Do Gerbils Like to Be Held? Tips On How To Hold Them

holding a gerbil

Gerbils make great pets and they like attention, If you have a gerbil it is very important to learn how to hold them correctly, But do they like to be held?

Gerbils are social animals and a good choice of pet that likes you to hold them in your hands. They enjoy being stroked, held, or played with as they love to receive attention. Picking and holding gerbils in hand can also build trust and connection between the gerbil and its owner.

Can Gerbils Be Handled?

Gerbils are easy to care for and do not pose any complications when you want to handle them. They are naturally and generally tame, curious, and active, making them like human contact. They are also tiny and timid, which makes them like being handled.

Do Gerbils Like to Be Held

There are also other things your gerbil will like you to do to him. Here are some of the things gerbils like;

Petting and Stroking

One of the things most pets like is for you to pet and stroke them, which gerbils are not an exception. You might think your gerbil doesn’t like petting or stroking, but it does, only that it doesn’t trust you enough. You have to make your gerbil trust you before it allows you to pet and stroke the gerbil.

To pet and stroke your gerbil, you will pat it gently on the head or the body. You do not have to hit it hard as it can inflict pain on it, causing you to lose trust in yourself. Make sure you earn your trust before you venture into petting and stroking.


Gerbils are social animals, and they love to cuddle. In the wild, gerbils sleep clustering around each other and will also cuddle each other as a natural behavior. You have to cuddle your gerbil to make it feel loved and welcomed.

At first, it might not allow you to cuddle or bring him close to your body as it doesn’t trust you yet. So, build your trust in him before he allows you to cuddle him. To cuddle him, you will have to bring him close to your body and give him a warm hug.


Gerbils are social and active animals that love to play with humans, themselves or anything around them. In case your gerbil does not have a companion, and you are too busy to play with it, you can get toys. The toys will make a good playmate for your gerbil and will save it a lot from boredom.

You can change the toys at intervals to make him have a diverse play strategy. You can also put multiple toys in its cage so it will have multiple playmates. Having more than one gerbils with multiple toys is a good shot as it will help them play with themselves and have a lot of toys to play with.

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How to Prepare Your Gerbil For Being Held

To hold your gerbil in your hands, you have to follow simple procedures as rushing to hold it can frighten it and cause it to run back. Even if you forcefully hold it in your hands, it will not feel comfortable, and you will see it moving vigorously. Following the safe steps will not only allow you to carry the gerbil freely; it will also allow the gerbil to trust you more.

The first thing to do is to place your hand in your gerbil’s cage. Make sure your palms face up and have the shape of a cup. Then you wait for your gerbil to come into your hands, and you scoop them up in a gentle manner. Once the gerbil is in your hands, you can remove it from the cage as you take a seat or position where you will be able to stroke it gently and adequately.

How to Hold Your Gerbil

You have to be careful when holding your gerbil to prevent it from hurting or getting injured. You have to open your palm and hold the gerbil in it to ensure you do not squeeze it. If you hold it, you should have a grip on the trunk of the animal.

Make sure the grip is not too much for the gerbil. When holding the gerbil, you should not hold it high from the ground as it can hop out of your hand. Place it close to a flat surface or the ground so that when it hops out, it touches the floor safely and does not get hurt.

Do Gerbils Like to Be Petted?

Gerbils are social animals, and they will want you to pet them as they like it. Petting your gerbil is one thing it will like, but you have to do it the right way for the gerbil to like it more. The gerbil will also have to trust you before it allows you to pet him.

When petting your gerbil, you should gently stroke it and pat it on the head or body. You can also rub its body and play with its fur as it will like it.

Do Gerbils Like to Cuddle?

One of the things your gerbil will like you to do to him is cuddling. Your gerbil will want you to cuddle him and give him a warm hug. They are inquisitive and will want to have contact with humans. Cuddling will also require your gerbil to trust you, and you also have to cuddle him the right way for him to enjoy it.

General Gerbil Handling Tips

Before you can handle your gerbil, you have to take note of the following tips;

  • Gerbils are timid and shy, so you need to be cautious when handling them.
  • Make sure you do not squeeze them in your hands.
  • Always wait for them to gesture towards you before picking them.
  • When handling them, stroke them gently and lovingly.
  • Gerbils act on trust; you have to build that before they allow you to handle them.


Gerbils are social and very active, making them like to be in people’s hands, people they trust. You have to follow simple procedures before picking them up so you will not scare them. Gerbils are cute and loving, so you should treat them with much love and care.