Will your gerbil get cold and possibly freeze to death? What can you do to make sure this doesn’t happen? In this article, we’ll discuss the topic of gerbils surviving in cold weather.
How Cold Can Gerbils Survive? Gerbils can tolerate cold temperatures as low as -30 to -40°F by burrowing deep into their native Mongolian grassland habitats where surface temperatures become frigid. In captivity, we should keep them in temperatures ranging from 65-75°F.
Can Gerbils Survive Cold Weather?
Gerbils are very similar to humans in their warm-blooded nature. They will get cold in the winter and will not survive outdoors. Gerbils in the wild tend to:
- huddle together
- dig tunnels
- hide in burrows
The ideal temperature range for a gerbil in your home is 65-75°F. Keep your gerbil’s cage away from drafty hallways, open windows and doors during colder months.
What Happens When A Gerbil Gets Cold?
A cold gerbil is straining itself to stay warm. Fat reserves are being depleted. More food will be needed during this time. The body will need more fuel to burn.
Your gerbil’s core temperature may decrease and organ functions will be limited. You may notice your gerbil motionless during this time.
Death may occur faster than you think. Make sure your gerbil gets the warmth it needs before it’s too late.
Can Gerbils Live In Cold Climates?
Gerbils have adapted to surviving in cold conditions. The grasslands of Mongolia and deserts of North Africa can get cold at night. The former sees the temperature drop as low as -31 to -40°F.
Gerbils will not be seen during this time. They will huddle together in burrows to stay warm underground. Gerbils are able to withstand sudden changes in weather.
They cannot control the conditions in cages. Your best bet is to provide warm bedding and comfortable room temperatures.
How Do I Keep My Gerbil Warm?
Gerbils make deep burrows and live there together as a family. They use their fur and the body heat of their relatives or neighbors to stay warm as well.
You can help keep a gerbil with the following tips:
- room temperature (thermostat) set at: 70-75°F
- heating pad in the cage
- 6 inches or more bedding mixed with hay, aspen shaving and paper
- more gerbils to huddle together
- allow your gerbil to build tunnels
Do Gerbils Hibernate?
Many rodents hibernate during the winter, but gerbils don’t exhibit this behavior. When hibernation occurs, the deep sleep that results creates a drop in:
- body temperature
- heart rate
- metabolic rate
Gerbils will not hibernate, but they will limit their movement. Lethargy or sluggishness is common to witness when a gerbil is cold or trying to remain warm. Make sure your gerbil is eating and drinking well while remaining comfortable in thick bedding.
What Is The Best Temperature For Gerbils?
A comfortable home with a temperature of 70-75°F would be optimal. You can go as low as 65°F if you wish. Gerbils are strong enough to withstand sudden drops in temperature.
Their natural instinct would be to dig a burrow and nestle deep below the surface. The warm bedding you provide will help mimic this action. We recommend blending paper with hemp, hay or aspen shavings.
Why Is My Gerbil Cold?
Your gerbil may need you to raise the heat. If you have done so already, but find that your gerbil is not moving or eating enough, you can try the following:
- Get a gerbilarium glass tank with a cover to retain heat.
- Place thicker amounts of bedding.
- Feed your gerbil nuts with plenty of fat and protein.
- Provide tunnels or hiding spaces.
- Keep the cage away from windows or doors.
- Place a heating pad in the cage.
Direct sunlight might make the space too hot for your gerbil. The heat may get trapped and make things worse. We hope these tips will keep your gerbil warm.
Which Gerbil Bedding Is The Warmest?
It’s best to provide your gerbil with a combination of bedding options for the most comfortable and warm environment. Carefresh branded bedding boasts warmth and comfort, but you can choose to make your own bedding.
You can use hay, paper or hemp. Try to avoid pine, cedar, corn cob or harsh bedding that can irritate your gerbil.
We recommend aspen shavings for warmth mixed with paper that is shredded to bulk the bedding up to create thickness and warmth for your gerbil.
Can A Gerbil Freeze To Death?
Gerbils can definitely freeze to death just like many other mammals. They will work overtime to preserve their warmth by burning fat cells.
Although a gerbil needs to eat more during this time, you may notice the opposite occurring. When a gerbil is too cold to eat, it might be experiencing freezing internal temperatures.
Gerbils are sensitive to hypothermia resulting from wet and damp conditions coupled with cooler air. Keep your gerbil dry and warm during colder months.
What Happens If a Gerbil Gets Too Cold?
A cold gerbil may experience the following symptoms:
- excessive hiding
- not eating
- whisker spasms
- stiff overall demeanor
Provide bedding and keep its cage in a warm location away from drafts. Raise the room temperature and make sure your gerbil has plenty to eat and drink.
Gerbils can get cold easily. They are much more susceptible to freezing or becoming hypothermic in captivity where they cannot scurry, dig, huddle and hide in deep underground burrows.
It’s up to us to maintain safe and comfortable temperatures. The cage itself should remain warm in the right location away from windows with plenty of bedding for thick nest or burrow building.
Your gerbil could also benefit from huddling together with another gerbil mate. Maybe it’s time to get another gerbil to add to your family.
Thank you for visiting HomePetHelp.com for information regarding gerbils and plenty of other pets that we greatly enjoy caring for. Please check out more articles that may interest you. See you next time!
- 1 Can Gerbils Survive Cold Weather?
- 2 What Happens When A Gerbil Gets Cold?
- 3 Can Gerbils Live In Cold Climates?
- 4 How Do I Keep My Gerbil Warm?
- 5 Do Gerbils Hibernate?
- 6 What Is The Best Temperature For Gerbils?
- 7 Why Is My Gerbil Cold?
- 8 Which Gerbil Bedding Is The Warmest?
- 9 Can A Gerbil Freeze To Death?
- 10 What Happens If a Gerbil Gets Too Cold?
- 11 Conclusion