Do Gerbils Need a Friend? Discover the Power of Companionship

Gerbils should not be kept alone as they are social animals and need companionship. It is recommended to have at least a pair of gerbils, either two males or two females, to ensure they are happy and well-adjusted.

Gerbils kept alone may become lonely and bored and exhibit signs of stress or depression. Giving them a gerbil companion can help fulfill their social and emotional needs.

do gerbils need a friend
do gerbils need a friend


The Importance Of Companionship For Gerbils

Gerbils thrive on companionship, making it essential for them to have a friend. Unlike hamsters, gerbils are not happy living alone, so having a pair of gerbils is recommended to keep each other company.

Gerbils As Social Animals

Gerbils are social animals that thrive in the company of their kind. They are highly interactive and enjoy engaging with their companions through play, grooming, and snuggling. Domesticated gerbils have retained their social instincts from their wild ancestors, who live in large colonies in their natural habitat. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the importance of companionship for gerbils and provide them with suitable social interactions.

The Negative Effects Of Loneliness

Loneliness can have detrimental effects on gerbils’ physical and mental well-being. When deprived of companionship, gerbils may become stressed, anxious, and even depressed. They may exhibit signs of distress, such as excessive chewing, aggressive behavior, or excessive sleeping. These negative emotions can impact their overall health and lifespan. Additionally, lonely gerbils may become less active and show a decline in their natural behaviors. It is essential to recognize and address these adverse effects to ensure the well-being of your pet gerbil.

Why Gerbils Need A Companion

Gerbils require the companionship of their species to thrive and lead a fulfilling life. Here are a few reasons why gerbils need a companion:

1. Socialization: Gerbils are highly social creatures and need interaction with their kind to provide mental stimulation and prevent boredom. Having a companion allows them to engage in natural gerbil behaviors, such as grooming, playing, and exploring together.

2. Emotional Support: Just like humans, gerbils can experience emotions. Having a companion helps them feel secure, loved, and supported. Companions provide comfort and alleviate stress, reducing the risk of behavioral issues.

3. Physical Exercise: Gerbils are energetic animals that require regular exercise. Having a companion encourages them to be more active as they engage in playful chases and explore their environment together. This promotes physical fitness and prevents obesity.

4. Grooming and Hygiene: Gerbils groom each other to bond and maintain hygiene. A companion helps groom hard-to-reach areas and keeps their fur clean and healthy.

5. Lifelong Bond: Gerbils form strong bonds with their companions, often lasting a lifetime. The companionship between gerbils gives them a sense of security, reducing stress and promoting overall well-being.

Providing gerbils companionship is vital for their social, emotional, and physical well-being. They thrive when surrounded by their kind, engaging in natural behaviors, and forming lifelong bonds. As responsible pet owners, we must ensure that gerbils receive the companionship they need to lead happy and fulfilling lives. So, if you are considering keeping gerbils as pets, always provide them with a suitable companion for their overall well-being.

do gerbils need a friend
Do gerbils need a friend?


Options For Providing Companionship To Gerbils

Gerbils are social animals and generally need companionship. If you decide to keep a gerbil alone, ensure they have a secure hiding place, plenty of stimulating toys, and free run time in a gerbil-proof area to prevent loneliness.

Introducing A Same-sex Pair

One option for providing companionship to gerbils is to introduce a same-sex pair. Gerbils are highly social creatures and generally thrive in the company of their kind. When considering introducing a same-sex pair, it is essential to follow some guidelines to ensure a smooth transition.

  • Choose gerbils that are of the same sex and similar age. This will help reduce the chances of aggression and territorial behavior.
  • Provide a spacious cage with multiple hiding places, toys, and tunnels to accommodate both gerbils comfortably.
  • Before introducing the gerbils, it is recommended to use the split-cage method. This involves dividing the cage into two sections with a wire mesh, allowing the gerbils to see and smell each other without direct contact.
  • Monitor the gerbils closely during the introduction process. If there is any sign of aggression or fighting, separate them immediately and try reintroducing them after a few days.
  • Once the gerbils have successfully bonded, remove the wire mesh and allow them to share the entire cage.

Considerations For Housing Multiple Gerbils

Housing multiple gerbils require careful consideration to ensure their well-being and prevent conflicts. Here are some essential factors to keep in mind:

  • Provide a larger cage or habitat to accommodate multiple gerbils. The minimum recommended size is 20 gallons, but more significant is always better.
  • Include plenty of hiding spots, toys, and enrichments to prevent boredom and territorial disputes.
  • Ensure the cage is escape-proof and has secure locks or latches to prevent accidental escapes.
  • Regularly clean the cage to maintain hygiene and minimize the risk of health issues.
  • Observe the gerbils’ behavior closely to ensure they are getting along. If any signs of aggression or bullying are noticed, separating them and providing individual housing may be necessary.

Alternatives To Live Companionship

If live companionship is not an option or if you are unable to provide the necessary care for multiple gerbils, there are alternatives to consider:

  • Provide interactive toys and puzzles to keep your gerbil mentally stimulated.
  • Offer regular playtime outside the cage, allowing your gerbil to explore and interact with you.
  • Consider getting a mirror or reflective surface in the cage to provide the illusion of a companion.
  • Play calming music or provide white noise to create a soothing environment for your gerbil.
  • Consult a veterinarian or an experienced gerbil owner for further advice and suggestions on providing companionship.

Tips For Ensuring A Positive Companion Experience For Gerbils

To ensure a positive companion experience for gerbils, they must be provided with a friend. Unlike hamsters, gerbils are not happy alone and need companionship. It is best to get a pair of gerbils of the same gender to prevent breeding.


Monitoring Behavior And Compatibility

When introducing a companion to your gerbil, monitoring their behavior and closely ensuring compatibility is essential. Gerbils are social creatures, but not all gerbils will get along. It is necessary to observe their interactions to ensure they are not displaying aggressive or dominant behavior.

Here are some tips to help monitor behavior and compatibility:

  • Initially, please keep them in separate cages to familiarize them with each other’s scent.
  • Gradually introduce them by placing their cages next to each other.
  • Watch for any signs of aggression, such as fighting or excessive chasing.
  • If they seem to get along, you can try introducing them in a neutral territory, such as a clean playpen.

Creating A Suitable Living Environment

A suitable living environment is crucial for gerbils to have a positive companion experience. Providing them with a comfortable and stimulating habitat can help promote bonding and reduce stress.

Consider the following when creating a suitable living environment:

  • Select a spacious cage that provides enough room for both gerbils to move around and have their territories.
  • Include plenty of hiding spots, tunnels, and tubes for the gerbils to explore.
  • Provide multiple food and water sources to avoid conflicts over resources.
  • Use safe bedding material that promotes burrowing and digging.

Maintaining Bonding And Socialization

Maintaining bonding and socialization is essential for gerbils to develop vital companionship. Regular interactions and activities can help foster a positive relationship between gerbil companions.

Here are some tips for maintaining bonding and socialization:

  • Offer daily playtime outside of the cage, allowing the gerbils to explore and interact with each other in a larger space.
  • Provide toys and puzzles to stimulate their minds and encourage cooperative play.
  • Supervise their interactions during playtime to ensure they get along and do not display aggressive behavior.
  • Engage in gentle handling and positive reinforcement to help them become more comfortable with human interaction.

By monitoring behavior and compatibility, creating a suitable living environment, and maintaining bonding and socialization, you can ensure a positive companion experience for your gerbils. Remember, every gerbil is unique, and it may take time to establish a strong bond. Patience and consistency are vital in helping them form a lasting companionship.

Frequently Asked Questions On Do Gerbils Need A Friend

What To Do With A Lonely Gerbil?

If your gerbil is alone, ensure they have a safe hiding spot, cardboard to chew on, an exciting cage setup, and time to roam in a gerbil-proof area. It’s best to have a pair of gerbils, two males or two females, as they are social animals and thrive with companionship.

Are Gerbils Fine Alone?

Yes, gerbils need companions. Unlike hamsters, they are not happy alone. It is best to get a pair of gerbils, either two males or two females. They can live in larger groups, but it’s best to keep between two and four gerbils unless you have ample space.

How Many Gerbils Should Live Together?

It is advisable to keep between two and four gerbils together for the best social interaction.

Do Gerbils Like To Be Held?

Gerbils are friendly and enjoy interacting with people but don’t like being held. Regular health checks require handling them. It’s best to get them used to being handled, but remember they do not enjoy it. Gerbils are social animals and need to live with other gerbils, so it’s recommended to keep them in pairs or small groups.


If you’re considering getting a gerbil as a pet, it’s essential to understand their social needs. Gerbils are social animals and thrive when they have a companion. While they can live alone, getting them a partner for optimal well-being is highly recommended.

If you decide to keep your gerbil alone, providing them with a stimulating environment, plenty of hideouts, and free run time can help ensure their happiness. Remember, a happy gerbil is a healthy gerbil!