How Long Can A Gerbil Be Left Alone? {What Will Happen?}

Do you need to leave your gerbil alone for a few days? What could go wrong and how long is too long? In this article, we’ll discuss the time limits for leaving gerbils unattended.

How Long Can A Gerbil Be Left Alone? 3-7 days alone for a gerbil with enough food and water is usually not harmful. Your gerbil will not overeat, but the water bottle can malfunction. Double up on water bottles, keep the temperature between 65-75°F and possibly ask a friend to stop by while you’re away. 

How Long Can Gerbils Stay Home Alone?

Keeping a gerbil alone for a lengthy period of time may run the risk of:

  • illness
  • injury
  • water bottle malfunction
  • infection
  • spoiled food
  • aggression between gerbils
  • escape
  • overheating
  • hypothermia 

Keeping your gerbils unattended for a weekend or up to 3 days is usually the recommended limit. You can go as long as 7 days if need be, but make sure the water delivery is safely functioning and get a second water bottle just to be safer.

Can Gerbils Be Left Alone for a Week?

Yes. If you’re in a pinch, you may be able to leave your little companion alone for up to a week. Take the following precautions:

  • Use fresh bedding, but don’t overdo it.
  • Clean the cage.
  • Set the temperature at 65-75°F.
  • Leave a tablespoon of food per day you are away.
  • Add a second water bottle.

Too much bedding may push against the water bottle’s spout and cause it to malfunction. Adding a second bottle will help reduce the risk as well.

Your gerbil will not overeat if you leave more than enough food. Make sure it doesn’t spoil or rot.

How Can I Keep My Gerbil Safe While I’m Away?

Your gerbil is going to be lonely without you. Two or more gerbils may keep each other company. Make sure they have already adjusted and bonded as a pair before leaving them alone for extended periods of time.

  • Secure the lid of the gerbilarium to prevent escape. 
  • Place a camera on your gerbils to watch them. 
  • Top up food and water.
  • Ask a friend to come over and check in.
  • Take the gerbilarium to someone else’s house that you trust.. 

Not all of the tips above are necessary. Gerbils are not as high maintenance as other pets who need constant attention or exercise out of their enclosure. Pet-sitting is also available through professional services.

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Should I Use A Boarding Service For My Gerbil?

Your gerbil could also go on vacation while you are away. If 3-7 days in not long enough for you, you might need outside help.

If you don’t want people coming to your home to look after your gerbil, a boarding service would work well.

You will rest assured knowing that a reputable service is taking care of your beloved companion. You may receive updates or pictures of your gerbil playing, eating and resting.

Can I Keep A Gerbil Alone?

Gerbils would be prefer to be kept in pairs or groups. Same gender pairs work well. They are social and can be comfortable in numbers up to 15 in your home if space allows.

Allow for your gerbils to get to know each other and adjust to their lifestyle before leaving them alone for the weekend. Once they are used to each other, it’s nicer to know that they can keep each other company while you’re away.

How Long Can Gerbils Go Without Food Or Water?

In 2-3 days time your gerbil will die without water. The sensitive nature of a gerbil may not allow its body to maintain organ function over 3-5 days without food.

Weakness or illness will lead to death if there aren’t nutrients available. Gerbils are commonly known to eat their own feces and the dead bodies of their counterparts in rare occasions.

Remove droppings and always make sure your gerbils are fed once a day at least with their water topped up.

Can Gerbils Be Left Alone For 3 Days?

3 days or a weekend without your gerbils getting any attention or supervision is acceptable. Longer periods of time that extend over a week add the risk of a stressed gerbil that may knock over its water bottle or get injured.

The spout for the water bottle could get stuck if its bedding is pushed against it. Water may leak out or stop altogether. After the third day without water, your gerbil could easily perish.


Your gerbil requires your attention to make sure it can survive and live a hardy life in the setting you have provided. The maintenance tasks of cleaning the gerbilarium, replacing the bedding and topping up food and water are essential to its survival.

If you’re thinking of being away longer than 2 days, take the steps required to make sure your gerbil doesn’t get hurt, sick, starve or die of thirst. Doubling up on water bottles is the best suggestion we can give if you are not able to get anyone to come over and check in on your gerbil.

You can choose boarding or kenneling options if you’ll be away for longer periods of time. An update with a photo or video of your gerbil in comfort will keep you relaxed while you’re away and your worries will be kept at bay.


Thank you for visiting 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!