To be able to adapt the gerbil enclosure ideally to the needs of the small rodents, you should also know about their climbing behavior.
Reason enough to clarify this question…
In this article we tell you whether gerbils can climb and what you should definitely deduce from the answer.
Can gerbils climb?
Yes, gerbils can climb and even have a certain passion for it. This is because they also have to climb a lot in the wild in order to survive.
However, it must be said here that while gerbils love to climb a lot, they are still not climbing professionals.
You should definitely keep in mind that they always need ‘handholds’ to climb and cannot climb smooth surfaces or trees.
However, keep in mind that gerbils are capable of climbing vertically if they can hold on with their paws.
Another reason why you should not keep your animals in a lattice cage. Gerbils can climb up this and possibly injure themselves if they fall off
Branches, stairs, ramps, tubes (made of wood) and much more invite climbing and are gladly accepted by the animals.
Do gerbils like to climb?
As mentioned earlier, gerbils like to climb both in the wild and in captivity.
Nevertheless, climbing is more of a natural instinct and should not be considered a hobby. It is a necessity that ensures the survival of the animal.
You will most likely see your gerbil digging and gnawing much more often than climbing.
You will also notice that the animals often prefer to jump rather than climb up objects when the situation allows it. But especially in self-made tunnels the gerbils feel very comfortable and climb for all they are worth.
But why is it that gerbils like to climb in tunnels and on wooden ramps that rise only slightly, ignoring steep or vertical wooden barks?
It’s because gerbils are native to the Mongolian steppe. In the steppe there are simply no trees!
So there is no need for the gerbils to climb trees to ensure their survival. Therefore, their instinct does not lead them towards trees or steep walls.
Of course, you can purposefully place a fixture or two in your pets’ enclosure for them to climb. However, make sure that the material is harmless and that your gerbil cannot injure itself while climbing.
In the terrarium this danger of climbing up the walls does not exist, because gerbils do not find a hold on the glass walls and thus cannot climb up on them.
If you observe that your gerbil is scratching at the glass walls, you should definitely do some research to find out what is making your animal unhappy at the moment.
So let’s keep in mind: climbing is a natural part of being a gerbil.
But don’t worry: it’s not absolutely necessary to add purchased items to your pet’s enclosure.
Gerbils love their own tunnels and as long as they have the opportunity to create them in their home, they can indulge their climbing urges at the same time!
Offering climbing opportunities: 3 great options
If you would like to provide climbing opportunities for your animals in a very specific way, you are of course welcome to do so.
We have collected 3 species-appropriate possibilities and provided them for you.
Make sure, however, that the furnishings always fit the size of the terrarium, so that your animals do not have to climb permanently when they want to go from one place to another, but always have the free choice.
However, there is nothing against one or the other incentive at the end of the tunnel.
- tubes for gerbils
Tube systems are the ideal solution to offer climbing possibilities for gerbils, because they can be used as a tunnel system at the same time.
Please do not buy plastic tubes, as they represent a high health risk for the animals.
Wooden or cork tubes are best suited. Willow tubes are also a welcome change for the racers. Especially cork tubes are excellently accepted and additionally offer a good viewing platform.
Of course it is also possible to build a kind of bridge between two fixtures with the help of a rope, which your gerbils can then climb over.
Thicker sisal rope is particularly suitable for this purpose, as it is a natural product.
Make sure that it is not dyed rope!
To make the bridge thicker, you can weave three ropes together for more support.
- stairs & ramps
Of course gerbils can’t climb stairs like we humans often find in house hallways. However, there are chicken ramps, for example, that are stair-like in design and are great for connecting multiple floors in the enclosure.
Your animals will love these miniature stairs and have fun climbing up and down them.
Get creative here and build the stairs in such a way that your gerbil has as much to do as possible and has to overcome some obstacles to get to the desired destination.
However, if possible, avoid stairs that the animals have to climb to get to food or water if your animals are older or sick.
Also, it is always possible that an animal may suddenly develop fears and be reluctant to climb. However, every animal should have access to food and water at all times!
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