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Gerbil Care Information

Gerbils are quite common in CA, even though they do not enjoy legal status. Many animal lovers have established underground shelters and handle private placement of Gerbils. Due to the constant threat of confiscation and euthansia, and the impediments to proper veterinary care caused by it's 'illegal' status , the City of Long Beach Animal Care Services (ACS) discourages ownership or possession of this pet in California.

Gerbils are superb pets, which give their owners a great deal of love and amusement. The flip side is that they need to be in top shape to be active and funny. Gerbils are fairly easy to keep healthy and are not prone to disease. If an animal becomes quiet and listless, despite excellent care, rush him or her straight to the vet. Small animals with fast metabolisms tend to die quickly from infection or disease.

The common pet gerbil originated in Mongolia. A gerbil is a rodent halfway between a rat and a mouse in size. They're usually 2-4 oz, and have a slightly different facial shape than a mouse or rat. Their long tails are covered with fur and end in a tuft. Their eyes are deep black or ruby red, and they come in dozens of different colors, from regular agouti (wild rabbit brown with white belly), to black, to shades of orange, gold, cream, to color points like Siamese and Burmese! Gerbils make fun and entertaining pets for both young and old.

Gerbils are fun to watch. Their antics and family interactions can entertain you for hours. They are also incredibly friendly pets. They can be taught to climb up your shoulder and can sit there, or on your head!

Gerbils require a minimum of care. Their homes take up little space, they are low-maintenance, create little odor, and they do not need frequent vet visits. They are very friendly, social, and rarely bite, as is the case with some rodents that will remain anonymous.

Remember that, as with any pet, there is a long-term commitment. For gerbils, that commitment can be as long as four to five years. If you are buying gerbils for a child they will need to understand the responsibility that they are taking on. You, as the adult, will have the obligation to monitor and support the child to ensure that the gerbil will be well taken care of.