Do gerbils make good pets? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Do gerbils make good pets?

I've kept rats, hamsters and Roborovski dwarf hamsters but never gerbils. What kind of pets do they make? Can you cuddle them like a rat or are they the type of pet that you watch rather than handle?

Also when I was very young my brother had a gerbil, it was not looked after very well at all, eventually he introduced it to another which it ate. I know this is horrible but I was very small and that's all I can remember. I'm sure this can't be normal behaviour.


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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 03:09 PM
 
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You not going to get any "no's" in a forum with gerbil lovers
Gerbils make wonderful pets.
They are not 'cuddly' pets (some are, but not most), they rather play and explore, they are always on the move.

Here is my mini list of The reason i love gerbils as pets;
- They Don't Smell. Yup no stink, they are desert animals so don't drink as much. You don't need to clean their tanks near as often as other rodents.
- they are active when I am. they are awake during the morning and evening, that would be during the coolest hours in the desert.
- Easliy tamed. They like people and are interested in everything. Like ferrets they want to explore everywhere.
- The can be housed in groups. Nothings cuter then watching a small tank of gerbils grooming each other or fighting over the last sunflower seed.
- They are hearty little guys. Don't usualy fall ill when living in a healthy enviroment
- And of course there are SO many different colours and combinations out there.

Gerbils are however territorial, and you cannot just drop a new buddy in for a playmate, otherwise they can fight to the death (90% of the time). If you have a lone gerbil the best way to get a new buddy for him or her is to get a young pup between 5-8 weeks old and split cgae them. If a pup is not available a Split Cage meathod can work with two adults but NEVER an esstablished clan to a lone gerbil.
Also female gerbisl are more territorial then males, so they should be kept inpairs or a group of 3. While most males can be kept in a bit larger groups usually.

here are some great gerbil information links -
http://www.agsgerbils.org/Gerbil_Car...ook/index.html
http://www.gerbils.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/

Hope some of that is helpful
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 03:20 PM
 
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I agree with Andrea. 8)

Gerbils are the kind of pet that, when well socialized, see you in front of their cage and start jumping for your attention, then, when you take them out, all the want to do is run around, either on top of you, or any other surface they have access, coming back to you for a quick sniff or to mark their scent on you, and then off to run around again. They are very agile, like to jump, burrow, kill their water bottles (right, Andrea? LOL). They are also very social, like with rats, you should have at least a same sex pair, but unlike rats, they are a lot more territorial and harder to introduce to another gerbil.
As far as health, like Andrea said, they are fairly healthy when properly cared, I've read that rats are very prone to tumors. However, they are prone to having seizures, specially when young. They are somewhat prone to scent gland tumors, but not much else. They are fairly long-lived for a rodent (2-3 years or more). They can be very silly, thus fun to watch. They aren't very prone to bite (unlike hamsters), they chew EVERYTHING in their cage.... what else... don't know what else to say... lol...
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your advice!

Right now we have Belle, my remaining ratty (sob) but in the future I fancy keeping a couple of gerbils, probably male. I thought about having mice but they have a shorter lifespan and I've read they get respiratory problems just like rats.

Would they be ok in a plastic tank or would it have to be glass like my brother had for his? I can't really lift a glass tank and it'd be me who cleaned them out.


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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 04:36 PM
 
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People generally prefer glass tanks for them, since they are big chewers. I have some of mine in sterilite bins and have kept them there for some time without any problem. It's up to you. However I don't suggest that you put them in those S.A.M. or crittertrail type of cage, as they barely have any space. A 10g tank would be OK for a pair of gerbils.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 05:29 PM
 
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10G tanks are super easy to dump, 15G's are allright and 20G's are a pain in the butt.
Cages shouldn't be used to house gerbils b/c of bar chewing and drafts, personally i find they are an awful mess, gerbils dig and toss litter everywhere.
I use a plastic bin as a hosue for a pair of girls, it has lots of room, and they haven't chewed through anything which is nice. They are also super cheap.
If i was to keep all my pairs in one single type of houseing it would be a 15G tank for sure.

(Oh and reptile tanks are lighter then fish tanks!)
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 07:20 PM
 
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I'd also say that Gerbils make good pets They are pretty fun to watch, especially if there's several in a rather large group.

I keep all 8 of my gerbils throughout two different cages. One for males, and one for females. So far, things have been going fine (no drafts or anything *knock on wood* lol) ...but as far as the whole "tossing the bedding everywhere" thing, it is a real pain in the ...butt. I'd say ever since I've got them I've had to vacuum my room nearly 3 times as much as I normally would. ...and yes, they are constantly chewing on the cage bars at night. It can sometimes be rather irking. I'm not sure what to think... like... are they misrable and want nothing to do with the cage? Or just bored? Thing with that is, the have plenty of toys already. So, you know.... after spending so much money on toys... you'd think they would be more amused playing on those than they would be chewing the cage bars. ...but I guess that's not always the case.

Blah, enough of my senseless rambling. Moving on... I like what Padfoot said...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Padfoot
I agree with Andrea. 8)

Gerbils are the kind of pet that, when well socialized, see you in front of their cage and start jumping for your attention, then, when you take them out, all the want to do is run around, either on top of you, or any other surface they have access, coming back to you for a quick sniff or to mark their scent on you, and then off to run around again.
I'd say that was pretty well said. My gerbils do this all the time! It drives me crazy. I'll walk in front of the cage, and they'll act like they want to come out and see me. So, I take them out. First thing they do as soon as I open the door is run up my arm and find a way to get down onto the floor where they can explore. Sometimes it's rather funny how they're so fickle. They'll be running around on the floor, then all of a sudden run up behind me (I'm usually walking around my room for something), tag my foot, and when I turn around, they'll take off running. LOL almost like tag hide & seek. Anyways... but yes. Hope none of my long rambling has bored you Good luck with the whole gerbil thing!

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 08:05 PM
 
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I have 20 gerbils. I must like them. But some are very jumpy, most rather calm, and several quite friendly. Different personalities. You cannot cuddle with them like a rat in most cases, if THAT is what you want. If you want to just cuddle get a bunny!
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 11:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zouave
I have 20 gerbils. I must like them. But some are very jumpy, most rather calm, and several quite friendly. Different personalities. You cannot cuddle with them like a rat in most cases, if THAT is what you want. If you want to just cuddle get a bunny!
I've been doing alot of research on bunnies (As I will be fostering some very soon) and most bunnies are actually not the cuddley pet people think they are, usually that's the #1 reason they end up in shelters (or in the city parks ). Of course spaying and neutering will calm them down a bit, and like people they all have different personalities, so you just could end up with a cuddly one.
Anyways, i'm rambling :p ... but ya.
GERBILS ARE THE BEST! LOL
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-01-2006, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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I don't mind if they aren't cuddly, I have a cat and a dog for that, it's just that I couldn't even handle the Roborovskis no matter how how hard I tried to get them to trust me.


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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-25-2006, 07:15 PM
 
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I have gerbils and yes they are good pets if you like noise lol they can be noisy little critters. and litter mess all over the place lol
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-06-2006, 01:23 PM
 
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hi

hi
i love gerbils i keep mine in a plastic rotastac cage and they are fine runnin bout the tubes lol
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-12-2006, 10:14 PM
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What do you guys think about housing gerbils in a wire cage (such as a full, large 3 story cage)??
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-21-2006, 03:31 PM
 
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gerbils are wonderful pets they are so awsome to watch expecialy when they have pups you can see them feeding. They love their space to run and things so give them plenty of that and they are very clean..They will let you know when they wanna be alone .
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 12-23-2008, 06:00 PM
 
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Should I?

Should I buy a Gerbil? I have the funds for it, I just want to know if it i worth the investment.
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