Gerbils are social animals that live healthier lives when they are caged together. Building your own gerbil cage is a simple activity that allows you to design a habitat for as many gerbils as you want to have living in the same space. They like to have lots of space and they gnaw on everything, so it is important to keep those considerations in mind when you choose building materials. Keep it simple, safe and entertaining for your gerbils.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Mesh lid
- Shredded cardboard
- Water bottle
- Ceramic dish
- Gerbil wheel
- Cardboard boxes
- Toilet paper rolls
- Chewable plastic gerbil toys
Choose a standard aquarium. If you have two gerbils, you need a tank that is at least 2 feet long, but preferably 3 feet. If the aquarium does not come with a mesh lid, get one that fits securely over the top.
Prepare the gerbil cage. Fill the bottom 2 inches of the aquarium with shredded cardboard for bedding. Hang a water bottle with a metal spout on the inside of the aquarium and place a ceramic food dish in the bedding.
Prop some wood in the cage so your gerbil can climb. Make sure the wood is secure, and there is no risk of it falling or sliding around. You also need to ensure that the mesh lid stays securely on top of the aquarium to avoid having your gerbil climb out and get lost or injured.
Provide toys and entertainment for your gerbils. Try a broken ceramic mug or flower pot for a house in the bedding. Place a gerbil wheel with a closed tread and back, rather than metal bars, to avoid chopping off tails or otherwise injuring your gerbils. Put small cardboard boxes or toilet paper rolls in the cage for tunnels, as well as opportunities to gnaw. You can also give your gerbils hay and twigs or branches. Some pet stores also sell chewable plastic toys for gerbils.
Tips and warnings
- Check your cage when you finish assembling with the thought in mind: Is there anywhere a tail or nose can get caught? This gives your gerbils the best chance of avoiding injury.
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