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Why You Should Always Have Two Gerbils

Updated on December 16, 2016

Do Gerbils need anti-depressants?

Gerbils, unlike many of their cousins need the social interaction of other gerbils in order to live. If a solo gerbil is left alone in the cage it becomes depressed and will die. Introducing new gerbils to an established cage can create territory problems, so getting at least two in the beginning will keep them alive, happy, and friendly. Besides you can only run on a wheel so long before it gets boring.

Depression and Loneliness

Gerbils are a lot like humans because they do not cope well being by themselves. The gerbil will display very typical depression behaviors such as listlessness, reduced appetite, and isolation. They can be snapped out it with love and attention from their owner, but this will also take some time. You can ask your vet if it would be appropriate at this time to introduce another gerbil and how.

Shorter Life Span

Now, I am not saying your gerbil will commit suicide, but it is a proven fact that a depressed lonely gerbil does not live very long. The typical life span of a healthy gerbil is 2-4 years, however many lonely gerbils do not last the first year. Nothing is worse than having to bury a gerbil just because they were lonely.

Age does make a difference

If you are planning on introducing another gerbil to your lonely gerbil it is recommended they be 4-6 week old at the most. If they are any older, it will be almost impossible for them to grow accustomed to each other because they become fixated on their group's odor. All we want in the end is for everyone to be happy and healthy anyway.

Hey Bud this is my Turf

Gerbils are very territorial, and can become aggressive with others they do not know. When introducing gerbils to one another it is best to bring them to a neutral territory so that neither one is dominant of the space. Then once they have gotten to know each other a bit more you can blend the two cages together.

To avoid all of these negative reactions, it is really best to buy two or more gerbils from the same family at the same time. They will be happy with more of their family, and they will have others to play with. Gerbils also tend to play more nicely with members of their own family, just like humans.


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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Did you know gerbils and hamsters can have a babby

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I've really want gerbils. I had some when I was ages 4 until I was 10. One was really friendly and the other bit me everytime I touched her. But, the two of them got along fine. Then the friendly one died of old age and the mean one got depressed, so I gave her away 'cuz I never liked her anyways. Then I got two male gerbils that were really smart and responded to their names. They both died of old age as well This was years ago and now at 13, I want them again.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Yes she will, i got my gerbil from pets at home to and she was a little older! people say you need 2 for them to live, you don't! they can live on there own as long as you handle them and feed them everyday. you have to change them out once or twice a month. if you take good care of them they will live longer! my cousin got 2 gerbils and one died because they were fighting. if you don't handle them atleast once a day they will start bitting. if you go to work for the hull day it would be a good idea to buy then some toys and hidding places so they don't get bored! :)

    • thehappyshopper profile image


      6 years ago from ONLINE

      This hubber is absolutely corrrect, she knows exactly what she's talking about! I did a lot of research on keeping gerbils, and yes, they are much happier and healthier with a "cage mate"'s best to get TWO MALES when they are opposed to two females, and certainly never ever get a male and a female - unless you want to go into the gerbil breeding business!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Ok so I went to pets at home and bought a gerbil. Shes a little older than most and was the only one left.. Will she be ok on her own?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Don't have a gerbil but I do have a hamster NEVER get two hamsters and put them in the same cage lets just say I had two hamsters now I have one );

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I only had one gerbil for two days and I grew concerned that she might get lonely since I read they're social creatures and I work full time. I decided to get a friend for her. When I introduced the new friend, it just wasn't happening. I ended up taking back my first gerbil and getting another one the same day I got the "friend." They get along great and seem to be pretty happy! Always get them on the same day. Otherwise, it's a lot harder to get them to like each other.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I hope I spelled annoynomaus right but my mom won't even try to get two gerbils and how do I convince her. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I have only 1 gerbil. It seems fine, but I'm still a bit worried for her.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      So not true.Wild gerbs are solitary.Their coussins are however even more social(e.g rats,mice,cavies,etc)Make correct hubs please.


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