Is your leopard gecko not eating? It’s actually very common for this to happen and the good news is 99% of the time it’s nothing serious. Today I’m going to share the 8 reasons why a leopard gecko will stop eating and what you can do to get their appetite back!
Why is my leopard gecko not eating?
1. Cold Environment
A cold enclosure is the most likely reason your gecko has lost their appetite. To find out if this is the cause of your little pal’s anorexia, ask yourself three questions:
- Has their heating changed recently?
- Is it winter approaching?
- What’s the temperature on their thermostat?
The temperature in their tank should be around 80°F. If it’s way below, then this is what’s causing your leopard gecko to go on a hunger strike.
While some people think that leopard geckos don’t need heating, this is actually far from the truth. They definitely need (and want) heating! So give the geckos what they want!
If you don’t have a heat source for your leopard gecko, I’d recommend a heat lamp over a heat mat, as they are more cost-efficient. You can get two (always good to have a back up) Zoo Med heat lamps from Amazon for $13.80.
Now go check the temperature of their tank! If the temperature is way off, fix it and your gecko should start chomping again!
Sickness can cause your leopard gecko to stop eating. It’s a pretty normal response; humans go off food if they have a fever. If you think your gecko might be sick read 10 Common Diseases in Leopard Geckos to make sure.
If they seem sick and are showing some symptoms take them straight to the vet.
3. Is your baby leopard gecko not eating?
You open your eyes. You’re in a tank. You’re a leopard gecko! It’s enough to make anyone lose their appetite.
There are two main reasons your baby leopard gecko is not eating:
- They are getting used to their surroundings. It is completely normal for your baby leopard gecko to not eat for a couple of days after hatching. They need some time to adjust to their environment (and the fact they’re a lizard).
- They don’t like the food you are offering them. Like all babies, they are fussy eaters. If it’s been a few days and they still aren’t eating, try out a few different insects and see what they enjoy. Once you’ve found their favourite dish, you’ll have them licking their lips!
If your leopard gecko is in pain, they will likely stop eating. Geckos will get injured from everyday life, and there isn’t really much you can do. Some common injuries include tail or feet wounds, as well as eye problems (see below).
If your leopard gecko isn’t eating due to an injury, you should give them some time to recover and closely monitor their behaviour. Most of the time, they’ll be better and eating within a few days.
If they don’t start eating again after a few days, I recommend a trip to the vet.
5. Is your leopard gecko not eating after shedding?
Adult leopard geckos shed once a month, and when they do, they actually eat their skin! Crazy, gross but that’s nature for you!
Once they’ve shed and finished off that tasty skin, they’ll likely hide for a couple of days. At this time it’s common for them not to eat the food you provide. However, if it’s been more than a week since they last ate, something might be up. In this case, you should take them to the vet.
Impaction is a digestive problem that can occur in all lizard pets. It is caused by your gecko, eating some substrate or other hard to digest food. For example, super worms. This food or substrate gets stuck in the digestive tract.
If your leopard gecko has been impacted, they won’t be eating or pooping.
To help your gecko out, you can give them a warm bath once or twice a day, gently massaging their stomach as they bathe. If this doesn’t help your gecko excrete, you need to take them to the vet.
To prevent impaction, there are two things you can do.
- Use a substrate that is hard for your leopard gecko to ingest.
- Only feed your leopard gecko smaller insects.
To learn more about leopard gecko impaction, check out this article.
7. Eye Trouble
A bad shed, usually caused by poor humidity, can cause the skin to get stuck around your leopard geckos eyes. This makes it a real challenge for them to see their food. And if they can’t see it, they ain’t going to eat it!
If your leopard gecko has skin around their eyes, don’t try and pick it off, take them to the vet.
To prevent a bad shed, ensure your leopard gecko’s tank is at the correct humidity (20-40%). To monitor the humidity, a hydrometer is recommended. You can get one from Amazon for $7.00.
8. Are you keeping multiple leopard geckos together?
Leopard geckos enjoy their own company, and it is not advised to keep them together. Although some people say it’s okay to keep two females together, the truth is they’ll be happier apart.
If you keep two leopard geckos together, the best-case scenario is they compete for food. Realistically, they are going to fight, and one is going to get hurt, or worse!
After separating two geckos, you’ll find they get their appetite back, and they might even give you a smile or wink!
You now know what to do if your leopard gecko isn’t eating! Find what’s causing their hunger strike and then remedy it.
Want to find out your leopard gecko’s gender? Read How To Sex A Leopard Gecko – 3 Simple Methods to find out!
Until next time, thanks for reading and happy lizarding!