By Jessica Cordia
Gerbils are naturally social creatures that like to live with other gerbils. As a gerbil owner, you might have several gerbils living together harmoniously. They play with each other, take naps together and probably gossip about last night’s episode of 24. But like Jack and Nina, gerbils are notorious for fighting.
Detect The Fight
Gerbils make it obvious when they fight. If you are in the room, you will hear vocalizations alerting you to the fight. If you are out of the room, look for signs of fighting when you return. Gerbils like to fight along their back sides, so check for hair loss, blood, scabs and bites along their backs. Your gerbils might have tail scabs too.
Handle The Fight
Bill Guerra, DVM at The Animal Doctor in Broomfield, Colo. said that when gerbils fight, they usually won’t stop until death. When gerbils throw fisticuffs, you need to intervene immediately. Put each gerbil into two separate homes. They can calm down, and you can prevent a death match. Don’t put the two gerbils back into the same cage after they’ve calmed down. The two contenders don’t like each other, and they want the other one dead. Returning them to the same cage will only bring back the mayhem.
Prevent The Fight
Gerbils are social creatures that actually want cage mates. The best way to find compatible gerbils is to cage them together before puberty, which gerbils reach around three to four months of age. “Don’t have male and females caged together because you don’t want them reproducing,” Guerra said. The best cage mates are gerbils that are caged together early on, and that are the same sex.
Knowing how to detect, handle, and prevent gerbil fights makes caring for these loving creatures more enjoyable. You can relax and play with your pet gerbils, and when Jack sees Nina, you know just what to do.