Bruno and Fang
A Gerblog

From Felines to Rodents

From Felines to Rodents 2

A Proper Hamster Home

Teddy the Midlife Hamster

Bruno and Fang

Gerbil Highrise

RIP Teddy

RIP Fang

Welcome, Blackie

RIP Bruno and Blackie

Spencer the Rescue Cat

Bruno and Fang

It took some time but Teddy now had a decent cage and I added a wooden house and a few other things for him to chew on and provide entertainment when he needed it. But now I had an empty 10-gallon aquarium. Teddy’s cage, on a table in my home office, had enough room next to it for the aquarium, assuming I found the right occupant(s) for it.

Another hamster wouldn’t work; if the aquarium was too small for Teddy, it would be too small for another Syrian. I didn’t care for dwarf hamsters, nor did I find rats and mice to be appealing pets. Then I discovered the online world of gerbil owners. I’d lumped gerbils in with mice and rats and hadn’t given them a thought.

Smaller than Syrian hamsters, gerbils are social creatures with big personalities and long tails covered with fur. I read through posts on gerbil forums and learned that gerbils need to be housed in pairs, male-male or female-female, or same sex colonies. They will be stressed, and their lifespan shortened, if kept alone. They also are ready for play any time of the day or night, clearly a departure from Teddy’s nocturnal nature.

Avoiding the pet store where I bought Teddy, because I didn’t want to end up with the other Syrian if he hadn’t found a home yet, I located three young gerbils for sale at another locally owned pet store. I was avoiding the large chain stores because I’d heard too many stories of sick animals and inadequate conditions.

I’d already done research on sexing gerbils so I knew pretty much how to distinguish males from females. My preference was to get two male gerbils although if the three gerbils were all the same sex, I would take all three rather than leave one by itself. As it turned out, two, a black one and a white one, were males and the fawn-colored one was the lone female (and most likely pregnant considering her cagemates).

Bruno and Fang in their new cage

I bought more Aspen bedding, a gerbil-proof water bottle (no plastic parts to chew), a chewable hollow log, food, treats, and the two male gerbils. As I drove home the gerbils kept busy trying to gnaw their way through their cardboard box, a dangerous choice of travel container when transporting gerbils. Luckily, I was home within 15 minutes and they were in their new home 5 minutes after that. I secured the screen top with clips and a couple heavy rocks.

A couple days later a smaller Wodent Wheel, properly sized for gerbils as well as the 10-gallon aquarium, came in the mail and Bruno (the black gerbil) and Fang (the white gerbil) were set. Or so I thought.

They were quick to turn their cage into a pile of shredded cardboard and paper and I doubted that a neat cage was a happy cage when it came to gerbils. It was easy to see why these playful and curious little creatures were so popular. It was also easy to see that the 10-gallon aquarium might be a little too small.

Gerbil Highrise

Home & Leisure Publishing, Inc., PO Box 968, Lecanto, FL 34460-0968
Copyright Home & Leisure Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.