Video of the Day
Although some tiny and fluffy rodents are rather territorial and independent animals, such as the Syrian hamster, gerbils are definitely not part of this "loner" category. Gerbils are actually extremely gregarious, amiable and social little animals, and typically are much happier when they live in cages alongside at least one other companion. Gerbils often play wrestle, snuggle and groom each other when in the same cage.
Pair of Gerbils Together
Because of the social nature of gerbils, the ASPCA recommends housing a minimum of two of them together. To stop conflict and aggression, however, the younger the gerbils are brought together, the better. Sibling gerbils are ideal -- the little ones have been together for their entire lives and are used to each other, after all. If you're thinking about placing three or four gerbils in one cage, make sure your cage is spacious enough to accommodate them all comfortably. Also remember that three or four male gerbils typically can live together very serenely, although that doesn't always apply to females. Units of more than two females together may fight, and aggressively so, so always be cautious when planning gerbil living arrangements.
Avoid Opposite Gender Pairings
Keep gerbils of the opposite sex out of the same cage. If you put a male and female gerbil together, they will inevitably mate, and before you know it you'll have a litter of even smaller fluffy creatures on your hands.
Before placing multiple gerbils into one cage, consider types of combinations. Male littermates typically are a strong match, according to SmallAnimalChannel.com. Although female littermates often work, they also sometimes develop hostility toward another the older they get. Mature males generally do well with young pups, but avoid mature female and youngster pairings.
To encourage a harmonious, safe and peaceful living environment for your gerbils, bring them together during the tender stages of their lives -- between 6 and 8 weeks, if possible. Make a point to place them in the same cage before they attain sexual maturity, which generally occurs between 3 and 4 months old.
- Ryan McVay/Lifesize/Getty Images