With guinea pigs and gerbils both being rodents, then one question that may be going through your mind, especially if you’ve stumbled upon this post, is ‘can guinea pigs and gerbils live together’?
To understand whether they can or not, its good to understand a bit more about gerbils and their characteristics.
Here are some facts about gerbils
1. Although they are small in stature, they sure are full of energy and personality.
2. They live up to 3-4 years
3. They measure approximately 4 inches in length, not including their long tail.
4. Male gerbils are larger than female gerbils.
5. Male gerbils tend to weigh just over 2 ounces, with females weiging slightly less.
6. Gerbils are diurnal which means that they are mostly active during the daytime.
7. Gerbils have very good burrowing skills and use them to create burrows to hide from predators
8. They are quite gentle and convivial creatures.
9. They do not bite often.
10. They are very keen explorers
11. Gerbils tend to eat seed mixes which are mixed with pellets or dried vegetables.
12. Although they don’t need to drink a lot of water, they still need a water bottle on hand to sip from in case they get thirsty.
13. They are very social animals and don’t do well living on their own.
14. They like to play and chase each other around, and also wrestle. This can be sometimes hard to distinguish between proper aggressive fighting.
15. They tend to sleep in piles and snuggle up together.
16. When they are excited of stressed, they do something called ‘thumping’ which is where they will pound both their hind legs on the ground.
17. They like to groom themselves and will also groom each other as well.
18. Gerbils talk in a high squeak when they are young. Older gerbils only squeak when they are playing, stressed or in excitement.
19. They love to chew and will chew whatever is in front of them.
20. They have a scent gland in their abdomen which is used to mark things in their territory. They rub their stomachs on cage furniture to mark their territory.
21. The best way to pick up a gerbil is to pick it up under its body and cup it in the palm of your hand
In some ways gerbils are very similar to guinea pigs. The way they love to chew things, squeak, groom each other, snuggle up to each other, and are social animals are just a few of their similarities.
But in a lot of other ways they are very different. Their diet is the most noticeable difference, with gerbils eating seed mixes as opposed to the guinea pig’s hay and veggie diet.
Although they are both social creatures, there is absolutely no guarantee that they will get along and it will probably scare them both to be put in the same vicinity as each other.
So it is not a good idea to put guinea pigs and gerbils together as they have much different behavioural characteristics to be safe around each other.
If you want to see whether they will get along in the same vicinity for a short period then this needs to be done with close supervision, but it is not recommended.
They are best kept apart in different environments where they can live with their own kind.