How to Clean a Gerbil Cage

Cleaning gerbil cages

Cleanliness is very important, especially for your pets. Keeping a pet is a lot of fun but it also needs a lot of effort. You must keep your gerbil’s cage clean at all times. On average cleaning should be undertaken once a week or at most once every two weeks. Remember that your pet gerbils will start to STINK if you neglect to clean the cage. Another thing that you must remember is to increase the frequency of cleaning if you have more than one gerbil or if they are living in an aquarium.

While you are cleaning their cage make sure you place them in a secure place so that they cannot escape. You can either put them in a running ball or a playpen. Another place where you can place them temporarily is in a bathtub. However make sure that the bathtub is dry and the plug-hole is blocked.

When cleaning do not throw out all of the old bedding. Keep some and mix it up with the new one. This allows the gerbils to know that it has its own scent and they will get accustomed to it quickly. The soiled bedding can be mixed with gardening manure to create a fertilizer.

You should use soap and warm water to clean the cage. Make sure there is no lingering smell of soap. If there is then rinse with vinegar water soaked in towels or with moist paper towels in order to get rid of the smell. Dry everything afterwards. There shouldn’t be any dampness left in the cage.

Do the same with the water bottle and the food bowl if there is one. Wash, dry and put in fresh water.

Check whether you have put everything back or not. Fresh bedding mixed with a bit of the old, water, food bowl, toys and nesting material

Any residual soap is harmful to your pet gerbil so you must be careful in removing all traces of it.

DO NOT use any other wood shaving other than aspen for the bedding. The others are hazardous because of their oil content.

written by

I'm a (fairly) old Welsh guy who writes about keeping small pets as hobby. I live in the beautiful Italian Alps with my long suffering partner and two very spoiled cats.

22 Responses to "How to Clean a Gerbil Cage"

  1. robin says:

    i love the info cause i have 2 gerbils my self there girls daysie shes the oldest shes 6 months. and then theres bonita shes 5 months and they love each other i just found out yesterday that one of my gerbils bonita has mites i am taking care of it but she sleeps alot and she does eat though but now shes getting better u have to make shure that you do realy take care of a gerbil that has mites cause like the article said it could be faitle but now she playing with her sister do u have any advises to breeding cause i want to breed but thats another story k thanks ttyal k bye.

  2. Paul says:

    Hi Robin thanks for dropping by. I’m sorry for the late reply but I’ve been away for a while.

    As for breeding your gerbils I wouldn’t suggest it unless you have already got definite confirmation that you have homes for them before they are born. I don’t know how old you are (I’m assuming you are young) but that would mean asking your prospective owners parents for confirmation and not taking the word of your friends.

    Be careful or you may end up with a lot of gerbils on your hands… :)

    Hope this helps

  3. Patty says:

    I have an older gerbel – approx 2 years and his belly seems to be all red. as if he was scratching himself for comfort. He does seem alittle slower than normal the last couple of weeks. Is his cage infected or is he getting sick? My daughter is very upset.
    Please help.

  4. Samellina Ballerina says:

    why dont they have any hair

  5. Alexis says:

    Does anyone know what happens when you put two of the same genders of gerbils together in one cage? Like two boys or two girls?

  6. Lexi says:

    Yes Alexis, they behave normally, but don’y breed. They might fight if one is younger or they haven’t been raised together. Also, if yuo plan on getting boys then you need three boys, but if yuo get girls then you only need two. Make sure to ask the store employee to check if it is a boy or girl, or if you want, you can look your self by simply turning it over and looking at it’s belly. If there are nipples, it’s a girl, if not, it’s a boy. This method works at four weeks and up. If they are younger than that, ask your vet.

  7. Lexi says:

    Ummm… on the first sentence, I meant to say “don’t”, not “don’y”. Heheh… oops… :D

  8. Lexi says:

    I also messed up on the first two yous. :l

  9. Lexi says:

    Paul, I need help. Wich are better, hamsters, or gerbils?

  10. olivia says:


  11. olivia says:

    Hey Patty I sugest taking your gerbil to the vet he might have mites. I know this message is late.

  12. Kristi says:

    Hey say that a person has mites and they play with ur gerbils can the gerbils get them from the person if they have been putting this cream they got from the doctor on?

  13. Lauri says:

    I have 3 wonderful little sister gerbils “The Allspice girls”; Pepper, Ginger and Clove. I’ve had them about 3 weeks. A couple of days ago I saw a wild house mouse running around in the room where my girls live and there were a few poops laying on the outside of thier habitat. Now when I’m sitting near them I’m feeling these occassional very painful bites, but I don’t see anything and I don’t get a rash or any lasting effect. It just hurts for a second. Now after reading this I am certain that my babies have mites. I will clean thier houses and wash everything but what about them? Is there a remedy that you can get over the counter like those little anti-mite disc shaped thingys that you would hang in a bird cage? Is it safe to use a tiny amount of flea/mite spray like you would use for your cat? We need relief fast! Please help us…

  14. Ty says:

    Thanks a lot for the article! It was extremely helpful!

  15. josh says:

    hi i might be getting some new gerbils can you guys give me some tips on looking after them

  16. josh says:

    have you guys got any names cas i cant think of any

  17. Grace says:

    Is getting two boy gerbils ok or is it better to get two girls, my limit amount for gerbils is two what’s the best combination ?

  18. Joey says:

    Probably A boy and a girl

  19. G J says:

    two girls to males will fight

  20. Heather says:

    I have two male gerbils, they don’t fight. However if you get a male and a female they could breed. So I would recommend either 2 males or 2 females.

  21. Heather says:

    Lauri, I would take your gerbils to the vets. They may have a remedy.

  22. Blakelee says:

    Are gerbils meaner than a hammie

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