Leopard Geckos as Pets-Everything You Need to Know


Leopard Geckos as Pets-Everything You Need to Know

As we all know, reptiles come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities. But if all reptile enthusiasts could agree on something, it’s that the leopard gecko is undoubtedly the king of pet reptiles. Now you might be asking yourself what makes them such popular choices.

Leopard geckos have a charming smile and saucer eyes that you’d want to take a swim at any time of the day. They’re agile, entertaining, and don’t cost much either to obtain or to raise. These independent critters are as low maintenance as they are grateful for your care and attention.

If you’re considering these exquisitely beautiful reptiles as your new home companion, let me personally congratulate you on your wisdom and sound thinking. And even though leopard geckos are easy to care for, you still need to know a little more about them to ensure your relationship is a long, loving, and rewarding one.

Are Leopard Geckos Good Pets?

It depends on what you mean by good pets. If you mean are they easy to care for, they’re good for the whole family, and they’re extremely good looking, then, yes, they’re some of the best pets you can bring into your home.

But we’re just scratching the surface here as far as the good qualities of leopard geckos are concerned. These cute reptiles live for many years and will not give you too much hassle or demand certain conditions or expensive equipment to breed them.

Add to that the leopard gecko’s distinct character and you know you have made the right decision choosing these lively and charismatic critters to be your family pet for many years to come.

How Long Do Leopard Geckos Live As Pets?

The average lifespan of a regular gecko in the wild is between 6 to 10 years. In captivity, they might live longer due to the absence of life-threatening predators and the better living conditions humans provide for their pets.

This all translates into a leopard gecko sticking with you in thick and thin for up to 20 years if you care for it properly. Male leopard geckos tend to live longer than females so that’s something to consider when choosing your reptile.

The record is held by a male leopard gecko who’s still climbing walls and mounting females at the ripe old age of 28. That’s like 133 years in human years. Go figure!

How Much Is A Leopard Gecko?

As usual, when you ask about the cost of raising a leopard gecko, you’re actually asking about how much it costs to raise one rather than the price of purchasing one at the pet store. Since raising a leopard gecko doesn’t cost much in upkeep, we’ll talk about their prices here.

Purchasing a leopard gecko should cost you anything between $20 and $40. However, it’s the morph that gives the reptile its appealing looks and design patterns. Some morphs would put you back $100 or more.

Some rare morphs such as the Black Pearl are known to come with a steep price tag. Such morphs would sell for thousands of dollars each. That sure will burn a big hole in your pocket.

Leopard Gecko Size

Leopard geckos come in three sizes: normal, giant, and supergiant. For the most part, the reptile’s tail is what adds to its length and weight. When they hatch the baby leopard geckos are about 4 inches from head to tail.

However, within the first year of their long life, the leopard geckos reach their adult size with proper feeding. On average, your reptile can reach 8 to 12 inches in length with the tail taking up about one-third of that size. Supergiant leopard geckos are usually twice that size and can look intimidating once you get used to looking to normal ones.

Why Does My Leopard Gecko Stare At Me?

Most likely your leopard gecko is new to the place and hasn’t got used to you or the environment yet. That’s why it’s keeping an eye on you. This usually happens when it senses a movement around it.

Because leopard geckos are typically at the bottom of the food chain in their original habitat, they have to be alert and on the lookout for potential predators all the time. Once the pet gets accustomed to the place and the humans bustling around it, it becomes more comfortable and stops staring and watching you. Give it a few weeks to get familiar with you and your household.

Do Leopard Geckos Bond With Their Owners?

Not in the same sense as a dog or even a cat bonds with their humans and treat them like family. Leopard geckos come from a background where one has to be always wary of any movement or another presence in their immediate vicinity.

This impacts the leopard gecko’s sociability and ability to bond with their owners. However, you can tame the reptile and build a relationship with them where they associate you, as their owner, with good things such as food and safety. Taming the pet takes between 4 o 6 weeks before it gets familiar with you and allows you to touch it.

Do Leopard Geckos Get Lonely?

Not in the way you or I would get lonely if we don’t spend time with other people for an extended period of time. Leopard geckos are exceptionally solitary animals. They spend most of their long lives on their own.

Leopard geckos usually meet or seek each other’s company during the mating season. That’s when their spectacular colors and unique design come into play. The males use these designs and flashy colors to attract the female’s attention and get some sexual favors. But once the fun times are over, each leopard gecko hightails it out of there and goes back to a life of solitude.

Do Leopard Geckos Carry Salmonella?

For the most part, your pet leopard gecko is safe to raise, hold, and interact with. There’s no fear or risk of catching anything contagious from handling the reptile as long as you keep its cage clean and the leopard gecko itself is healthy.

Dirty leopard geckos that live in a filthy cage might carry various diseases however salmonella is not one of them. The reptiles come from a dry environment and salmonella is an aquatic disease that needs humidity and damp environments to spread. In either case, make sure to wash your hands after holding, touching, or cleaning the pet or its cage.

Do Leopard Geckos Smile?

Just take one look at the leopard gecko and you can’t help falling in love with this cheerful critter. It has a smile that extends from ear to ear and leaves you spellbound. Now you might think it’s just their anatomy and their mouth is shaped that way, and you wouldn’t be wrong.

But that doesn’t mean that your leopard gecko wouldn’t reward you with a heartfelt smile when you give it its favorite food or sprinkle it with water to keep its hide humid and cool. These cold-blooded critters still have a warm heart beating in their scrawny chests. When you do something nice for them, they’ll beam with happiness at you.

How Do I Know If My Leopard Gecko Is Stressed?

As solitary animals that spend most of their lives on the run trying to stay one step ahead of their predators, leopard geckos can get stressed even within the safety of the cage. You can tell that your pet is stressed if it shows any of these signs

  • It shows aggression when you try to hold it.
  • It’s wagging its tail constantly.
  • It eats less than usual.
  • It spends most of the time hiding.
  • Its colors are not as bright as usual.
  • It’s digging in its bedding.
  • It’s scratching the glass.
  • Its head is bobbing or shaking.
  • It has problems shedding.

Why Is My Leopard Gecko Wagging Its Tail Slowly?

As a species with a limited language structure and idioms, tail wagging is one of the leopard geckos’ most eloquent expressions. You need to get familiar with their body language so that you understand and communicate with them better.

The slow tail wagging is a sign the leopard gecko is excited. Usually, it will push its body lower to the ground and wiggle its tail from side to side deliberately. This is its way of telling other leopard geckos that it’s got its saucer eyes on them and it’s watching their every move. It’s not something you should worry about.

What Do Leopard Geckos Like In Their Cage?

Leopard geckos love to climb. It’s their way of evading predators and chasing insects at the same time. Your pet’s cage is usually tall which allows the reptile ample opportunity to climb. But you’ll need to provide it with structures to climb.

Live plants, branches, and other wooden pieces are good enough to make the critter feel right at home. In addition, hiding is one of the leopard gecko’s favorite pastimes. Drop a few small plant pots in the cage so that it can scurry in whenever it senses any danger or just for sport. Keep the pots on their side so they are easy to access for the gecko.

Why Does My Leopard Gecko Bite Me?

Leopard geckos do bite. Not for the same reason a feral dog might bite you or an especially mean cat might scratch you. Geckos bite for various reasons. These reasons include

  • Aggression. The leopard gecko is stressed out or anxious over something. It might be scared of you or it might have another adult male gecko in the same cage that’s making it nervous.
  • Mistaken identity. The leopard gecko is hungry and it mistakes your hand for food. It will set upon your finger like a ravenous pack of wolves. Pull your hand quickly because those bites can be painful.
  • Baby play. Baby leopard geckos tend to bite. In fact, that’s their only way to examine their surroundings. They open their mouths and set their teeth into everything. This includes your hand, face, or any part of your body within their reach.

Do Leopard Geckos Stop Eating In The Winter?

It’s not part of the leopard gecko’s adaptation mechanism to hibernate or go dormant during the winter the way bears and other animals do. So it’s not normal for your pet to refuse food or stop eating altogether in the winter months.

However, the low temperatures might reduce the leopard gecko’s appetite. If you notice that your critter isn’t eating as it used to, check the temperature of the cage. You might need to adjust your heating system to bring the gecko’s energy levels and appetite back to normal. If that doesn’t help, then your leopard gecko is stressed over something.

Should I Bathe My Leopard Gecko?

Not unless you have to. In normal circumstances, leopard geckos take care of their own hygiene and wouldn’t require much interference from you. Baths are not necessary nor are they recommended unless something untoward comes up.

One of those is a skin disease that might necessitate your intervention. Again don’t give your leopard gecko a bath unless your vet recommends it. In some situations, the reptile might have trouble shedding and bits of dead skin remain hanging on its body. A bath might be the right thing to do then. If your pet is exceptionally filthy, then a bath is in order.

Do Leopard Geckos Have Good Hearing?

When a snake or a fox comes stalking our leopard gecko in the wild, their senses literally save their lives. One of those senses is their sharp hearing. It works best at night when their eyes can’t help them detect the presence of a predator.

While this acute hearing is a blessing in their natural environment, it can become a curse in captivity. Make sure you don’t play loud music or make noise around the leopard gecko because it will stress them out and send them into hiding. Any fast movement near the cage also tends to put them on edge.

Do Leopard Geckos Need Attention?

Out of all the pets that you can legally own, leopard geckos are the least demanding of your attention. They make low claims on your time and resources and are happy to go for days on a few crickets and the occasional spot cleaning of their cage.

In addition, a leopard gecko knows how to keep itself entertained. It doesn’t need walking like a dog and it won’t make a fuss over the pet food brand you bring it the way cats do. As long the humidity and temperature in its cage at suitable, your pet reptile is as happy as a clam.

How Long Does It Take A Leopard Gecko To Reach Full Size?

Whether you’re talking about normal, giant, or supergiant leopard geckos, when they’re born, they’re tiny things that fit in your hand easily. That doesn’t mean that you should hold them in your closed hands since that can result in injury to the little things.

Once they’re out of their eggs, the hatchlings waste no time looking for food, eating, and getting bigger. Within the span of a few months, they’d gain a few inches more and extend their length and girth. It’s a survival necessity and they do their best to gain their full length before the end of their first year.

Do Leopard Geckos Have Teeth?

Leopard geckos have plenty of tooth families that they tend to replace long before they’ve hatched and all the way until the day they die. Unlike humans that once they’ve lost an adult tooth they can’t replace it, leopard geckos replace their teeth all the time.

There are rows of teeth in the leopard gecko’s mouth and it uses them to dissect the insects it eats. The teeth also play a major part during both fighting and biting. So watch out for those sharp teeth when the young rascal decides to see what your hand tastes like.

Do Leopard Geckos Move Around A Lot?

Most of the gecko species are a slow-moving lot that goes about their lives with deliberation and wisdom beyond their years. If you observe your leopard gecko you’ll notice that it doesn’t move around too much. It might climb the branch you left in its cage but once it gets to the top it will lay still.

As nocturnal animals, they don’t show much animation during the daytime. At night, they might scurry around or chase an insect, whether real or one that only exists in their fantasy, but for the most part, they just like to hang out and watch life go by.

Do Leopard Geckos Sleep A Lot?

You can safely assume that their day is spent in perpetual sleep. They just laze around and let the hours pass while they enjoy the sweet slumber. This is something that they share with cats. But even though they seem lazy, it’s not true.

Leopard geckos are nocturnal animals. They become active around sunset and spend the night chasing insects and trying to evade becoming prey to a larger animal. So if you want to see your pet looking alive and perky, you need to wait until the evening. If they keep sleeping even at night, then they’re not well.

Do Leopard Geckos Scream?

Indeed they do. But their screams vary according to age. Baby leopard geckos are the screaming types. They have a banshee-like scream that would bring you running from the other side of the house. The babies only do that when they feel threatened not for fun.

Adult leopard geckos don’t use their voices that often. They have a more sedated quack sound that they rarely employ. Instead, they rely on their tails to convey the message they’re trying to relate to others. So watch out for those tail waggings because they have a lot of significance in the realm of leopard geckos.

Should I Spray My Leopard Gecko With Water?

Spraying your leopard gecko with water is called misting. Due to their humid habitat, these tiny reptiles are used to having their skin soaked with water or at least damp all the time. You’ll need to spray the gecko’s hide with water for a few reasons:

  • Keep it cool and content. Dry skin makes the leopard gecko irritable and stressed out.
  • Help it shed its skin. Misting makes it easier for the gecko to get out of its old skin.
  • Help it drink water. Droplets of water trickling down the gecko’s head are his main source of water. It will lick them with its tongue.

What is the Best Bedding for a Leopard Gecko?

You can use many materials as substrate or bedding for your leopard gecko. Newspapers and paper towels both work very well in keeping the cage clean. Unlike other bedding types such as sand, they won’t be picked up by mistake when the gecko tries to eat.

Stones, slates, and tile flooring also work well. The leopard gecko doesn’t have sticky feet the way other geckos have, so they don’t have a problem with whatever bedding you choose to line its cage.

Is It Normal For A Leopard Gecko To Stop Eating?

Unless the leopard gecko is shedding or it’s breeding season, it’s really not normal for them to shun food or stop eating altogether. If your pet isn’t accepting the yummy food you give it, then something is up. It could be

  • Not well. Check for other signs of ill health such as dull color or skin infections. A visit to the vet should get the problem sorted out.
  • The gecko needs high temperature to be able to digest its food. Cold cages will discourage it from eating.
  • When the leopard gecko is stressed or feeling threatened, it will refuse to eat. Check there’s no other animal in the room or that loud noise is scaring the pet.

Can You Force-feed A Leopard Gecko?

No, you should never force-feed your leopard gecko. It’s against their nature to be force-fed. You can, however, try to hand-feed them. Hand feeding the reptile is easy and it allows the animal to eat on its own.

Hold the leopard gecko firmly in your hand and put a drop of honey or insect paste on its nose. Wait for it to lick it off with its tongue. Be patient and try a few times until it starts eating. Keep smearing its nose with food until it stops licking it. Then you know it’s full.

Do Leopard Geckos Go into Hibernation?

Winter is a season for some animals and reptiles to go into hibernation. It’s a survival tactic that helps these animals avoid the lack of food and low temperatures of the winter months. However, leopard geckos are not one of these animals.

When the temperature in the cage or the room drops below comfort levels, the leopard gecko will become stressed and might stop eating. Once you bring the temperature back up, the reptile will go back to its normal activities.

Do Leopard Geckos Like to be in the Water?

Not at all. We saw how leopard geckos get their daily need of water from licking the moist off their mouths. These cute pets don’t enjoy being in the water one bit. In fact, they might drown if they fall in a body of water such as a stream or even a puddle.

This is why it’s not advisable to give leopard geckos a bath. Especially the babies as they’re untamed and would freak out if they find themselves splashing around in a bowl full of water.

Do Female Leopard Geckos Lay Eggs without Mating?

Yes, that’s a possibility. Whether the female leopard gecko meets a suitable male to mate with or not, she will lay her eggs as soon as they develop. Of course, these eggs will be infertile and will not hatch. Within a few weeks, the eggs will be covered in fungus which is a good indication that they need to be discarded.

Why Do Leopard Geckos Lick their Mouths?

It’s a sign they can’t chew their food due to weak jaws. Leopard geckos can have this problem because of calcium deficiency. Ask your vet for the best food to supplement the reptile’s diet and strengthen its jaws.

Another reason could be mouth rot. This painful condition makes the critter restless and stressed out. You need to take it to the vet for proper treatment.

Do Leopard Geckos Like To Be Held?

Do Leopard Geckos Like To Be Held? For the most part, you need to be considerate when handling leopard geckos. The babies should be left alone until they have reached at least 6 inches in length. The babies are usually skittish and their skin is too sensitive to the touch. Once they’re old enough and know you better, then you can gently reach into the cage and pick them up. Don’t hold the leopard gecko too tight. Rather let it crawl over your hand so that it gets used to your touch. Make sure you’re sitting when you pick the leopard gecko out of its cage. It will slip out of your hand and might fall.

For the most part, you need to be considerate when handling leopard geckos. The babies should be left alone until they have reached at least 6 inches in length. The babies are usually skittish and their skin is too sensitive to the touch.

Once they’re old enough and know you better, then you can gently reach into the cage and pick them up. Don’t hold the leopard gecko too tight. Rather let it crawl over your hand so that it gets used to your touch. Make sure you’re sitting when you pick the leopard gecko out of its cage. It will slip out of your hand and might fall.

Do Leopard Geckos Need a Heat Lamp?

Like many reptiles, leopard geckos rely on their environment to regulate their body temperature. This means that if it gets cold in the cage, the core temperature of the leopard gecko drops and it won’t be able to function properly.

One side of the cage should be heated with a heat lamp. Here the ideal temperature should be between 85 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The other side should be cooler and in the lower 70s. At night you can turn off the heat lamp.

Do Loud Noises Scare Leopard Geckos?

As we mentioned, leopard geckos have exceptional hearing abilities that have ensured the survival of the species for eons. When you play loud music or turn the TV volume on, the critter can pick the audio waves and it can cause it a great deal of distress.

To help calm your pet, either move the cage to a quieter room or tune down your music. Your gecko doesn’t appreciate your taste in music and, no, it won’t start dancing when you play Mariah Carey around Christmas time.

Do Leopard Geckos Die Easily?

As cute and hardy as they look, leopard geckos face the same odds as any other living critter. Sometimes they will meet their demise sooner than expected. As usual, the reason would be unnatural. That means, the cause of death is either an illness or an unfortunate incident that could have been prevented.

Some of the most common causes of leopard gecko premature deaths include dehydration, high temperature, parasites, bad pairing, or contaminated food. This guide will help you know how to take care of your pet. But you should also check with your vet if you notice something off about the animal.

What is the White Stuff in Leopard Gecko Poop?

It’s urine. Because leopard geckos don’t urinate, when they poop, they tend to get rid of both solid and liquid waste in one lump. It’s not a symptom of a disease or a sign your reptile isn’t well. This is the natural order for things as far as the leopard gecko is concerned. You have nothing to worry about.

Can Leopard Geckos Drink Tap Water?

Tap water is perfectly fine for leopard geckos. You might think that the chlorine and chloramine in the water might give the little reptiles problems, but that’s not true. Another thing to consider here is that leopard geckos rarely drink, so it’s not that they’ll consume a huge amount of chlorinated water.

The only problem with tap water is when used to wash the glass cage of the leopard gecko they might leave mineral deposits behind. This would make the glass less clear and disrupt your view of your favorite pet.

Can You Hold A Leopard Gecko When It’s Shedding?

Shedding is a time of duress for the little leopard gecko. No matter how many times the reptile goes through this process, every time feels like the first time. Usually, you should stay away from the little animal while it’s shedding.

You’re not really helping it by holding it during shedding. In fact, you’re just adding to its stress. Not just that, you might even injure the little thing as it wriggles out of its old skin. So it’s better to let it handle it in peace.

Can I Put Sand In My Leopard Gecko’s Tank?

Sand is common bedding for leopard geckos. Many people prefer sand since it’s easy to change and keeps the cage looking clean. However, that doesn’t mean that sand doesn’t come with its own set of problems.

One of these problems is impaction. We’ll talk about impaction in detail later, but for now, let’s just say that the grains of sand are easy to get in the food. When they enter the leopard gecko’s digestive system they can cause problems for it. So it’s safe to say you should look for other materials to line the cage.

Can I Use Calcium Sand For My Leopard Gecko?

The logic behind this premise is that bedding made of calcium sand will provide the leopard gecko of its calcium needs. We already mentioned how sand can cause impaction and calcium sand is no different.

Add to that the fact that calcium sand is more expensive than regular sand or paper for that matter. It also tends to stain the leopard gecko’s skin and can be a safe haven for germs and pathogens. You might think you’re doing the pet a favor, but in reality, sand does more harm than good.

How Often Should I Handle My Leopard Gecko?

Leopard geckos are wild at heart. You’ll need to tame the little critters so that they get familiar to you and get used to your touch and handling. They usually take between 3 to 4 weeks to become fully tamed.

During this time you’ll need to handle them often. Offer them food, let them slip in and out of your hands, and become accustomed to your smell. After the taming process is over, you don’t have to handle the leopard gecko that much unless you want to.

Do Leopard Geckos Stink?

Leopard geckos are some of the cleanest animals that you can bring into your home. Forget smelly dogs who stink when they get wet or cats that leave a cat stink in the house. Leopard geckos know how to stay clean and take good care of their hygiene.

That said, as with all pets, the cage of the gecko is a different matter. It will have the reptiles droppings as well as leftovers from its various meals. Of course, it’s not the gecko’s job to clean the cage. This is where you come in. Roll up those shirtsleeves and get cleaning.

How Long Does It Take To Tame A Leopard Gecko?

If you start working on your leopard gecko from the moment it arrives at your house, then you can get it fully tamed within a few weeks. Six weeks is the maximum amount of time needed even for the most stubborn leopard geckos.

Both young and old leopard geckos can be tamed. The idea is to show them that you care and keep their cage clean and comfortable so that they will associate you with the positive things in their lives.

What Causes Leopard Gecko Impaction?

Reptiles, in general, have a common health problem called impaction. It’s when their digestive system gets blocked. The causes could be materials which the reptile swallowed and can’t either pass out or digest.

In the case of the leopard gecko, impaction can be caused by anything as small as a grain of sand that the gecko picks up when eating. The reptile’s tongue is sticky and any hard debris on the floor of the cage can find its way inside the gecko’s tummy. Make sure the cage is clean before you feed your pet.

Do Leopard Geckos Need To Be Misted?

Misting is one of the needs that leopard geckos require on a regular basis. It keeps their hide humid and helps them shed easily. Baby leopard geckos, in particular, require daily misting. Even adults need it from time to time.

You should also mist the cage of the pet a few times every week. It will keep the cage humid the way the gecko likes it. Misting is also your way to bond with your pet. It shows it that you care about its wellbeing.

Do Leopard Geckos Need A Moist Hide?

A dry hide makes the leopard gecko restless and distressed. Since they need to shed their skin often, a dry hide means shedding becomes painful and complicated. Think of your own skin when it gets dry and itchy. You need to apply cream or a moisturizer to make it less itchy.

With leopard geckos, you don’t need to use vaseline or moisturizers. Water is good enough. So drench their skin with water regularly to keep them happy. Humidity is the leopard gecko’s best friend.

Do Leopard Geckos Eat Their Babies?

This is a myth. Leopard geckos care for their babies the same way any other animal does. I’m not sure where that urban legend started or what made it stick. Suffice it to say that leopard geckos have a healthy and varied diet and that diet doesn’t include their babies.

In general, leopard geckos are not cannibals and no such behavior has been observed either in the wild or in captivity. So you got nothing to worry about.

Do Leopard Geckos Do Better In Pairs?

Do Leopard Geckos Do Better In Pairs

While leopard geckos are mostly solitary animals, you can still pair them in one tank and they would live happily ever after together. The golden rule of thumb here is never to put two males together in the same cage.

That’s just asking for trouble. A male-female pair would be fine or even a group of females with one male. It’s when you bring in two males and hope they’ll make nice together that troubles arise. Males are competitive by nature and you’d want to put them in separate cages.

How Often Should I Clean My Leopard Gecko Tank?

Cleaning the leopard gecko’s terrarium is something you need to do regularly. By regularly I mean some cleaning needs to be done every day, while other types of cleaning can be done on a weekly basis.

Spot cleaning should be done daily. While changing the paper towels is a weekly or twice a week job. The same goes for washing the carpet. Deep cleaning the cage is something you only need to do once a month. That way your cage remains clean and your pet is healthy and happy as you’d want it to be.

How Often Should You Change Your Leopard Geckos Sand?

While sand is not recommended as bedding for the leopard gecko, see the section about impaction above, some people insist on using it to line the cage of their pet. You can do spot cleaning every day which makes the need to totally change the sand less urgent.

You can change the sand itself on a bi-weekly basis. Or you can do it once a month when you’re going through the cage deep cleaning process. Make sure to remove the fine grains of sand left behind since they make a good home for germs.

Are Leopard Geckos Social?

Not in the wild. Leopard geckos enjoy the freedom of traveling alone and traveling far. They meet once a year for mating, but other than that they’re happy to be on their own all the time. In captivity, it’s a different story.

The adult geckos can tolerate being in the same cage with others as long as you only have one male in each cage. Females get along fine. Make sure you give them enough food to avoid fighting. Babies can be grouped together regardless of their sex until they mature.

How Many Crickets Should I Feed My Leopard Gecko A Day?

Leopard geckos vary in their need for food based on their age. Babies need to be fed every day while adults are fed a few times a week. The main food is crickets or mealworms. Here’s how to feed them

  • Babies: baby leopard geckos need to be fed every day since they grow fast. You can feed them five to seven small crickets or mealworms during the first year.
  • Adults: once the leopard gecko reaches 4 inches in length, you can stop feeding it every day. Twice or three times a week is good enough for them. Each time, give them six or seven large crickets.

Are Leopard Geckos High Maintenance?

Far from it. If anything, they’re low maintenance and are easy to please. Apart from the feeding schedule, see the above section, and the daily spot cleaning, your leopard gecko won’t demand much of your time or energy.

The only extra effort you’ll have to do is keep their cage humid and their hide damp. This is known as misting and won’t take a few minutes of your time. In return, you get to enjoy a pet with a perky personality and charming smile brightening your day.

How Long Should I Soak My Leopard Gecko?

Even though your leopard gecko needs to have its skin moist, sometimes it wouldn’t go soak its dry body in the bowl of water you left in the cage for that very purpose. In that case, you’ll need to pick it up and place it in the water yourself.

Each session shouldn’t exceed 15 minutes. And you can repeat it twice or three times a week. Make sure to give the gecko its soaking sessions while it’s shedding. It will help it get out of that skin without any issues.

What Temp Should A Leopard Gecko Be Kept At?

As a cold-blooded reptile, your leopard gecko gets its body heat from the outside rather than the inside. This is why you’d want to divide the tank into two areas. One side should be kept at high temperature for the gecko to bask in. The other side would be a little cooler.

The hot side should be between 87 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. While the cooler side can be in the seventies. That way the gecko will have options as far as heating its core temperature is concerned.

What Temperature Should My Leopard Gecko’s Tank Be At Night?

Nighttime, it’s often customary for the leopard gecko in the wild to warm its body on rocks. But in your tank, it wouldn’t need to resort to these tactics. It doesn’t need high temperatures the way it does during the day.

Keep the tank in the lower 70s for the leopard gecko to enjoy its nocturnal activities without getting too cold or lethargic. Rather than using the regular heating lamp with its bright lights, infrared heating lamp would do the trick without annoying the reptile.

How To Care for Your Leopard Gecko

Temperament Of Leopard Geckos

Your leopard gecko isn’t the aggressive type. It will not bite you or make a fuss in the tank unless it’s hungry. Hunger brings out the quaking and screaming, especially for the babies which use their voices to get your attention.

Once they’re fed and their hide is moist, they’re happy to just hang out on a branch or go to sleep in their hiding place. These cute pets are a delight to look at and their ever-present smile is uplifting and a joy to behold.

Terrarium Size

Since the leopard gecko’s terrarium is the place it spends most of its life in, you need to be considerate as far as size is concerned. Here, both age and size need to be factored into your calculations. Baby geckos can live together in a group without a problem but an adult reptile would need more space.

A 20-gallon tank is good enough for an adult leopard gecko whose length doesn’t exceed 6 inches. But for larger geckos, you’d need a 40-gallon tank. Also, go for large tanks when you house more than one leopard gecko together.

Food & Water

Even though leopard geckos are not big on water, that doesn’t mean you should remove water altogether from the tank. A bowl of water should be available for the pets at all times. Make sure the bowl isn’t deep to avoid the risk of drowning.

As for food, leopard geckos are easily fed with crickets or a whole assortment of worms. Silkworms, mealworms, and waxworms all feature on the menu and will be devoured with a hearty appetite. Baby leopard geckos need to be fed once every day while the adults are happy with 2-3 meals a week.

Heating

It’s important that the leopard gecko’s tank is suitably heated. With no exposure to the sun, the reptile needs to heat its body and the only source should come from the cage itself. However, keep in mind that the cage shouldn’t have the same temperature all over.

Start by making one side of the tank quite hot for the pet to bask in. The temperature here should be in the late 80s or early 90s. The other side is for the gecko to cool in once it has satisfied its need for heat. At night keep an infrared heating lamp on at a spot in the tank.

Humidity

A dry cage is the number one cause of complaint among leopard geckos. In fact, dehydration can be fatal in extreme cases. Make sure your tank has levels of humidity between 30 percent and 40 percent. However, when it’s shedding time, you need to up the humidity level a few notches.

Keep a tap on the humidity inside the cage if you use air ventilation screens. These installations tend to suck the humidity out of the air and keep the leopard geckos literally high and dry. Regular misting of the cage as well as the pets will keep them happy.

Lighting (Do leopard geckos need UV?)

Lack of sun can have a bad effect on the skin and body of your leopard gecko. You need to install a UVA/UVB source of light in the tank to give them bright colors, healthy skin, and strong bones.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that leopard geckos get active during dawn and dusk. That doesn’t mean they don’t need UV light. They actually do need it just like every other living mammal on this earth. So don’t skimp on a UVB lamp for their health and comfort.

Reproduction

By the time the female leopard gecko reaches the ripe age of 9 months, she’s ready for her maternal responsibilities. She will actively seek an able male to mate with and lay fertile eggs. If she fails to find said male, she’ll still lay eggs, only those will be infertile and grow moss within weeks.

The breeding season takes place during the warm months and ends around September. Mating starts as early as January. When the baby leopard geckos hatch, they start eating and shedding within the first three days of their lives.

Recent Content