How To Tell If Your Gerbil Is Pregnant?

Gerbils are fascinating pets, known for their playful nature and easy care. However, if you have a female gerbil, there’s always a possibility of pregnancy, especially if she’s been in contact with a male.

Recognizing the signs of pregnancy in gerbils is crucial for providing the right care for your expectant pet and preparing for the arrival of the pups.

This guide will walk you through the early and late signs of gerbil pregnancy and how to prepare for the birth.

How Do I know If My Gerbil Is Pregnant?

Early Signs

Increased Appetite and Weight Gain: One of the first signs that your gerbil might be pregnant is an increase in appetite followed by gradual weight gain. Gerbils are naturally good at hiding their pregnancies, but they can’t disguise the extra weight.

A pregnant gerbil may start to show a noticeable bulge in her abdomen as the pregnancy progresses. Monitoring her weight gain can help you identify pregnancy early on.

Behavioral Changes: Pregnant gerbils often exhibit changes in behavior. You might notice your gerbil becoming more aggressive or nervous, which could be a response to the hormonal changes occurring in her body.

These changes are natural but should be monitored to ensure they don’t lead to stress or harm.

Physical Changes

Body Shape: As the pregnancy advances, your gerbil’s body shape will start to change. Her abdomen will become more pronounced, giving her a pear-shaped appearance.

This is particularly noticeable when viewed from above. The change in shape is a clear sign that she is nearing the end of her pregnancy.

Nesting Behavior: Nesting behavior is a strong indicator that your gerbil’s delivery date is approaching. Pregnant gerbils will begin to gather bedding materials to create a cozy nest for their pups. This behavior usually starts a few days before the birth.

It’s essential to provide ample nesting materials and avoid disturbing the nest to keep the mother calm and stress-free.

Late Signs

Visible Movement: In the final days before giving birth, you might be able to see the pups moving inside the mother’s abdomen. This sign indicates that the birth is imminent, and you should ensure that the nesting area is ready and that the mother has everything she needs.

Water Consumption: An increase in water consumption is another sign of late pregnancy. The pregnant gerbil’s body is working hard to support her growing pups, requiring more water than usual. Ensure fresh water is always available to help her stay hydrated.

Preparing for the Birth of Gerbils Pups

Setting Up the Nesting Area

Setting Up the Nesting Area

Materials and Location: Choose a quiet corner of the cage to set up the nesting area. Provide soft, safe bedding materials like paper towels or hay, which the mother can use to build her nest. Avoid cotton or synthetic materials, as these can pose a risk to the newborn pups.

Minimizing Stress: The health and safety of the pregnant gerbil and her pups are paramount. Keep the cage in a quiet, calm area of your home to minimize stress on the mother. Avoid unnecessary handling and keep disturbances to a minimum, especially in the final days before the birth.

When to Consult a Vet

Health Checks: It’s a good idea to consult a vet if you suspect your gerbil is pregnant. A vet can confirm the pregnancy and check the health of the mother, ensuring she is in good condition to give birth.

Emergency Signs: Be aware of signs that could indicate complications, such as prolonged labor or distress in the mother. If you notice any concerning symptoms, seek veterinary care immediately to ensure the safety of the mother and her pups.

Recognizing the signs of pregnancy in your gerbil and preparing for the birth are essential steps in ensuring the well-being of your pet and her offspring.

By providing the right care and environment, you can help your gerbil have a safe and healthy pregnancy.

Also read: Do Gerbils Have Periods?

Caring for Newborn Gerbil Pups: A Complete Guide

After the excitement of your gerbil’s pregnancy and the anticipation of the birth, you’re now faced with the delightful responsibility of caring for newborn gerbil pups.

This part of the journey is both rewarding and crucial for the health and development of the young gerbils. Here’s how to ensure the best care for these tiny new members of your family.

Caring for the Newborn Pups

Feeding: The mother gerbil will primarily take care of feeding the pups through nursing. During this time, it’s essential to ensure that she has a constant supply of fresh food and water.

High-quality gerbil food, supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables, will help her produce enough milk for her pups. Additionally, offering small amounts of protein-rich foods like boiled eggs or mealworms can provide extra nutrition.

Handling: It’s best to avoid handling the newborn pups for the first week of their life, except if absolutely necessary, to avoid causing stress to the mother and the risk of injury to the pups.

After the first week, you can begin to gently handle the pups for short periods. This early handling is crucial for socializing the pups and getting them accustomed to human interaction.

Integrating Pups with Other Gerbils

Socialization: Introducing the pups to other gerbils should be done cautiously and under close supervision. Once the pups are weaned (around 5 weeks old), you can start introducing them to other family members. Ensure these introductions are done in a neutral space to prevent territorial aggression.

Separation by Sex: To prevent early pregnancies and manage the social dynamics within your gerbil colony, it’s important to separate male and female pups by the time they reach 8 weeks old.

This separation will also help in avoiding any unwanted breeding and maintaining a harmonious environment for all your gerbils.


How long is a gerbil’s pregnancy?

A gerbil’s pregnancy typically lasts between 24 to 26 days. During this time, the expectant mother will show various signs of pregnancy, including weight gain and nesting behavior. It’s important to provide a stress-free environment and monitor her health closely throughout her pregnancy.

Can gerbils get pregnant without a male present?

No, gerbils cannot become pregnant without a male. If your female gerbil shows signs of pregnancy but hasn’t been near a male, it could be a sign of a health issue or false pregnancy. Consult a veterinarian to ensure your gerbil receives the appropriate care.

How many pups can a gerbil have?

Gerbil litters can vary widely in size, typically ranging from 1 to 8 pups, with an average of 4 to 5 pups per litter. The number of pups can depend on various factors, including the health and age of the mother.

What should I do if my gerbil is pregnant?

If you suspect your gerbil is pregnant, provide a quiet, comfortable nesting area and ensure she has access to plenty of food and water. Minimize stress by keeping her environment calm and avoid unnecessary handling. Consulting with a vet can also provide valuable guidance and peace of mind.


Caring for a pregnant gerbil and her pups can be an enriching experience, offering a unique insight into the fascinating world of these small creatures.

By understanding the signs of pregnancy, preparing for the birth, and providing the necessary care for the newborn pups, you can ensure the health and happiness of your gerbil family.

Remember, patience, gentle handling, and a peaceful environment are key to successfully raising healthy, sociable gerbils.

Whether you’re a seasoned gerbil owner or new to the world of these charming pets, the journey from pregnancy to pup care is a rewarding one, filled with learning and love.

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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