How to Stop Gerbils Making a Mess

A picture of a gerbil making a mess. for the article How to Stop Gerbils Making a Mess

Do you have a gerbil that’s making a mess? You don’t know how to stop gerbils making a mess? You’re not alone.

With the right techniques and strategies, it’s possible to clean up the mess and even prevent it from happening in the future.

Through understanding the problem, learning appropriate cleaning methods, designing an enclosure, modifying behaviors, and implementing prevention strategies, you can help your gerbil stay healthy and happy without the mess.

Key Takeaways

  • Observing gerbils and their environment helps determine the source of the mess.
  • Clean the cage at least once a week to reduce odors and maintain gerbil health.
  • Provide appropriate materials for gerbils to satisfy their natural burrowing instincts.
  • Regularly clean the enclosure and provide a variety of toys and enrichment to prevent boredom.

Identifying the Problem

You’re probably wondering why your gerbils are making such a mess. Identifying the problem and its causes is the first step in minimizing the mess. While some gerbils make more mess than others, all gerbils are capable of creating quite a bit of chaos. It’s important to observe your gerbils and their environment to determine the source of the mess. Common culprits include food, toys, and burrowing activities.

If you find food scattered around, it’s likely your gerbil is trying to hide it for later. To prevent this, replace their food every day and remove any food that’s been left out overnight. Also, keep the food in a secure container to make sure it’s inaccessible for hiding.

If you notice toys and bedding strewn about, your gerbils may be expressing their natural instinct to burrow. To discourage this behavior, use a shallow tray or bin for bedding and provide plenty of cardboard tubes and boxes for your gerbils to explore. When introducing new toys, keep an eye on how your gerbils interact with them to ensure that they don’t cause too much of a mess.

Cleaning Methods

Once you’ve identified the source of the mess, you’ll need to come up with an effective cleaning strategy. There are several steps you can take to reduce the mess and odors caused by gerbils:

Cleaning up:

  • Clean the cage often, at least once a week, to reduce odors and help your gerbil stay healthy.
  • Discard any wet bedding and replace it with fresh bedding.


  • Encourage your gerbil to groom itself by providing chew toys and treats that promote healthy teeth and gums.
  • Provide a sand bath for your gerbil to help keep its fur clean and reduce odors.

Enclosure Design

In addition to cleaning and grooming, you can help reduce mess and odors from gerbils by designing an enclosure that promotes cleanliness.

First, create a shopping list of items to purchase. Depending on the size of the enclosure, you may need things like bedding, toys, a wheel, and a water bottle. Make sure to keep the gerbil’s diet in mind when you shop as well. You may need to purchase specialized food and treats.

Second, consider which type of enclosure will best accommodate the gerbil. A glass tank is sturdy but may not be the most comfortable for the gerbil. Alternatively, a plastic bin or wooden cage may provide more space and comfort.

Behavior Modification

By modifying their behavior, you can help prevent your gerbils from making a mess. Socializing and enriching your gerbil’s environment are two of the most effective ways to do this.

When it comes to socialization, the key is to start early. Get your gerbil used to being handled by providing lots of positive reinforcement. This will help build its trust in you and prevent it from acting out. Make sure you also provide your gerbil with plenty of time outside its cage to explore and play.

Enrichment is also essential for your gerbil’s wellbeing. Consider adding toys and other items to the enclosure, such as chew sticks, tunnels, and mazes. This will give your gerbil something to do and help keep them from getting bored and destructive. It’s also important to regularly clean the enclosure to keep things tidy and make sure your gerbil has a safe and healthy environment.

Prevention Strategies

Take proactive measures to prevent your gerbil from making a mess. One of the main reasons why gerbils can be a bit messy is because of bedding options. You should provide a bedding material that’s absorbent and non-toxic. Aspen shavings are a popular choice as it’s a natural material that’s non-toxic and easy to clean. Avoid using cedar or pine shavings, as they can be harmful to your gerbil’s health. Also, make sure to change the bedding regularly and ensure that it’s kept clean.

Another way to suppress mess is to limit your gerbil’s food sources. Make sure the food is contained in a bowl or dish instead of scattered on the floor. This will prevent your gerbil from scattering the food around the cage, as well as help you control their diet. Give your gerbil a variety of foods in the bowl, and make sure to provide plenty of fresh water.

Finally, make sure to keep the cage clean by regularly wiping down the walls and bottom of the cage. This will prevent mess from accumulating and will help keep your gerbil healthy. In addition, it’s important to keep the cage away from direct sunlight or sources of extreme heat, as this can create an uncomfortable environment for your gerbil.


Gerbils can be a handful, but with a little patience and the right strategies, you can minimize the mess they make and keep your home clean.

With the right enclosure design, cleaning methods, and behavior modification, you can make your gerbils’ happiness skyrocket while still ensuring your home stays spotless.

It’s truly a win-win situation that will make your gerbil-care journey a breeze – almost as easy as eating a slice of cake!

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