How Often Should You Let Your Gerbils Out?

Even though gerbils can get scared easily, that doesn’t stop them from being curious about the world outside of their cage.

The good thing is that they can be let out of their enclosure from time to time so that they can have fun and explore their surroundings. But how often should you let your gerbils out?

Gerbils should be let out of their cage at least a few times a week and they can even be let out every day as long as they’re comfortable with it.

It can be a good experience for your gerbils every now and then as long as you’re being as safe as possible about it.

It’ll give them a chance to act upon their curiosity and also introduce something new into their usual daily routines.

How Often Should You Let Your Gerbils Out Of Their Cage?

When it comes to letting your gerbils out of their cage for some playtime, you can take your gerbils out every day or just a few times a week.

They should be let out only if they’re comfortable with leaving their cage though.

Gerbils are prey animals so sometimes they can get scared very easily, and a scared gerbil is most likely to try to flee.

However, you can still try letting a more timid gerbil outside of their cage, you just have to watch them closely so you don’t lose them if they try to run off.

A gerbil that is comfortable with leaving their cage and is well behaved can have more time outside of their enclosure because there is less risk that they’ll try to run away.

It’s also easier to bring them back into their cage once their playtime is over.

If for any reason you decide to let out only one gerbil, try not to separate them from each other for too long.

Because gerbils are social animals, they’ll be a lot calmer when they are around each other, especially outside of the cage.

How Long Can Gerbils Be Out?

If you want to let your gerbils play outside of their cage, you also have to know when it’s time to bring them back in.

Generally, gerbils should spend no more than an hour outside of their enclosure.

An hour can give gerbils a decent amount of time to play, explore, and get used to the new environment that they’re in.

Plus gerbils tend to eat and drink almost constantly when they’re awake, so you don’t want to separate them from their food and water source for too long of a time.

Besides bringing them in so that they can eat and drink, it’s also time to bring your gerbils in if you see any of them stressing out.

Being in a really open environment can sometimes be a scary experience for a gerbil, especially if they’re only used to being inside their cage.

It can cause them to become stressed out, so if that does actually happen then you know it’s time to bring them back in.

Where Can You Let Your Gerbils Out?

Another important thing to consider when letting your gerbils out of their cage is where you let them out.

Because gerbils are small and can sometimes be very hyper, you should only let them out to play in areas where they can’t run off that easily.

For example, to be as safe as possible some places that you can let your gerbils out are:

  • Playpens.
  • DIY playpens.
  • Bathtubs.
  • Gerbil proofed rooms.

Playpens are a great place to put your gerbils when they’re outside of their cage, especially if they’re not all that used to leaving their enclosure yet.

It can cover a decent amount of space where your gerbils can have some fun, all without giving them the chance to run off.

The same can be said about DIY playpens as well, as long as you make it hard to escape and safe for them.

You can also let your gerbils out in a bathtub. Bathtubs provide a big area where they can run around in without being able to climb up the sides and run away.

Gerbils that are well-behaved can even be allowed to explore a small gerbil proofed room.

As long as it’s safe and they can’t leave the room, it can be a really great experience for calm and well-trained gerbils.

Some gerbils that are well-trained can sometimes even be allowed to play in a safe and enclosed area outside as well.

Keep Things That They Can Hide In And Crawl Through

When your gerbils are outside of their cage you have to keep something that they can hide in or something that they can crawl through. As I said before, gerbils can get scared really easily.

So it’s very important that you have small huts or hideaways that they can go into when they start to become stressed out.

Those little huts that they can hide in will give them a break from being in such an open environment.

It can even reduce their stress levels, which can make their out of the cage time last a little bit longer. Small tubes can also accomplish the same thing.

The tubes will give them somewhere to go when they’re feeling stressed out and it’s also something that they can play with too. You should also keep other toys that they like that they can play with when they’re not exploring.

That way it’ll give them something that they’re used to and will keep them from getting too bored.

Treats are a must-have when you let your gerbils outside of their cage. The treats will make them feel more comfortable and have them constantly coming back up to you.

They are also great for positive reinforcement when your gerbils do something good or when they’re playing calmly.

What To Look For When Letting Your Gerbils Out

There are some things that you should look out for and expect when your gerbils are outside of their cage.

As you’re watching your gerbils run around and play make sure to check and see if they’re getting into anything bad.

Gerbils are very curious especially when they’re comfortable and that can lead them to do some stuff that’s not good for them.

For example, some gerbils can find things to chew on that they shouldn’t be chewing on like certain plastics and wires.

Some gerbils will find wires that are just the right size and texture for them to chew on. So if you see them doing that it’s best that you calmly stop them and move them away from that area.

The same goes for finding random food. There are a lot of different foods that gerbils shouldn’t eat. So to be safe, clear their play area of any food that they can easily get to.

What To Expect When Letting Them Out

You can also expect your gerbils to randomly pee and poop anywhere. Gerbils constantly eat and they constantly go to the bathroom as well.

So even though it’s really easy to clean, just be prepared that you’ll have to clean up their messes.

Lastly, always make sure that you’re in the same room with them when they’re outside of their cage.

Gerbils are natural escape artists so it’s important that you always keep an eye on them.

As long as you’re being as safe as possible about it, letting your gerbils out can be a really great and fun experience for them.


Hi, I'm Mason, I've kept small animals as pets since I was 8 years old. I love to learn and talk about them basically every day. Over the years I've adopted small pets like hamsters, gerbils, and guinea pigs.

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