Why Does My Gerbil Poop On Me? {Top 5 Reasons Explained}

Does your gerbil poop on your hand, shoulder or lap? Is it getting worse? In this article, we’ll find out why gerbils poop on their human companions.

Why Does My Gerbil Poop On Me? A fearful gerbil away from its comfort zone and favorite pooping corner in its cage, may drop feces on you. Nervous, scared or younger gerbils and any gerbil who is being held outside too long may poop on their humans more often. 


Why Is My Gerbil Pooping On Me?

Gerbils should develop healthy habits for their own comfort. It’s common for them to figure out a spot in their cage to poop in the same location each time while keeping their play and rest areas clean.

There are a few possible reasons why your gerbil is pooping on you, including the top 5 below:

  1. Age
  2. Temperament 
  3. Gender
  4. Location
  5. Time

1. Age

Gerbils at a very young age have trouble holding in their droppings until they reach their preferred area once again in their cage. A younger gerbil may also poop more often.

Gerbils produce 5-20 pellets of poop per day. The number is higher for a younger gerbil who eats more often to supply the nutrition needed for maturation.

2. Temperament

A nervous or fearful gerbil outside of its cage may feel vulnerable. It take a little time for them to adjust to life in their new home where they have food, water, bedding and a favorite spot to poop.

Taking them outside of that comfort may create nervous tendencies that allow their bowels to open up when you least expect it.

3. Gender

This is highly debatable, but the gerbil community seems to agree in many cases that females are more likely to poop in one spot more often than males.

Male gerbils may poop or urinate on you more often. We can speculate that they are marking territory or simply just messier than females, but more research is needed.

4. Location

The location is you. You are getting pooped on. Where are you? Chances are the space outside of the cage is large enough to make your gerbil feel anxious.

The best location to poop has most likely been established at a corner of their cage, but they may be spending too much time away from this area or too much time on you.

5. Time

Chances are that you enjoy holding or bonding with your gerbil. You may think that your gerbil feels the same way, but there are time limits.

While we may believe that holding equals loving, a gerbil may feel overwhelmed, stressed or nervous. They may poop on you as a result.

Try to reduce to amount of playtime outside of the cage and allow your gerbil to drop pellets of poop at their regular schedule and location throughout the day in their favorite corner of the cage.

Where Do Gerbils Poop?

Gerbils are cleaner than most rodents when it comes to their poop because:

  • They drop firm pellets.
  • The feces is dry.
  • It doesn’t smell.
  • They generally poop in the same spot.

We are not needed in the litter training process. Your gerbil will choose a spot in the cage for drop feces. They will usually pick a corner and stick with it.

Since gerbils are clean rodents, they want their droppings away from their resting, eating and playing locations.

If you are constantly taking them out of their cage, they may want to poop as far away as possible and that could include dropping pellets on you.

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Do Gerbils Poop When They Are Scared?

We may think our gerbils are pooping outside of the cage out of joy or excitement and they can’t keep it in. The case could be argued, but there is more evidence to suggest that your gerbil is just scared.

If your gerbil drops pellets from a standing position or on you, it is not their preferred position or location. Allow your gerbil to slowly trust you and move slowly while limiting playtime outside of the cage.

Why Does My Gerbil Poop So Much?

Your gerbil may drop more feces under the following pretenses:

  • stress
  • fear
  • immaturity
  • excitement
  • nervousness
  • anxiety
  • illness

The increase in the amount of feces coupled by diarrhea is a strong indicator that something is wrong and treatment or a change of diet might be necessary.

What Color Should Gerbil Poop Be?

A gerbil lays droppings that resemble pellets. They are dark in color most of the time. The feces should be firm and practically odorless.

If you notice softer, lighter, greener or watery feces, then you may have a gerbil experiencing diarrhea. Changing the diet, meal frequency or consulting with a vet if abnormal feces continues for 2-3 days might be in order.

Do Gerbils Eat Their Poop?

It’s common and quite normal to witness a gerbil eating its own poop. They may eat each other’s poop as well.

Your gerbil might be doing it out of survival instincts or because it isn’t getting enough vitamins and nutrients from its meals. Gerbils can digest rapidly and poop quickly after eating.

Since it passes through in a short amount of time, it’s less harmful to ingest. Remove the droppings soon after you see them and make sure the diet is rich in nutrients.

How Do I Get My Gerbil To Poop?

Adding more fiber will help your gerbil poop. Leafy green vegetables or stalks of celery will help to add more water and fiber at the same time to move things along.

Keep feeding your gerbil fresh food, but don’t let it sit too long in the cage if it goes uneaten. Spoiled food or overeating could cause digestion issues that may lead to constipation.


Your gerbil would like to poop in the same spot it has chosen in its cage. If your gerbil is overwhelmed by the large setting where it’s interacting with you outside of the cage, it may feel nervous or fearful and drop pellets while being held or directly on you.

Limit playtime and take your time to bond with your gerbil slowly. This habit will most likely decrease or diminish over the lifespan of your gerbil who will further adjust to life in your home.


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!