What Do Gerbils Need In Their Cage – As winter’s chill descends and snow blankets the world outside, it’s essential to remember that our beloved gerbil companions, with their delicate constitution, require special care to thrive in the colder months. Gerbils, small and inquisitive rodents known for their boundless energy, depend on us to provide them with a safe and comfortable environment during winter. In this guide, we will explore the crucial elements that constitute a gerbil’s winter habitat, ensuring they stay happy and healthy throughout the season.

Gerbils, native to arid regions of Africa and Asia, are naturally adapted to warm climates. Unlike their wild counterparts, our pet gerbils cannot escape the dropping temperatures or sudden drafts that winter brings. Therefore, it is our responsibility as caregivers to transform their cages into cozy sanctuaries, mimicking the warmth and comfort they need to thrive.

What Do Gerbils Need In Their Cage

This guide will delve into several key factors to consider when creating a winter-ready gerbil habitat. We will explore the importance of maintaining an ideal temperature range within the cage to prevent hibernation, a dangerous condition for gerbils. We’ll also discuss the significance of bedding materials, which provide insulation and comfort, as well as the necessity of proper lighting to mimic natural daylight patterns and keep our gerbils active and engaged.

What is the best thing to put in a gerbil cage?

Adding new toilet paper rolls and heavy cardboard boxes daily will keep your gerbils entertained. “Because of their indiscriminate chewing, avoid plastic tubes, plastic toys and plastic houses or hideaways,” Hanna says.

Creating a stimulating and comfortable environment for gerbils in their cage is essential for their physical and mental well-being. The best things to put in a gerbil cage should prioritize their natural instincts and needs.

Bedding: Start with a layer of safe and absorbent bedding material, such as aspen shavings, paper-based bedding, or coconut fiber. This provides a comfortable surface for your gerbils to burrow and dig, which is an essential natural behavior for them. Ensure the bedding is at least a few inches deep to allow for digging tunnels and creating cozy nests.

Toys and Enrichment: Gerbils are active and curious creatures, so they need plenty of mental and physical stimulation. Include items like tunnels, exercise wheels, and wooden chew toys in their cage. These help them stay mentally engaged and maintain their dental health by gnawing on them. Add branches, rocks, or cardboard for climbing and exploration. Additionally, hide treats or food in various spots within the cage to encourage foraging behavior and keep them entertained.

Hideouts and Nesting Materials: Gerbils appreciate hiding places and nesting materials to feel secure. Provide small wooden houses or tunnels for privacy and a sense of safety. Additionally, offer soft materials like hay, shredded tissue paper, or unscented toilet paper for them to gather and build nests. This allows them to exhibit their natural nesting behaviors and keeps them comfortable.

Regularly clean the cage to maintain hygiene and prevent health issues. A well-equipped gerbil cage that caters to their physical and mental needs will lead to happier and healthier pets.

What do gerbils love the most?

Other nutritious snacks gerbils enjoy include popcorn, unflavored cereal, cheese, chestnuts, insects, nuts, seeds, eggs, hay, and wholemeal bread.

Gerbils are social and active creatures that have specific preferences when it comes to what they love the most. Here are three key aspects that gerbils tend to adore:

Companionship: Gerbils are highly social animals and thrive when they have the company of other gerbils. They love to interact, groom, and play with their cage mates. In fact, it’s often recommended to keep gerbils in same-sex pairs or small groups to prevent loneliness and ensure their well-being. The companionship of other gerbils provides mental stimulation and emotional support, making it one of the things they cherish the most.

Burrowing and Tunneling: Gerbils have a natural instinct to burrow and dig tunnels. They absolutely love to create intricate underground networks within their cage. Providing deep bedding, like aspen shavings or paper-based substrate, allows them to indulge in this behavior. It satisfies their natural instincts, offers them a sense of security, and keeps them physically active, making it a top favorite among gerbils.

Chew Toys: Gerbils have ever-growing teeth that require constant chewing to keep them at a healthy length. They love wooden chew toys and objects made of safe, untreated wood. These items not only help maintain their dental health but also provide mental stimulation and entertainment. Offering a variety of wooden toys keeps gerbils engaged and happy, as they can gnaw on them to their heart’s content.

Gerbils love companionship, burrowing and tunneling opportunities, and chew toys. Meeting these needs ensures that gerbils are content, active, and live a fulfilling life in captivity.

What do gerbils need to be happy?

Great Cage Setup

You’ll need to add a few inches of bedding, hides, and a water bottle. Choose safe substrates that allow your pet to burrow down a bit. While gerbils are quite clean, you’ll need to remove waste and uneaten food daily, as well as provide fresh water. Temperature is another thing to consider.

To ensure the happiness and well-being of gerbils, it’s essential to meet their specific needs:

Companionship: Gerbils are social animals that thrive in the company of their own kind. They are happiest when housed with same-sex cage mates, preferably a pair or small group, as this allows them to engage in social interactions, grooming, and play. Isolation can lead to loneliness and stress, which can adversely affect their mental health. Providing gerbils with the companionship they need is a primary factor in keeping them happy.

Enrichment: Gerbils are naturally active and curious creatures. To keep them happy, it’s crucial to provide an enriched environment. This includes a spacious cage with bedding for burrowing and digging, tunnels for exploration, an exercise wheel for physical activity, and a variety of safe chew toys to stimulate their minds and keep their teeth healthy. Regularly rotating and adding new toys and hiding treats within the cage can also provide mental stimulation and prevent boredom.

Proper Diet and Clean Environment: A well-balanced diet, consisting of high-quality gerbil pellets, fresh vegetables, and occasional treats, is essential for their happiness and health. Access to clean, fresh water is also crucial. Additionally, maintaining a clean cage by regularly changing bedding, cleaning food and water containers, and removing waste is vital to prevent odors and ensure a hygienic living environment, which contributes to their overall happiness.

Gerbils need companionship, an enriched environment with opportunities for mental and physical stimulation, and a clean and healthy living space to be happy. Meeting these needs helps ensure that gerbils lead content and fulfilling lives in captivity.

What Do Gerbils Need In Their Cage

What do you put at the bottom of a gerbil cage?

Use absorbent bedding such as recycled paper bedding or dust-free Aspen shavings. Avoid pine and cedar shavings since the fumes are harmful to gerbils. You can also use plain, shredded paper that does not have any newsprint on it.

The bottom of a gerbil cage should be lined with an appropriate bedding material that serves several important purposes for the well-being of your gerbils. Here’s what you should put at the bottom of a gerbil cage:

Bedding Material: The primary material to use is bedding. There are several options available, but it’s important to choose one that is safe, absorbent, and conducive to burrowing. Popular choices include aspen shavings, paper-based bedding, or coconut fiber substrate. These materials provide a soft and comfortable surface for your gerbils to walk on, burrow in, and create nests. Ensure that the bedding is at least a few inches deep to allow your gerbils to engage in their natural digging and tunneling behaviors.

Nesting Material: In addition to the bedding, you can also provide nesting material. Gerbils love to gather soft materials like hay, shredded tissue paper, or unscented toilet paper to build nests. This helps them create cozy, secure spaces where they can rest and rear their young if you have a breeding pair. Nesting material should be scattered throughout the cage to encourage their natural nesting behaviors.

Spot Cleaning: Regular spot cleaning is essential to maintain a clean and hygienic living environment for your gerbils. Remove soiled bedding and waste daily to prevent odors and the buildup of harmful bacteria. This ensures that your gerbils are living in a clean and healthy environment.

The bottom of a gerbil cage should have a suitable bedding material that allows for burrowing and digging, along with nesting materials to promote natural behaviors. Regular spot cleaning is also crucial to maintain hygiene and the overall well-being of your gerbils.

What is the primary purpose of providing bedding material in a gerbil’s cage?

Providing bedding material in a gerbil’s cage serves several important purposes, all of which contribute to the well-being and health of these small rodents.

Bedding material helps maintain proper hygiene within the gerbil’s enclosure. Gerbils are naturally clean animals, and they tend to use a specific area of their cage as a toilet. Bedding material helps absorb urine and feces, preventing these waste products from coming into direct contact with the gerbils and reducing odors. This promotes a cleaner and more sanitary living environment, which is crucial for the gerbils’ health and comfort.

Bedding material provides insulation and comfort for gerbils. Gerbils are burrowing animals by nature, and they enjoy digging and tunneling in their bedding. Bedding allows them to engage in these natural behaviors, which provides mental stimulation and physical exercise. It also helps regulate their body temperature, keeping them warm in cooler environments and providing a soft, comfortable surface for rest.

Bedding material plays a role in the overall environmental enrichment of a gerbil’s cage. By providing a substrate for digging and nesting, it encourages natural behaviors, reducing boredom and stress. Gerbils may also use bedding to build nests, especially when they are pregnant or nursing. This nesting behavior is essential for the well-being of their young.

The primary purpose of providing bedding material in a gerbil’s cage is to maintain hygiene, offer comfort and insulation, and promote natural behaviors and environmental enrichment. Choosing the right type of bedding, such as aspen shavings, paper-based bedding, or other safe options, is crucial to ensure the health and happiness of your pet gerbils.

Why is companionship important for the happiness of gerbils in their cage?

Companionship is highly important for the happiness and well-being of gerbils when they are kept in a cage. Gerbils are social animals by nature, and in the wild, they live in family groups or colonies. This social structure is deeply ingrained in their behavior, and it carries over into their captive environment. Here are several reasons why companionship is crucial for gerbil happiness:

Social Interaction: In their natural habitat, gerbils interact with each other for various activities, including grooming, playing, and even cuddling for warmth and security. When kept alone in a cage, gerbils may experience loneliness and boredom, leading to stress and unhappiness. Companionship provides them with the opportunity for social interactions that are essential for their mental and emotional well-being.

Mental Stimulation: Gerbils are intelligent creatures that thrive on mental stimulation. Interacting with a cage mate or a small group of gerbils can keep them mentally engaged and active. They engage in activities such as grooming each other, exploring their environment together, and even play-fighting, which can prevent boredom and ensure a more enriched and fulfilling life.

Emotional Support: Gerbils form strong bonds with their cage mates, and these relationships provide emotional support and security. Companionship can help reduce stress and anxiety in gerbils, as they have a trusted friend to rely on in times of uncertainty. A single gerbil may become anxious or agitated without the presence of a companion, leading to undesirable behaviors and potential health issues.

Physical Health: Companionship can also have positive effects on a gerbil’s physical health. Gerbils are known to groom each other, which helps in maintaining their fur and cleanliness. Additionally, the presence of a cage mate can encourage exercise and physical activity, preventing obesity and related health problems.

It’s important to note that when introducing gerbils to companions, proper care should be taken to ensure they are compatible and have enough space to coexist harmoniously. Gerbils of the same sex are typically better suited as cage mates to avoid breeding and potential conflicts. Overall, providing companionship for gerbils in their cage is essential for their happiness, mental stimulation, and overall quality of life.

What Do Gerbils Need In Their Cage

How can you promote mental stimulation and physical activity in a gerbil’s cage?

Promoting mental stimulation and physical activity in a gerbil’s cage is essential for their overall well-being and happiness. Here are some effective ways to achieve this:

Provide Enriching Toys and Accessories: Offer a variety of toys and accessories that encourage exploration and play. Gerbils love items like tunnels, hideaways, and wooden chew toys. Exercise wheels, specifically designed for gerbils, can provide both mental stimulation and physical activity as they run on them. Rotating these toys and adding new ones periodically can keep your gerbils engaged and prevent boredom.

Create a Burrowing Environment: Mimic their natural habitat by providing a deep layer of safe bedding material, such as aspen shavings or paper-based bedding. This allows gerbils to dig, tunnel, and build nests. You can also hide treats or food throughout the bedding, encouraging them to forage and use their natural digging instincts.

Rotate Cage Layout: Change the layout of their cage periodically to create novelty and mental challenges. Rearrange toys, move their hideouts, or introduce new climbing structures to keep them engaged. Gerbils are curious creatures, and a changing environment provides mental stimulation.

Offer Foraging Opportunities: Scatter their food around the cage rather than placing it all in a bowl. This encourages them to search for their food, mimicking their foraging behavior in the wild. You can also use foraging toys or puzzle feeders designed for small rodents to make mealtime more mentally stimulating.

Regular Playtime Outside the Cage: Allow your gerbils to have supervised playtime outside of their cage in a secure and gerbil-proofed space. This not only provides physical exercise but also offers mental stimulation as they explore new surroundings.

Interaction with Companions: If you have multiple gerbils, their interactions with each other can be a significant source of mental stimulation and physical activity. Ensure they have compatible cage mates and enough space to interact positively. Gerbils often engage in play-fighting and grooming, which are natural social behaviors.

By incorporating these strategies into your gerbils’ cage setup and daily routine, you can help keep them mentally stimulated and physically active, contributing to their overall health and happiness in captivity. Remember to always prioritize their safety and well-being when introducing new toys or making changes to their environment.

What types of materials can gerbils use for nesting within their cage?

Gerbils are known for their instinct to build nests, especially when they are preparing to give birth or seeking comfort and security. Providing suitable nesting materials in their cage is essential to fulfill this natural behavior. Here are some types of materials that gerbils can use for nesting:

Tissue or Toilet Paper: Plain, unscented tissue or toilet paper is a popular nesting material for gerbils. Tear or crumple the paper into small pieces and scatter it throughout the cage. Gerbils will use these soft materials to create cozy nests for sleeping and raising their young.

Hay or Straw: Small amounts of clean, dry hay or straw can be used as nesting material. It provides structure and insulation for the nest. However, avoid using hay or straw in excess, as it can be quite scratchy, and gerbils may ingest it, which can lead to digestive issues.

Shredded Cardboard: Pieces of shredded, untreated cardboard can serve as nesting material. Cardboard is readily available, and gerbils can shred it to create a comfortable and warm nest. Ensure the cardboard is free from any adhesives or inks.

Unscented, Plain Tissues or Paper Towels: Similar to tissue paper, unscented and uncolored paper towels can be torn into strips and provided as nesting material. These materials are soft and easily manipulated by gerbils to construct their nests.

Kleenex or Facial Tissues: Plain, unscented Kleenex or facial tissues can also be used. Gerbils can shred them and arrange them to their liking. Ensure there are no added fragrances or lotions on the tissues.

Commercial Nesting Material: Some pet stores sell specialized nesting material made from safe, natural fibers. These products are designed with small animals like gerbils in mind and are often a convenient option for providing suitable nesting materials.

When offering nesting materials to gerbils, it’s essential to ensure that the materials are clean, free from any chemicals or contaminants, and non-toxic. Additionally, observe your gerbils to make sure they are using the materials appropriately and not ingesting excessive amounts, which could lead to health issues. Providing the right nesting materials helps gerbils feel secure, comfortable, and better equipped to exhibit their natural nesting behaviors.


Providing the ideal winter habitat for your gerbils is a vital aspect of responsible pet ownership. As we’ve explored in this guide, gerbils are creatures of comfort, and they rely on us to safeguard their well-being during the colder months. By addressing their specific needs, you can ensure that your gerbils not only survive but also thrive during winter.

Hydration and nutrition should not be overlooked, especially when freezing temperatures can cause water bottles to ice over. Employing heated water dispensers or providing warm water can help ensure a steady supply of fresh water. Adjusting their diet slightly to include more high-energy foods can also help your gerbils stay warm and maintain their weight during the winter months.

What Do Gerbils Need In Their Cage

As you embark on this journey to care for your gerbils during the winter, remember that your role as a caregiver is paramount. Your attention to detail, diligence in meeting their needs, and the love you provide will ensure that your gerbils not only endure the winter but also continue to bring warmth and happiness to your life year-round.

As the snow falls and the temperatures drop, take pride in the knowledge that you are providing the best possible care for your gerbil companions, allowing them to thrive in their cozy winter retreat. Together, you can look forward to many more seasons of shared happiness and companionship.