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Gerbils & Hamsters/how much bedding and litter do gerbils need?


SO,I am getting gerbils tomorrow, and we have a 3 story high cage with tunnels etc. I am aware you need bedding but where do you put the litter and do I put bedding on all 3 layers?

Hi Kim

Thanks for your question.

The great things about gerbils is that they are very clean animals - I've never put litter in, just some woodchip in one of the levels.  Also you don't need to put in much bedding. This is because they shred cardboard and make their own bedding which they also burrow in. It is important that you give them lots to chew - it is amazing how many toilet rolls they can shred in a day - it is worth getting friends and family to save these for you otherwise you won't be able to keep up with them!  Let the bedding build up so they can burrow -  I used to remove it when it got a bit too deep and only fully cleaned them out every couple of weeks.

I hope this helps you.


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Sheila Adby


Syrian hamsters are my specialty, however, I have kept Campbells,Winter Whites and gerbils in the past. I can advise on most subjects associated with hamsters, including housing, bedding, feeding, handling, new borns and catching escapees. I have had some experience of various health problems with hamsters and can offer my opinion and advice on basic health issues, however I am not a qualified vet and therefore cannot recommend drugs etc. My website is


I have been keeping hamsters and other small animals for more than 12 years. My favourites are Syrian hamsters and I foster litters and 'difficult' hamsters for a rescue centre. My job is to tame hamsters ready for re-homing, which is extremely rewarding. I also enjoy looking after new litters and raising the pups. I have co-written a book on hamsters with my local vet and have a website:

Hamsters in Sickness and in Health - Sheila Adby and Dan O'Neill ISBN186163218-5 (Capall Bann Publishing)

Educated to A Level standard in the UK.

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