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Can Gerbils Live Alone all Their Lives?

can gerbils live alone

Gerbils have become a popular pet choice due to their cute, furry appearance and playful nature. 

Pet ownership comes with various responsibilities, including providing your furry friend with a suitable living environment. 

One of the questions that gerbil owners often ask is whether their beloved pets can live alone or require companionship. 

For example, can gerbils live alone?

This topic has been a subject of debate among pet enthusiasts, with some arguing that gerbils are social animals that require the company of other gerbils, while others suggest that gerbils can thrive in solitude.

 As a pet owner, you want to ensure that your gerbil is happy and healthy and you want to understand their social needs to provide them with the best possible care. 

Let’s find out if your gerbil can live alone or if they need a friend. 

Can Gerbils Live Alone?

gerbil on beach watching friend leave

Gerbils are social animals that naturally live in groups in the wild. 

This means, keeping them alone in captivity can have negative effects on their physical and mental well-being. 

Gerbils that are kept alone may become lonely, stressed, and depressed.

 This can lead to a range of health problems, including a weakened immune system, loss of appetite, lethargy, and even premature death.

Ideally, gerbils should be kept in pairs or small groups of the same sex to prevent breeding. 

Initially, they have to be introduced gradually and under supervision to prevent aggression and fighting. 

Watercolor gerbil

Friendship Matters

Gerbils are social animals; it’s best to keep them in pairs or groups for companionship. Solitary gerbils may experience loneliness and stress, leading to health and behavioral issues.

What Happens if a Gerbil is Alone?

When gerbils are left alone for extended periods, they may become depressed and anxious.

They may become inactive, lethargic, and may not eat or drink enough water, leading to dehydration and malnourishment.

You may also start to notice that your gerbil develops unwanted behaviors like excessive digging, chewing, and gnawing on its cage, leading to dental problems and other health issues. 

Gerbils may also become more aggressive or timid when left alone for too long. 

Try to keep gerbils in pairs or groups to ensure they have companionship and social interaction. 

Another helpful tip is providing toys, tunnels, and hammocks in their enclosure can help keep them mentally stimulated and active.

What to do if One of a Pair of Gerbils Died?

dead gerbil

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for one of the pair to die, leaving the surviving gerbil alone.

 This can be a difficult and stressful situation for both the gerbil and its owner. 

However, there are several steps that can be taken to help the surviving gerbil cope with the loss and ensure its continued health and well-being.

Firstly, you can provide the surviving gerbil with plenty of attention and stimulation to prevent it from becoming lonely or bored.

 Consider spending more time interacting with your gerbil through play, handling, and grooming.

 You may also want to introduce new toys or activities to keep your gerbil entertained and engaged. 

It may be helpful to consider getting another gerbil to keep your surviving gerbil company. 

In just a little time, your surviving gerbil can adjust to life without its companion and continue to thrive.

Can Gerbils be Solitary?

Did you know that gerbils are happiest when living in pairs or small groups?

 In the wild, they live in colonies and rely on each other for protection and social interaction. 

It is true though, that some gerbils may prefer to live alone and can be content as solitary pets, especially if they have plenty of toys and enrichment activities to keep them occupied.

If you are considering keeping a gerbil as a solitary pet, give them a large enough enclosure and plenty of stimulation. 

Gerbils are active and curious animals that love to play, burrow, and explore.

 Providing them with a variety of toys and activities, such as tunnels, running wheels, and chew toys, can help keep them mentally and physically stimulated. 

In general, gerbils are social creatures and may still benefit from occasional interaction with other gerbils, even if they prefer to live alone.

 If you have a solitary gerbil, you can monitor their behavior and provide opportunities for socialization if they seem interested. 

How Long Can a Gerbil Be Left Alone?

The answer is that it depends on various factors, such as the gerbil’s age, health, and personality, as well as the length of time they will be left unattended.

As a general rule, gerbils are social creatures and prefer to live with other gerbils. 

gerbil nibbling

If you have more than one gerbil, they can keep each other company and may be able to be left alone for longer periods, up to 48 hours.

If you only have one gerbil, it’s not recommended to leave it alone for more than a week. 

They need food, water, and a clean environment, and their needs should not be neglected while you’re away. 

Can Gerbils Live Alone/Can Gerbils Survive Alone?

So, it’s not suitable to keep gerbils alone as they can become lonely and depressed.

If a gerbil is kept in isolation for a prolonged period, it can lead to behavioral and health issues such as over-grooming and loss of appetite.

Can Gerbils Die of Loneliness?

While gerbils won’t die from loneliness, studies have shown that gerbils kept alone may suffer from depression, anxiety, and decreased lifespan.

They can survive on their own, but are much happier and healthier when they are kept in pairs or groups. 

Loneliness can have a negative impact on their physical and mental health.

Can Gerbils Live Alone?

As we just discovered, gerbils are social animals, and it’s certainly possible for them to live alone.

However, it’s not recommended as they may become lonely, bored, and depressed without a companion.

If you are considering getting a gerbil, it is best to get a pair or a group to ensure they have the social interaction they need.

Providing a spacious habitat, plenty of toys, and regular interaction with their human companions can also help ensure your gerbils lead happy and healthy lives.

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