Now I am not too sure that I have let my lovely followers know, that we recently adopted a group of four gerbils. This was back in July, and we built them their own huge mansion to live in. I’m not going to lie, we are a bit behind on socialising them, we have actually found it to be quite tough to socialise them as they just don’t seem to respond the way previous gerbils I have had before used to.
The cheeky four’s names are Chilli, Stripes, Dash and Tigger, and this post is all about the adventures of Tigger over the last month.
Long story short, we were cleaning them out the other week. So going through the normal routine of getting them in their exercise balls or carriers, but low and behold, I go to get Tigger out and instead of climbing on my hand like the others do, she just clean leapt out of the cage. This was incidence number one!
This little adventure of hers led to her being loose in our living room for just over four and a half hours, and us having to recruit a friend to come over at nearly midnight. Oh and did I mention this was all the night before we had a house inspection?
Anyway, she was caught and put back with the others, and we started taking extra precautions when opening the cage.
But several days later, yes you guessed it, she got out again!
This time she managed to make a very tiny whole at the back of the cage, and squeeze through it. Still now we have no idea how she managed it! But the point is she did, and I’m ashamed to say that we aren’t completely sure as to when she got out. There is about a 36hour period when she may of got out – we’d had a really busy few days.
So anyway, we managed to locate that she was definitely within the living room. The door quickly got secured, and we started the hunt- yes once again it was gone midnight! Oh and yes, we were going away for the night the following day, so we had an hour to find her.
We managed to get her trapped under a sofa, so we called our friend again to help us with catching her, and had to take a break while we waited for back up – I had an asthma attack so had to stop for a bit.
Well, typically in the twenty minutes we weren’t in the room, we lost all sight of her. She was most certainly not under the sofa we thought we had trapped her under!
To speed things up, after an hour and a bit of searching for her high and low- Im not exaggerating, we were checking EVERYWHERE- she was not to be found. Knowing we had to be up and out the house within 3 hours, as it was 2am by this point, we had to just leave food and water down for her and call it a night.
Fast forward to the following day when we were back from our trip, we restarted the search for Tigger. This time though we had gotten hold of some super humane traps. There was clear signs that she was still in the room. There was now food in her water, food moved, and a cushion all nicely shredded- thank you for that! But we decided to not stress about turning the place upside down, and just laid the traps and refilled her water.
And low and behold, woke up the next morning to her safe and sound in the trap, although a little stressed which was horrible.
Well then came the next adventure, reintroducing her to her sisters. Initially we put her in a different cage but right up against the main cage as we needed to go out, and by this point she had been out for anything from 3 to 5 days. I spoke to vets to get their opinion on putting her back with the others, and it was generally agreed that she should go back with her sisters. It was actually believed that she would go back without any issues.
Oh boy was that wrong. We tried to reintroduce her, and very quickly she was attacked. After much perseverance, about an hour later I made the call to get her out of there. The final straw for me was when she was smothered by the other three all pinning her and attacking- much longer left they would of killed her. And you guessed it, when trying to remove her, she jumped out the cage AGAIN!
This time was easier to catch her though as after an hour she managed to get herself stuck in a toy bag, so it was rather easy to grab her.
Fast forward to now, she has got her own cage, all kitted out full of toys and activities and generally cosy comfy homeliness. We have found that she is preferring to be away from the big cage as it seems to stress her out, and she is getting so much better with human company- although could still use improvement!
The more we have thought about it, and the more we have seen her come into her own character, we believe that she may of been being bullied for a little while. We have always noticed that they are a group that will have fights but we generally don’t have to intervene. But she was and always has been significantly smaller than the others, never really been seen out and playing, and was always just shy away from everything. Don’t get me wrong she isn’t the most confident now, but she is definitely improving.
What are your thoughts, do you think it sounds like she was being picked on before? Have you ever kept a gerbil on its own and if so how did it cope?
This is a new venture for us, raising a gerbil individually, as I’ve only ever had pairs so I’m apprehensive as to making sure she is okay.