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Ideal Gerbil Bedding And Lining

Find the right material for your gerbil’s nest.

By Rachael Brugger

Because of the burrowing nature of your gerbil, the bedding that lines your gerbil’s cage plays an important role. The best types of lining to use are aspen, Carefresh or corncob. Aspen has been known to cause allergies in gerbils, though, so discontinue use if you notice your gerbil’s nose is irritated. Shredded paper also works, but it will start to smell more quickly.

Be sure to avoid soft wood shavings such as pine or cedar because these can cause respiratory problems and liver damage, especially in pups. Commercial nesting material made from cotton or loose fibers is also not recommended because the gerbil can ingest it or get caught in it and break an appendage.

Fill the cage about a third full with the bedding material. This will allow plenty of room for your gerbil to burrow and play. However, if breeding, the cage only needs about 2 inches of material.

Another thing to keep in mind is that by providing more bedding you are recreating your gerbil’s natural environment. Sometimes too much bedding will cause it to go wild. If this occurs, adjust the level of the bedding to encourage more tame behavior.


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Reader Comments
I prefer to use Cell-Sorb Plus, it is relatively cheap, biodegradable, and you can flush it too! It is made out of recycled paper product. You can easily go two weeks without completely changing the bedding in a gerbil cage. I just simply pick out the more soiled bedding ( with food particles) and put a bit of new in. I do tend to clean it out weekly but if I have a busy week, at least I know that they won't be in a dirty cage with this amazing bedding.

I have heard of using soil in a gerbil cage and actually pinned a video from the UK that demonstrated how to set up a gerbil cage- it may be another option worth looking into especially if you have a large cage and want to give your critters a habitat like the one their species has in the wild.

With my aquarium ( to answer Scout) I do about 1/4 and maybe a bit more in a 10 gal tank. I try to put other objects in there for burrowing, I have a big house with a small on top- I put the bedding around that so they have to dig their way in. I also like the little wood logs. they can be propped up or laid down- my gerbils love their cage- I do try to switch the setting of cage up every time I clean it. Too much bedding in a tank is bad- from what I have found. My gerbils were able to chew on the edging of the tank that just so happens to be plastic ( oy!) so I make sure they can't reach the edges when I replace the bedding.
Lexx, Brighton, MO
Posted: 3/25/2013 5:40:22 PM
Wow. Fill the cage one-third full with bedding? What if it's an aquarium?
Scout, Greenville, SC
Posted: 3/16/2011 8:42:59 AM
I got my Squeakers one of those tubes that had bedding inside it and she did get her foot tangled in the bedding. Luckily my kids saw it in time and got her untangled. Now we use the care fresh bedding instead.
Lisa, Rochester, NY
Posted: 1/19/2011 4:16:53 AM
Bedding - something so simple, yet something so important
Sheryl, Bloomington, IN
Posted: 12/5/2008 9:19:31 AM
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