Why Is My Gerbil Scared of Me

Why Is My Gerbil Scared of Me

Do you feel helpless when your gerbil shies away from you? You’re not alone – over 40% of small pet owners have experienced this problem. ‘Why is my gerbil scared of me?’

Don’t despair! With patience and understanding, you can learn how to build trust so your gerbil isn’t scared of you.

In this article, we’ll look at the causes of fear, signs of fear, and calming techniques to help you create a safe and loving bond with your pet.

Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Gerbils may feel scared if they do not have a safe environment and essential care.
  • Changes in their surroundings and rough handling can make gerbils feel threatened and scared.
  • Signs of fear in gerbils include hiding, trembling, and reluctance to socialize.
  • To help a gerbil feel less scared, create a stress-free environment, interact gently, offer treats, and build trust through consistent and patient interactions.

Causes of Fear

While fear can be caused by a variety of reasons, it’s important to understand why your gerbil might be scared of you. Gerbils are social animals that require essential care and a safe, adapting environment to feel secure. If your gerbil’s environment has changed, such as a different cage or new housemates, this can make them feel unsafe and scared. Additionally, if you handle your gerbil too much or too roughly, such as grabbing them out of the cage, they may feel threatened and scared.

It’s important to take the time and effort to build trust with your gerbil. When they first arrive, give them time to get used to their new home and let them explore on their own. Avoid handling them for at least the first few days and be patient as they adjust to their new environment. Once they’re comfortable, you can begin to slowly introduce handling, but always be gentle and take your time.

It’s normal for gerbils to be scared, especially if they’ve just been adopted. However, with patience, care, and the right environment, you can help to create a trusting bond between you and your gerbil. When they feel safe, they’ll be more willing to trust and bond with you, and the fear will eventually subside.

Signs of Fear

You can usually tell when your gerbil is scared by looking out for certain signs. These may include hiding: Your gerbil may flee to a hiding spot like a corner or under its bedding when it feels threatened. It may also shiver or tremble when it’s scared. Additionally, your gerbil may be too scared to come out of its hiding spot to socialize with you or refuse to spend bonding time with you if it is scared.

If your gerbil is exhibiting any of these signs, it’s important to be patient and compassionate. Speak to your gerbil in a soft, reassuring voice and give it plenty of time and space to adjust to its environment. If possible, try to form a bond with your gerbil by spending more time with it in its cage. This could include providing treats or engaging in activities together. Your gerbil will eventually learn to trust you and become more comfortable and social.

Calming Techniques

Once your gerbil is feeling more comfortable, there are a number of calming techniques you can use to help it feel safe. Creating an environment that reduces stress, providing positive reinforcement, and offering lots of patience and affection can all help your gerbil settle into its new home.

It’s best to start with a quiet space for your gerbil, as loud noises and sudden movements can be quite frightening. Ensure your gerbil has plenty of hiding spots, such as a cardboard tube or pet hammock, and provide them with a variety of toys and activities. Interacting with your gerbil in a gentle manner and speaking in a soothing voice will also help to create a calming atmosphere.

Offering your gerbil small treats, such as pieces of fresh fruit or nuts, is a great way to provide positive reinforcement. When providing treats, ensure to do so in a slow and gentle manner. You can also give your gerbil a gentle massage or cuddle to help build trust and comfort.

It’s important to remember that your gerbil will need some time to adjust to its new environment, and it’s essential to be patient. Try to avoid startling your gerbil and keep interactions short and sweet. With a little bit of patience and lots of love, your gerbil will soon be feeling at home.

Establishing Trust

Building trust with your gerbil is essential for creating a secure and happy home. To establish trust with your gerbil, it’s important to engage in activities that build rapport and create positive associations. Here are four steps for creating trust between you and your gerbil:

  1. Spend time with your gerbil in a calm environment. Take time to observe and understand your gerbil’s behavior and natural habitat.
  2. Offer treats and rewards for positive behaviors. This will help your gerbil learn to trust you.
  3. Introduce trust exercises. Start by placing your hand in the gerbil’s cage and offering treats. As your gerbil becomes more comfortable, slowly progress to petting.
  4. Be consistent with your routine. Establishing trust takes time, so be consistent in your interactions and behaviors.

You can build trust with your gerbil by taking time to understand your gerbil’s behavior, rewarding positive behaviors, introducing trust exercises, and being consistent with your routine. With patience and understanding, you can make your gerbil feel safe and comfortable.

Building a Bond

Once you have established trust with your gerbil, you can begin to build a bond with them. Encouraging play and bonding activities are key to helping your gerbil feel secure and comfortable around you.

Hand-feedingAllows your gerbil to get used to being handled
PettingStrengthens the bond between you and your gerbil
PlayingIncreases trust and comfort for both of you

It is important to be patient and gentle when your gerbil is getting used to your presence. Speak to your gerbil in a soft, soothing voice to help them feel safe and relaxed. Spend some time each day talking to your gerbil and letting them explore their cage.

You can also offer your gerbil treats and toys to explore. This will help your gerbil get used to being handled and will provide them with stimulation. Offer your gerbil treats from your hands and let them come to you when they are ready. This will help them become more confident around you.


No matter the cause of your gerbil’s fear, it’s important to be patient and compassionate. Taking the time to establish a trusting bond can help your gerbil feel more comfortable around you.

Remember, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ – it may take some time for your gerbil to get used to you, but it will be worth it in the end.

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