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A Lonely Gerbil - To Befriend Or Not To Befriend

Should you get a lonely male gerbil a male or female friend or companion?

By Donna Anastasi
Posted: October 15, 2008, 8:00p.m. EDT

Q: I have a male gerbil named Ronny. I think he might be a bit lonely, so I am thinking of getting him a buddy. Should I get a female? What is your advice?
 
A: Gerbils are social animals that enjoy living with others of their kind for a feeling of safety, and to play, groom and sleep together. Your male would probably like the company of a baby or young male. The problem is that you cannot just put two gerbils together, unless they are both under 6 weeks old.

To introduce adults, start with a freshly cleaned, neutral tank that is split by a sturdy mesh wire barrier. You can also put a smaller wire cage inside the tank. Swap the gerbils often between areas, and then try them together after a week or two to see if they are ready to get along. Always wear gloves when introducing two gerbils. If they fight, they chomp anything that touches them, even a helping hand! The American Gerbil Society website has a handbook with a whole section on introducing gerbils.
 
As far as putting together a male and a female, you would get a lot of babies — a litter every five weeks. However, an older female (over 2 1/2) can be a nice match for an older male that loses his buddy. She should be too old to produce babies at that age.

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A Lonely Gerbil - To Befriend Or Not To Befriend

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Reader Comments
I had two gerbils that were littermate brothers. One of the them just died yesterday from heart stroke. (I think. I wasn't able to get him to the vet on time)My there living gerbil is acting bored. No matter how many toys I put in there he is still bored and lonely. Should I get him a friend?
Morgen, Okemos, MI
Posted: 2/24/2015 4:27:24 AM
I also have a gebil named Ronnie I made the mistake of putting him with my other Gerbil Muffassa hoping he would take him in as a son unfortunately he didnt see it that way. Dont get another gerbil if youve had that one for over three months. It would see the new one as a trespasser.
Brittany, Charleston, WV
Posted: 12/10/2011 5:48:29 AM
This was very informative and helpful! I have been thinking about getting our gerbil a buddy.
Sheryl, Bloomington, IN
Posted: 12/9/2008 6:31:16 AM
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