Choosing gerbils

close-up of grey gerbil

It’s the most exciting moment: gotcha day. How did you pick your gerbils? Or did they pick you?!

Whether you went for the pet shop, breeder or ‘adopt don’t shop’ option, there’s a lot to look out for. Gerbil guides usually mention the following:

  • bright, clear eyes
  • clean, smooth coat
  • no discharge from eyes, nose, ears or under tail
  • no clicking noises
  • alert, active and curious behaviour

This list has always worked well for me.

grey and brown gerbil graphic

“Of course she picked me. I’m adorable!”

black and dark grey gerbil graphic

“Woo hoo! Loving my new home. And Pithy’s here too!”

Pithy and Boon I adored from the word go. Pithy didn’t stop zooming around and Boon ran right up to say hello. Smitten!

One surprising thing though … their personalities in the shop didn’t translate at home. So Boon was bold in the shop but shy at home, and Pithy vice versa. Have you had this experience? They can take a while to settle into themselves.

I love that gerbils live in pairs or groups and enjoy each other’s company. Don’t know about you, but I think there’s nothing cuter than snuggling gerbs!

Remember to get the pet shop or breeder to double-check whether your gerbils are male or female. Unless you’re secretly hoping to hear the pitter patter of baby paws…

So, what’s your gotcha experience? Add your story below. Before leaving a comment, please read the comments policy – thanks!

  • close-up of black gerbil
  • young grey gerbil crouching
  • young black gerbil standing on hind legs


3 Comments on “Choosing gerbils

  1. Aww! When I got my first gerbils, Thor and Loki, I went into the shop (Pets at Home) looking initially for mice, but saw the gerbs and fell in love straight away! I also noticed the personality swap with them: Thor was super adventurous in the store, and Loki was quieter, and after a few days at home, they totally switched around. Maybe they re-negotiated their hierarchy a bit in the new environment? My current gerbs came from the same shop, and are settling in to their new home nicely, but are both much more energetic and wriggly than the others were. Just goes to show how even small animals have so much personality! I love the look of your blog by the way, the gerbil artwork is really cool.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, it’s fab to hear your stories. I love your posts on Instagram. That’s funny you were looking for mice; I was looking for tropical fish! But was totally won over by my first gerbs.

      Good point about the hierarchy establishing itself. I hadn’t thought of that, but it makes sense.

      I’m glad your gerbs are settling in well. They are gorgeous! Great names too.

      Thank you for the compliment on the gerbil artwork – Kathryn Herold is wonderful. She did a great job.

      I love the look of your blog too, and your writing’s great. I’ve followed you back, hope that’s ok.

      Liked by 1 person

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