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How To Take Care Of Gerbils: A General List

All animals need to drink water in able to survive. Gerbils are a desert species, and have adapted to harsh, hot, arid conditions – however, pet gerbils still need 24-hour access water. Check their water bottle daily to make sure it isn’t blocked, and refill it every second day with fresh water.

hamster needs
Pet gerbils need a constant supply of fresh water

Make sure the gerbil cage is in a suitable location in your home

Gerbils appreciate peace and quiet, so you need to pick the right spot in your home for their enclosure. It should be somewhere quiet, away from loud noises such as TVs, washing machines, and running water. It also needs to be in a relatively peaceful room, not in the middle of the living room where kids and visitors are constantly moving in and out.

Gerbils don’t like draughts and up-and-down temperatures, so choose somewhere away from direct sunlight, draughts, radiators, ventilation systems, and other sources of fluctuating heat or cold air.

Ensure that other pets can’t access the cage. Understandably, gerbils can be freaked out by cats or dogs eyeing them. Minimise the stress by keeping other pets away.

Have an enclosure large enough for your animals

A good, gerbil-friendly enclosure is the number one priority when housing gerbils. This will be the space in which they spend the vast majority of their lives, so get them the biggest and best you can afford. When you’re figuring out what size you need, don’t forget that each gerbil needs a certain amount of space. For more information on gerbil housing, have a look at our Gerbil Housing pages.

gerbils need an enclosure
There are lots of different housing options for gerbils - our Qute is designed to provide your pets with a wonderful home

Clean them out regularly

Gerbils like to keep very clean, but there’s only so much they can do to tidy their enclosure. You’ll need to clean them out on a regular basis, ideally once a week. See here for more advice cleaning your gerbils’ cage.

Provide toys

Pet gerbils live in the same confined space all their lives, and so appreciate some extra stimulation. Pets need some mental stimulation, and so we advise purchasing or making toys for your pets to enjoy, such as bridges and tunnels.

hamster needs
Gerbils like to explore and play with toys, to liven up their environment

Take them out for exercise

Once they’re used to having you around, gerbils enjoy being taken from their enclosure for a cuddle and a chance to stretch their legs in a safe space. The best thing to do is to create a small enclosure for them run around in. Keep an eye on them, though! Gerbils are very good at escaping.

A more secure option is that old classic, the exercise ball.

Carry out regular them health checks

A quick visual check-up will help you make sure that everything is well with your gerbils. You do this yourself - see our Health Checks section for more information.

Customer Images


Hailey, 20 February 2022

Can gerbils come outside when it's 43 degrees

Alyssa, 24 February 2020

buy another ball or take them inside your house.

Myrna, 8 October 2019

What do I do when there's a lizard in the back yard and I'm changing my gerbils tanks ( I have 2) but 1 ball and there both hyper

Myrna, 8 October 2019

What do I do when there's a lizard in the back yard and I'm changing my gerbils tanks ( I have 2) but 1 ball and there both hyper

Poppy, 25 March 2018