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How To Tell If Your Leopard Gecko Is Happy

Are you worried about the health and well-being of your leopard gecko?

Have you seen your leopard gecko basking in a warm spot and aren’t sure what this means?

If you are concerned if your leopard gecko likes its home or even you, you might wonder:

How to tell if your leopard gecko is happy?

There are several signs to look at to see if your leopard gecko is happy. For example, you might notice your leopard gecko actively exploring the tank or hunting their prey, flicking their tongue, or basking in the heat flat on the ground. These are all signs your leopard gecko is happy.

Understanding if your leopard gecko is happy will allow you to provide the best care, and good animal husbandry will keep your pet happy.

Keep reading this article to learn more about understanding if your leopard gecko is happy.

how to tell if your leopard gecko is happy

How To Tell If Your Leopard Gecko Is Happy

Since leopard geckos haven’t developed the ability to speak, you will have to look at other signs to understand if they are happy, sad, or even frightened.

When it comes to happiness, you will have a variety of signals given off by the animal to look at.

Some basic signs your leopard gecko is happy are easy to spot.

These include having a healthy appetite, going to the bathroom regularly, moving throughout the tank smoothly, and effortlessly and overall looking alert.

You can also tell your leopard gecko is happy when exploring its tank or even a room or area you set up outside its enclosure.

When they are in a good mood, these animals love exploring, and it won’t matter if this is in the tank or outside of it.

Going along with exploring, you might notice a happy leopard gecko climbing branches or rocks in the tank.

This will also be an excellent time to introduce your leopard gecko to a gecko carnival or an obstacle course to give them things outside of their enclosure to climb and explore.

Exploring also applies to exploring the air and the environment.

The leopard gecko will flick its tongue around if happy and healthy.

It will do this to taste the environment around it to explore.

Happy geckos will also be actively hunting their food.

If you place live crickets in their enclosure, a happy leopard gecko will take time to hunt and catch the prey.

Other signs of happiness will see from your leopard gecko display less activity.

They will often relax and bask on a flat rock or the ground in the heat.

A scared or stressed gecko will not be likely to act this way because it will not be as relaxed.

The signs your gecko displays are as close to them speaking to you as they can get, so be sure you are looking for these signals to tell if your gecko is happy.

How Does A Leopard Gecko Act When They Aren’t Happy?

Now you understand how your gecko will act when they are in a good mood, but you also will need to look at the signs of an unhappy leopard gecko.

Knowing this will allow you to make changes and get your pet back to feeling good.

While active geckos are happy leopard geckos, unhappy ones will be sluggish and move slowly while being unresponsive.

Also, look at your pet’s eyes.

If they are closed too often, even when awake, this can signify an underlying health issue, stress, or general unhappiness.

Before you make a diagnosis, check to make sure the lights aren’t too bright and adjust as needed.

You will also notice a lack of appetite, but be careful not to confuse this with some of the healthy, natural, or finicky eater-type reasons your gecko isn’t eating.

Tail waving and other quick, jerky movements of their body will signal they are fearful, stressed, and in general, want you to leave them alone.

If you witness any movements like this, you will want to avoid handling them and listen to the signals they give you to be left alone.

When you see these signals, check to ensure their environment is just right and make adjustments.

If all else fails, contact your veterinarian for more instruction.

They are likely to be able to identify the problem or if there is an underlying health issue.

How To Make Your Leopard Gecko Happy?

If you have noticed your leopard gecko isn’t displaying signs of being happy, you will want to look into ways to change their attitude.

The surest start to making your leopard gecko happy and reducing stress is to work toward providing the ideal environment for them.

This means getting the right size tank, temperature gradient, and hides.

The ideal leopard gecko terrarium for one animal is a 15 to 20-gallon aquarium with proper ventilation holes.

When it comes to temperature, the tank should have a gradient with warmer and cooler sides so the leopard gecko can regulate their temperatures and warm up or cool down as necessary.

The hot side should be between 87° and 90° degrees Fahrenheit (30° – 32° C), and the cooler side should be in the range of 75° to 80° degrees Fahrenheit (24° – 27° C).

Also, include at least three hides in the tank to give them somewhere to go if they feel scared or threatened.

Having a proper amount of hides will give them plenty of places to escape and reduce stress.

An ideal environment is the best way to assist your animal’s mental health and put them on the path to being happy.

How To Get Your Leopard Gecko To Like You?

Leopard geckos aren’t precisely social creatures, but there are ways to help build a relationship and teach your pet you aren’t a threat.

When you first bring your leopard gecko into your home, they are likely to be scared and stressed.

There are new people, a new habitat, and new sounds your leopard gecko will need to get used to before attempting to touch or handle it.

To gain trust and build a relationship, you should give the animal some time to adjust to its new surroundings.

A straightforward way to get your gecko used to you and comfortable with you being around is to talk to the creature.

Speaking in slow and soothing tones will help the leopard gecko get used to you and realize you aren’t a threat.

As you continue working with the leopard gecko to get it to like you, work slowly and with patience.

Start putting your hand in the cage to let it rest on the tank’s bottom.

 Be sure not to make any sudden movements, or else you might scare the animal away.

Let the leopard gecko explore your hand, and as it becomes more comfortable, it will lick your fingers, crawl on your hand and even settle on a warm spot.

The next step will be to lift the gecko out of the cage gently.

This comes after you reach the stage where the leopard gecko feels comfortable resting in your hand.

When handling the animal, make sure you are handling them for a proper length of time.

Tame geckos can be handled every day for at least 15 minutes, but every animal will be different.

You should be aware of how the leopard gecko is acting and reacting.

They will give you signals to let you know how they feel about being held.

If you notice the number of times you’re handling the animal per week and the length of the handling time is stressing your pet out, lower the times you handle and play with the animal.

We have a post on how to play with leopard geckos to assist you.

Chirping or screaming noises are signs your leopard gecko is not happy being held.

If you hear these noises, immediately and gently return the animal to its cage to give it the time and space it needs to feel safe.

Other ways to get your gecko to like you involve feeding it special treats.

This might take some time to figure out what your leopard gecko likes, but common treats are butterworms.

Be sure not to feed these to them too often, or they could refuse to eat other foods like crickets or mealworms.

Related: Do leopard geckos like to be held?


Leopard geckos are not going to be able to directly tell you if they are happy, sad, or afraid, but looking at their body language and activity habits will give you a good indication.

It is essential to understand what the habits of a happy leopard gecko look like and what it looks like when they aren’t happy.

After reading this article, we hope you have a better idea of how to tell if your leopard gecko is a happy one and what to do to help make sure it stays happy.

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