How we chose the best gerbilariums
As this gerbil cage will be where your gerbil spends their days (they live for 3-4 years), it needs to be of a luxurious size that does not feel claustrophobic or cramped, giving them room to explore and opportunities to engage. They may be small creatures, but they are active.
Gerbils should live with other gerbils, at least in a pair. But, if a tank is too small, they could actually try to kill each other. Therefore, if you have a pair, you should look for a tank which is around 20-30 gallons (although many owners prefer to look for something up to 40 gallons as the best option).
Gallons in the form of dimensions can differ, but seeing you need something tall, look for this as the main factor. We picked ones at least 50cm tall. However, just as with any other animal which lives in a tank or cage, you should get the absolutely largest size gerbilarium you can afford, ensuring they have more than enough room to get up to plenty of hijinx!
These dimensions do not include the cage topper, which is an optional extra but recommended.
The enclosure needs to be deep to allow lots of space for bedding – ideally, you want to fill up the base of your enclosure with five to six inches of bedding! So, don’t think that a larger tank in width and depth which then limits height is better.
Gerbils need to be able to breathe. Wire cage toppings should provide plenty of ventilation, but if your enclosure doesn’t have one, ensure there are sufficient breathing holes which will let in plenty of fresh air yet not allow your pet to escape or gnaw to make the holes larger.
Don’t give too much ventilation, however – they don’t like it if it is too draughty.
It’s going to be much easier for you if you buy a cage which already has items such as a wheel, platforms, ladders and more crucially a water bottle and food bowls included! However, all of these are available to buy separately too.
In fact, check that anything which comes with your cage is of the best quality – you may want to invest in more substantial items once your gerbil has settled in.
Cage Structure With Large Base
When shopping for a gerbil cage, you’re likely to come across many hamster and rat cages that are also advertised as being for gerbils. However, gerbils need a very specific type of environment, with a cage base that can be filled with bedding up to six inches in height!
Most hamster cages can’t provide anything even remotely near that and are just too small in general.
Therefore, you need to prioritise your search for large glass basin structures with an optional cage topping, as opposed to wire cages with attachable plastic tray bottoms!
Naturally, an incredibly important but often overlooked feature of gerbilariums is what safety features they have. They should have a secure lock, which will prevent your gerbil from escaping. If you have a secure lock, it won’t only prevent escapes, but should also give you a bit of leeway just in case it hasn’t fastened properly.
You also want to make sure that any cage stopping can be fixed securely to the basin, and that it is not small enough to fall inside of the basin, where it could harm your pets.
As previously mentioned, glass is perfect because it is stronger than plastic which they could gnaw through. Wood is possible even though this can be chewed, but buying a dedicated small animal tank should be enough to safeguard that the wood will be safe for this potential activity.
It should be strong wood, which will not splinter if chewed. At the end of the day, they can’t be prevented from having a little nibble if they wish! Wire cage toppers are common, but ensure that the wires are safe and your gerbil couldn’t get their legs trapped if they decide to use it as a ladder.
Always check the tank daily for wear or chew holes. If you are concerned, a new tank will put your mind at rest.
Ease of Cleaning
Although gerbils aren’t too messy compared to other rodents, they still can’t clean up after themselves and so ideally you want a cage that makes things easy for you to clean. Removing the base should be an easy short-step procedure, and the cage itself should also have quick access doors so you can remove your gerbil or any accessories you want to clean without much hassle.
Just like us, gerbils need their own room to retire too after a long hard day! Nesting areas provide them with somewhere to rest, sleep and also hide in whenever they feel threatened or scared.