Are Gerbils Easy to Handle? Everything You Need to Know!

Gerbils have soft, dense fur that can be a variety of colors, including black, white, brown, and gray. They have long tails that are covered in fur, which they use for balance. Gerbils have large eyes and ears, which help them navigate their environment and detect predators.

Behavioral Characteristics

Gerbils are social animals and thrive in groups. They are playful and active and love to explore their environment. They are also curious and enjoy interacting with their owners. Gerbils are known for their ability to jump and climb, so it’s essential to provide them with toys and structures to play on.

Are Gerbils Easy to Handle?

Gerbils are generally easy to handle, but like any animal, it depends on their personality and how they have been socialized. Some gerbils may be more skittish and require more time to get used to handling, while others may love being picked up and held.

Handling Techniques

When handling gerbils, it’s essential to be gentle and calm. They have delicate bones, so it’s crucial not to squeeze them too tightly or handle them roughly. It’s also important to support their entire body and not just their tail or legs.

To pick up a gerbil, place your hand in front of them and let them climb onto your hand. Alternatively, you can scoop them up with both hands, being careful not to put too much pressure on them. While holding a gerbil, make sure to keep them close to your body, so they feel secure.

Understanding Gerbil Behavior

Understanding gerbil behavior is crucial when it comes to handling them. Gerbils are prey animals, which means that they are naturally skittish and prone to running away. However, with proper socialization and handling, gerbils can become used to being touched and held.

It’s essential to approach gerbils slowly and calmly and not to make any sudden movements that could scare them. It’s also important to know when a gerbil has had enough and wants to be put back in their cage.

Gerbil Care

Gerbils are generally easy to care for and require minimal maintenance. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to their housing, diet, and healthcare.


Gerbils require a cage that is at least 10 gallons in size, with a solid bottom and plenty of space to run around. It’s also important to provide them with toys and structures to play on, such as tunnels, wheels, and climbing frames.


Gerbils require a diet that is high in fiber and protein. They should be fed a mix of commercial gerbil food, fresh vegetables, and occasional treats such as nuts and seeds. It’s also essential to provide them with fresh water at all times.


Gerbils are generally healthy animals, but they can still suffer from certain health issues, such as dental problems and respiratory infections. It’s essential to take your gerbil to the vet for regular checkups and to keep their cage clean and free from bacteria.

Gerbil Training

Gerbils can be trained to do certain things, such as using a litter box or performing tricks.

Potty Training

To potty train your gerbil, place a small litter box in their cage and fill it with a litter made of paper pellets or shredded paper. Encourage your gerbil to use the litter box by placing them in it after meals or whenever they wake up.

Trick Training

Gerbils can be trained to perform simple tricks, such as jumping through hoops or running through tunnels. The key to training gerbils is to use positive reinforcement, such as treats or praise, and to keep the training sessions short and fun.

Gerbil Socialization

Gerbils are social animals and thrive in groups. If you decide to keep more than one gerbil, it’s essential to pair them correctly and introduce them slowly.

Pairing and Grouping

Gerbils should be paired or grouped with animals of the same sex. It’s also important to pair animals that are similar in age and temperament.

Introducing New Gerbils

When introducing new gerbils, it’s essential to do it slowly and carefully. Start by placing the new gerbil in a separate cage next to the existing gerbil’s cage. After a few days, switch their cages, so they get used to each other’s scent. Finally, introduce them under close supervision and be prepared to separate them if necessary.

Gerbil Safety

Gerbils are generally safe animals to keep, but there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to their handling and their environment.

Handling Precautions

When handling gerbils, it’s important to be gentle and calm and not to squeeze them too tightly. It’s also important to support their entire body and not just their tail or legs.

Household Hazards

Gerbils are small animals that can easily get into trouble. It’s essential to keep their cage in a safe place away from other pets, children, and potential hazards such as electrical cords and toxic plants.


In conclusion, gerbils are generally easy to handle and make great pets for those who are looking for a low-maintenance companion. Like any animal, gerbils require proper care, socialization, and safety precautions. With the right knowledge and understanding, gerbils can provide years of joy and companionship to their owners.

ThePetFaq Team