How Long Do Gerbils Live

How Long Do Gerbils Live

Gerbils are small, active rodents that make popular pets due to their social nature and easy care requirements. While gerbils can live for several years, their lifespan can vary based on several factors. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how long gerbils typically live and what can affect their lifespan.

Average Lifespan Of Gerbils

Gerbils are generally considered to have a lifespan of 3 to 5 years, with some individuals living up to 7 years. This range is similar to other small rodents, such as hamsters and mice. However, it’s important to note that the actual lifespan of a gerbil can vary significantly based on genetics, diet, and living conditions.

Factors That Affect Gerbil Lifespan

There are several factors that can influence a gerbil’s lifespan, including:

  1. Genetics: Some gerbils may have a genetic predisposition to certain health conditions that can shorten their lifespan. For example, gerbils with a family history of kidney disease or heart problems may be more prone to developing these conditions.
  2. Diet: A balanced diet is essential for the overall health and longevity of gerbils. Gerbils require a diet high in fiber and low in fat, as well as access to fresh water at all times. A diet that is lacking in essential nutrients or that is too high in unhealthy ingredients can lead to health problems and a shortened lifespan.
  3. Living Conditions: Gerbils require a clean, spacious habitat to thrive. A cage that is too small or that is not properly maintained can lead to stress and health problems in gerbils. It’s important to regularly clean the cage and provide plenty of toys and activities to keep gerbils mentally and physically stimulated.

How Long Do Gerbils Live

How to Maximize a Gerbil’s Lifespan

If you want to ensure that your gerbil lives a long and healthy life, there are a few things you can do:

  1. Provide A Balanced Diet: As mentioned above, a healthy diet is crucial for gerbils. Make sure to provide a commercial gerbil pellet or mix as the base of their diet, and supplement with fresh fruits and vegetables. Avoid giving gerbils high-fat or sugary treats, as these can lead to health problems.
  2. Keep The Cage Clean: A dirty cage can lead to health problems in gerbils, so it’s important to clean the cage regularly. This includes spot-cleaning daily, completely cleaning and sanitizing the cage once a week, and changing the bedding every 1-2 weeks.
  3. Provide A Spacious Habitat: Gerbils are active and need plenty of space to move around and play. Make sure to provide a cage that is at least 360 square inches, with multiple levels and plenty of toys and activities.
  4. Handle Gerbils Gently: Gerbils are delicate animals and can be easily injured if handled improperly. Always be gentle when handling gerbils and be sure to support their entire body, including their tail.


Gerbils are social, intelligent animals that can make great pets for people of all ages. With proper care and a balanced diet, gerbils can live for several years, with an average lifespan of 3 to 5 years. By providing a clean, spacious habitat and handling gerbils gently, you can help ensure that your gerbil lives a long and healthy life.


Q1. How long do gerbils typically live?

Ans: Gerbils typically live for 2-3 years, but with proper care and attention, they can live up to 4 years.

Q2. What factors affect the lifespan of a gerbil?

Ans: The lifespan of a gerbil can be affected by many factors, including genetics, diet, environment, and overall health. Proper diet and exercise, a clean living environment, and regular veterinary check-ups can help increase their lifespan.

Q3. How can I tell if my gerbil is getting old?

Ans: As gerbils age, they may become less active and may lose weight. They may also develop gray hair on their face and body.

Q4. How can I take care of an older gerbil?

Ans: To take care of an older gerbil, it’s important to provide them with a healthy diet that is high in protein and low in fat. Also, provide them with a clean, comfortable living environment and regular veterinary check-ups. Gerbils may also need more rest and a reduction in their activity levels as they get older.

Q5. Can gerbils live with other gerbils?

Ans: Yes, gerbils are social animals and do well in pairs or small groups. However, it’s important to introduce them properly and make sure they get along before putting them together. Also, it’s important to keep an eye on them, as gerbils can become territorial and aggressive towards each other as they age.


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