besitos2610 asked in PetsOther - Pets · 1 decade ago

Gerbils for pets?

Can gerbils share the same cage with other gerbils? And are they human friendly? If not, what is a good human friendly critter pet?

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  • kriend
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Amanda's advice is excellent and much the same as I advise customers buying gerbils. We only buy gerbils locally raised that have been handled a lot. Extremely important not to introduce an unknown member into the gerbil society because they will certainly kill it. I have even had a male killed by a group of females just this last year that I had hoped they would breed with. Gerbils are much easier to catch if they escape than hamsters. It is best to use a wire cage or glass aquarium for housing because they chew everything. Make sure chewing materials like safe wood, cardboard tubes boxes are available.

    Wherever you buy a gerbil, if they won't handle it first, don't purchase it from there because that's a good clue whether their animals bite or not.

    The only animal we recommend that doesn't ever nip or bite is a rat. They are very clean and intelligent. Make sure it is a just weaned size, preferably home raised. Rats, just like gerbils, prefer a companion.

    Source(s): Independent pet shop since 1995.
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  • 4 years ago

    I'm pretty sure they live about the same and a gerbil is faster. BUT, from experience, a rat is a MUCH better pet. All of my gerbils have been mean things I have regretted and not wanted to hold. My rat, Tetris, has been awesome. He is going on 3 years and is clean, neat, DOES NOT SMELL, nicer, and an all around better pet. He sits on my shoulder or in a hoodie pocket and just chills. He has been better then ANY gerbil I have ever had!

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, gerbils most certainly need a buddy!!! They do well in same sex pairs...I have 3 males together, who have been doing great for well over a year. Gerbils are very social and they need a playmate. I would recommend you get a young, same sex pair...buy them together and preferably out of the same litter if possible.

    Gerbils are extremely territorial and if you try to introduce two older animals who were not previously caged together, yes, they will fight and can seriously injure or even kill the other one. I would highly recommend that you visit the American Gerbil Society website and read everything they have to offer on the husbandry of gerbils. This site should answer most of your questions.

    Gerbils are very curious and if you find some that have been well socialized, they may even run up your arm to check you out! Never buy a gerbil that bites...a tiny nip is different; they may just be 'testing' you to see if you are edible (Lol), but they should not be aggressive.

    I have 6 gerbils and all of them come running to my hand when i put it in their cages. They are human friendly, though they can be quick...they aren't going to tolerate being cuddled, but they will take treats from your hand and sometimes they enjoy a good petting (one of mine used to fall asleep in my hand when i pet him :) )

    Also, the male gerbils do NOT eat the babies; in fact, they help the mother very much by 'babysitting' the pups while she is away and helping her keep the pups in the nest. This is very different from some other rodent's behavior.

    If you can find a breeder in your area, I would recommend getting a pair of gerbils from them since they should be more socialized than most pet store gerbils and you will be able to play with them before you buy them to see how they interact with you.

    Some other good things about gerbils are that they are awake for several hours during the day...they are not strictly nocturnal, so you will be able to enjoy them in the daylight hours. Also, they do not urinate as much as other rodents so they are virtually 'smell-free'...I clean my tanks every week to 10 days or so (spot cleaning in between, of course)

    Still, go to the AGS website and read up on them there.

    Source(s): AGS member; veterinary technician for several years
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  • Amanda is correct, Gerbils make great pets and actually prefer having a companion... I had 2 male gerbils and they never once bit me and were very friendly.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Hope you have a big cage and the male gerbil will kill the baby gerbils when they are born? If you don't want babies only 1 gerbil would be best for a pet. They are alot of fun and love to be cuddled. I raised them at 1 time for the Pet Shop in my town, I went in the hole 'cause them little fellows sure can eat when you have several. Have fun.

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  • 1 decade ago

    yes 2 females, but they often bite humans (at least all the gerbils I've held)

    Might I suggest a Guinea pig. They are great pets,VERY human friendly, especially the females. They will squeak and jump around because they are so happy to see you. My 3 females have NEVER bitten me or anyone else, even when my 2yr old niece plays with them.

    http://www.petsmart.com/global/articles/article_de...

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  • 1 decade ago

    yes, but make sure you get 2 of the same gender. They are social and do better in pairs, but you don't want babies so either get 2 males or 2 females

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