If your heart is set on having a rodent pet, gerbils are a popular choice. One gerbil, however, just won’t do!
These vibrant, inquisitive creatures are much happier when they live in pairs or groups. If caring for a group of gerbils sounds overwhelming, start with two. Your kids will be fascinated with these little creatures and will learn so much from their care.
As gerbils are small and vulnerable, they can’t just live anywhere. They need housing that will keep them safe from predators (which could be another pet) and spacious enough to accommodate their active lifestyle.
Gerbils are no couch potatoes – they’re very active critters and are especially partial to digging and gnawing. When choosing a cage, keep in mind that it has to be durable enough to resist the potential gnawing of your pets’ little teeth.
That doesn’t mean, however, that a plastic bin cage would make a bad choice for your furry friends.
With the proper setup, a large, sturdy bin cage made of durable plastic material could make a comfortable gerbil home. By creating a stimulating interior home environment for your pets, your gerbils will be so engaged, they’re less likely to gnaw on their bin in an effort to escape.
Should You Use a Bin Cage for Gerbils?
When considering a home for your gerbils, you basically have two options: you can buy a cage from a pet shop or make one of your own out of a plastic storage bin.
Wire rodent cages and glass terrariums can be pricey, especially one large enough to accommodate two or more gerbils.
Two active gerbils will need at least a 20 gallon cage 12 inches in height or higher.
But a durable, plastic storage bin would probably be well within your budget, even if you chose to upgrade to a larger 30 gallon size.
An extra-large storage bin would provide your pets with ample floor space for exploring as well as enough depth to lay thick bedding so they can burrow underneath and build tunnels.
A large bin will also be able to accommodate all kinds of accessories to keep your pets entertained.
By choosing a bin that’s made of high-grade plastic, you make it more difficult for your gerbils to chew through. Even so, you’ll need to keep an eye on your pets to make sure they’re not eating away at their bin on the sly.
Gerbils are natural gnawers – it’s just in their nature. Chewing is also a way of keeping their teeth filed down as their teeth are constantly growing.
By providing plenty of chew toys for your pets, there’s no need for them to go after their bin cage to satisfy their desire for gnawing. They also won’t attack the cage out of mere boredom.
Are Bin Cages A Good Option For Gerbils?
When it comes to size, safety and comfort, bin cages have the potential to make great gerbil homes.
You’ll have to cut out windows on the sides or top of your plastic storage bin for ventilation and cover them with durable, hardware mesh so your pets can’t escape.
Choose the highest grade plastic bin you can find to make it as difficult as possible for your furry friends to gnaw through. A clear bin will make it easier for you and your kids to observe and interact with your pets and will encourage them to interact with you.
Plastic bin cages are lightweight and easy to carry, in case you wanted to move your pets from one room to another. If the cage is normally kept in your bedroom, you can carry it to the family room or outdoor patio during warm weather for fellowship or play.
By getting a storage bin with a handle, you can easily transport your pets to the vet or use the bin for travel. Plastic storage bins come in a variety of sizes to accommodate two gerbils or an entire family, if you decide to breed gerbils later on.
Most importantly, plastic storage bins provide ample floor space to create a stimulating home environment for your gerbils to live in. Gerbils are lively creatures that need lots of space for running, jumping, burrowing and playing.
In the wild, gerbils tend to be crepuscular in nature, meaning they’re more active around twilight – early morning hours and dusk.
In captivity, however, they’ve adapted to an active daytime lifestyle that’s noisy and entertaining, although they’re likely to take naps in between their times of play.
Can You Use A Plastic Bin For A Gerbil?
With good ventilation and the right interior setting, gerbils will feel right at home in a large, quality-grade plastic bin cage. The interior of their abode will determine their health, happiness and quality of life.
Gerbils need a versatile, stimulating home environment to keep them busy and challenged. Otherwise, they’re apt to get into mischief or start gnawing away at their bin cage out of boredom.
By choosing to convert a plastic storage container into a bin cage for your gerbil pets, you can save a ton of money which can be used to set up the interior of your pet’s home.
In addition to basic necessities like bedding, food dishes and glass water bottles, your furry friends will need a large metal wheel (or two) for exercise, wooden hideaways, nesting boxes, grass ropes, chew toys, a sand container for sand baths and hay for roughage and play.
You may also want to get a small shop vacuum cleaner for easy cleanup of your gerbils’ messes.
Your pets’ bedding can be a mix of shredded paper, aspen and hay and should be at least four inches thick to give your furry friends space for burrowing and building tunnels.
Play wheels should be 8 inches or larger in size to give your pets plenty of exercise to burn off their excess energy.
Coconut houses or natural ceramic pots make good options for nesting boxes as they’re easy to clean and create a dark, cozy setting where your pets can feel safe and secure.
Gerbils love sand baths, so providing them with a separate glass container for jumping in and out of the sand will keep them happy and entertained.
Gerbils don’t live long lifespans – on average around three years – but you can make this time count by giving your pets a happy, healthy, loving home. Setting up a safe, spacious, comfortable gerbil bin cage with all the trimmings that gerbils love is a good start. A stimulating habitat combined with your love and attention will give your gerbils a high quality of life.