Are Bin Cages Good for Gerbils? An In-Depth Analysis

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Bin cages have become increasingly popular among gerbil owners as a cost-effective and customizable alternative to traditional store-bought cages.

However, the question remains: Are bin cages good for gerbils?

Proponents of bin cages argue that they provide ample space for gerbils to run and play, as well as the ability to add multiple levels and accessories for enrichment.

They are often cheaper than store-bought cages and can be easily customized to fit the owner’s preferences.

However, some critics argue that bin cages may not provide adequate ventilation and can be challenging to clean.

Ultimately, whether or not to use a bin cage for gerbils depends on various factors, including the size and type of bin used, the accessories and bedding provided, and the owner’s ability to clean and maintain the cage properly.

Gerbil owners must consider these factors carefully and research before deciding.


What Are Bin Cages?


Bin cages are enclosures made from plastic storage bins commonly used as an alternative to traditional wire cages for small pets like gerbils.

They are spacious and provide ample room for gerbils to move around, burrow, and play.

Bin cages are also cost-effective and easy to customize, making them popular among pet owners who want to create a comfortable and safe living space for their pets.

The bin cage is created by cutting out a section of the bin’s lid and replacing it with a wire mesh or plastic mesh.

This allows for proper ventilation and prevents the gerbils from chewing through the plastic.

The bin is then fitted with various accessories, such as tunnels, hideouts, and exercise wheels, to provide enrichment and stimulation for the gerbils.

One of the benefits of bin cages is that they can be easily modified to suit the needs of the gerbils.

For example, additional levels can be added to the bin to create a multi-level habitat, or the bin can be divided into separate sections to house multiple gerbils.

Bin cages can also be decorated with various materials, such as cardboard, paper, and wood, to provide additional hiding spots and play areas for the gerbils.

Overall, bin cages are a good option for gerbil owners who want to provide their pets with a spacious and stimulating living environment.

However, ensuring that the bin is adequately ventilated and that the gerbils have access to all the necessary accessories and enrichment activities is essential.


Pros of Bin Cages for Gerbils



One of the most significant advantages of using a bin cage for gerbils is its affordability. Unlike traditional cages, which can be pretty expensive, a bin cage can be made from a plastic storage bin that can be purchased at a relatively low price.

This makes it an ideal option for those on a tight budget but still want to provide a comfortable and safe living space for their gerbils.


Easy to Clean


Another advantage of using a bin cage for gerbils is that it is easy to clean. The smooth plastic surface of the bin makes it easy to wipe down and sanitize, and the lack of small nooks and crannies means fewer places for dirt and debris to accumulate.

This makes maintaining a clean and healthy living environment for your gerbils is much easier.


Space Flexibility


Bin cages also offer a lot of flexibility when it comes to space. Because they are made from plastic storage bins, they can be easily modified to suit the needs of your gerbils.

For example, you can add additional levels or hideouts or connect multiple bins to create a larger living space.

This makes it easy to customize your gerbil’s living space to suit their needs and preferences.

Overall, bin cages can be an excellent option for gerbil owners looking for an affordable, easy-to-clean, and flexible housing solution for their pets.

Providing your gerbils with a comfortable and safe living space can help ensure they are happy and healthy for years to come.


Cons of Bin Cages for Gerbils

Ventilation Issues


One of the main concerns with using bin cages for gerbils is the potential for ventilation issues.

Bin cages are typically made from plastic storage containers, which can limit the amount of fresh air that circulates through the cage.

Without proper ventilation, gerbils can be at risk of respiratory problems, which can be life-threatening.

To mitigate this issue, it is essential to ensure that the bin cage has adequate ventilation.

This can be achieved by drilling ventilation holes in the sides and lid of the container. However, ensuring that the holes are not too large is crucial, as this can allow the gerbils to escape or get their heads stuck.


Chewing Risk


Gerbils are known for their love of chewing, and bin cages can pose a chewing risk. Plastic storage containers can be easily chewed through, leading to escapes or injuries.

Additionally, if the gerbils chew through the ventilation holes, this can further compromise the ventilation of the cage.

Choosing a sturdy bin cage made from thick plastic is essential to mitigate this risk.

Additionally, providing plenty of chew toys and items to gnaw on can help redirect the gerbils’ chewing behavior away from the cage.


Aesthetic Appeal


While bin cages can be functional and cost-effective, they may not be the most aesthetically pleasing option.

Plastic storage containers can look utilitarian and may not fit in with a room’s decor. Additionally, the ventilation holes can be unsightly and may detract from the overall appearance of the cage.

Some gerbil owners decorate their bin cages with stickers, paint, or other embellishments to address this issue. However, it is essential to ensure that any decorations used are safe for the gerbils and do not compromise the ventilation of the cage.

Overall, while bin cages can be a viable option for gerbil housing, they have some potential drawbacks. It is essential to carefully consider these cons before deciding whether a bin cage is the right choice for your gerbil.


Alternatives to Bin Cages


When it comes to housing gerbils, owners can consider a few alternatives to bin cages. These alternatives include glass tanks and wire cages.


Glass Tanks


Glass tanks are a popular alternative to bin cages. They come in various sizes and are generally easy to clean. Glass tanks also provide a good view of the gerbils, which can be enjoyable for owners.

However, it’s important to note that glass tanks can be heavy and difficult to move around. They can also be expensive, especially for larger sizes.

Additionally, glass tanks don’t provide as much ventilation as other housing options, leading to humidity and odors issues.


Wire Cages


Wire cages are another alternative to bin cages. They offer good ventilation and are generally easy to clean.

Wire cages also come in various sizes and can be more affordable than glass tanks.

However, it’s essential to choose a wire cage with a solid bottom to prevent injury to the gerbils’ feet.

Wire floors can also be uncomfortable for gerbils to walk on. Additionally, wire cages can be noisy and may not provide enough privacy for gerbils.

Overall, when considering alternatives to bin cages, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons of each option and choose the one that best suits the needs of both the gerbils and the owner.




In conclusion, bin cages can be a suitable housing option for gerbils, provided they are appropriately sized and constructed. While there are some concerns about ventilation and durability, these issues can be addressed with careful planning and maintenance.

When selecting a bin cage for a gerbil, it is essential to choose one large enough to provide ample space for exercise and exploration.

A minimum size of 20 gallons is recommended for a single gerbil, with additional space needed for each additional gerbil. The cage should also be well-ventilated, with plenty of holes or mesh to allow air circulation.

In construction, a bin cage should be sturdy and secure, with no sharp edges or corners that could injure the gerbil. Choosing a bin made from non-toxic material, such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or polypropylene (PP) is important.

While bin cages may not be the most traditional housing option for gerbils, they can be a viable alternative for those looking for a more affordable and customizable option. With proper planning and care, a bin cage can provide your pet gerbil with a safe and comfortable home.

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