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Gerbil Communication 101

Gerbil communication

Wonder what your precious pet is saying? Me too! Communicating with pets is challenging, so today, we will explore gerbil communication. You’ll be fluent in gerbil in no time after reading this blog.

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Gerbil communication: three ways

Think all rodents communicate the same? Nope, gerbils are a bit different. While two communication methods are understood by pawrents, gerbils communicate predominantly via scent.


Gerbils have a nose that knows, which results in using scent marking to say, "that's mine!" Gerbils are very social creatures, but gerbil communication through scent helps them determine their personal space and even their offspring.

Body language

Despite their tiny size, gerbils communicate well with their body language. Below you’ll find a chart with certain behaviors and what they mean.



  • Burrowing or busy searching for food: happy.
  • Jumping: happy, social.
  • Standing with arms at sides, sniffing the air: curious.
  • Grooming: Content, happy.
  • Greeting other gerbils by rubbing faces: happy to see each other.
  • Standing on back feet with paws in praying position: scared.
  • Arching back: aggression.
  • Pushes your hand away with head: anti-social.
  • Licking enclosure: thirsty.
Curious gerbils


Gerbils are very vocal! While many sounds are too high in frequency for human ears, you should be able to hear the following:



  • Tooth purring/vibrating: content.
  • Chirping: attention.
  • Yipping: happy, playful.
  • Squeaking: pain or fear.
  • Thumping: scared.
  • Clicking: respiratory infection.
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Surprisingly, gerbil communication is not complicated. After reading this, you might feel confident enough to mimic their noises. So, how does your gerbil communicate with you or its roomies? Let us know by commenting on our socials or emailing us. As always, thanks for reading and supporting us!

DISCLAIMER: The links and information are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by Small Pet Select of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual.

VETERINARY DISCLAIMER: We are not veterinarians, and none of our information should be construed as veterinary advice.  If your pet is acting unwell, you have concerns for their well being, or before adding any new product, please contact your veterinarian immediately.  

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