Playing with your Gerbil can be fun!

Playing with your gerbil

Everybody needs somebody and you’re not the only one. Sometimes a person finds his or her true companion not in another human being but in a pet. As the famous adage goes, a dog is a man’s best friend. However not all of us can afford to keep a dog as our pet. It has its inherent hassles of feeding, sanitizing and moreover, a dog is expensive to keep.

Instead we can opt for something much smaller and yet still provide ourselves with an equivalent amount of fun. No one is replaceable but companionship is something which may be found in the quirkiest of animals. Say for example a gerbil. Gerbils are members of the rodent family and despite their tiny size they have been a steady source of happiness for countless people around the globe.

Since 1964, the popularity of gerbils as household pets has constantly been on the rise. As with human beings, one needs to be careful while building up his/her relationship with a gerbil. The main thing is that you have to gradually win over its trust. There are several ways of doing this and some of them are mentioned below.

First of all, allow the gerbil to discover you. Discovering a gerbil’s nature consciously and gradually helps the gerbil to better apprehend its master’s moves. Sit close to the cage or move about gently, allowing the gerbil to register your looks and your voice. Hopefully, your gerbil will not bite you or scratch you. Don’t shove your hand into its cage or pick it up suddenly during the initial stages of bonding. Rather let the gerbil familiarize itself with you and get to know your touch and smell.

Spending time with your pet always helps to bring you both closer. Gently stroke its head or softly pat its back. Even though gerbils are by nature very fidgety and restless, it is essential that you allow it to become accustomed to your touch.

Sometimes you will want to open the enclosure and allow the gerbil to play outside. But remember that gerbils have a penchant for escaping or hiding. So make sure all windows, cabinet and closet doors are closed so that it doesn’t accidentally get lost. It helps to keep the gerbil exercised and happy. Give the gerbil something to chew on as they need to keep their ever growing teeth trimmed and in proper shape.

Under no circumstances, should you pick up the gerbil by its tail. Always place your hand next to it and scoop it up, when it’s nicely and comfortably seated in your palm. Do not introduce non-biodegradable items such as plastic into the enclosure as gerbils will unknowingly chew them and fall sick.

Try to rev up the fun quotient of your gerbils’ enclosure by making a maze out of cardboard, with various levels, twists and turns thrown in to provide them with mental and physical stimulation.

About the Author

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 three very spoiled cats.

9 Comments on "Playing with your Gerbil can be fun!"

  1. Great advice! Believe it or not I have actually heard a pet shop employe tell me that the best way to pick up a gerbil was by its tail (but they also couldn’t tell me whether their gerbils were male or female). Luckily, I decided not to purchase my gerbils there. Are you sure that letting your gerbil run free in an enclosed room is a good idea? It seems like a gerbil could crawl in a heating vent or under a door, and it would be impossible to get your hands on the gerbil when it has the freedom to scamper around the room. Aside from that, I think your advice is very good. Thanks!


  3. If your gerbil wants to chew on something a really good chew toy is toilet paper rolls they don’t eat just chew on it my gerbil loves them.

  4. Trisha Knapp | March 15, 2016 at 10:52 pm |

    Hey so my friend had bought me a gerbil for my birthday. I play with her for 15-35 minutes multiple times a day, and I keep a wheel, chew toys, and plenty of shavings in her cage. I am also getting more toys for her to play with and a house for her. I have read that keeping a single gerbil is very unhealthy for them. I can’t get another one because my mother will not let me, she was actually pretty mad when she found out. I want her to have a happy life and so my question is are there any other things I could do to keep her happy. I don’t want her to be sad and bored and such. Any responses would be great. Thank you!

  5. Kennethjeali | January 21, 2017 at 10:36 pm |

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  7. I have two gerbils 1 boy 1 girl the boy is a baby but the girl is an adult the girl I had for about two years and the boy I had About 3 days my girl keeps sniffing my boy and tries walking toward him does that mean they are in love or they are fighting

  8. Trisha Knapp,
    I have one gerbil too! He is very playful but yes, he does often get lonely. My reason and your reason are the same of why we can not get another. If your gerbil seems lonely or sad at times, that’s when YOU become the other gerbil. You play with your gerbil and if she is spoiled rotten and happy, then she will be okay. I understand, because my boy gerbil often gets lonely. But because I wasn’t quite sure about his gender when I got him, my mom won’t let me get another either. There are More reasons why, but that’s the main reason. Thanks or commenting about that. It makes me feel like I’m not the only one who is housing one gerbil. 🙂

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