Mice or Gerbils?

Updated on December 18, 2011
I.G. asks from Seattle, WA
13 answers

I have decided to trade our fish for some furry pets. I used to keep rats and hamsters, so I am familiar with small animal keeping and the work and expenses involved.
I am trying to decide between getting a small group of mice (3) or a pair of gerbils. They will be living in our 30 gal tank. I have a 4 year old, who will enjoy them, but they are not for her - I will be taking care of them.

Which one do you like better and why? Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thanks to all of your suggestions. I think we will stick with mice, I suspected that gerbils smell worse...
While I like rats, the tank is not big enough for a couple (they are social animals and unless you can devote a ton of time to them, which I cannot, they should not be kept alone) and I have no intentions of buying a new cage. I think mice will be a happy medium, three or maybe even four will have plenty of space in the tank and keep each other company while we work.

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answers from Dallas on

neither. A rat makes a much better pet. They are smarter and much more social. I have worked in pet stores before I can not tellyou how many times I have told parents. I told you so, after the smaller rodents wouldn't stop biting. And keep it at one, if you want it to relaly be social and tame.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Seattle on

Mice are FAR more fun than gerbils (and less cranky). But if you've had rats before... why not rats? Like mice, but even friendlier, and less fragile!!!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

why not a guinie pig they are cute

4 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I'm a big fan of rats.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

I prefered having mice. They seemed more social then gerbils. And IMO they didn't stink as much.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Tampa on

Uhhh....neither...sorry...not a fan of rodents!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Barbara on

We loved, loved our mice!! I had a pair and then a trio. We finally had to have the last one euthanized, she was so ancient and seemed to be suffering. Now a cute guinea pig has me trained!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

My children had at various times mice, rats, gerbils, hamsters and guinea pigs.
I liked the mice least. Somehow a pregnant one alway ran away when being played with. They are forever birthing. Same for the rats until I figured out who the male was.
Oh one more tidbit. Gerbils do escape sometimes and you won't find them for days.
Have a good time. Frankly I like the guinea pigs the best.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Johnson City on

I would prefer ferrest, he he, but I would say rats, they dont bite as much unless there are babies. We had one that would lay on our shoulders as we moved around the house, and they seem to be easier for the smaller kids and dont know about a 30g tank but they make topers for 10g tanks where they can still move around. Best of luck to you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dayton on

Be warned...we had mice...
One day we came home to one eating the other.
It died while we were at work.
I don't recommend mice.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Well, you didn't ask this and you can't have more than one so it doesn't fit your question at all.... lol. but we have 2 robo dwarf hamsters and they are a HOOT. You can't keep them together though, but I guess we weren't listening, so once the boys hit sexual maturity around 4 months we had to go get a 2nd cage.

But one robo dwarf hamster sure would be cute!!!!!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I had mice, gerbils, and hamsters as a child, and mice were my hands down favorite. I think they have more personality.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

A 30 gallon tank isn't big enough for 2 rats? Seems like it would be plenty big enough, and rats are hands-down the best rodent pet. I had 2 in college (I think I kept them in a 10 gallon tank), and they were awesome. So social, cuddly, smart, and great for freaking out my rodent-phobic stempmom!

I also had a gerbil, but that thing was so mean I had to wear leather gloves when handling it, which I only did when absolutely necessary. I didn't have him for very long.

Hamsters are also great...much cuddlier and funnier than mice or gerbils.

Mice are cute, but I hear they tend to be bitey, and they're so tiny and fragile I'd always be afraid of hurting/losing one.

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