Gerbils vary considerably in their response to handling and may be extremely active and difficult to catch. Although they possess a long tail which might seem to represent a convenient means of restraint, this should not be grasped as the skin is readily shed if subjected to more than minimal traction. If the animal is accustomed to handling, it can be cupped in the palm of one hand. More secure restraint is achieved by first immobilising the animal by cupping in both hands, or by placing one hand over the animal. The fingers can then be positioned to surround the animal’s body, with its head protruding between thumb and forefinger. Alternatively, the skin overlying the back and neck can be gripped as described for the mouse.