It is difficult to imagine a cage for a single gerbil. Indeed, gregarious rodent, your gerbil will need a congener to flourish fully. So, consider investing in a cage large and spacious enough for at least 2 gerbils. You can choose the best cages for gerbils.
A surface area of 1800 cm² per gerbil is recommended. That is to say a length of 60 cm and a width of at least 30 cm. The height should be roughly equal to the width of the cage. This will allow your gerbil to stand fully on its hind legs. If you opt for a smaller cage because of your budget, then your gerbil should have the leisure to go out of its cage daily to exercise properly. And you will have to hide or put out of reach plants, electric wires.
You will opt for a cage with metal bars. The gerbil likes to climb, it will have the leisure to do so. However, you will have to pay attention to the spacing of 1 cm maximum between 2 bars. Indeed, of a very small size, it would be too easy for her to slip between 2 bars and thus to venture outside her cage.
The only drawback of the bar cage comes from the litter sent outside by the gerbil. To remedy this problem, you can have a plexiglass canopy around its cage and at a reasonable distance so that the air is well ventilated.
Never forget that a cage must be easily accessible so that you can clean it at least once a week. Thus, if you prefer a terrarium or aquarium (provided there is good ventilation), you will have to carry out cleaning twice a week. At the risk of seeing your gerbil suffer from respiratory ailments linked to ammonia vapors.
Galvanized iron is strongly discouraged as a material, just like aluminum and of course wood, which absorbs urine and retains its odor. Finally, make sure that your cage is properly closed . Otherwise, your gerbil could escape.
A bowl to accommodate the pellets and a bottle for water should be attached to the bars of the cage. You will avoid using a bowl of water, too easily spilled by your gerbil. In all cases, these accessories must be cleaned very regularly. At least twice a week.
Your gerbil cleans itself, like guinea pigs or octodons, by means of a bath earth placed in a tray in a corner of its cage. This sandbox will give your gerbil the freedom to eliminate its excess sebum , reducing the risk of parasites and giving it a brighter, more silky coat. The sand will need to be changed daily. Because at the end of its grooming, the gerbil has the habit of defecating and urinating inside.
A habitat will have to be installed so that your gerbil rests there, takes refuge there. This can be in the form of a cabin, but also in the form of a pipe where it will thread its way. Your gerbil may make its own nest in a corner of its cage. For this purpose, you can have coconut wood in its cage which it will assemble as it sees fit. In addition, put toilet paper , tissues in his cage. She will shred them and use them for her nest.
A solid wheel as for gerbils is recommended. No wheel with bars, because your gerbil could leave its tail there.
- A hammock for your gerbil to take refuge in
- Your gerbil loves rolls of toilet paper.
The location of the cage
The gerbil is an animal which tolerates temperature variations fairly well. However, the ideal temperature is around 20 to 22 ° C with fairly dry ambient air. Adult gerbils can easily withstand a slightly cooler temperature, around 15 ° C. The humidity must be low enough (below 50%) for the environment to correspond to their natural environment.
You will have to place the cage of your gerbil in height , in a room without much noise but with a little passage. It should not be exposed to drafts with sufficient natural light (10 to 14 hours per day).
The cage should be designed to accommodate at least 2 gerbils. Each of them must have 1800 cm² to flourish and develop. The preferred material remains metal with the bar cage. A terrarium or aquarium can also do the trick, provided there is sufficient ventilation. They will need to be cleaned more regularly.
Inside its cage, your gerbil will have to find all the accessories it needs, whether it is to eat, groom, do its business and play. The location of the cage should be considered.
It has many advantages: ventilation is good and cleaning is easy. The bars allow direct contact with the animal. Accessories, such as the bottle , are easy to attach to the bars of the gerbil cage. But there are also disadvantages: gerbils are burrowing animals that love to dig, and sometimes litter is thrown outside.
The bars encourage him to climb. But that is not his strong point, which does not prevent him from trying; he clings to bars and often falls. You won’t be able to prevent it, but you can prevent it from hanging on the bars and injuring itself. For this, the bars must be spaced at least 12mm .
If the gerbil does not have enough objects to gnaw on and is lacking in distraction, it can start gnawing on bars. If it starts to eat away at the bars, add play accessories to your gerbil.
When you don’t want to contemplate your gerbil through bars, you can also use a large terrarium. Advantage: no projections when the gerbil rummages in its litter.
The floor area should be approximately 80 x 40 cm. In an overly narrow terrarium, there is insufficient air circulation. The moist heat that is released can make animals irritable, and even sick.
Watch out for terrariums with more than ten years of existence! The joint is most often made of putty and not, as is generally the case today, of silicone. The putty contains lead, dangerous for your gerbil. To compensate for the lack of bars, consider providing a maximum of climbing possibilities.
Make yourself a tinned mesh cover that will protect it, if necessary, from cats, while ensuring sufficient air supply.