How to Stop Gerbils Smelling (The Brutally Honest Answer...)

How to Stop Gerbils Smelling

Let's talk gerbil smells.

We all want a home that smells fresh and clean, not like a rodent's lair. 😷

You know that rotten musk that hits you when you enter the room?

Well, in this Gerbil 101 guide, I'll help you banish it for good.

Ready to breathe easy?

Keep reading.

How to Prevent Gerbil Cage Smell

You gotta get rid of that stinky gerbil cage smell if you wanna live comfortably.

Here are ten tips for keeping those odors in check, just for you:

  1. Use cage liners or absorbent bedding to keep things clean.
  2. Regularly clean and spot clean the cage to stay on top of things.
  3. Take the gerbils outta their cages while you're cleaning them.
  4. Wash everything with hot soapy water before disinfecting it.
  5. You know what? Gerbils are pretty good at conserving water, which means less odor from waste and bacteria.
  6. Don't use air fresheners in their cage because it messes with their natural scent and confuses 'em.
  7. Teach those little critters to use a designated toilet area - their pellet-shaped poop doesn't really stink.
  8. Keep things hygienic and ensure they're eating a healthy diet.
  9. Stick to your regular cleaning routine and avoid making big changes all of a sudden.
  10. Let 'em have sand baths, comfy bedding, and good ventilation.

Hold on, there's more!

If you wanna stop bad smells even better, do these things too:

  • Keep some old bedding when you're replacing it to keep familiar scents around.
  • Go for super-absorbent materials to trap odors like a champ.

So, with the right cleaning techniques, good products, and proper care, you can enjoy a fresh-smelling gerbil cage for longer.

How to Prevent Gerbil Cage Smell
Want to keep your gerbil cage smelling nice? Give them sand baths instead of water baths.

Believe me, your furry pals will be mighty grateful.

Main points I'll expand upon further down this article:

  1. Provide sand baths instead of water baths to keep gerbil fur clean.
  2. Gerbils scent mark with glands on their stomachs, not urine.
  3. Gerbils don't typically have a strong odor unless they are sick or stressed.
  4. Gerbils are known to be one of the least odorous rodents.

And now, let me dive deeper into the nitty-gritty of maintaining a clean gerbil cage.

Spot cleaning every day is crucial for odor control and should be complemented with regular toy cleaning.

However, you have to strike a balance between keeping things fresh and allowing a sense of familiarity for your gerbils.

Alongside weekly cage cleanings, you'll also need to consider the age and size of your furry pals when crafting a suitable cleaning routine.

Let's explore these factors further...

How Often Should I Clean My Gerbils?

To keep your gerbils happy and healthy, you ought to keep them clean and their cages tidy.

Here's some advice on how often you should clean both your gerbils and their environment:

  1. Every day, ensure to spot clean the cage by getting rid of any soiled bedding and replacing it with fresh bedding. This will help create a clean living area for your little furry friends.
  2. Weekly, take the time to clean your gerbil's toys with a simple mix of soap and water. By doing this, you'll keep those toys germ-free and prevent any bacteria from spreading, which could potentially harm your gerbils.
  3. Avoid doing full cleanouts too frequently, as it may cause conflict among your gerbils. Remember, these small critters rely on scent marking to communicate with one another.
  4. Apart from regular toy cleaning, ensure that you give the entire cage a proper cleaning at least once a week. This includes washing the toys and accessories as well. You should maintain a hygienic environment for your gerbils.
  5. During the last two years of their lives, gerbil cages might start to get smelly. In this case, consider giving the cages a deep clean every two to four weeks to effectively manage odors.
  6. The good news is that gerbil feces are pretty unobtrusive. They're small, hard, and don't have a strong odor, making it easier to deal with cleaning their cages. However, always take into account the size and number of gerbils when determining how often you should clean their living space. 😊

And remember, while maintaining a clean and hygienic environment for your gerbils is important, it's also crucial to be prepared for any new additions to your furry family.

If your gerbil has recently given birth, you'll want to know how to properly care for and handle those precious baby gerbils.

That's why I highly recommend checking out my article What to Do if Your Gerbil Has Babies.

Can I Bathe My Gerbil?

Can I Bathe My Gerbil?
You can give your gerbil sand baths instead of regular water baths. Sand baths clean their fur and keep them smelling fresh. They're also a relaxing way for them to groom themselves and stay healthy.

To keep your gerbil clean and healthy, follow these 10 simple steps:

  1. Offer regular sand baths using reptile sand or kid's play sand.
  2. Avoid using chinchilla sand or regular dust for the baths.
  3. Don't use shampoo or soap in the sand bath.
  4. Provide sand baths instead of water baths.
  5. Water baths should only be used for spot cleaning if necessary.
  6. Sand baths help eliminate odor and prevent smell buildup in fur.
  7. Ensure the sand is shallow enough for easy access.
  8. Place the sand bath in a quiet area to reduce stress.
  9. Monitor your gerbil during the sand bath for any signs of distress.
  10. Change the sand regularly to maintain cleanliness.

Understanding Gerbil Scent Marking Behavior

Here's what you need to know about gerbil scent marking:

  1. Gerbils use special glands on their bellies to leave their scent.
  2. The smell of these markings is not as strong as urine.
  3. If you introduce your gerbil to a new place, they might get scared and act skittish.
  4. Male gerbils claim their territory by rubbing their bellies on things.
  5. This marking leaves behind a unique scent.
  6. To guide the marking behavior, give them toys and things to chew on that are appropriate.
  7. In 2015, there was Herbie and Squeak who showed social behavior among gerbils.
  8. Social gerbils may use scent marking to talk to each other.
  9. Keep an eye out for excessive or strange scent marking habits.
  10. If you're worried about scent marking in your gerbils, consult a vet.

Now, you might be wondering how to effectively reduce or eliminate the scent caused by gerbils, especially if they are stressed, scared, or ill.

Understanding Gerbil Scent Marking Behavior
You might catch whiffs of weird smells from gerbils marking their territory. To change their ways, ensure to load up their cage with lots of toys and things to chew on. And don't forget, you ought to find them a buddy too, as they're social creatures. This will help keep them calm and reduce all that territorial anxiety.

Well, I've got some tips and solutions for you that will help tackle those odor issues head-on.

Let's dive in!

But My Gerbil Does Smell – Why?

Now, let's get to the bottom of the problem.

Why does your gerbil have an odor?

One possible reason might be stress.

Gerbils can smell unpleasant when they're stressed or scared, similar to how humans sweat when they feel anxious or nervous.

So, if you see your gerbil acting differently or appearing more anxious than usual, that could explain the change in smell.

Another possibility is that your gerbil is unwell.

Sickness can cause an increase in the natural gerbil odor.

Look out for signs of illness like coughing, sneezing, or unusual discharge.

Now, let's discuss those droppings.

Normally, gerbil poop doesn't have much of a scent.

But if you suddenly notice a foul odor, consider a couple of factors.

But My Gerbil Does Smell – Why?
If your gerbil's smell has you worried, it could be due to stress or illness. Keep an eye out for signs like anxiety and strange goo. Changes in their diet or medical problems can mess with poop stink too.

A change in diet can affect the smell of their droppings.

Ensure you haven't recently switched their food and ensure they have a balanced diet.

Furthermore, certain medical conditions can impact the smell of gerbil droppings.

If you suspect this might be the case, consult a vet to rule out any underlying health issues.

Prevention is crucial!

Keep your gerbil's cage clean by regularly changing the bedding and removing waste.

This will help reduce odors in essence.

So, take care of your gerbil, be on the lookout for signs of stress or illness, maintain a consistent diet, and actively manage their environment.

By doing all these things, you should notice a decrease in any unwanted smells coming from your little furry friend.

That's all I have to say.

Keep your gerbil smelling fresh and happy, folks!

Why Don’t Gerbils Smell?

Gerbils excel at smelling fresh (or better yet, not smelling at all!), and there's fascinating science behind it.

One major reason for their virtually odorless nature is their low urine production.

They have adapted to live in dry environments, so they don't need much water or urination.

This means no unpleasant smells caused by excessive urine output.

But here's the kicker...

Gerbils also possess an incredible ability to conserve water.

They retain moisture from their food and can survive on minimal amounts of water.

As a result, there is less waste and fewer molecules that can create odors.

So if you're thinking about getting gerbils as pets, you're in luck.

You won't find yourself wrinkling your nose in disgust when they're around.

However, always be attentive to any peculiar smells.

They might indicate an underlying health issue or simply call for a good old cleaning session.

And here's the best part - I can attest from personal experience that gerbils have a milder aroma...

However, you should remember that they still require proper care and maintenance:

Do Gerbils Smell More Than Hamsters

Gerbils, unlike hamsters, have a milder aroma.

This is because gerbils consume less water and produce less urine.

But remember, taking care of gerbils is essential to keep them odor-free.

Do Gerbils Smell More Than Hamsters
Gerbils don't stink as much as hamsters 'cause they pee less. But if you slack on cleaning, the air ain't gonna be all that fresh. So keep their crib tidy, use absorbent stuff, get them some clean water, and feed 'em right. You got this, buddy!

Regular cleaning and a balanced diet are necessary for controlling their scent.

Compared to mice or hamsters, gerbils do not emit such a strong smell. I can personally attest to this from having both pets.

However, don't ignore their maintenance needs, as neglecting them can result in unpleasant odors creeping into your living space.

So, take good care of your adorable gerbil companions!

And that's all for today, folks!

You've reached the end of my blog post! I'm curious, did you enjoy it? It takes me a ton of time to write these blogs thoroughly and make them helpful, but I truly enjoy doing it. If you have a moment, it would mean a lot if you could click on any of the social sharing icons to spread the word about this post. Thank you in advance!

Until next time,

-Alex Amber

Alex Amber

Hi there! I'm Alex, and this is my blog, Gerbil 101. As you've probably guessed by now, this is the go-to blog for all things gerbil, covering topics from gerbil care to food, drink, health, behavior, and so much more. I truly hope you find my care guides useful, as I put a lot of time into writing them!