Gerbils have many different behaviors that may not be understood that well.
Here is a brief guide to gerbil behavior to gain a better understanding of some of the funny and not so funny things that they do.
A brief guide to gerbil behavior
Gerbils are chasing one another
If your gerbils are chasing one another, they maybe at play or maybe on heat. If however, they are chasing each other and this is followed by biting then this is not a good sign. Its at this stage you may need to separate them from each other.
A Gerbil is standing up on their hind legs sniffing the air
This means that they are testing the air and checking if there is any potential danger around. They will do this as soon as they sense something is not right and has attracted their attention.
A gerbil is lying in an opened nest
When the temperature in the room is comfortable for them, then they will look to open up their nest and not snuggle up in an enclosed space. When they open up their nest like this, this indicates that they are enjoying the environment they are in.
A gerbil is gnawing at a blade of grass
Gerbils love to gnaw on objects and it is one of their favorite things to do. It stops them from becoming bored, and most importantly it helps them grind down their teeth and stop them from growing to the point where they are painful for them.
Gerbils are sniffing each other
If you observe two gerbils sniffing each other, this means they are trying to find out if they are members of the same brood. This is very important to gerbils as they only feel safe with gerbils that are from the same clan. They will look to fight those that are from different clans, but will react very differently to those from the same clan.
One gerbil cleaning another
This is where one gerbil will clean another member of the same clan with its paws and its teeth. It’s a social behavior used to forge bonds between clan members.
One gerbil kicking another
When one gerbil stands on its back legs and kicks another with their front legs. This is a sign of social dominance. If they start to chase one another after this, it may be time to split them.
A gerbil is thumping their hind feet
If you see a gerbil thumping their hind feet, then this means that they are upset, afraid or surprised.
A gerbil has its tail high in the air
If all four legs are on the floor and their eyes are wide open with their tail high in the air, this means that they are alert to danger. The high tail is a sign that they are alert to something.
One gerbil is showing their side to another
This means that they are sparring, trying to establish dominance showing their sides to one another and arching their backs. This activity is known as side showing. It can also be used to impress the other or try and avoid conflict.