When people think of gerbils, they picture a cute, small animal standing on two feet in a cage or running on an exercise wheel every once in a while. And this could not be further from the truth. Gerbils are indeed curious, energetic and lively pets!
Simply irresistible with their cuteness, you need to give your small animal a proper home to maximize both their enjoyment and health over the course of their short lives. And the best cage for gerbils becomes the center point for your interactions with them as a primary place for entertainment and feedings.
Important Factors To Consider
So-called pocket pets, gerbils spend most of their time in their cages. Thus, you will have to search for only the best cages that meet certain criteria.
Types of Gerbil Cages
Gerbil cages come in various forms and kinds. The most common and suitable enclosure for gerbils include:
From terrariums to aquariums, you have a multitude of options for glass tanks. Your biggest consideration here is the budget. Obviously, in terms of your pet’s preferences, the bigger, the better!
When looking at the general overview of glass tank size, the rule of thumb is to get a minimum of 5 gallons per gerbil.
Glass tanks are inexpensive, super easy to clean and allow you to see and observe your pets more clearly. More importantly, gerbils, simply can’t chew through glass. It keeps your pet safe inside without a chance of escapes.
If you decide to go with a terrarium or an aquarium, then you will need a wire or mesh lid securely fitted on top to provide enough air circulation. Also, this prevents your gerbil from escaping and keeps other pets out.
The problem is that glass tanks tend to get really hot inside with hot weather or in direct sunlight. Also, there’s not enough air circulation when compared to wire cages. However, if you regularly take your gerbils out of its cage and play with them, then glass tanks would do just fine.
Wire cages are another popular housing solution for gerbils. Wire’s an effective solution for passionate chewers while preventing any escape plans. Most wire cages feature chew-proof, all-metal designs that include ramps and even shelves for added texture. They have easy access doors from the sides, top or both, depending on your chosen design for cleaning and interacting with your pet.
Wire cages also offer plenty of airflows, unlike glass cages. The problem is that the surrounding areas of the cage can become messy. Gerbils have really powerful back legs. And you will most often see them kicking their bedding everywhere when burrowing.
Depending on the height of the bedding in contrast to the wire walls, you might find yourself having a daily clean up routine around your gerbil’s cage. Fortunately, there are cage options with a deep plastic base, so that they won’t be making a mess while they burrow.
When choosing wire cages, make sure that you choose one with bars tight spaced enough, preventing your gerbils from escaping or getting their tails or feet caught. In general, a bar spacing of ½ inches apart is most recommended.
Probably the more popular option, tank toppers wire cages that can be placed securely on top of an aquarium. For those who want the best of both worlds, this is the right choice for you.
You can use your old aquarium as the bottom part, providing the much-needed depth for a good amount of bedding the offers enough nesting and burrowing space. Not only that, it will ensure that the bedding is contained within the cage, no matter how hard your gerbil kick and scatter its beddings.
Meanwhile, the wire topper provides your pet a place to climb and explore to their heart’s content. And best of all, they get fresh air while playing.
These cages are usually connected to glass tanks and come with a ramp system for your pet to climb or run up and down. Most of them also have an access point for you to reach in to clean or change water and food from the sides, top or both.
PLASTIC TUBE CAGES
Perhaps you’ve seen one of those really colorful cages with and the connected plastic tubes going around. These are normally marketed for hamsters, however, some gerbil owners also choose to buy them due to a gerbil’s natural instinct to run around tunnels and burrow.
Available in plastic and wire combinations or all-plastic, these enclosures are highly attractive to pet parents, especially kids, with their fun style and colors.
However, unless your gerbils are angels, experts don’t recommend them as a gerbil’s primary housing.
A plastic habitat with plastic tunnels can be quite disadvantageous since these little devils have the affinity to chew and tear anything they can sink their teeth in. They look fun and colorful, yes, however, the risk for ingesting tiny shards of plastic is there.
It can, however, perhaps work, if you provide your gerbil with tons of chewing toys. Still, I would recommend this to you only as a secondary habitat or as an exercise and playing enclosure. And be sure to make a habit of checking every joint area of the cage in order to prevent any escapes.
Gerbils are highly active creatures. This means that they need more space than you can assume. For cages, there needs to be enough room for your gerbil to be able to dig to their heart’s content. Also, it needs to have enough space for platforms and accessories to encourage activity.
Here is a guideline for gerbil cage sizing:
- For wired cages, a 4 – 4.5 square feet size is enough to house 1 – 2 gerbils.
- For a glass tank, a 10-gallon tank is enough for 2 gerbils; 15 gallons for 3 gerbils; and 20 gallons for 4 – 5 gerbils.
This sizing guide is the bare minimum and you can always aim to give your pets as much space as you can provide.
Vertical Height Space
Gerbils are known to stand up on their hind legs as they watch interesting things happening outside their enclosure or navigate their surroundings. Therefore, it is important that your pet’s cage should cater to this behavior.
Choosing a cage with lots of vertical space will also ensure activity and promote climbing. You will have to add accessories like ladders, hammocks, and ramps.
Ease of Cleaning
Unless you are diagnosed with OCD, then you will never find fulfillment in cleaning every day. Thus, you need to get a cage that is super easy to clean and maintain. Just imagine how many hours you can save if cleaning a gerbil cage is quick and hassle-free. In general, glass cages are the easiest to clean.
The Top 12 Best Cages For Gerbils 2020
#1. Ferplast Large Cage
Although advertised and an Amazon’s Choice for a hamster cage, this large cage from Ferplast is also suitable for your gerbils. The entire hamster cage measures 23.6 x 14.4 x 11.8 inches, featuring a modular design so you have the choice to connect it onto other habitats or flat areas.
Its base features an extra-deep height of 4.75 inches so you can fill it with enough bedding, satisfying your gerbil’s instinctual need to burrow and scurry along its bedding. Also, the base keeps the bedding from spreading up the top level or on the surrounding areas of the cage.
Meanwhile, the top-level features a wire design that provides enough air circulation and is a great place for your pet to relax as well as feeding. The hamster cage is fully equipped with everything that you need in order to give your pet a home sweet home right out of the box. It includes a hideaway, water bottle, and a food dish.
Then, there a 5.5 inches exercise wheel, securely placed between the 2 floors. Or you can just remove the included wheel and upgrade to a larger wheel. The top wire portion of the cage has a durable black coat, making it highly resistant to rusting. Not only that, but it also has a safe ¼ inch bar spacing to keep your gerbils from escaping as well as preventing injuries.
In terms of ease of cleaning and maintenance, the cage’s top panel features an access door. Also, the entire top portion can be disconnected from the transparent base for easy cleaning access. The entire cage also comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty on all its parts.
#2. Ware Manufacturing High-Rise Pet Cage
This wire cage from Ware Manufacturing is Amazon’s Choice for “gerbil cage”. This wire cage is designed to fit any 10-gallon aquarium and convert it to a high-rise habitat for your gerbil. Contrary to its item description on Amazon, this pet cage measures 20 ½ x 10 ¾ x 10 ½ inches.
This cage features 2 ramps, 2 platforms and includes a water bottle and a small dish. You can hang a hammock or some toys to its wire attachments. The cage is constructed with a durable wire that is completely chew-proof so you do not have to worry about your pet chewing through the cage.
In addition, the 3/8 inches wire spacing is small enough, so you do not have to worry about your pet’s feet or tail getting caught or allowing escapes. Regular cleaning and maintenance are easy with the easy access roof door.
However, take note that assembly can take a bit of your patience. You need to check that the tank you’re going to use as a base for this toppers should have a plastic rim on top. This is where the topper is placed with 2 hooks that securely slide underneath it. And while some customers complained that the shelves are somewhat loose, it can be fixed with just a few zip ties.
#3. Kaytee My First Home Tank Topper
Just like the previous cage, The Kaytee Tank Topper transforms any 10-gallon tanks into a multi-level high rise home for gerbils as well as hamsters and mice. The tank topper cage features chew-proof wires with the standard ½ inches wire spacing to prevent injuries and escapes.
What we like most with this Kaytee cage is that it comes with several accessories in order to give your pet a nice start in life and keeping it busy and entertained. This includes a food dish a water bottle, comfortable shelves, safety ramps, and a little brick house hideout.
Not only that, but you can also personalize your pet’s cage with the free pet nameplate which comes with the cage. Assembling is also nice and easy without any tools required, thanks to the springs securely snaps in place.
The only problem is that the cage only has one access point which is at the top of the cage. You will have to reach very far in order to get to the bottom. But, you can just always remove the tank topper if you really need to reach the bottom part.
#4. Bettlity Aqua Culture 10 Gallon Aquarium
For a more cost-effective option, choose the plain 10-gallon glass tank from Bettlity. You can use it alone or be a cool add-on base with the previous wire cage toppers from Ware Manufacturing and Kaytee mentioned above. This aquarium is exactly what you need to provide the perfect ground floor for burrowing and playing.
At an affordable price, this aquarium is long-lasting and durable, featuring a black trim design and clear silicone seals, which meets the requirement of the previous wire cages for a secure attachment. Also, the product is protected during shipping since it comes with reinforced packaging.
#5. Kaytee My First Home Multi-Level Cage
Give your furry buddy a secure and comfy place with Kaytee’s My First Home Multi-Level Cage. Your gerbil will surely love playing around and climbing up and down this cage with its 3 level platform, giving your pet plenty of room to roam around.
The solid plastic ramps and shelves are totally safe on your pet’s sensitive feet. The cage also includes a solid food bowl that is securely placed on the first platform for a complete starter home. With a ½ inches wire spacing, you don’t have to worry about your gerbil escaping or getting injured with stuck feet or tail.
Meanwhile, the deeper base help prevents litter and bedding from spilling outside the cage or your pet making a mess as they burrow to their heart’s content. Featuring Z-lock access gates, wire base locking system and wire side latches, this cage offers total security, zero chance of escaping and better access during cleaning and maintenance.
#6. RIS USA, Inc. Small Animal Cage
IRIS USA, Inc. manufactured this cage with hamsters in mind. However, gerbils can also live in this aesthetically-pleasing cage available in 4 colors— Blue, Trans Blue, Red, and Trans red. You also get to choose between a 3-tier home and a 2-tier home, offering your pet different levels to climb up and down.
The front part of the cage is made of plastic giving you a nice view of your pet inside. However, this can be a disadvantage, given the gerbil’s notorious habit of chewing. Thus, it is only recommended to be used as a temporary home for your gerbil or when transporting them, since plastics are lightweight.
Meanwhile, the sides of the cage are made of wire, offering enough ventilation inside. A suitable starter habitat, this cage comes with a food dish, water bottle, exercise wheel, ramps and shelves for exploration.
For easy access, it has 2 openings on the side and one on the top. To prevent escapes and injuries, the cage has a 3/8 spacing between each bar. The deep base also keeps litter and bedding inside the cage, no matter how hard your pet can burrow.
#7. Prevue Pet Products Universal Small Pet Home
Boasting a high rating of 4.8 stars on Amazon, the Prevue Pet Products Small Pet Home is a reliable cage for small animals including gerbils, hamsters, and others. This large cage features an extra deep 6 ¼ inches tubby base, offering more room for beddings and other accessories. This deep base ensures that your gerbil can burrow all they want without making a mess on the surrounding areas of their cage.
Measuring 32 ½ x 19 x 17 ½ inches, this wire cage is large enough to house 2 gerbils. In addition, the cage features a tight 3/8 inches wire spacing that prevents escapes as well as stuck feet and tail that can cause injuries.
While this cage does not come with many accessories like other options, you will like its durable construction that even the most notorious chewers can’t break. The cage is super easy to clean. For total cleaning, you can simply detach the base from the wire structure. For daily maintenance, there is a wide door on the side.
#8. Kaytee CritterTrail 2-Level Cage
For the new gerbil pet owner, this brightly colored 2-level cage from reputable company Kaytee makes the fun choice. The CritterTrail comes with all the necessary accessories for your pet such as an exercise wheel, water bottle, and a food dish.
Made of durable wire with a bar spacing of ¼ inches, escapes or injuries due to feet or tail getting caught in the wires are never a problem. It also has an extra deep base so you can add enough bedding and litter, encouraging your pet’s natural burrowing instinct, while containing the mess.
The cage has a front access door for changing supplies or cleaning the inside. It even has a lookout tower and a petting zone for interactions with your fluffy pet. What’s best about this cage is that it is expandable. The CritterTrail is designed to connect to other CritterTrail habitats and tube accessories. This creates a fun and colorful habitat with an unlimited amount of living space for your little pets.
#9. Prevue Hendryx Deluxe Cage
A spacious and complete home for your gerbil, hamster or other small animals, the Prevue Hendryx Deluxe Cage is a nice starter cage. Available in fun colors— Lime Green and Bordeaux Red— this cage features platforms and vibrant houses that provide your pet a space to hide or play.
Not only that, standing securely on one corner of the cage, a brightly colored exercise wheel can help maintain your pet’s activity levels. With a deeper base, this cage allows deeper bedding to encourage our pet’s burrowing instincts. And while your pet burrows, the bedding will be contained inside the cage preventing a mess on the surrounding areas outside the cage.
Measuring 22 ½ x 12 x 12 ½ inches, this cage is enough to house 1 or 2 gerbils. With a tight 5/16 inches wire spacing, you do not have to worry about stuck feet and tails or escapes. For easy cleaning, the base can be snapped off the wire part for quick regular cleaning.
#10. Kaytee CritterTrail Habitat
Boasting a transparent blue color, this another CritterTrail Habitat from Kaytee is available in 2 sizes— Large and Super, so you can choose the right one for your pet. This is a 2-level habitat that gives your pet a lot of room to explore and play.
Like the previous CritterTrail Habitat from Kaytee, this too is fully equipped with a ramp, a shelf, a port door connector and bubble plug which you can use to attach unlimited CritterTrail accessories to create an expanded and fun living space. Not only that, this gerbil habitat features 2 spacious levels with a removable petting zone for bonding time with your pet.
Meanwhile, the 2 front doors are made of sturdy, non-chewable wires, giving you the ease of access to your pet at all times. In addition, the narrow wire spacing of ¼ inches ensures that your pet stays inside the cage and prevent accidents and injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: Where should I put the cage?
A: When thinking about where you are going to your gerbil’s cage, there are a number of things that you need to consider. These include:
- OUT OF THE WAY OF CHEMICALS: Never put your gerbil’s cage in the laundry room, garage or any place where chemicals are at close range. Certain detergents and cleaners are not that good o your pet’s respiratory system, usually leading to infection.
- SOMEWHERE QUIET: Since gerbils are highly sensitive creatures, they have excellent hearing. Thus, they need to be placed somewhere with less foot traffic and less noise. It is not a good idea to place them in hallways, children’s rooms, or living rooms. Gerbils are also a lot calmer if they’re not in areas near running water or loud television.
- AWAY FROM OTHER PETS: If you have other pets at home, for instance, dogs or cats, then it is a good idea to keep your pet’s cage away from them. Gerbils are prey. And even if your cat or dog doesn’t mean them harm, you really do not want to risk your larger pets staring and trying to get inside the cage. Gerbils should never live in fear.
- CONSISTENT TEMPERATURE: One last thing is to look for the perfect environment with a consistent temperature. Gerbils don’t like sudden changes in temperature. So, don’t put their cage in direct sunlight as well as near radiators and fireplaces.
Q: What should I add in my gerbil’s cage?
A: There are various things that you can put in your gerbil’s cage to make it home sweet home. You will need a private zone or space for your pets to curl up without lots of eyes staring them, so wooden houses or hiding boxes are a good option.
Your gerbil also needs to exercise, so you can add wheels to keep them active. In addition, gerbils love hanging and climbing. So, consider adding hanging accessories, ladders, and ramps to encourage physical activity and exploration.
You also need to add a bowl for feeding and a drinking bottle to keep them hydrated. Beddings are also needed to keep the cage clean and fresh.
Q: How often should I clean my pet’s cage?
A: Gerbils are known to their bathroom in one place, so this should make cage cleaning easier.
The bedding needs to be cleaned and replaced at least once a week. However, you can do it more frequently id you have 2 or more gerbils in the same cage. Each week, you also need to wash the water bottle and food bowl.
Every few weeks, or as often as needed, you need to wash out parts of the cage that smell with soapy water. Make sure to dry everything first before putting your pets back into the cage.
Overcleaning your pet’s cage can create stress since you’re messing up their home. So choose to clean the entire cage only when necessary or every 3 – 4 weeks.
A good home is essential for your fluffy gerbils. It is not a kind act, but instead a responsibility as a loving owner. And while finding the best cage for gerbils can be a daunting task, it all boils down to what is comfortable and safe for your pets to live in.
If you get confused with the numerous options available in the market today, pick one from the above list and you will never regret it, ever!