Do Gerbils Need a House? (Economic Alternatives)

Mammalian Animal Facts
/ / Do Gerbils Need a House? (Economic Alternatives)

The gerbils often want to retreat into hiding to sleep. It is in the nature of mice. They also like heat while they sleep. A comfortably furnished sleeping house with strips of shredded paper is enough to keep these little animals warm.

In the wild, gerbils stay in their burrows during extreme temperatures and to sleep. They kept this habit even as pets. They build a sleeping nest, preferably in a cave or tube, and pad this nest with gnawed material.

Gerbils love to retreat to a cave to sleep. This is how they sleep in nature is burrows. A sleeping house is part of the basic terrarium equipment as a hiding place. 

But you don’t have to spend any money to do this. A small box with an opening of 4 cm is sufficient. But you should be aware that the box will be gnawed on quickly.

A small cardboard box, in which a suitable opening is cut, is actually enough for the gerbil as a house to sleep and hide in. This type of house for the gerbil is quite comfortable for them and economical.

One thing is predictable with the cardboard box, it is of ephemeral use since after a time it will have to be replaced because it will have been affected by the gavage of the gerbils. Of course, this would not happen with a house to sleep made of ceramic.

A 10-15 cm long tube made of thicker cardboard is also suitable as a sleeping house and a hiding place for the gerbil. It can withstand the incisor teeth longer. If you put the end of the cut tube’s head on the terrarium glass, you will be able to see the gerbils while they are sleeping.

In the pet store, you will find sleeping houses of various types and, above all, made of very different materials. In recent years, rodent bedrooms made of ceramic have been offered.

Unlike wooden furniture, houses cannot be gnawed on. If the glaze is hard and can withstand the incisors, you don’t have to worry about the ingredients of the fired (colored) glazes.

Wooden bedrooms can also be very tooth resistant and decorative if they are made with a sturdy wooden log, .

Inexpensive sleeping houses for gerbil

A self-made or bought bed house is definitely something special. A small cardboard box or a cardboard tube serves the same purpose. Alternatively, an inexpensive wooden box could be used for other purposes. So you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of money. Especially if you redesign the terrarium often.

A sleeping cave made of molded cardboard (packaging material) may not last very long. But it is an inexpensive alternative to the bought wooden sleeping quarters.

Changing the gerbil's sleeping place

If you are going to change the gerbil’s sleeping place, it may not matter at all, gerbils change their sleeping place for different reasons, for example, depending on the room temperature.

In winter, gerbils always sleep in the nest at the highest level. this is logical because as the warm air rises, they always have to look for the warmest part of their sleeping place.

If you have a multilevel gerbil house, you can install a small lamp under the second level of the gerbil house, so you can help keep your house warm on the second level, you will see that the gerbils will sleep right above the lamp on the top floor.

They will especially like that place because the small lamp can radiate heat and the second level board will be pre-warmed.

Recommended materials to use for the gerbil's house

Gerbils need a bed or fodder that will absorb their urine and also allow them to dig. As they do not urinate too much, the material does not need to be perfumed. The best alternatives are poplar chips or ground cob, which should cover one-third of the tank

Pine or cedar shavings should never be used, especially if the animals are going to be raised; they have been proven to cause respiratory diseases and liver failure. Paper strips also work, however they should be changed more often as they generate more odor. The paper should not contain inks, perfumes or additives of any kind. The ideal is white tissue paper (unscented toilet paper or tissues).

Cotton and cloth should not be used either, as they will fray and cut them, and that is very dangerous because the threads are strong enough to cut off mouths, fingers and even limbs in such small animals.

As for the nest, a simple box will give the gerbils the privacy they need and a good place to sleep and hide. Plastic houses are not recommended, as the gerbils will gnaw on it completely within a week.

Gerbil nesting material

It is very interesting to see how my mice with their mouths and legs bend the strips like an accordion and then transport them. They often take a detour to the nest, apparently not to reveal where their sleeping nest is.

Then again they step a little awkwardly into a hanging corner and their quick path to the nest is abruptly slowed down.

They are not deterred, continue their work, and do not rest until all the strips have been collected. Later, the gerbils spend a lot of time gnawing at everything and placing it correctly in the nest.

Although gerbils can be seen simply cuddling and sleeping together in the terrarium, this does not correspond to their usual behavior. Usually, they sleep in their hiding place (freely in their sleeping cave). The sleeping nest is filled with a lot of nest material. Apparently, they like it cozy and warm.

To do this, they collect everything they can to gnaw it and use it to cushion their sleeping nest. I give them strips of paper from kitchen rolls into the terrarium and thus pursue several goals:

  • Gift of nest material
  • Employment through collection and transportation
  • Gnawing work while crushing

Can you keep gerbils in your bedroom?

You can have a gerbil in your room in case you don’t have enough space, just keep in mind a few things, the first thing is that you should try to keep it in a space with the right characteristics, where there is no cold draft.

The other thing you must take into account and this is a problem that most of the gerbil owners have to deal with if they decide to have them in their room, is the noise, the gerbils are quite active at night, while you try to sleep, the gerbil can be gnawing plastic, wood, digging, or doing any other activity that generates noise.

If you are a light sleeper, having a gerbil in your room would be a real nuisance to your rest.

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