How to Keep Gerbils Quiet at Night: A Comprehensive Guide

Gerbils are adorable, curious, and highly active pets that bring joy and companionship to their owners. However, their nocturnal nature can sometimes lead to sleepless nights for those who share their living space.

Understanding how to keep gerbils quiet at night is essential for both the well-being of these small rodents and the sleep quality of their human companions.

Understanding Gerbil Nocturnal Behavior

Gerbils are naturally active during the night. This behavior stems from their survival instincts developed in the wild. Originating from the deserts of central Asia and northern Africa, gerbils have adapted to avoid the scorching daytime heat by being most active during the cooler nighttime hours.

Their excellent night vision aids in their nocturnal activities, allowing them to forage for food and evade predators under the cover of darkness.

This nocturnal lifestyle is hardwired into gerbils, meaning that they are bound to be awake and active while their human owners are trying to sleep.

Recognizing this natural behavior is the first step in creating a harmonious living situation for both you and your gerbil.

Common Noises Made by Gerbils at Night

Gerbils are far from silent companions. At night, they engage in various activities that can produce a surprising amount of noise, considering their small size. Here are some common sounds that gerbil owners might hear:

  • Chewing: Gerbils need to chew to keep their continuously growing teeth at a manageable length. They often chew on wooden toys, cardboard, or even the bars of their cage, which can create a noticeable noise.
  • Digging: Being natural burrowers, gerbils love to dig through their bedding, rearranging their environment. The sound of scratching and bedding being moved can be heard, especially in quiet nighttime hours.
  • Running on the Wheel: Many gerbils enjoy running on their exercise wheel. Unfortunately, not all wheels are silent, and the sound of a squeaky wheel can be particularly disruptive at night.

Understanding these behaviors and the noises associated with them is crucial for gerbil owners looking to minimize night time disturbances.

Also read: Why Is My Gerbil Chirping?

Strategies to Keep Gerbils Quiet at Night

Strategies to Keep Gerbils Quiet

While it’s impossible to change the natural behavior of gerbils, there are several strategies that can help reduce the noise they make at night, ensuring a peaceful coexistence with their human roommates.

Environmental Adjustments

Creating a conducive environment for your gerbils can significantly reduce the noise they make at night. Consider the placement of the gerbil cage in your home. A quiet, isolated room where the nighttime activities of your furry friends won’t disturb anyone’s sleep is ideal.

If moving the cage isn’t an option, try using sound-absorbing materials around their habitat. Thick rugs, curtains, or even specialized soundproofing materials can help muffle the sounds of nocturnal gerbil escapades.

Cage Modifications

The design and contents of your gerbil’s cage can have a big impact on how much noise they make. A silent exercise wheel is a must for any gerbil owner looking to enjoy a peaceful night.

These specially designed wheels eliminate the squeaks and rattles of traditional wheels, allowing your gerbils to run to their heart’s content without keeping you awake.

Choosing the right bedding is also crucial. Soft, absorbent materials that don’t encourage loud digging behaviors can make a significant difference. Additionally, opt for toys and accessories that are less likely to cause a commotion.

Wooden chew toys, for example, can be quieter than plastic ones that might get tossed around the cage.

Nighttime Routine Adjustments

Adjusting your gerbils’ nighttime routine can help minimize their impact on your sleep. Feeding your gerbils just before you go to bed can keep them occupied with eating rather than engaging in noisier activities.

Providing them with quiet play options, such as hiding treats in their bedding for foraging, can also encourage less disruptive behavior.

Behavioral Training

While it might seem challenging, it is possible to encourage quieter behavior in gerbils through consistent training and routine. Establishing a nightly routine that includes time for quiet play and activities can help signal to your gerbils that it’s time to wind down.

Remember, patience and positive reinforcement are key. Rewarding quiet behavior with treats and affection can reinforce the behaviors you want to see.


Can gerbils adjust to a nocturnal schedule?

Gerbils are naturally crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk. While it’s difficult to completely change their natural instincts, adjusting their environment and routines can help minimize nighttime noise.

Are there any gerbil breeds that are quieter at night?

All gerbils have similar behavioral patterns, regardless of breed. The key to a quieter night lies more in the environment and routines you establish rather than the specific breed of your gerbil.

How to keep gerbils quiet at night while sleeping?

To keep gerbils quiet at night while sleeping, adjust their environment and routine. Use a silent exercise wheel, provide soft bedding for less noisy digging, and engage them with quiet activities before bedtime. Feeding them later can also keep them occupied. Remember, consistency and creating a calm nighttime atmosphere are key.

How can I soundproof a gerbil cage?

While completely soundproofing a cage is challenging, placing the cage on a thick rug or mat can help absorb some noise. Additionally, using soft bedding and ensuring any exercise wheels are silent can reduce the amount of noise generated.


Living with gerbils doesn’t have to mean sleepless nights. By understanding their natural behaviors and making a few strategic adjustments to their environment and routines, you can significantly reduce the noise they make at night.

Remember, creating a peaceful coexistence with your gerbil pals requires patience, understanding, and a bit of creativity. With the right approach, you and your gerbils can enjoy a harmonious living situation where everyone gets a good night’s sleep.

Hi there! I'm Emily Watson, your go-to guide for all things gerbil care on Furry Pets Guide! With years of firsthand experience raising these furry critters, I'm here to share tips, tricks, and heartfelt stories to make your gerbil journey a breeze.

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