Hey there! Are you taking your first steps in finding the right cage for your gerbil?
If so, then you’ve come to the right place!
My name is Casey, and I have both personal and professional experience with pocket pets of all types!
Finding the best cage for gerbils can seem a daunting task, but in reality, there really is no wrong option.
It all boils down to what you’re comfortable with and what steps you’re willing to take to ensure your gerbil friends remain safe and happy within their enclosure.
Before we get started, there are a few key details you’ll want to keep in mind when searching for the best gerbil cage.
First, gerbils are very active! They love to explore and run around, but their most favorite activity is burrowing!
So you’ll want to not only have a good sized cage for your gerbil friends to run around in, but enough depth for a healthy layer of bedding so that your gerbil pals are able to burrow and tunnel to their heart’s desire.
Unsure of what bedding type is best for burrowing? No problem! You can review the best bedding for burrowing gerbils here.
Secondly, gerbils are social creatures, so keeping them together with littermates or other gerbils in which they have been housed with is a definite must. While gerbils can do well on their own, they will simply thrive with friends.
Meaning you’re going to want to ensure that there is enough space for all of your gerbils. So long as you have a minimum of 2, they will be happy! I personally have 3 gerbils, two littermates, and one non-litter mate.
My third gerbil’s litter mate was very sick when the pet store got him and he passed away, leaving my third gerbil all alone. I couldn’t let him live like that so I brought him home and introduced him to the other two.
I lucked out in that the other two boys had been young enough to not be territorial yet, so now my three boys get along great. They play, snuggle and work together to burrow and build nests.
Third, you’re going to want to ensure you have plenty of accessories! This includes climbable activities and toys, a running wheel or two, a water bottle of course and plenty of chewable items!
My gerbils are a huge fan of wooden toys and often use their chewed up wood in their nests.
Fourth, plan out your cage location! Gerbils are not only social with each other, but they also love their humans too and can be a joy to have.
Knowing the amount of space you have available for your cage will go a long way in deciding which option is right for you!
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a closer look at your gerbil cage options!
From aquariums to terrariums there is a multitude of glass tank options available and the biggest factor to take into consideration is your budget. Naturally, when it comes to your gerbil’s preferences, the bigger the tank the better!
When looking at a general overview of size, the typical rule of thumb is a minimum of 5 gallons per gerbil, however again, bigger is always better!
My glass tank is my go-to for my three boys as it keeps them safely inside without risk of escape. Just in case though, I’ve included a wire mesh lid to ensure they don’t find themselves up and over the edge!
Glass tanks provide adequate depth for gerbils to not only build nests but burrow and tunnel all around! There is plenty of room for their toys, wheel, water bottle, houses, and climbing activities.
There is easy access from the top down and cleaning the tank is a breeze – Even with them inside while I do it! They are very curious and always try to see what I’m doing with their bedding.
It gives me the opportunity to pet and hold them while I get their area all cleaned up.
One of the biggest concerns that many pocket pet owners have with glass tanks is ventilation. If you’re like me, chances are you’re going to be bringing your gerbils out of their cage daily for interaction and play time.
I personally have a pen I let them run around in to give additional stimulation outside of their home.
So long as your gerbils get the occasional fresh air, and their bedding is routinely cleaned, then there is nothing wrong with using glass tanks.
Don’t forget! Gerbils like to burrow and nest, and you know there isn’t much ventilation in there!
These are one of my favorite options for gerbils and I’ve used one for my lone gerbil! This is a fantastic combination of both aquarium and wire cage perfect for any number of gerbils.
For those who worry about the ventilation of aquariums but the bedding debris being kicked everywhere and outside of wire cages, this option is for you.
The aquarium provides the needed depth for a healthy amount of bedding to provide burrowing and nesting space while keeping the bedding contained within the cage, meanwhile, the wire topper allows for gerbils to climb, explore and best of all, get fresh air.
These toppers typically lock down on top of your aquarium and come with a ramp system for your gerbils to run or climb up.
Many of them typically have an access point for you to reach in and change food or water from the top, side or both.
You’ll find a lot of gerbil owners don’t like using a straight wire cage. Mostly because they don’t typically provide a good base to allow for an appropriate bedding depth for burrowing and nesting.
Not to mention the fact that gerbils have very powerful back legs, which allows them to kick their bedding everywhere during the burrowing process!
Depending on the height of your bedding in comparison to the wire walls, you may find yourself developing a daily clean-up routine for the area around your gerbil’s cage!
Luckily, there are options available where a wire cage has a deep plastic base, which is more ideal for your gerbil pals! This will not only allow them to burrow but provide a good amount of ventilation.
Wire cages have easy access doors from either the top, side or both depending on your chosen option.
You know those really colorful cages with all the plastic tubes going around? While normally advertised for hamsters, some gerbil owners like to give these a go due to the gerbil’s natural instinct to burrow and run around tunnels.
If you decide to go with this option, be prepared for daily cage checks!
Gerbils are active chewers and love to chew on anything they can get their teeth around. It is for this reason, I don’t typically recommend tube cages.
It can, however, be made to work if you provide your gerbils with tons of chewing alternatives!
Despite providing chewing options, it common for gerbils to chew on everything available. So be sure to make a habit of checking all joint areas of your gerbil’s cage to prevent any potential escapes!
An alternative to tubes that go outside of the cage, is to simply include them within the cage. Consider me biased, as I still can’t recommend plastic tubing simply due to how gerbils love to chew on everything.
The potential for ingested plastics is one risk I prefer not to take, as it can cause harm to our gerbil friends.
7 Best Gerbil Cage Options!
1. Aqua Culture 10 Gallon Empty Aquarium
If you’re planning on only having 2 gerbils but don’t have a ton of space then this 10-gallon aquarium will be adequate.
A great cage to get for your gerbil as it allows easy access to them as well as keeping them secure.
Had any thoughts on getting a lid?
Be sure to invest in a lid as well, such as an Exo Terra Screen Cover or consider a tank topper!
A great topper will be well ventilated and lock down on the top.
For your gerbil it will be good for them as they also normally come with ramps for your gerbil to enjoy!
2. Ware Manufacturing Chew Proof High Rise Pet Cage For Small Pets
This allows for expansion of your 10-gallon tank to give your gerbils plenty of space to run around in and explore while maintaining its space-saving properties.
Wire cages are a great way to keep your gerbil ventilated and happy.
3. Kaytee My First Home Tank Topper
It comes with a gerbil hut and water bottle for them to nest and remain hydrated. It also includes a food bowl at the top. The plastic is easy to clean with a quick wipe down.
My biggest tip for this option: Include plenty of chew toys! If your gerbils get bored they will definitely turn their attention to the plastic!
4. Ferplast Hamster Cage
Gerbils have no issues using a running wheel, despite their long tails!
The bottom of this cage provides a deep space for plenty of bedding to allow for the natural burrowing, while the second layer lets gerbils get some fresh air and see what’s going on around their home.
5. Kaytee My First Home Multi-Level Habitat For Exotics
The base allows for deep bedding for burrowing and tunneling action while still leaving room for nesting.
The tri-level option will let you place food around their cage for a fun scavenger hunt as your gerbil explores their home.
6. IRIS Hamster Cage
Its cute design will brighten your home as you watch your little critters run around the three levels.
Unfortunately, this cage doesn’t seem to offer much in the way for burrowing space, but if you happen to find a single gerbil in a pet store without any of their littermates, this may be a great option for them!
7. Prevue Pet Products 528 Universal Small Animal Home
There are 2 entry doors – one on top and one on the bottom for quick and easy access to your gerbil pals.
The ⅜” wire spacing is small enough to hold even the smallest hamsters, meaning it’s perfectly spaced for gerbils.
This option includes a ramp and sitting point above the tub to allow your gerbils to take a look at what’s going on around them while providing privacy for burrowing and nesting.
While there are multiple cage options out there on the market, at the end of the day my favorite go-to is the glass tank with either a cage topper or a mesh lid.
I personally use a glass terrarium with a mesh lid for my three gerbil boys and really, so long as there is plenty of space for everything your gerbils need then you’re good to go!
If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below 🙂