Can Gerbils Safely Play and Chew on Cardboard? A Comprehensive Guide to Cardboard Toys for Gerbils.

There are two main types of cardboard: corrugated cardboard and paperboard. Corrugated cardboard is made up of three layers: an inner layer of fluted paper, an outer layer of flat paper, and a layer of adhesive that binds the two layers together. Paperboard, on the other hand, is a single-layered material that is thinner and less durable than corrugated cardboard.

How is Cardboard Made?

Cardboard is made from recycled paper pulp, which is processed and treated with chemicals to make it stronger and more durable. The pulp is then layered and pressed together to form sheets of cardboard, which can be cut and shaped into a variety of products.

Are Gerbils Safe to Play with Cardboard?

Gerbils can safely play with cardboard, but it’s important to monitor them to ensure they don’t ingest any of the material. While cardboard is not toxic, it can cause blockages in the digestive system if ingested in large quantities. Additionally, cardboard can be abrasive and cause dental problems if gerbils chew on it excessively.

The Risks of Chewing Cardboard

Gerbils are natural chewers and need to chew on things to keep their teeth healthy and prevent them from becoming overgrown. However, chewing on cardboard can cause dental problems, as the material is abrasive and can wear down the teeth. Additionally, if a gerbil ingests too much cardboard, it can cause blockages in the digestive system, which can be fatal if left untreated.

How to Monitor Gerbils with Cardboard

To ensure your gerbil is safe while playing with cardboard, it’s important to monitor them closely. Remove any cardboard that is starting to become frayed or worn down, as this can be a sign that your gerbil is chewing on it excessively. Additionally, keep an eye out for any signs that your gerbil may have ingested cardboard, such as loss of appetite, lethargy, or changes in bowel movements.

Best Types of Cardboard for Gerbils to Chew On

While gerbils can safely play with cardboard, it’s important to choose the right types of cardboard to ensure their safety and prevent dental problems. Here are some of the best types of cardboard for gerbils to chew on:

Plain Cardboard Boxes

Plain cardboard boxes, such as those used for shipping and storage, are a great option for gerbils to chew on. They are thick and durable, making them less likely to become worn down quickly, and they don’t have any added dyes or chemicals that could be harmful to your pet.

Egg Cartons

Egg cartons are another great option for gerbils to chew on. They are made from paperboard, which is a thinner and less durable material than corrugated cardboard, but they are still safe for gerbils to chew on in moderation.

Toilet Paper Rolls

Toilet paper rolls are a popular DIY option for gerbil chew toys. They are made from thin cardboard, so they should only be used in moderation, but they are a great way to provide your gerbil with a fun and easily accessible toy.

DIY Cardboard Toys for Gerbils

If you’re feeling crafty, there are plenty of DIY cardboard toys you can make for your gerbil. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Tunnels and Mazes

Use cardboard boxes to create tunnels and mazes for your gerbil to explore. Cut holes in the boxes to create openings, and connect them together to create a fun and interactive play area.

Houses and Hideouts

Cut and fold cardboard boxes to create houses and hideouts for your gerbil. Be sure to remove any tape or adhesive before giving the cardboard to your pet.

Chew Toys and Treat Dispensers

Use cardboard tubes to create chew toys and treat dispensers for your gerbil. Fill the tubes with small treats or hay, and let your gerbil chew and play.

Where to Buy Safe Cardboard Toys for Gerbils

If you don’t have the time or resources to make your own cardboard toys, there are plenty of safe options available for purchase. Here are some places to look for safe cardboard toys for your gerbil:

Pet Stores

Most pet stores carry a variety of cardboard toys for small animals. Look for toys that are made from plain cardboard and don’t have any added dyes or chemicals.

Online Retailers

There are plenty of online retailers that sell safe and affordable cardboard toys for gerbils. Look for toys that are specifically designed for small animals and are made from high-quality materials.

Cleaning Cardboard Toys for Gerbils

It’s important to clean your gerbil’s cardboard toys regularly to prevent the buildup of bacteria and other harmful substances. Here are some tips for cleaning cardboard toys:

When to Clean

Clean your gerbil’s cardboard toys at least once a week, or more often if they become soiled or dirty.

How to Clean

To clean cardboard toys, wipe them down with a damp cloth and mild soap. Rinse thoroughly and let them air dry before giving them back to your gerbil.


Cardboard toys can be a great way to keep your gerbil entertained and mentally stimulated. By choosing safe types of cardboard and monitoring your gerbil’s playtime, you can ensure that they stay healthy and happy. Whether you choose to make your own toys or buy them from a retailer, be sure to provide your gerbil with plenty of options to keep them engaged and active.

ThePetFaq Team