What Kind of Gerbil Should You Get? (Easy Useful Guide)

What Kind of Gerbil Should You Get

What kind of gerbil should you get?

Looking for a loyal, fluffy friend to cuddle with? 😊

Or maybe a high-energy, playful companion to keep you on your toes?

You're not alone, my friend.

Let me help you figure it out.

Don't wait, because the wrong choice could leave you feeling chewed up and forgotten.

The Types of Gerbil Breeds

Here are the five types of gerbil breeds you should know about:

  1. The Mongolian gerbils, they're pretty much the most common gerbil pets out there. You can find them in pet stores all over. They come from Mongolia originally and they're super friendly and easy to take care of.
  2. Then we got these fat-tailed gerbils. They're kinda similar to Mongolian gerbils when it comes to taking care of them. But the cool thing about these guys is that they have this unique fat tail. They come from Africa and Asia. 😄
  3. Now, let me tell you about pallid gerbils. These little fellas have a lifespan of around 5 years. They share the same needs as Mongolian gerbils but you don't see them as much as pets though.
  4. Here's something interesting - great gerbils. These gerbils are some of the biggest out there. However, they're not really kept as pets because they tend to be aggressive and they never seem to stop eating!
  5. Last but not least, we have Shaw's jird. This one is a bit larger than your regular gerbil, but it's still cute as can be! You can totally keep them as pets. Just remember, it's best to keep two males or a male and female together, 'cause the females can get a bit feisty.

Oh, by the way, if you're thinking of getting any of these gerbils, just know that while you can easily find Mongolian gerbils at pet stores, it's not as common to find pallid gerbils, great gerbils, or Shaw's jirds for sale.

The 5 Types of Gerbil Breeds
You should go for Mongolian gerbils if you want the most common and easily found breed. Fat-tailed gerbils have a cool fat tail and come from Africa and Asia. Pallid gerbils don't live as long, and great gerbils are intense eaters and not perfect for pets. Shaw's jirds are bigger but totally pet-friendly.

So now that you know about the different types of gerbil breeds, the next step is choosing a healthy and happy gerbil to bring home!

But how do you ensure you're making the right choice?

Well, in this section, I'll share some valuable tips and signs of a healthy gerbil that you should be on the lookout for.

Trust me, you won't want to miss out on these important details!

How to Choose a Healthy Gerbil

When choosing a healthy gerbil, there are several important factors to consider:

  1. Look for gerbils with bright and clear eyes, as this indicates good health.
  2. A gerbil's coat should be glossy and in good condition, free from any bald patches or signs of mites.
  3. Active and energetic behavior is a positive sign, showing that the gerbil is healthy and happy.
  4. Ensure that the gerbil's enclosure is spacious and well-equipped with appropriate bedding, toys, a food dish, and a water bottle.
  5. Socialization is vital for gerbils under 10 weeks old, so choose one that has been properly handled and exposed to human interaction.
  6. Check for signs of stress or poor care such as excessive grooming or hiding, as these may indicate underlying health issues.
  7. Avoid gerbils that appear still or hunched up, as this could be a sign of illness or discomfort.
  8. If there are multiple gerbils in the enclosure, observe their interactions to ensure they get along well.
  9. Consider adopting from shelters rather than supporting mass breeders, as shelter gerbils often receive proper care and attention.
  10. Maintain a balanced diet for your gerbil by providing a mix of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins tailored to their needs.

Selecting a gerbil based on these important factors enables you to find a robust and suitable pet to join your household.

How to Choose a Healthy Gerbil
When picking a healthy gerbil, remember this: you need to find one with bright eyes, a shiny coat, and lots of energy. Give priority to adopting from shelters and make sure they have a good home with plenty of social interaction.

And now let's dive deeper into the fascinating world of gerbils by comparing the characteristics of Mongolian and fat-tailed gerbils!

Differences Between Mongolian and Fat-Tailed Gerbils

Mongolian and fat-tailed gerbils have some key differences in their grooming habits.

Differences Between Mongolian and Fat-Tailed Gerbils
Gerbils from Mongolia got thick fur for warmth, but the ones with fat tails have softer fur. If you want your gerbil to be cozy, give 'em some hay or shredded paper to make a comfy nest that feels like their home and keeps their body temp just right.

Let me break it down for you:

  1. Fur type: Mongolian gerbils have thick and dense fur, while fat-tailed gerbils sport fluffier fur.
  2. Lifespan: Typical lifespan for Mongolian gerbils is 2-5 years, whereas fat-tailed gerbils can live up to 3-8 years.
  3. Space requirements: Fat-tailed gerbils need less space since they are generally smaller than Mongolian gerbils.
  4. Docility: Fat-tailed gerbils tend to be more calm and easy to handle compared to their counterparts.
  5. Companionship needs: Mongolian gerbils prefer living in pairs, while fat-tailed gerbils can be content on their own.
  6. Burrow complexity: Mongolian gerbils enjoy intricate underground burrows, but fat-tailed gerbils don't require such elaborate setups.
  7. Availability: While both are great pets, Mongolian gerbils are more commonly kept because of restrictions on importing fat-tailed gerbils to the U.S.
  8. Veterinary care: PLEASE bear in mind that finding specialized veterinary care for fat-tailed gerbils might be harder compared to Mongolian gerbils.

With these distinctions in mind, you can now choose the gerbil species that suits your preferences and lifestyle. 😺

And it gets better...

Not only can Mongolian gerbils benefit from companionship, but their social nature opens up a whole new world of interaction and playtime.

But how do you introduce gerbils without any complications?

Read on to discover the best methods for successful introductions and creating a thriving gerbil community...

How Many Gerbils Should I Get?

If you're thinking about getting gerbils as pets, you might be wondering how many you should get. Here are some things to think about:

  1. Gerbils like being around other gerbils, so it's generally recommended to get gerbils from the same litter. They already have a bond and are more likely to get along.
  2. It's best to go for same-sex pairs of gerbils to avoid any breeding problems or fights. Male-male or female-female pairs tend to get along well.
  3. You can keep a gerbil alone, but it takes a lot of attention and playtime from you. Solitary gerbils may get stressed or lonely without enough interaction.
  4. When introducing gerbils, try using the split cage method. This means dividing the cage with mesh or a barrier so they can sniff and get used to each other without direct contact.
  5. It's generally easier to introduce baby gerbils to adult gerbils than introducing adults to an existing group. Younger gerbils adapt better and are less likely to fight over territory.
  6. If possible, it's recommended to keep large groups of mixed gerbils together if they've grown up together. This way, they have company and won't feel lonely.
  7. If you want to breed gerbils, it's best to keep one male and one female together. But if breeding isn't what you want, consider neutering one of them to prevent unplanned babies.

Always prioritize the happiness and well-being of your gerbils.

Think about their social needs and whether you can provide the care and attention they require before deciding how many gerbils to get.

How Many Gerbils Should I Get?
To make gerbils happy, you should either get siblings or same-sex pals. You can keep one alone and shower it with love, or introduce it to a gang of buddies.

And if you're still on the fence about whether to get gerbils or not, I have the perfect resource for you.

I recently wrote a blog post discussing the intriguing distinctions between gerbils and mice.

It's an informative and engaging read that can help you make an informed decision.

Take a look at Gerbil vs Mouse: What Sets Them Apart.

Are Fat-Tailed Gerbils Friendly?

Fattailed gerbils are excellent pets, showing affection to humans and forming strong bonds.

Regardless of their breed, these gerbils have a gentle and loving demeanor that makes them ideal companions. Their unique ability to display affection sets them apart from other breeds, highlighting their potential for creating lasting relationships with humans.

Adding a fattailed gerbil to your home can bring joy and love, as they will eagerly form connections with their owners.

Enjoy the affectionate nature of these furry friends and experience the special bond that can be formed with these delightful pets.

What Colors Do Gerbils Come In?

Gerbils have all sorts of different colors and patterns - over 40 to choose from actually.

So, you've got plenty of options when it comes to finding the perfect coat color for your gerbil.

But here's the thing:

A gerbil's personality, behavior, size, and lifespan are not influenced by their coat color at all.

What Colors Do Gerbils Come In?
Gerbils, you see, come in all sorts of cool colors - black, cinnamon, even some fancy ones like dove or piebald. Just so you know, buddy, the color of their fur doesn't have anything to do with how they act. But hey, if you happen to spot one with red or pink eyes, they might have a bit of trouble seeing, alright?

Although there is one exception to this rule – gerbils with red or pink eyes might have trouble seeing clearly.

Now, while the most common gerbil color is light brown or grey, there are many other cool and unusual choices out there.

Let me show you a few examples:

  1. Black gerbils: These little critters have a totally eye-catching black coat. They're pretty hard to miss.
  2. Cinnamon gerbils: These guys rock a warm reddish-brown color that's both beautiful and really rare.
  3. Dove gerbils: These cuties have a soft white coat that makes them look super elegant and graceful.
  4. Piebald gerbils: These adorable gerbs sport patches of white along with another color, creating a really unique pattern.

Each color has its own story and level of rarity, making them even more special.

So if you want a gerbil that stands out a bit more, why not try one of these less common colors?

It's sure to make your furry friend even more interesting.

Why Gerbils Make a Great Pet

  1. Popular gerbil species: Mongolian and fat-tailed gerbils have similar care requirements.
  2. Gerbil diet: Feed them commercial gerbil food mix and occasional fresh fruits and vegetables.
  3. Types of gerbils: Shaw's jird is larger with a cute appearance, but females can be aggressive.
  4. Choosing a healthy gerbil: Consider housing options, signs of health, and proper handling techniques.
  5. Adoption options: Consider adoption from shelters over supporting mass breeders or pet stores.
  6. Differences between Mongolian and fat-tailed gerbils: Lifespan, space requirements, companionship needs, and more.
  7. Housing gerbils: Mongolian gerbils are social and should be housed with a littermate.
  8. Introducing gerbils: Use the split cage method for a gradual introduction.
  9. Breeding gerbils: If desired, keep a male and female together, or neuter one.
  10. Gerbil colors and patterns: There are over 40 color options, but it doesn't affect their personality or behavior.

And that's all for today, folks!

Before you leave, I have a quick question for you: Did my blog post help you out? If it did, I would be incredibly grateful if you could spread the word to your loved ones. Simply click on any of the social media icons to easily share it. Thank you so much!

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!