Gerbils can be very tame, friendly and affectionate. This breed is the most docile species of the Gerbil subfamily. They make great pets for all ages. They require little maintenance but a lot of love and affection.
Size: 1.4 oz. is a small to medium sized gerbil that is usually between 3 - 5 inches in length.
Temperament & Personality: gerbils are the most docile of rodents. When captured, these animals give little effort to escape and rarely bite. However, with other members of their species, they can be aggressive and sometimes cannibalistic. Females have been known to eat their young. In captivity, owners have noted that when they fight, they bite each other's tails, often forming scars. Only one per housing highly recommended as they don't house well together.
Activity Requirements: Provide your pet with plenty of toys to keep it entertained and lots of physical affection so it feels loved. They need toys and a spinning wheel to keep them happy, healthy and stress free.
Grooming Requirements and Housing: This breed should be housed in a 10 gallon (or larger) aquarium. A heavy screen top is the best cover. Wood shavings or aspen bedding provide a suitable bedding material and all types of wood except cedar are acceptable. The bedding should be at least 1 inch thick. They can exercise inside the aquarium and love to play. An exercise wheel should be added to their habitat. Duprasi like to crawl through pieces of PVC pipe. They will often bury the pipe and use it for tunnels. Cat litter that is non-clumping may also be used to simulate their natural habitat. A clear, glass tank for your gerbil works well. Make sure the tank you purchase has a safety lid on top so that your gerbil won’t be able to escape from its cage. You can get a regular wire lid, or a fancier lid that integrates into fittings for habitat tubes. For 1 or 2 gerbils, you’ll need a 10-gallon tank. They are very clean animals. They spend lots of time grooming their fur and washing their faces. Twice a week place a small container of sand in each cage. This keeps their coats clean and fluffy.
Diet: Typically, gerbils eat around 1-2 tablespoons of food each day. Your gerbil will do the best with a diet composed of pellets, seeds, and fresh fruits and veggies. Offer pears, melons, apples, cucumbers, carrots, and pumpkin.
Colors: This gerbil has a thick, soft, fluffy coat. The hair at the back and the head is yellow-coloured, with a dark grey basis and a small black tip. Their body is round and flattened, with no visible neck and relatively short legs. It has a triangular, sharp shaped face, with large oval black eyes. Their fur is extremely soft and is very pleasant to touch, and coat colours can vary from apricot, to grey, through to a buff brown.
History: The gerbil is most commonly kept as a pet is a species known as the Mongolian gerbil, it's scientific name is Meriones unguiculatus. Roughly translated, this means Clawed Warrior. In 1867 he sent specimens of the Mongolian gerbil to Europe and this may be when the first gerbils were kept as pets in Europe.
Origin: Africa, Northern Sahara (North-western Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Algeria)
Life span: 5 – 8 years
Temperament: friendly, affectionate and docile
Weight: 1.4 oz
Colors: Golden Agouti, black, grey, white, tri-colored
Important Note: Only two species are kept as pets, and even then, some states have outlawed their ownership. In California, it is illegal to purchase, import or keep a gerbil as a pet. As always, it is best to become well informed on the laws governing your state before purchasing any companion pets online.