Gerbils make great pets and even though they are most active at night, they are very unlike other nocturnal pets because they do get busy during daylight hours too! These great little animals divide their sleep modes with their active modes into cycles of play and then rest times which is what makes them such great pets.
The Mongolian Gerbil is among around 87 other known species and are known for their inquisitive natures and the fact they become very tame when kept as pets. The great thing about them is that instead of running away when they hear a new sound or come across something they have never seen before, these delightful creatures are more likely to investigate what's going on rather than hide away.
This is just one of the reasons why the Mongolian gerbil has become one of the most popular choice of pets on the planet since around the mid eighties.
Mongolian Gerbils are quite small, with many people confusing them with mice but the difference is in the length of their tails which in gerbils is about the same length as their bodies. Their tails are also covered in hair and on the end of it there is a small tuft.
Their eyes can either be very dark black in colour or a very deep red. Their coats are generally an “agouti” colour but each individual hair boasts bands of yellow, grey and black with the underbelly being an off-white. However, over the years many other colour variations have appeared on the scene which includes the following:
Just like all other rodents, the Mongolian's teeth grow continuously which means they need to wear down as naturally as possible. The best way to achieve this is to make sure your pets have plenty of good quality chewy toys and treats to gnaw on.
On top of this, the Mongolian Gerbil's tail is quite fragile and is prone to injury which is why it's essential no sharp objects be placed in their environments. When handling your pets, you have to be extra gentle and try to avoid touching their tails.
Mongolian Gerbils adore burrowing and digging which is why it's important they have a box in their environments for them to indulge their passion for getting underground. You should also ensure they have at least 3 inches of bedding in their cages which they can burrow into when they want to.
One of the nicest things about keeping Mongolian Gerbils is watching how they interact with each other. They adore playing, grooming and basically playing the fool whenever they're awake. Play time is really important for these little creatures because it helps with their bonding.
When a few of them start pounding the ground with their hind legs, it can be very amusing. This “thumping” is all part of the way in which they communicate with each other!
The best type of cage for these clever and very active creatures is one that is large enough for them to jump and leap around which they love doing. However, the cage needs to be robust and well made, because like all other gerbils, they are very capable of chewing their way out if the bars are not strong enough to keep them in.
Feed and water bowls and bottles also need to be well made and regularly checked because these little creatures will gnaw on anything they come across in their environment.
The best diet for these little creatures is a specifically formulated gerbil complete mix, but they also need to be given a small amount of fresh fruit and vegetables which are suitable for their species. It's best to offer them a special treat from time to time rather than too often because sugary things are not that good for them and could result in them having an upset digestive system.
If you are thinking about getting a small pet for the family to look after, you would not go far wrong by choosing two same-sexed male Mongolian Gerbils. They are nocturnal but with a difference because these little guys are busy during the day time too. Mongolian Gerbils are easy maintenance little characters that are known for their inquisitive and friendly natures which is why they've been such a popular choice since the mid eighties.