Gerbils are social animals, so they should live in pairs and/or groups of up to twenty others. They need companions when you are not around. Gerbils housed alone are prone to undergo loneliness, depression, and other health problems because of it.
How many gerbils can live together?
You can house 2 to 4 gerbils in one enclosure. Avoid overcrowding. Lone gerbils feel lonely when you leave them alone, and this may even cause them stress or weaken their health so much, it may cause death – so do your best to keep them in a pair or in a group.
Gerbils with Hamsters
There is an activity difference between the two. Gerbils are active and territorial when compared to other animals. Gerbils are always exploring, playing, or digging a tunnel. As such, they do not like sharing territories, and they sleep partially during the daytime and sleep the entire night.
Hamsters are opposite to gerbils. They are not social animals. They do not like to share their territory with another hamster. They like to be alone. They are less active. They like to hide from strangers as they are shy. They get aggressive when they see strangers around them. They sleep the entire morning and play the entire night.
The activities entirely change when compared to gerbils and hamsters. So, it is not a good idea to keep these two species in a single cage.
Gerbil with Mice
Gerbils and mice are not of the same species; they are both territorial and would hurt or kill each other without hesitation – so they cannot be housed together.
They both are aggressive when they find any threats in their surroundings. So, they both think that the other species is their enemy. Gerbils are large compared to mice, so it is very likely that the gerbils kill the mice first. The mice would still end up hurting the gerbils in this struggle for territory. They may also end up catching diseases from each other
Gerbils and mice would be happier if they were separated.
Gerbils with Guinea Pigs
Gerbils and guinea pigs are different. Gerbil have strong social bonds with other gerbils, but not with guinea pigs. If housed together, they will fight for the available resources. They even fight for space as they both are territorial.
Guinea pigs are scared of gerbils, but the gerbils are not scared as guinea pigs. When frightened, the guinea pigs will stop eating, freeze, shiver, lower their heads down, run away, or hide.
If you still want to keep them both in the same cage, you have to let them stay in two different rooms, but do keep in mind that they will never become friends or form a bond.
Gerbils with Cats and Dogs
No! Gerbils may become frightened by them. Your cats and dogs may even end up eating your gerbil, so it is best not to house them together.
Is there any animal you can house with gerbils?
Gerbils cannot and should not live with other animals in a single enclosure since they can only ever socialize with their own. Gerbils should only live with gerbils. Raising another species with gerbils in the same enclosure is far from a good idea.
Pet Gerbils with their own Family
The gerbils can live happily with their family, but there may be some mess-ups:
Adult Gerbils with their baby Gerbils
You can let your adult gerbils and their baby gerbils be together. But remember, when the female gerbil gives birth, she will eat one among their babies.
This is because the mother gerbil will be starving after the long trials of the pregnancy. When the female gerbils do not get the proper nutrition, they end up consuming a baby gerbil to eat them. By killing one or two babies, the mother gerbil ensures that both the parents and the rest of the baby gerbils can survive.
How long do baby Gerbils stay with their parent’s Gerbils?
Until the baby gerbils are social and can handle their emotional needs on their own, they have to live with their parents. Maturity starts and lasts until their 6th week, by which time they are expected to be fully independent. They can live with their parents up until their 8th week.
Gerbils with their Siblings
Yes! Gerbils can stay with their siblings. They will also accept their siblings as their mates. But, as they both are very close relatives, the negative genes will be seen in the offspring, so avoid this as much as you can.
The Best Companion for Gerbils
The gerbil pets need a companion for them to be happy in their life. If you do not provide them a companion, they may get sick and experience loneliness.
Playing with humans does not satisfy them, but they undergo stress when their owner is not around. They need their species to play with. Gerbils are scent-oriented animals; if they smell other animal’s scents, they get angry immediately.
It is better to get two gerbils at a time rather than bringing one after the other. The gerbils might smell the scent of another new gerbil, and then they might think the newly introduced ones are intruders.
Just like humans, gerbils are social animals that need a companion to stay with. Mindlessly placing them with the opposite gender may lead to a high rate of reproduction. Before selecting a partner for your gerbil, you have to do the following:
- Keep your gerbil in a pair or in a group of gerbils because they are socialistic animals. Being alone may stress them out.
- Supervise when they are with other animals. It is best to stop fights, whether it was started intentionally or accidentally.
- Ensure a positive interaction whenever you hold them.
- Place the familiar adult gerbils in a single cage. Even though if they are in two separate cages, bring them to the single cage.
- Do not let other animals at home. Gerbils are scent-oriented. If they smell the scent of other animals, they might get stressed out. They may feel scared, leading to aggressiveness when they feel threatened.
Lonely Gerbils after their Partner’s Death
Gerbils are fun animals with short lifespans. Their lifespan depends on their species, care, and genetics. When one dies, it is really a problem for you to maintain single gerbils. Gerbils are active animals, and they do not like to be left alone.
When they are left alone, they will experience stress, cold, sick, injury, or depression. If one of the gerbils dies due to illness, take it away from the cage and clean it to prevent the disease transmission to another gerbil in the cage.
The gerbils can stay alone only for up to 1 week. After that, they start to feel lonely. Because of the loneliness, they will go to depression; they will be stressed out, their health gets upset; this may also lead to death. So, if you are going on vacation for more than one week, you have to do the following things.
- Ask a friend to help
- Find a gerbil sitter
- Bring your gerbil with you may be on vacation.
- Take your gerbil to a boarding service until you come back or until you get another gerbil.
A companion is the most important to their life, so much so that they die out of loneliness. But remember to only house them with other gerbils; they cannot create a bond with other animals.