Gerbils are tunnelling creatures, no matter which of the two species you own. They have an extremely strong digging instinct, and they’ll need to be able to satisfy this when they’re being kept in captivity. To ensure that they can do this, you’ll want to give them a very deep enclosure and a very thick layer of bedding. Most owners recommend that this is at least five or six inches deep. This will allow your gerbil to burrow to their heart’s content, and to create a safe, dark space for sleeping during the day.
Gerbils need a lot of thick bedding so that they can satisfy their burrowing instincts, and create little sleeping places
Preventing animals from expressing their natural behaviours leads to a lot of stress. In this case, not providing enough material for your gerbil to burrow in will make them unhappy, particularly if they can’t even make a hideaway to bolt into when they’re scared.
For more information on gerbil bedding, have a look at our page Gerbil Bedding Options. Here we’ve included detail about a number of different materials that are suitable for lining your gerbils’ cage, as well as which it’s best to avoid.