Cage & Habitat

A gerbil needs a proper home where he is safe, secure, and happy. The home needs places for your pet to sleep, eat, play, and run around. Gerbils are chewers so the cage needs to be secure enough to prevent an accidental escape.

Your pet’s home should be kept out of direct sunlight and away from drafty areas. Below is a list of all the items needed for your gerbil to have a perfect habitat.

Wire Cage
A wire cage that is around 10″ by 20″ is adequate for two gerbils. With wire cages you want to make sure the bars are spaced close enough together so that a gerbil can’t squeeze through and escape.

Glass Tank
A ten gallon, or larger, glass tank also makes a good home for a pair of gerbils. The tank would require a wire mesh cover to prevent escape and possible injury from other pets. Glass tanks have the added benefit of preventing your pet from kicking bedding out of the cage and creating a mess.

Tube Cage
Tube cages are expandable with lots of tunnels, toys, and tubes. The number of ways to create exciting areas for your gerbils to explore is almost limitless.

For two gerbils, a 10″ x 20″ cage or tank is a good size, but bigger is always better when it comes to your pets’ home. The larger their habitat, the more places they will have to play and explore, making them happier pets. The more gerbils you have the larger the habitat needed.

Cage Supplies
A gerbil’s cage needs to be filled with all the items necessary to keep him happy, healthy, and entertained. Sources of food and water, places to sleep, and toys are all required for your pet’s happiness.

Water Bottle
Gerbils don’t need a lot of water but they do need a steady source of water. A small stoppered water bottle that can be attached to the side of the cage works best.

Food Dish
A heavy ceramic bowl is a great way to supply your pets with food. It can’t be chewed and is difficult for them to spill.

Gerbils need a few inches of bedding or substrate on the bottom of the cage. They use the bedding to burrow, dig, and build nests. The bedding also aids in absorbing smells.

There are a variety of commercial bedding available. Those made from recycled paper, wood, and corncob work well. Pine or cedar substrates should be avoided since they can be harmful to your pets.

Gerbils chew a lot and cardboard gives them something to chew on. Chewing is necessary for gerbils to prevent their teeth from over growing. The easiest way to supply your pets with cardboard is to use leftover paper towel and toilet paper rolls. Don’t use egg cartons or wax coated cardboard because they could make your pets ill.

A couple small nesting boxes or hide areas in the cage would be greatly appreciated by your gerbils. Placing some unscented toilet paper in the cage for use as nesting material will also help them create a cozy place to sleep.

Enrichment is all the toys and accessories in the cage that make it a perfect home. Gerbils love to play, burrow, climb, and explore so tunnels, tubes, branches, ramps and an exercise wheel make exciting additions to their cage. Getting a variety of toys and exchanging some out each week will keep their home fun and exciting.

Each week you should wash the food bowl and water bottle and supply fresh water. Every couple weeks, or as needed, you should also wash other parts of the cage that smell with soapy water. Be sure to dry everything before putting items back in the cage.

Over cleaning the cage can create stress for gerbils since you are messing up their home. So only clean the entire cage when necessary.

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