How to Care for the Mongolian Squirrel
The popularity of the Mongolian Squirrel has grown over time due to the limited space that more and more people in Brazil have to create a pet. It is considered as an exotic pet because it does not belong to the Brazilian fauna, and data indicate that it originates in Central Asia or the Middle East. Also called Gerbil, the Mongolian Squirrel belongs to the rodent family , is small, sociable and peaceful, coexisting well in groups and if well conditioned, can be quite docile.
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Before purchasing a Mongolian Squirrel, research and read a lot about the species so that you can meet all the basic and special needs of this adorable little animal, stay tuned to the tips here at YourCatCareguide about how to take care of the Mongolian squirrel .
Size of the Mongolian Squirrel
In nature they are found in the north of China and the deserts of Mongolia, where the climate is arid, with little vegetation and scarce rains. They are small rodents , weighing between 50 and 100 grams, and their face slightly resembles a mouse, having long tails with a tuft at the end. They have several colors, the most common being Agouti, which is the brown squirrel with the white belly, but also squirrels from Mongolia can be found in shades of orange, gold, Siamese and Burmeses.
Care of the Mongolian Squirrel
Despite being a rodent, caring for a Mongolian Squirrel is not the same as caring for a Hamster, which is another popular rodent in Brazil. Hamsters are solitary and nocturnal rodents, and can not live in the same accommodation, since the Mongolian Squirrel, because he is a sociable rodent, prefers to live in groups and can even be sick if kept alone. Therefore, it is important to know the species well to meet your basic needs.
Males generally do better in groups of 2 to 4, but females tend to be more restless in larger groups. Therefore, the ideal is to keep at least 2 or 3 in each accommodation, usually composed of only males or only females, if your intention is not to breed them.
Because it is an exotic animal, it does not require frequent visits to the veterinarian unless it behaves inappropriately, or is a sign that it may be sick, and there is no need to take vaccines. However, you should pay attention to the basic care you should take with regard to your Mongolian Squirrel who are with regard to:
- Accommodation or the cage in which it will stay.
Mongolian Squirrel Behavior
The Gerbil or Squirrel of Mongolia is quite active during the day , unlike other rodents that are nocturnal, meaning more active at night. They are very social animals, and have a docile temperament if well conditioned from small to be manipulated. They adapt quickly to the environment and are a rather curious animal, often leaning on their hind legs paying attention to everything going on around them.
Since the group consists of squirrels that grew up together, females tend to be aggressive with other squirrels that do not belong to their social group, which can lead to fights. And although males are slightly more tolerant than females, in general, males may also become more aggressive with each other if they are vying for a female.
Mongolian squirrel bites?
Gerbil is considered a great pet because it bites only if it is ultimately provoked. It is normal for puppies to nibble on your finger because they are in the “put everything in their mouths” phase to prove whether or not they eat, just as children do. It is a behavior that should disappear over time, because in general, they are quite docile animals .
Cage for the Squirrel of Mongolia
The ideal accommodation for the Mongolian Squirrel should be calculated with the amount of animals you want to have in that space. You can use own cages for rodents or make your own accommodation using plastic boxes making holes or placing grills to make proper ventilation, or aquariums reminding you that Gerbil is a jumping rodent, so the box or aquarium should have cover with grille or screen to avoid leaks. Do not leave the cage in a very exposed place in the sunlight, keep it in the shade , in an airy place and without many drafts .
As for lining the lodge, you can use hay, straw, craft paper or even lining suitable for rodents, which can be found in large Pet Shops. Lining is important to keep your Mongolian Squirrel in an environment where he can perform his favorite activity, which is to dig, gnaw and play. The lining also serves to absorb pee and moisture, and should be changed every 2 weeks or weekly, depending on the type of lining you use. The advantage of using self-lining is that it absorbs pee better, avoiding bad smell. Do not use sawdust from wood chips such as pine or cedar, as they can cause infections and respiratory allergies in the puppies.
What the Squirrel of Mongolia
Because they are animals from the desert, the Squirrel of Mongolia is not an herbivorous animal. Your body is adapted to extract water and other nutrients from the animal protein you consume, since in the desert it is not possible to find vegetables easily and the rain is scarce. However, you will not keep your gerbil without water, since the feed offered in captivity has less water content, you must have a rodent trough always clean and fresh water .
The diet consists of proteins, minerals and vitamins. It is possible to buy own ration for Mongolian Squirrels at large Pet Shops, and offer snacks such as apples (without seed), carrots and cabbage. There is no need for a feeder, as the Mongolian Squirrel prefers to bury the food, and does not eat in the feeder like other rodents. You can offer large pieces of apple and carrot so that in addition to eating, they can gnaw and spend their teeth, being entertained for hours that way. Animal protein is also important, since they are omnivorous animals, so you can offer worms larvae .
How to Tame the Mongolian Squirrel
With puppies it is easier, even more so if you get your Mongolian Squirrel from a good breeder, since he will have done half the work for you by socializing the puppies properly. Gerbil is a rodent that gets used quickly to be handled, but never hold it by the tail, because contrary to what they say the tail is fragile and can break causing serious problems to the animal.
To tame the Mongolian Squirrel takes about 2 to 3 weeks, and you can start by putting your hand in the cage, with enough patience, not wanting to catch them at first, until they get used to their presence first. Over time, put snacks in your hand to attract them and little by little they will get accustomed to your hand enabling you to pick them up and manipulate them without much effort. Try to do this daily and do not chase them through the cage with your hands , this can delay the process.
How old is the Squirrel of Mongolia?
Because it is a rodent and has a high metabolic rate and reproduction, they are animals that live little, about 3 to 4 years in good conditions of hygiene and care.
If you want to read the similar articles in How to take care of the squirrel of mongolia , we recommend you to enter our section of Basic Care .