According to the Humane Society of the United States, gerbils typically live three to four years. A gerbil's lifespan is dependent upon factors such as environment and general care.

According to Blue Cross for Pets, gerbils do best with layers of bedding, such as organic soil and timothy hay, so that they have plenty of digging material. Gerbil cages need to be cleaned at least once a week to ensure that the environment stays fresh and dry. Gerbils also require adequate nourishment in the form of commercial gerbil food, fresh fruit and vegetables and a constant supply of fresh water. Ideally, gerbils are housed in pairs or groups because they are naturally social; however, only gerbils of the same sex should be housed together to avoid unwanted breeding.