Gerbil Behavior Deciphering

Gerbil Behavior Deciphering

Here we can see, “Gerbil Behavior Deciphering”

Gerbils are fascinating to watch and make good pets. But, what does their unusual behavior imply?

Interactions With Other Gerbils

Gerbils are gregarious animals, so keeping them alone is not intelligent. Gerbils in pairs or families are usually quite affectionate with one another. They’ll wrestle and box while chasing each other around. They will also groom, lie in mounds, and snuggle. If you keep your pet gerbils in pairs, they will be considerably happier (same-sex unless you plan to breed, which requires more care).

However, some gerbils may fight, but it can be difficult to tell the difference between this and the standard play of wrestling or boxing. One animal will frequently appear upset, loud, high-pitched squeaks will be heard, and the action will be more intense and violent than play. Gerbils that have fought violently may never be able to live in peace. Some gerbils, like some people, can’t seem to get along. Even among families, this is true. In the wild, young gerbils are sent off to choose their territories, which means that as the infants grow older, parental groups may start fighting. If this is the case, they must be separated.

It can be challenging to introduce a new gerbil, especially adult (i.e., older than eight weeks) gerbils, if you have a single gerbil or if one of a pair dies. It’s better to keep a group of gerbils who are similar in age and have been reared together since birth, but if you must introduce older gerbils, there is a specific manner. It is usually easier to introduce a youngster (less than 10 weeks) if you have a gerbil older than 10 weeks, while elder gerbils can sometimes be successfully introduced. However, some gerbils do not get along, so if gerbils continue to quarrel, it may be necessary to keep them apart.

Also See:  How to Take Care of a Gerbil as a Pet


Gerbils do this to warn other gerbils when they are excited or anxious. The thumping is made by striking the ground with both hind legs. When one gerbil is spooked and starts thumping (a fast “da-dum, da-dum” sound), other gerbils in the enclosure or room will often start thumping. It changes in volume and speed depending on the urgency or significance of the sound, although it can be pretty loud given the tiny creature that makes it. The gerbils may join in if there is a rhythmic thumping or clicking noise in the house due to the infectious nature of the thumping.

Thumping by young gerbils is expected; however, it often appears to be a learning exercise rather than a danger alarm. Thumping is a crucial aspect of the mating ritual as well.


Gerbils groom themselves frequently, even one another. This is a significant component of their social interaction and the benefits of their coats. They also enjoy being given sand to take a dust bath in (they will roll and play in the sand, which helps clean their fur).


Gerbils make a high-pitched squeak, but only while they’re young. Adults normally only speak when they are having fun, excited, or stressed.


Like most other rodents, Gerbils are voracious chewers who will regularly chew through cage furniture. Appropriate chewing toys, such as wood blocks and branches, must be provided to allow the gerbils to engage in this natural behavior.

Also See:  What Should You Feed Your Pet Gerbil?


Gerbils live in a complex system of tunnels and caves in the wild, so it’s ideal for providing them adequate space to burrow in their habitat. Burrowing space will be provided by a dense layer of wood shavings mixed with hay.

Marking with a scent

Gerbils have a scent gland on their belly to mark their territory. Gerbils who rub their belly on the furniture in their cages establish their territory.

User Questions

How can you tell which gerbil is dominant?

Dominant gerbils smell mark more and can scent mark other gerbils as well. They squeak more frequently and loudly at other gerbils, arching their backs to appear more prominent. They will wrestle and box other gerbils who confront them and engage in regular bouts.

How do you tell if a gerbil is stressed?

Obsessive habits, such as over-grooming and cage biting, are signs of stress in gerbils. Gerbils may become more aggressive, irritated, or conceal more than usual. Stress can cause foot pounding and vocalizations like squeaking and teeth chattering. When gerbils are stressed, they might suffer seizures.

Also See:  How to Introduce Gerbils to Each Other

Are female gerbils more aggressive?

Gerbils are likely to be friendly with you if they have been handled when they were little. Disagreements between the two will be uncommon and quick. Females are more territorial than males, but this should not be a problem in a large enough cage.

Is my gerbil in distress?

Lack of activity, too much sleep, bar gnawing, and floor scratching are all indicators of a melancholy gerbil. If their habitat is small or stressed, gerbils become distressed when other gerbils die. Spending time with your pet and providing affection can help a depressed gerbil recover.

Is my gerbil uninterested?

When gerbils aren’t given enough mental and physical stimulation, they become bored. Gnawing cage bars and scratching the floor are signs that gerbils are bored. Spend quality time with your gerbil by petting it and feeding it snacks. Toss in chew toys and an exercise wheel, and consider teaching your gerbil some tricks.


I hope you found this helpful guide. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to use the form below.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here