How to Hold a Gerbil Without Hurting It


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When you treat a gerbil in the way it ought to be, they do not become a wonderful pet alone. On the contrary, they become a part of your life! Their presence around you will bring the lost smile on your face!

Delicate and small, the gerbils warrant special attention when you handle them. They are a prey animal which is why they treat every stranger as their predator.

When we talk about how to hold a gerbil, there are a number of factors that come into play. For instance, pick them with due diligence and care. Rough handling could invite injuries for them. In worse case scenarios, they might even go to the extent of biting you as well!

Ordinary individuals are not aware of such crucial facts. For your convenience and ease, we furnish the following details regarding how to hold a gerbil in this article.

When you read carefully, you will get to know a plethora of finer details. It includes, how long you have to wait to hold it, is it a difficult task to hold them, will they bond with you, and more.

Know The Best Way to Pick Up And Hold It

Ideally, you ought to go for the over-the-back grip. Always take a proper grip of the base of its tail. Avoid picking it up by the tail’s end. It might lead to the pulling off the tail skin and the tuft. Never pick it up all a sudden. Instead, make it aware and then go ahead with your actions.

Adhere to The Correct Process to Pick Up

There is a certain process of picking up. It will include:

  • Take your hands necessarily on either side of your favorite gerbil and form a cup. Scoop it up on your desired palm. Be a little extra vigilant. It will prevent them from jumping out swiftly from the top of applicable hands.
  • Select a flat surface and hold the gerbil. This will help in avoiding any injury to them in case it tries to jump out of the hands at least they will not fall too far.

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Building a Trust Between You and The Gerbil is of Utmost Importance

When you succeed in building appropriate trust with your gerbil, it will ease the process to hold it. In other words, once you have achieved this, you have won half the battle! The rest half will entirely depend on how you handle the situation. Of course, it becomes a joyride to undergo the process once you complete the procedure with utmost care.

You can accomplish this objective by following certain steps like:

  • Settle down for a soothing environment.
  • Start by placing the hands in the said cage or enclosure.
  • Coaxing the gerbil towards your hand is desirable.
  • When the time comes to lift it, do so gently and slowly.

Are You Curious How to Hold it For The First Time?

Any process has its specific yardsticks and requirements. The better you deal with them, the sooner the better! The same applies to holding a gerbil as well.

Well, the process will include things like:

  • Your hands are new for your gerbil. Give easy access to it for climbing your hands.
  • Make sure it does not fall off while walking. On account of this, you must place one of your hands in front of the said other.
  • As this is the first time, do not hold it for a longer duration. Anything up to 30 seconds will suffice the purpose.
  • On completion of this duration, place it back down very gently and follow it by offering its favorite treat!

How Long Do You Have to Wait to Hold a Gerbil?

Though gerbils are famous for their activeness, they do not come to their true self instantly. When they are subjected to a new environment and surroundings, they do take a couple of days to adjust.

Those initial days inside their cage are spent in marking their territory. This task is accomplished by them by taking assistance of scent-glands. After they have spent these initial days, they become more comfortable to allow others to hold them.

Is it a Difficult Task to Hold Them?

Among all available small furry pets, gerbils are easy to tame. They do not pose any major threat to human life making it extremely convenient to tame them.

You need to put in sustained efforts to channelize their positive aspects in the best possible manner. Their inquisitiveness coupled with their active nature, makes it a perfect human-friendly pet.

When compared to other pets, the acclimatization process is not tedious at all. At the best you might have to wait patiently for those formative days of domestication. That’s all it needs!

Once this period is over, you can hold them easily like any pet. They do not make much fuss about it as well making your how to hold a gerbil procedure much easy.

Steps to Follow to Lure it to Permit You to Hold them

  • Gerbils love the sight of treats! Start offering them lots of treats.
  • Follow this by sitting near the cage for many times. This way it will get used to your presence.
  • When it comes nearer to the cage bars, give it treats like pumpkin seeds.

Give an Opportunity to it For Exploring Your Hands and Arms

Gerbils are the most curious lots. They love to experiment, detect and explore their surroundings. Your hands and arms can be the ideal platform for them to explore. Go near the gerbil’s cage and keep your clean hand on the cage for around 2-5 minutes.

Yes, you do have the liberty to keep your palm either facing down or facing up. This might prompt the gerbil to nibble. Don’t panic and take your hand far away, for instance.

It’s worth noting, nibbling is their way of exploring anything new. If at all you find the action unbearable, utter the word ‘no’ and blow a sympathetic puff of air by going closer to it.

It is recommended you keep the hand as well as the arm in a still position. This way, the gerbil will be able to explore uninterrupted.

When You Hold Them, Will They Bond With You?

Yes, there is no denying they are prey animals. Owing to this reason, they perceive every stranger as their enemy. Fortunately, there is a thin line of difference between a stranger and you. For instance, strangers won’t be interacting with them on a daily basis when kept in a cage, but you will.

As you start showering your affection towards it, naturally they reciprocate in affirmative. This is why it is regarded as an affectionate and owner-friendly pet.

Their excellent mannerism in bonding with you is clearly evident. For example, in case you fall sick and do not spend time with them, they will exhibit visible signs of sorrow.

How to Stop it From Biting You?

At times, due to wrong handling, it gets annoyed and agitated. Subsequently, it starts to bite you. Of course, you have some respite to take you out from troubled water in case you encounter such a thing.

For instance, gently prod its nose or the face. If it still continues to bite you, make use of thick gloves. Annoying or frightening them is no amicable solution at all. Instead, train them in the right way so that you can bring an end to this ill habit.

Know The Ways to Calm Them Down

The moment you see them getting restless, you are immediately reminded to find ways of calming them down. Fortunately, there are several alternatives available if you are looking for how to hold a gerbil in this respect.

To start with, give toys and accessories to skittish gerbils. It will give them an avenue to exert their energy. Offer them enough burrowing spaces as this is the least they require whenever they feel very scared or afraid.

If feasible, always have a pair of gerbils. It gives them a satisfactory amount of brotherhood. They do not feel alone and lonely.

Unlike human beings, they cannot talk. As a consequence, they fail to let you know when they wish to attend nature’s call, for example. Give them enough time to finish such tasks more regularly.

Why Do Gerbils Readily Agree to Be Held By Their Owners?

Unlike many other animals, they bring enough comfort for owners eager to know how to hold a gerbil. This attribute present in them makes them an incredible social animal.

They sportingly agree to play around once left in the company of others. The activeness and playfulness remains unperturbed irrespective of the company – a human or gerbil! Give them sufficient time to get accustomed to you.

Like any other prey animal, the gerbils feel absolutely safe and secured when they reside in a natural habitat of their own. The moment you succeed in generating trust with it, your presence will comfort it rather than creating panic or fear.


Gerbil is a wonderful animal. Slender built, you can always expect to have a wonderful time in their company. Give some time and adhere to the above-mentioned information to have a better experience to hold it. Always ensure to wash your hands before holding them for their safety and better health.

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