs to be outfitted with housing and entertainment.  Place two inches of aspen shavings or paper pulp in the bottom of the cage.  A nest house should be made out of ceramic or wood as paper houses are quickly ripped up.  Place a water bottle with a metal spout on the side of the cage.  The gerbils also need a feeding bowl, which is best to be made of ceramic.  Chewable toys can be purchased from pet stores.  Chewable bedding such as hay, tissues and shreddable paper should also be provided.  Gerbils love to climb (make sure the lid is tight), so install some wood and other solid products. 

Gerbils are very territorial, and can be quite aggressive to unfamiliar gerbils.  If either gerbil is over eight weeks old, they should be introduced to each other using the split cage method.  This method intends to introduce the rodents to each others’ scents while preventing fights.  First, find an old aquarium tank - if possible with a division already inside.  If this style is not found, a home made division can be just as effective.  To make a split cage, purchase some ¼ inch to ½ inch wire mesh or cloth, and place it in the middle, securing it at the corners.  Then furnish the cage with the litter.  You should watch the gerbils after this has been  installed, as they will try their hardest to get under or around the mesh to get to the other gerbil.