Are Gerbils Social? Are They Good As Pets?

Gerbils are the best rodents as a pet. But we always want an adorable pet that enjoys socializing and companionship. So, are gerbils social?

Certainly, yes, they are social creatures. Gerbils love the company of their fellow gerbils and can form strong bonds with humans too. In their natural habitat, gerbils live in groups. They work together to build burrows, find food, and raise their young. This social structure continues also in the domestic state.

Are Gerbils Social?


Gerbils are known for their small size and adorable appearance. Among types of rodents, gerbils are popular for their social nature and their ability to live in groups. These small rodents thrive in a social environment where they can interact with other gerbils and engage in various social behaviors.

In the wild, gerbils live in large family groups that consist of a parent breeding pair and their offspring. They communicate with each other through vocalizations, body language, and scent marking. They groom each other, play together, and even sleep huddled in close proximity.

When it comes to keeping gerbils as pets, their social nature remains an important consideration. Gerbils love to live in pairs or small groups to ensure their emotional happiness. Solitary gerbils can lead to stress, loneliness, and even depression.

In fact, gerbils live longer and stay healthier when they live in groups. On the other hand, a single gerbil who is in solitary has various health issues and finally short lifespan.

If you are considering getting gerbils as pets, we recommend you get a same-sex pair or a small group of gerbils from the same litter. It can be difficult to introduce gerbils that haven’t grown up together, which can result in aggression and dominance problems.

Are Gerbils Good Pets?

Gerbils are small rodents that are native to the deserts of Africa and Asia. They have become popular pets due to their gentle nature, intelligence, and low maintenance needs. One of the key advantages of owning gerbils is their ability to bond with their owners and kids. With patience and proper handling, they can become friendly and affectionate companions.

In terms of care requirements, gerbils are relatively easy to care for. They have specific dietary needs that include a mixture of grains, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. They also drink fresh water daily. Gerbils are burrowing animals, so providing them with a properly sized enclosure and bedding material.

Another consideration for potential gerbil owners is their social nature. Gerbils are highly social animals. So they will make a friendly bond with you and others. It is recommended to keep at least two gerbils together to prevent loneliness and ensure their mental stimulation.

Gerbils are also known for their cleanliness. They groom themselves regularly and do not have a strong odor like some other small pets. Their living space should still be cleaned regularly to maintain hygiene and prevent the buildup of waste.

It is essential to provide gerbils with a suitable environment to keep them happy and healthy. You need to give them plenty of toys, exercise wheels, and tunnels to explore. Gerbils are active animals and need opportunities for physical activity and mental stimulation.

Can You Have 2 Gerbils In The Same Cage?

The ASPCA recommends housing gerbils in groups of two or more. This recommendation is based on the gerbils’ natural social structure and their need for companionship. So you can have 2 gerbils in the same cage.

Gerbils love the fellowship of their own kind and enjoy various social activities such as grooming, playing, and cuddling. These interactions not only fulfill their emotional needs.

Gerbils form strong bonds with their cage mates. Having a companion provides them with constant companionship, which is helpful in reducing loneliness and boredom. They live happily without any stress. They both will engage in playful activities and exploration that keep their minds active.

Though gerbils are social, you need to introduce cage mates together at a young age. Otherwise, you will notice a lot of discrimination. If you introduce a new cage mate after a while they will be aggressive and conflict with each other.

What Happens If I Only Have One Gerbil?

Gerbils like to live in groups and engage in a lot of social interaction. If kept alone, they miss out on the companionship and engaging activities that are an integral part of their natural behavior. This can lead to a less happy and less mentally stimulated gerbil.

Just like humans, gerbils experience emotions. A lone gerbil may become lonely and even depressed over time. Signs of loneliness in gerbils can include lethargy, decreased appetite, and a noticeable change in behavior.

Solitary gerbils are more prone to health problems. Their emotional happiness is interconnected with their physical health. Without a companion to groom and interact with, they may become less active, which can lead to obesity and related health issues.

If you have a solitary gerbil, you need to get another cage mate. This is the only solution to engage them the social interaction again and be mentally fit.

Behavior Of Well-socialized Gerbil

First and foremost, a healthy gerbil will have a good appetite. They should be eager to eat and drink, and their food and water should disappear regularly. Additionally, their body weight should remain stable and they should have a healthy coat of fur. Their fur will be smooth and glossy, and no bald patches or signs of matted fur.

Another sign of a healthy gerbil is their activity level. They are naturally curious and energetic creatures. So a well-socialized gerbil will be active and constantly on the move. They should be seen exploring their environment, running on their wheels, and engaging in normal gerbil behaviors such as digging and burrowing.

Furthermore, a gerbil will show social behaviors towards both humans and other gerbils. They like to be handled and touched. They don’t exhibit any signs of aggression or fear once they make a good bond.

If a gerbil appears lethargic or does not show any interest in their surroundings, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue.

Are gerbils friendlier than hamsters?

Gerbils and hamsters are both popular small pets. As you know, gerbils tend to be more curious and active in nature. This sociable behavior often extends to human interaction as well. They become quite tame and enjoy being handled by their owners.

On the other hand, hamsters are generally more solitary creatures. They are less likely to seek out human interaction and take longer to become comfortable with handling. Some hamsters are skittish or prone to biting if they feel threatened or fearful.

However, with proper socialization and gentle handling from a young age, hamsters can also become friendly and enjoy human companionship.

It’s important to remember that every gerbil and hamster has its own personality and temperament. Both gerbils and hamsters can make wonderful pets, but it’s crucial to provide them with proper care, socialization, and attention to ensure a positive and enriching relationship.


Gerbils are a great choice as pets. Their social behavior makes them more appealing as pets.

If you are considering getting gerbils as pets, it is important to provide them with a suitable enclosure that allows for social interaction.

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