Do Gerbils Hibernate? (7 Interesting Facts)

When entering winter, rodents hibernate as a phase to store enough energy to survive at cold temperatures.

Hibernation is often associated with rodents because they can enter a phase of lowering their metabolic rate to adjust their body temperature to winter temperatures.

There is a behavioral change in pet gerbils when it starts to snow outside. In the wintertime, the gerbil will look lazy and inactive in slow motion.

Do gerbils hibernate? No, gerbils do not hibernate and maintain their bodies with a normal heart rate, body temperature, and metabolic rate. Gerbils do not need to store enough energy, as they provide a warm shelter by bunkering their burrows and stockpiling food to have large food reserves.

Do gerbils hibernate
Do Gerbils Hibernate For A Long Time?

Gerbils can survive the cold as long as they are in their burrow and will never run out of food.

Knowing the facts about gerbils that don’t hibernate like other rodents is exciting. Let’s read this article to the end.


Do Gerbils Hibernate?

Gerbils don’t hibernate. They are not hibernating animals, although during winter they experience activity changes. Gerbils aren’t as enthusiastic about moving around in cold temperatures but don’t hibernate. Gerbils prefer to eat a lot and stay in underground burrows to survive different temperature levels.

Do gerbils hibernate in winter? Gerbils don’t hibernate in the winter. They can maintain their body temperature and metabolic rate by being in an underground burrow to keep them warm. But if the gerbils are in captivity and do not have a warm refuge or a lot of food, they can enter a lethargy state.


Can Gerbils Hibernate?

Gerbils can’t hibernate. If gerbils don’t have a special place to warm their bodies at extreme temperatures, they will enter a hibernation-like state to preserve energy known as the lethargic state.

Gerbils will slowly move like his body feels heavier than usual. They will be lazy and not move much. Although they look weak and helpless, gerbils tend to eat most of the time. Gerbils use their instinct to eat a lot and replenish energy to be ready if the weather gets worse.

Wild gerbils prepare for winter by stockpiling a lot of food. But pet gerbils can’t do much in winter and only depend on their owner to keep them warm and have access to plenty of food.


Do Pet Gerbils Hibernate?

No. Pet gerbils will appear to refuse to move far or not want to do much activity. Gerbils look like rodents going into hibernation, but in gerbil’s case, they don’t. Even though the temperature has become freezing, gerbils are trying to maintain their body temperature despite some signs such as stiffness or spasm in the gerbil’s body.

Ensure you give the gerbil a warm place or place a heater near the gerbil’s cage. They can’t make underground burrows in captivity or have sufficient food stocks to prepare for extreme weather.

Animals that go into hibernation don’t want to eat much and sleep more. But gerbils tend to eat more than usual as they have the instinct to store food and increase energy.


Why Don’t Gerbils Hibernate?

Because gerbils don’t hibernate. Gerbils will enter a lethargy state when the weather is freezing. The similarity with hibernation is only in the less active and lots of sleep. Leaving gerbils in a lethargy state for long is not good. Try to increase the gerbil’s body temperature between 65 and 75 degrees.

If gerbils have burrows, they won’t come out to do any activity until the room temperature is what they need. Gerbils will spend most of their time sleeping and eating a lot to maintain their energy during extreme weather.


How Long Do Gerbils Hibernate?

Don’t think gerbils hibernate when they aren’t out of their burrows or are getting more sleep. Gerbils have strange sleep patterns and can rest whenever they want. If gerbils don’t have a lot of food in stock, they will prefer to sleep a lot to conserve energy.

There is no proper answer for hibernating gerbils because they don’t. Gerbils do a lethargic state by not responding with anything even if you pick them up. Immediately increase the body temperature of the gerbils according to their needs because gerbils enter an inactive state and show something is wrong.


Can Gerbils Go Into Hibernation?

Gerbils will never go into hibernation. Cold temperatures keep gerbils from wanting to do a lot of activity. Temperatures below 55 degrees are too cold for your pet. Keep your gerbil happy and healthy with a temperature between 65 and 75 degrees.

Do gerbils hibernate? No. Gerbils enter an inactive or lethargy state when entering a freezing environment. The stiffness and spasms on the whiskers are signs gerbils need warmth and immediate action from their owners.


How To Tell If A Gerbil Is Hibernating?

There’s no way to tell a gerbil in hibernation because they don’t. You can only recognize the condition of the gerbil when it is inactive or in a lethargy state. It’s a negative sign because it indicates the gerbil has a severe condition. The table below shows some of the potential causes for gerbils to become inactive.

Potential causesExplanation
IllnessGerbils can have strokes, respiratory infections, or tumors.
DepressionGerbils can sleep more than 20 hours due to unhappy and depressed situations.
Cold temperatureGerbils save energy and become inactive when they get to a temperature lower than 55 degrees.
Gerbil recently given birthFemale gerbils include themselves in a nest up to a week after giving birth.


Do Gerbils Get Cold In The Winter?

Yes. Gerbils can get cold in the winter because they are warm-blooded mammals. Gerbils produce their body heat like humans. Too much time at cold temperatures will harm a gerbil’s health.

Gerbils can’t stand temperatures below 55 degrees. You’ll start to notice the gerbil doesn’t want to move much, sleeps longer than 10 hours, and is inactive.

Leaving a gerbil in an inactive state is dangerous because we don’t know what causes a gerbil to be prone to sickness or fatal conditions. Many think gerbils sleep more than 16 hours because of hibernation, but gerbils never hibernate.

Do gerbils hibernate
Do Gerbils Hibernate?


Do Gerbils Sleep More In Winter?

Gerbils will sleep more in the winter and stay in their underground burrows until winter is over. Gerbil’s sleep times are erratic and never conform to a sleep schedule.

If you have many gerbils, you will see one gerbil sleeping during the day while others are foraging for food or busy doing something.

Does a gerbil hibernate? Cold weather makes gerbils less active and wants to huddle for warmth. Gerbils sleep longer in winter but cannot hibernate. They rely on the food they stockpile and eat a lot in cold temperatures.

Gerbils will stay in their burrows to produce extra body heat.


What Is Too Cold For Gerbils?

Gerbils require temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees. Gerbils will feel too cold if the temperature is lower than 55 degrees.

Don’t leave gerbils in a cold environment for too long, as they can become inactive and begin to show stiffness or spasm in their bodies.

Do gerbils hibernate? Warm-blooded animals like gerbils cannot hibernate. They perform a hibernation-like state known as a lethargy state with alarming conditions.

Give the gerbil a warm place and plenty of food to produce extra body heat.


How Do I Know If My Gerbil Is Dying Or Hibernating?

You will never know how the gerbils hibernate because they never do. All you know is a gerbil that is dying because it has been at a low temperature for too long and is permanently inactive.

Even if you pick up your pet, they will not move. A sleeping gerbil will wake up when you pick it up and feel the warmth on its body.

But if a gerbil has passed away, their body is cold and doesn’t react to anything you do.

Putting gerbils at cold temperatures is a risky thing especially if you put them in a cage without a heater or a special place for the gerbils to warm themselves.


Can Gerbils Survive Outside?

Gerbils are more likely to survive outside than in captivity when it comes to surviving cold temperatures.

Wild gerbils will make underground burrows for special places during winter and will be foraging for food before winter arrives.

After the weather starts freezing, gerbils will enter their burrow and sleep more to save energy and eat as much as possible to warm the body.

You will rarely see wild gerbils in winter because they can’t stand temperatures below 55 degrees.

If your gerbil is in a cage and needs to be at room temperature in winter, ensure you provide a special place to warm their body.

Gerbils need a temperature between 65 to 75 degrees to prevent them from going into a lethargy state and becoming inactive.


Is My Gerbil Dead Or Hibernating?

There is no sign of hibernating on the gerbil. The possibility is that the gerbil is in a lethargy state or passed away.

My gerbil is cold and lethargic after a few days through winter. I try to provide a hiding place by providing a heater to keep their body temperature warm.

Many beginner owners don’t know gerbils don’t hibernate. They think that gerbils that are not active, move slowly, and sleep a lot are ways to hibernate. Gerbils do not hibernate, and they will eat a lot and stay in warm places to survive.

The sign of a dead gerbil is that they don’t respond when you touch or pick them up. The sleeping gerbil can still wake up when you hold it because there is a warm feeling in your hand.


How To Help Pet Gerbil Hibernate Peacefully?

There is no special way for pet gerbils to hibernate because they are animals that do not hibernate. You can help your gerbil stay healthy during the winter by providing a warm room, providing warmth near the cage, and access to plenty of food.

Pet gerbils can’t have underground burrows to keep them warm. Owners must provide a special place or means to maintain their body temperature.


How To Care For Gerbil After Hibernation?

Gerbils when they are inactive, move slowly, or eat a lot when they are in cold temperatures are not signs of hibernation, but it is their body’s reaction when they can’t stand the temperature that is too cold.

You must act quickly to provide the room with a temperature between 65 to 75 degrees.

If you are late in handling gerbils, you will see gerbils cannot survive in cold temperatures and let them pass away.

Gerbils are not animals that can hibernate during winter. You should give them a special place and plenty of food to replace the wild gerbil’s habit of hoarding food.


Final Verdict – Do Gerbils Hibernate

Gerbils are warm-blooded animals that do not hibernate. When entering winter, wild gerbils will enter their warm burrows with a pile of food and try to eat a lot to have a lot of energy. Gerbils won’t come out of the burrows much until they’re at their desired temperature.

Pet gerbils will try to maintain their body temperature and save energy by sleeping a lot and doing little activity.

Do gerbils hibernate
Do Gerbils Hibernate In Winter?

Many people think pet gerbils can’t hibernate. Provide a heater around the cage or create a hiding place to keep the gerbil warm.

If the gerbil is left below 55 degrees, the gerbil becomes inactive and has a high chance of developing fatal conditions.

As a pet lover, make sure to learn about pet more and give your pet gerbil a good and comfortable life!

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