Gerbils are lively little animals and need lots of space. They’re natural diggers and will need to be able to burrow as well as run around above ground. With the right enclosure, you can give your gerbils their own adventure playground!
Specialist gerbilariums provide the best home for your gerbils. These are large enclosures with a plastic tank below a large, wire living area. You can buy gerbilariums from local pet shops.
You can make your gerbilarium a fun and comfortable place to live by:
- Choosing one that’s as large as possible so your gerbils have enough room to exercise.
- Making sure the wire living area is tall enough, as gerbils like to stand upright on their hind legs.
- Filling the tank with good burrowing material. Potting compost is ideal. This gives your gerbils somewhere to dig to their heart’s content and they’ll get plenty of exercise.
- Providing a quiet, comfy nest box for your gerbils to sleep in. You can read more about this below.
- Setting up a dust bath for your gerbils to help keep their coat in good condition. You can use chinchilla sand for your gerbil dust bath and this is available from pet shops.
Nest boxes: a place for your gerbil to hide and rest
Your gerbils will need a quiet, cosy nest box in their gerbilarium. This will give them somewhere to hide if they feel frightened and a place to sleep during the day.
- Give them lots of pet-safe bedding to create a cosy nest with. Shredded white kitchen roll is ideal.
- Don’t give them newspaper to use as the ink is toxic for small pets.
- Don’t use cotton wool. It can cause dangerous blockages in their gut if they eat any. Cotton wool can also get wrapped around your gerbil’s legs and stop them from moving properly.
The best spot in your home to keep your gerbilarium
Our homes can be noisy, stressful places for small pets like gerbils. Think carefully about where in you’ll put your gerbilarium. Ideally, it will be somewhere:
- Indoors, out of draughts and direct sunlight.
- Somewhere warm, so your adult gerbils will be kept at around 20-22°C.
- Away from busy, noisy areas and not close to TVs or music systems. Noise and vibrations can make your gerbils stressed.
- Safe from any prowling predators, like the family cat!
Keeping your gerbils clean
It’s important to clean out your gerbilarium regularly to make sure it’s a safe and hygienic place for your pets to live.
- Clean out your gerbilarium every two to three weeks. You might need to clean it more often if it gets dirty quickly.
- Give it a deep clean every three months. Replace all of the burrowing material and give the tank and cage a thorough wash with a pet-safe cleaner. You can buy suitable cleaning products in pet shops or from our online pet store.