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Discussion Starter #1
I saw a couple in the pet store the other day and was just wondering what their temperament and needs are because I found them pretty cute and I have a couple of cages that I could use for a pair/one of them if they are suitable. I've always just had this notion that they were mean but the ones that I saw looked so soft and nice :) So does anybody own them? What type of cage do you use? Are they social or do they prefer to be more standoff-ish? ***not that I'm going to go out and get them without knowing anything about them, that is what this post is for and I'll probably not get them anyway***
 

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I had two gerbils for a couple years. They need more floor space and less height. They are prone to respiratory infections but if you catch it early its treatable with doxycycline, if you don't catch its early then theres not really anything you can do. Both my gerbils died of respiratory infections but they were elderly. They are naturally epiletic so seizures can happen but they are typically mild. Mine never got any till they were older. Girls need to be in pairs and boys in threes. They are extremely territorial and will kill outsiders. It is very, very hard to introduce gerbils. They are escape artists. I can't even count how many times mine escaped but they tend to stay near their cage and can usually be coaxed out with food. They are amazing chewers. Worse than rats. They absolutely love toilet paper rolls. Mine would go through 5-6 a day. They shred everything in their sight. They are kind of look at pets. They don't bond with you like rats do but they are really sweet and can be somewhat handtamed with treats. Sunflower seeds are like crack to them but very fattening. They are the funnest little things to watch. They are also desert animals so they don't drink a lot of water and leave little waste. They are the least smelliest animal I've ever had. They didn't even really have a smell to be honest. I think they are pretty great pets but I like having animals that I can form a bond with which why I never got anymore and I was pretty heartbroken when they passed.

This is a pic of shadow and nala (RIP) and this is also the type of cage you shouldn't get. Unfortuantely I was young when I had them and my dad wasn't willing to spend more than $20 on a cage. It wasn't till the end of their lives when someone gave me a small rabbit/guinea pig cage (that was much too small for those animals but perfect for gerbils) that they actually had a proper cage. The cage in the pic has multiple levels which is not very beneficial for them and it wasn't deep enough for me to put a lot of bedding in it. They kicked most of it out when they were burrowing. Suprisingly my gerbils had a long life and I like to think they were pretty happy. Tanks actually make good cages for gerbils because they don't have a lot of waste so fumes are little to none and it allows them to burrow which is what they do in the wild. A ten gallon is a good starter for babies but you would need to upgrade as they grow.
 

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Oh and having a hide away is 100% important. You can kinda see the one I had for my gerbils underneath them. It was one of the wood bendy logs and they loved it cause they could sleep nice and peacefully and chew on it when they got bored.
 

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Oh and its not recommended to put plastic in their cage. They have a tendency to ingest it. I gave them a plastic igloo one time and it was gone by morning.
 

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I have a pair of female gerbils. They are in a ten gallon tank with a cage topper. Gerbils LOVE to dig and chew so you have to keep that in mind when you get a cage. Aspen bedding is fine as long as it isn't too dusty. They also have very different diet needs than rats. I agree that they are more look at pets. They tolerate handling and some probably enjoy it, but they don't need a lot of socialization. They do not smell barely at all and I hardly need to clean the cage. They are pretty low maintenance pets and they don't cost very much either.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info...maybe after my rats are gone and I'm in college. I kind of want something that can go back in my dcn though because I just got it last year but my boys are getting older.
 

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Gerbils are too small for DCN and they aren't deep enough for digging. If your gonna live in dorms than gerbils might actually be a good idea because a lot of dorms allow ten gallon tanks.
 

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Okay I think I'll look into some gerbils in college. And I know, I was just saying that maybe I shouldn't get them right now because I kind of want to put my DCN to more use :)
 
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