Gerbils are bright, inquisitive, rewarding to observe, clean and cheap to feed. However they do require commitment and regular attention. They do enjoy companionship so they need to be with other gerbils. Gerbils feed on a diet of mixed grain and washed fruit and vegetables, with occasional sunflower seeds. A constant supply of freshwater from a drip feed bottle with metal sprout is a necessity. They don’t like to be handled very often. Please Contact Us if you have any queries about Gerbils.

What do Gerbils need to live in?

Gerbils need a gerbilarium (tank or cage) to live and burrow in. The gerbilarium must be kept indoors at an even room temperature, out of direct sunlight. They need plenty of material for burrowing – slightly damp peat mixed with chopped straw/hay with clean white paper for nesting material

The gerbilarium must be tidied every day, with all old food removed, and cleaned out thoroughly every three months.

A gnawing block of soft wood to wear down long teeth should be available, along with toys, like cardboard tubes and wooden cotton reels to play with



2 – 3 Years

Sexual maturity:

Females 9 – 12 weeks.

Males 10 weeks


A female gerbil has an average of 5 – 7 litters in her lifetime. Males and females should be kept apart unless you plan to breed from them as homes for the young can be difficult to find.

In Season (When female gerbil is fertile and can be made pregnant)

Every six days throughout the year for five hours or more

Gestation (Length of pregnancy)

24 days approximately

Litter Size

4 – 6 in each litter on average

How do I handle my Gerbil?

Put one hand firmly over the back, or use both hands cupped or encourage the gerbil to walk onto one outstretched hand and limit movement with the other hand over the back. Never pick up a gerbil by the tail.

What Health Problems do Gerbils have?

Heat Exhaustion:

This is caused when the tank is left in direct sunlight. Gerbils should recover if the tank is placed in a cool dark room and they are left alone.

Sore Eyes and Nose

This is caused by gnawing and burrowing habits if conditions are incorrect, if they gnaw wire or burrow in dusty environments.

Tail Injures:

They can be caused by bad handling or minor accidents.

Over Grown Teeth and Nails:

This is caused by lack of material to chew on. Your veterinary surgeon may have to cut the teeth back.

Tyzzer’s Disease:

This is very serious and usually causes death. Symptoms include lack of interest in food, tiredness and diarrhoea. Go to your veterinary surgeon right away.

Small Pets Corner