Habitat Sweet Habitat: Gerbils

Setting up a cage for your new gerbil? Here’s what you need to know.

Choosing a Habitat

  • Gerbils are social and enjoy the companionship of another gerbil (same gender only).
  • Your gerbil requires a wire cage or a 20 gallon aquarium with a wire-mesh top. It should be large enough for a food dish, water bottle, exercise wheel and a hiding area. There should be sufficient room for all cage accessories and for your gerbil to move around freely.
  • Cages with tubes, tunnels and hideaways are good as they provide exercise and relieve boredom. Minimum cage size is 12”x12”x12” with wire spacing no larger than ½” apart.
  • Your gerbils cage should be placed in a cool 65-75°F (18-24°C), low humidity area, out of direct sunlight.

Play & Hide

  • Gerbils love exercise, so ensure yours has a wheel for running. Remember, gerbils are nocturnal and may use this wheel at night. In order to prevent tail injury, only solid surface wheels should be used.
  • Gerbils also enjoy running in an exercise ball when outside of their cage.
  • A small house inside their cage should be provided as gerbils like to hide and sleep inside enclosed spaces.
  • Your gerbil’s teeth never stop growing, so you will need to provide chew toys at all times.
  • Gerbils will shred materials to make a nest. Nesting materials made of natural ingredients should be offered.


  • Your gerbil’s cage should be lined with absorbent bedding such as recycled paper, aspen or pine shavings. Line the cage with a minimum of 1-2” (2.5-5cm) of bedding.
  • Cedar shavings are not recommended for small pets.
  • Bedding should be spot cleaned weekly and completely changed every other week.

Shopping List

❏ Wire Cage (minimum size 12”x12”x12”); maximum bar width ½”
❏ Water Bottle
❏ Crock Food Dish
❏ Hiding/Sleep House
❏ Tunnels/Tubes
❏ Chew Toys
❏ Exercise Wheel (solid, no rungs)
❏ Exercise Ball
❏ Nesting Material
❏ Fortified Gerbil Diet
❏ Gerbil Treats
❏ Salt Wheel
❏ Bedding

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