I used to have a gerbil named Atilla. Tilly, for short. We called him Silly Tilly sometimes. He was a silvery color. He would have been black, except he was albino. Albinos are white with red eyes. Atilla came out silvery as a result. He had a crooked tail from a wheel accident. Atilla HATED raisins! Gerbils eat dried fruit. Atilla ate any dried fruit except raisins. Once, one was in his food dish, and he kicked out ALL the food touching it! He also hated being petted. Tilly loved cereal. Gerbils will eat bland cereal like Chex or plain Cheerios. Well, not Pip.

Pippin (my current gerbil), Pip or Pippy for short, will NOT eat cereal. Or dried fruit. Just corn, seeds, pellets, seeds, weird dog food like things for gerbils, and seeds. Did I mention Pip loves seeds? He’s a bit wobbly, like a toddler learning to walk. We call him Tippy Pippy sometimes. He’s also albino, but is white, except for his grey tail. (What is it with me and getting gerbils with strange tails?)

In future posts I’ll tell you more about my gerbils. For now, I’ll tell you a bit about gerbils in general.

What is a gerbil? They’re similar to mice, but friendlier and more curious with furry tails and boxier heads. Bigger, too. They don’t require much care and most love to play with you or sit in your hand. They might even crawl up your sleeve. Pip loves to do that! Warning! Gerbils may chew things you put in their cage. Chewing keeps their teeth short, which is needed. They may also nip. It does not hurt, and they may trained out of it. Gerbils usually live 1-3 years, though. With the exception of Pip, gerbils are quiet and not smelly. That’s what I read, anyway. They make great pets, but are fragile.

Tips for owning gerbil:

~If your gerbil nips, tell him no and don’t play with him for an hour or so. You can reward not nipping with a seed, nut, piece of corn, or piece of cereal.

~Put cardboard toilet paper tubes, boxes, and egg cartons in the gerbil cage so they can play and live in them.

~You can buy a plastic ball to put the gerbil in and set it on the floor so it can run around outside the cage and stay save. Keep away from active heat sources, stairs, and open doors leading outside.

~If you want a personable gerbil, buy just one gerbil.

~Don’t put more than two gerbils in one cage or there may be fights.

~Buy gerbils who grew up together to prevent fights.



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