Category Archives: Pet Gerbil FAQs

are gerbils nocturnal

Is My Gerbil Overweight?

It is easy to think that a gerbil is overweight. They are veracious eaters and consume anything in their sight that they take their fancy to.

This is why it is important that they get the exercise that they need to as they need to work off the food that they eat.

Also, they need the food that they eat to give them energy to move around as much as they do.

So the question is ‘Is my gerbil overweight?’

The one way to find this out is to look at the average weight for a gerbil.

The average adult weight for male: 80-110 grams
·The average adult weight for female: 70-100 grams

If your gerbil is tame enough then you can try and weigh it and get a good idea of how it compares to the average adult weight.

What if my gerbil is overweight?

If your gerbil is overweight, there are some simple things you can do to remedy the situation.

Regulate what you feed your gerbil.

Stay away from fatty foods and mixes. Use plain oats and alfalfa pellets. Don’t feed them too much.

A cup of plain oats or alfalfa pellets once a week will suffice for them. Ensure they are eating the whole amount and not just seeds which are fatty.

Make sure they get plenty of opportunities to exercise.

If they don’t have a wheel to exercise on, then install one or get a cage or tank that is big enough to have a large one and for them to run around in.

If they don’t have a wheel to exercise on, then install one or get a cage or tank that is big enough to have a large one and for them to run around in.

You can also use a gerbil ball for them to run around in if you are so inclined

do gerbils bury their food

Do Gerbils Bury Their Food?

Gerbils love food.

As prey creatures they will look to forage for food as much as they can.

They don’t tend to discriminate what food they look for but will look to keep it safe once they find it.

So do gerbils bury their food when they find it?

Yes they do bury their food.

They do this because they want to prevent other creatures from getting to it.

They are very protective of their food, it is an instinct to do so for them.

Even if you use a food dish to put their food in, they will bury the food in the tank or cage.

Once they bury their food, there is a danger that they wont find it once it has hidden.

However, they have a keen sense of smell and very good foraging instincts which means that they will find it.

Even if their food is hidden under six inches of bedding, a gerbil will  be able to find it.

So how do you try and stop gerbils from burying their food?

Keeping track of their food can be tricky.

If you want to keep track on their food, start by measuring what they consume and make sure its in small and regular amounts.

You can keep track of it more easily if you so wish and you can even count out and count in the gerbil muesli/pellets if you so wish.

It may get tiresome to do so, bury if you want to keep track of their food, this is the best way.


3 Reasons Why Gerbils Bite

Why do gerbils bite?

There are 3 reasons bite;

  1. Because their teeth a constantly growing they always need to be gnawing something. This way they can grind their teeth down and stop them from hurting. They may mistake your finger for something to gnaw on if you pick them up or poke your hand in their enclosure.
  2. If they are afraid they will bite to defend themselves.
  3. If they are upset, they will attack. They are known to attack other gerbils who are strangers to them. This is quite common with gerbils from different families that have been introduced to each other.




How Big Do Gerbils Get?

How big do gerbils get?

When they are born, they usually weigh between 2.5 to 3.5g. They are born without hair, without sight and without the ability to hear.

Over the next four weeks, their ears and eyes will open, hair will start to grow. They will also begin to suckle.

From four weeks old, they will start to increase in size daily now they have begun taking food.

They will reach full size by 6 months, which is when they reach full maturity.

At full maturity, gerbils typically weigh between 56 grams and 113 grams. Their body typically measures between 10-15cm and their tail is around the same length.



Why Do Gerbils Need An Exercise Wheel?

Why do gerbils need an exercise wheel?

Gerbils are extremely active creatures who love to gnaw, entertain and play with one another. Because of their activity and the fact they are always on the move they need something to give the exercise in the confined spaces that they live.

Yes they do need an exercise wheel because they need to be kept active.

An exercise wheel is ideal to keep them physically and mentally fit.

An idea exercise wheel for gerbils needs to be solid, or wire mesh so that they don’t get their tails tangled up. It should be about 8 inches in diameter.

7 Signs Of A Neglected Gerbil

Although gerbils are fantastic pets to have, there are unfortunately too many cases where a Gerbil has been neglected by an owner.

These are 7 signs of a neglected Gerbil to help spot the tale tale signs of a Gerbil who needs immediate attention.

1. They are sneezing
2. They have a runny nose
3. Their eyes are watery
4. They have diarrhea.
5.They seem lethargic
6. Their head is tilted back slightly.
7. They have scabs on their feet, face or ears.

If they do have any of the above symptoms, it could be that they may have wet tail which is a name for a common life threatening disease to gerbils which is caused by stress or even a dirty cage.

Can Gerbils Gnaw Through Metal Cage Bars?

So can gerbils gnaw through metal cage bars at all?

If they have enough time to gnaw through cage bars they will try. However it will take them a long time to do so.

They have very sharp teeth and so constant and consistent gnawing at the same bar will eventually ware it down.

When they gnaw on bars there is a real risk of them developing problems on their mouths such as broken teeth or even mouth sores.

This can give them real issues with eating.

This is why metal cages are not the best option for them.

How Do Gerbils Get Mites?

As most pet owners will testify, it is very easy for rodents to get mites and gerbils aren’t immune to them.

An infestation of mites is not a big problem for gerbils, however it is necessary to treat them so that the mites do not cause your gerbil big problems.

Gerbils who have mites will usually have the following symptoms;

  • They will be scratching and grooming themselves more than usual.
  • They  will evidence tiny red, black or see-through dots that are moving around in their cages, bedding or their fur.
  • They are seen their young where they are not fully laden with fur.
  • They will often get a rumpled coat