How often you clean your gerbil cage depends on a number of factors, from how large your cage is to how many gerbils you own. It also depends on you - are you particularly bothered by the smells from pet cages? For their size, gerbils emit remarkably low levels of odour, but it may still be detectable and so if it bothers you then you may want to clean them out slightly more frequently.
Most owners find that they need to clean out their gerbils' cage once a week
The general guidance (as with many small animals) is that if you own two, you should clean out their enclosure once a week. If you have more than two, then (as well as making sure that the cage is adequately sized for the number of gerbils you have) this may need to increase to twice a week.
You may have some success with a technique called spot-cleaning. Gerbils excrete very little urine, and have very dry droppings, so owners can clean particularly dirty areas in-between major cleans to slightly decrease the frequency with which they need to clean out the entire enclosure. If you spot clean regularly then you may be able to only clean the entire enclosure every eight or nine days.
The only situation in which gerbils should be cleaned out less frequently is when one of your gerbils is heavily pregnant, or has given birth to pups less than two weeks ago. Disturbance during this time can be really stressful for the mother, and can even cause her to abandon her litter. It’s best not to clean them out during this time.
If you’re thinking of breeding your gerbils, it’s worth noting that gerbils are really sensitive creatures, so if you want to produce a litter then you’ll need to be very knowledgeable and prepared for the whole process. We recommend that only experts attempt to breed gerbils, as it’s not uncommon for complications and difficulties to occur during and after pregnancy.