Can Gerbils Survive Cold Weather?

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Gerbils are popular pets that are known for their active and playful personalities. These small, furry creatures are native to the arid regions of Africa and Asia, where temperatures can reach up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

However, what happens to gerbils in cold weather? Can they survive the cold? In this article, we will explore the topic of gerbil’s survival in cold weather.


Gerbils are small, desert animals that are not accustomed to cold weather. They have a thick coat of fur that helps to keep them warm in their natural habitat, but when they are kept in captivity, they may not be able to cope with extremely cold temperatures.

Gerbil’s Natural Habitat

Gerbils are native to the deserts of Africa and Asia, where the temperatures can be extremely hot during the day and cool at night. These animals are well-adapted to their environment, and they have developed several strategies to survive in the harsh desert climate.

Gerbils in Captivity

When gerbils are kept as pets, they are usually kept in cages or tanks indoors. This means that they are not exposed to the same temperature fluctuations as they would be in their natural habitat. As a result, they may not be able to cope with extreme cold temperatures.

How Cold Is Too Cold for Gerbils?

Gerbils can tolerate temperatures between 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the temperature range they are most comfortable in. However, when the temperature drops below this range, gerbils can start to experience discomfort and health problems.

Signs of Cold Stress in Gerbils

When gerbils are exposed to cold temperatures, they may show signs of cold stress. Some of the signs to look out for include:

  • Shivering
  • Huddling together
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty breathing

How to Keep Gerbils Warm in Cold Weather

To keep gerbils warm in cold weather, you can take several measures, such as:

  • Providing a heat source: You can use a heat lamp or heating pad to keep the gerbil’s cage warm.
  • Adding insulation: You can add extra bedding or blankets to the gerbil’s cage to provide insulation.
  • Moving the cage: You can move the gerbil’s cage to a warmer location in your home.

Precautions to Take During Winter

During the winter months, there are several precautions you can take to ensure your gerbil’s survival, such as:

  • Keeping the cage away from windows and doors: This will prevent cold drafts from entering the cage.
  • Covering the cage: You can cover the cage with a blanket or towel to help retain heat.
  • Monitoring the temperature: You should monitor the temperature inside the cage regularly to ensure that it stays within the safe range.


In conclusion, gerbils are not well-suited to cold weather, and they may not survive if they are exposed to extremely low temperatures. However, with the right precautions and measures, you can help to keep your gerbil warm and comfortable during the winter months.


What is the ideal temperature range for gerbils?

The ideal temperature range for gerbils is between 68-77 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can gerbils tolerate extreme heat?

Gerbils are well-adapted to hot temperatures and can tolerate temperatures up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do gerbils need a heat lamp?

Gerbils do not necessarily need a heat lamp, but it can be beneficial in keeping them warm during cold weather.

How can I tell if my gerbil is too cold?

Signs of cold stress in gerbils include shivering, huddling together, loss of appetite, lethargy, and difficulty breathing.

What should I do if my gerbil is showing signs of cold stress?

If your gerbil is showing signs of cold stress, you should take measures to warm up their environment, such as providing a heat source or adding insulation to their cage. If their condition does not improve, you should consult a veterinarian.

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