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The Best and Worst Gerbil Toys


Posted December 1, 2012 by

The Best and Worst Gerbil Toys

Gerbils have a lot of energy. A good way to fulfill your gerbil’s activity level is to provide your gerbil with a gerbil toy. You can get creative with your gerbil toys as there are many different options.

Gerbil Exercise Toys

Solid wheels eliminate the risk of tail injury.
Credit: thraxil /

To ensure that your gerbil gets the exercise that it needs, you can choose to provide an exercise wheel. Not all gerbils like to use an exercise wheel, so don’t get discouraged if your little critter spends little to no time on this gerbil toy. If you do choose to incorporate an exercise wheel into your gerbil’s cage, you should make sure that the wheel has a solid base and a solid back. This will prevent your gerbil from tipping the wheel over which could result in a serious injury. Also, you may choose to keep the wheel outside of the gerbil’s cage. This will give your gerbil more room to wander and more importantly, more room for other gerbil toys! Keeping the gerbil exercise wheel outside of the cage gives your gerbil the opportunity to get proper exercise outside of their cage, while conveniently allowing you to take the exercise wheel to whatever room you choose.

Safety Issues

With any gerbil toy, safety should be the first thing to acknowledge. Do not incorporate a gerbil toy that has strings, or any other appendage that could possibly get caught on your gerbil’s paws or other body parts. Avoid using a toy that, once chewed on, could come apart into little pieces. Any loose gerbil toy parts could easily become lodged in your gerbil’s mouth and/or throat. Stay away from toys that have small holes or openings in which your gerbil could get its head or paws stuck in.

Homemade Gerbil Toys

Homemade cardboard toys are popular with a lot of gerbil owners. These gerbil toys are cost-efficient and allow you to get creative with your gerbil-toy making. There is, however, a downside to gerbil toys that are made out of cardboard. Cardboard wears away pretty quickly, especially since your gerbil will love nibbling on this homemade creation. Avoid using cardboard with a lot of ink.

Wooden Toys

Wooden gerbil toys are a great choice for your furry friend. You can find little wooden houses or hollowed out logs at your local pet store. Although wooden gerbil toys last a lot longer than the alternative cardboard gerbil toy, your gerbil will still chew on their wooden toys. Eventually, you will have to replace the wooden gerbil toys. Not only are these wooden accessories fun, but they are great for grooming! You will see your gerbil constantly nibbling and scratching at the wood. This prohibits their teeth from growing too long, and maintains the length of their nails.

Other Gerbil Toy Options

plastic gerbil toy

Credit: benmckune /

There are endless possibilities when it comes to providing your gerbil with a fun new toy. Even a small brown paper bag provides shelter and shredding opportunities. Driftwood and branches are also good choices when you want to provide your gerbil with a chew toy. You should avoid using evergreen branches. Check out the selection of wooden toys at your local pet store and browse the reptile and bird sections as there are usually a variety of wooden accessories there. Plastic gerbil toys such as climbing tubes that are normally seen in hamster cages can be used; however your gerbil will most likely chew away at the plastic. Consequently, your gerbil may swallow bits and pieces of the plastic. This could lead to serious internal damage and even death. If you choose to use plastic in your gerbil toy selection, you will have to closely monitor your gerbil’s activity. Do not give your gerbil any sort of cloth-like material.

Baskets can make a fun gerbil toy. You can choose to place a small basket in your gerbil’s cage and let the exploring begin! Remember, gerbils are rapid chewers, so you will most likely have to replace the basket soon after introducing it to your gerbil; probably within a few days.

Gerbils absolutely love to dig and burrow. After you have set up your gerbil’s cage the way you want it, add a few extra centimeters of bedding to your gerbil’s cage, and watch your little critter explore! You will see your gerbil tunnel under the objects in its cage. For a plusher living environment, feel free to rip up some tissue or toilet paper.

Thanks for reading and be sure to check out our gerbil care sheet for more information on gerbils.


Vetta has a degree in Biology from The Pennsylvania State University. She has years of experience in keeping hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, ferrets, and rabbits.


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