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Gerbil Breeds

There are lots of different gerbil colours, but there are only two species of gerbils commonly kept as pets: Mongolian gerbils and fat-tailed gerbils. They look very different, and have different life expectancies - Mongolians are expected to live for between two and four years, whereas fat-tailed gerbils often live between five and eight years. Below you can find out more about both of the species, and the colours that they can be born in. It’s worth mentioning that, although increasing in popularity, the fat-tailed gerbil is relatively new to the pet market and so is currently a lot trickier to find in pet shops than the Mongolian variety.

Mongolian Gerbils

Mongolian gerbils are small, furry members of the rodent family. They are little mammals that mainly eat plant matter, such as seeds and stems. Usually, those that are kept in captivity will live for between two to five years.

mongolian gerbils
Mongolian gerbils are those most commonly found in pet shops

Mongolian gerbils come from - you guessed it - Mongolia. These little critters live in very arid areas, and they love spending hours creating complex tunnels for their family to live in. This species is the most popular of the two currently kept as pets, and so they are far easier to find at the moment.

Below are some of the colours Mongolian gerbils are now born in:

  • Black
  • White
  • Cinnamon
  • Cream
  • Dove

Fat-tailed gerbils

These creatures are also small members of the rodent family, but they come from a different part of the globe. These little animals can be found in the Sahara desert, so are commonly spotted in countries such as Algeria.

 fat tailed gerbils
Fat-tailed gerbils are (obviously) named for their short, fat tails

One of the most interesting features of these animals are their tails. Fat-tailed gerbils have a long, thick tails that lack hair. In the wild, these animals would use this tail to store fat, which would allow them to survive when there was little food around.

Fat-tailed gerbils tend to live a little longer than their Mongolian counterparts. In general, you can expect them to live for between five to eight years. If you want one of these little animals as a pet, you may need to be a bit patient. They aren’t commonly in pet shops or shelters, so you might need to wait a while, or visit a breeder.

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