Monthly Archives: May 2017

Gerbils v hamsters: Who makes the best pet?

Are gerbils better pets thah hamsters?
Are gerbils and hamsters the same?
Are gerbils nicer
Are gerbils bigger?

Pros:
– Friendly and curious, will go to investigate if you put a new item in their cage/gerbilarium.
– Don’t smell like hammies, because they are desert animals and do not drink or eat much.
– Can learn you by smell and climb into your hand.
– Love to dig and make extensive tunnels, if they are in a clear aquarium when doing so you can see their little underground cities. Fun to watch. ^^
– Won’t bite or nibble as much as hamsters, however, any animal CAN bite, this is just saying that gerbils don’t tend to do it as often as other small critters.
– Easy to hold once they get used to you.
– More intelligent than most people think…although they are like cats, intelligent but not necessarily willing to be “trained.”
– If they know you well, they can be taught to take food from your hand. I reccommend starting with sunflower seeds and holding them in front of the gerb with the pointed side facing them.
– Are extremely dexterous and can eat, wash their face, burrow, etc. with their small and delicate front paws…yet at the same time their large and powerful back legs are built for running and jumping. Gerbils can jump very high and become escape artists if the lid is left off of their cage.
– The lifespan of a gerbil is significantly longer than that of most other small rodent species. Whereas a hamster lives only 2-3 years, a gerbil can live anywhere from 3-5 or even SIX wonderful years if properly cared for, is living with a cagemate, and has never been bred.
– Gerbils are not nocturnal like other small rodents, they are awake during large parts and the day and are for the most part asleep when we are, so no noisy wheel-running to wake you up in the middle of the night! x3

Cons:
– Are Master escape artist
– Need at least a day or two alone in their new cage when they are at their new home to adjust to their surroundings.
– Need TONS of chewing material. As their teeth are constantly growing, if they go too long without material to knaw on their teeth will literally grow into their bottom jaw, preventing them from eating. Very serious matter, so always keep your gerbil stocked with toilet paper tubes and other wooden toys or things. Not only does it provide dental care, it’s also fun for them. Keep in mind, no plastic, rubber, or cotton can be used as chewing material.

One more side note. This is VERY important. Gerbils are highly social animals and should ALWAYS be kept in pairs or trios of the same gender [unless you want to breed, but for a first time owner that’s not advisable.] For males, two or three is a fine number, but girls should only be kept in pairs. They crave the companionship of other gerbils and will become very depressed and lonely without a cagemate. Never mix gerbils with other rodent species, however, and if you obtain two gerbils from seperate litters, make sure to introduce them properly through the “Split Cage Method” [do a google search, there’s lots of stuff about it.] PLEASE, Never keep gerbs alone. <3

** If you want a gerb to match your lifestyle, decide on their gender from the general differences in personality of male and female. Males are generally calmer and willing to sit in your hand for long periods of time without squirming, but are less likely to be active and running about in their cage. Females are more playful and inquisitive, but much harder to hold, as they want to constantly be
going someplace and doing something. Fun to watch but difficult to hold. [Please note these descriptions don’t obtain to all gerbils, only a majority.]

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HAMSTERS:

Pro’s:
They’re really cute.
After a while some will let you hold them.

Con’s.
They smell.
They are sooo noisy, They naw on the cage at night.
They’re nocturnal so they’ll be really noisy at night.
Some are really mean.
They are master escape artists.