Melodie Mcvey

Melodie Mcvey

Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023


Gerbils are adorable little creatures that make popular pets for both children and adults alike. These small rodents belong to the same family as hamsters and are native to the desert regions of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. With their long furry tails and lively personalities, gerbils have quickly become beloved household companions around the world.

In this article, we will explore 19 fascinating facts about gerbils that will not only entertain you but also enhance your knowledge of these charming creatures. From their social behavior to their unique physiology, there is so much to discover about these pint-sized bundles of energy. So, let’s dive in and unravel the world of gerbils!

Table of Contents

Gerbils are desert-dwelling rodents.

Gerbils are native to the arid regions of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, specifically desert areas. Their bodies have adapted to survive in these harsh environments.

These small creatures are closely related to rats and mice.

Gerbils belong to the same family (Muridae) as rats and mice, but they have their own unique characteristics and traits.

There are over 100 different species of gerbils.

Within the gerbil family, there are numerous species, each with its own distinct characteristics and features.

Gerbils are highly sociable animals.

Gerbils are highly social creatures and thrive in bonded pairs or small groups. They enjoy grooming, playing, and cuddling with their companions.

Gerbils have exceptional hearing and sense of smell.

Gerbils have well-developed senses, especially their hearing and sense of smell, which help them navigate their surroundings and avoid potential threats.

Gerbils have long, furry tails.

Gerbils have long, tufted tails that help them maintain balance. They use their tails as a communication tool, frequently wagging them to express emotions.

They are excellent diggers.

Gerbils have strong front paws and sharp claws, making them exceptional diggers. They create intricate burrow systems in their natural habitat.

Gerbils are herbivores.

These furry creatures primarily feed on a diet of seeds, grains, fruits, and vegetables. It’s important to provide them with a balanced diet in captivity.

Gerbils have cheek pouches.

Gerbils have expandable cheek pouches that they use to store food for later consumption. This behavior is essential for their survival in the wild.

Gerbils are clean animals.

Gerbils are meticulous groomers and spend a significant amount of time cleaning their fur to remove dirt and maintain good hygiene.

They have a rapid breeding cycle.

Gerbils are known for their rapid breeding cycle. Females can have litters of 4-6 pups every 25-30 days, making them popular pets for breeding purposes.

Gerbils communicate through a variety of sounds.

Gerbils communicate with each other through a range of vocalizations, including chirping, squeaking, and thumping their hind legs.

Gerbils have the ability to stand upright.

When they feel threatened or are exploring their surroundings, gerbils can stand upright on their hind legs, giving them a better view of their environment.

Gerbils have a lifespan of around 3-4 years.

On average, gerbils live for about 3 to 4 years. However, with proper care and attention, some gerbils have been known to live up to 5 years.

Gerbils have adapted to conserve water.

Gerbils have evolved to obtain most of their water requirements from the moisture in their food, allowing them to survive in arid desert conditions.

Gerbils love to chew on things.

Gerbils have constantly growing incisor teeth, so they need to chew on objects like wooden toys and chews to keep their teeth trim and healthy.

Gerbils can leap and jump impressive distances.

Despite their small size, gerbils are agile and can leap and jump impressively. This helps them avoid predators and navigate their natural habitat.

Gerbils have a fantastic sense of balance.

Gerbils possess excellent balance, which allows them to scurry and climb without losing their footing, even on narrow ledges.

Gerbils love to burrow and create tunnels.

Gerbils have a natural instinct to burrow and create complex tunnel systems. Providing them with appropriate bedding and materials will keep them happy and engaged.

These 19 facts about gerbils offer a glimpse into the intriguing world of these charming rodents. Whether you are considering them as pets or simply want to learn more about these fascinating animals, gerbils never fail to amaze with their unique traits and behaviors.

So, the next time you spot a gerbil exploring its cage or burrowing in its bedding, remember these wonderful facts and appreciate the wonder that is the gerbil!


In conclusion, gerbils are fascinating creatures that make great pets for individuals and families alike. From their social nature to their unique ability to communicate through various means, gerbils are truly remarkable animals. They possess remarkable agility and can provide hours of entertainment with their playful antics. Additionally, their low maintenance requirements, moderate size, and long lifespans make them ideal pets for those looking for companionship without the high demands of other animals.Gerbils also have unique characteristics and interesting habits, such as their burrowing instincts and ability to store food. Their strong sense of smell and excellent hearing allow them to perceive their surroundings effectively. When properly cared for, gerbils can thrive and bring joy to their owners.If you’re considering getting a gerbil as a pet, it’s important to research and understand their needs and behaviors. Providing them with a suitable habitat, proper nutrition, and regular veterinary care are essential for their well-being. Additionally, spending time with them and creating a stimulating environment will help ensure they lead happy and fulfilling lives.So, whether you’re a seasoned gerbil owner or new to the idea of having one as a pet, understanding these fascinating creatures will enrich your experience and create a strong bond between you and your furry friend.


1. Are gerbils good pets for children?

Yes, gerbils can make wonderful pets for children. They are generally docile and enjoy interacting with their owners. However, adult supervision is important to ensure proper handling and care.

2. How long do gerbils live?

Gerbils have an average lifespan of 2 to 4 years. With proper care, they can live even longer, sometimes up to 6 years.

3. What do gerbils eat?

Gerbils primarily eat a diet consisting of seeds, grains, and fruits. Commercial gerbil food is readily available and should be supplemented with fresh vegetables.

4. Can gerbils live alone or do they need a companion?

Gerbils are social animals and usually thrive when kept in pairs or small groups. It is recommended to keep at least two gerbils together to meet their social needs.

5. How often do gerbils need to be cleaned?

Gerbils are generally clean animals, and their cages should be cleaned at least once a week. This involves removing dirty bedding, wiping down surfaces, and providing fresh bedding.

6. Can gerbils be litter trained?

Yes, gerbils can be litter trained to use a specific area for their bathroom needs. Providing a small litter box filled with appropriate bedding material can help encourage them to use it consistently.

7. Are gerbils nocturnal?

Yes, gerbils are primarily nocturnal, which means they are most active during the night. However, they may also have periods of activity during the day.

8. Can gerbils be easily tamed?

Gerbils can be tamed with patience and consistent handling. It’s important to start the taming process early and gradually build trust with your gerbil.

9. Can gerbils be housed with other animals?

It is generally not recommended to house gerbils with other animals, especially predators or larger animals that may harm them. It’s best to provide them with a safe and secure environment.

10. Do gerbils require any vaccinations?

No, gerbils do not require any specific vaccinations like dogs or cats. However, it’s essential to keep their living area clean and maintain good hygiene practices to prevent any health issues.