Are you working on building a relationship with your leopard gecko?
Are you interested in learning more about the behaviors of a leopard gecko?
If you have noticed your leopard gecko showing interest in you, it might lead you to ask:
Why does my leopard gecko stare at me?
Staring is a common behavior as your leopard gecko takes in your movement. They are curious about the movement and are trying to determine whether the motion poses a threat. This staring is part of their survival instinct and should not worry owners in the least.
Read on as we look more closely at the behaviors of a leopard gecko and explore more about why they might be staring at you.
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Why Does My Leopard Gecko Stare At Me?
Leopard geckos in captivity will still have a lot of the deeply ingrained behaviors of their wild counterparts.
These behaviors are part of them; not even generations of being bred in captivity can stamp them out.
Staring at you is one of those behaviors.
If this habit makes you nervous or has you wondering if something is wrong, don’t worry because this is natural.
Even for long periods, staring at you is entirely reasonable for leopard geckos, and even though it might be unnerving, the habit is one born out of survival.
When your leopard gecko stares at you, it is most likely because you have made some movement.
The animal is only looking at you to determine if you are a threat.
When a leopard gecko sees movements in the wild, they want to watch whatever made a move to determine if there is a predator or prey around them.
While this is primarily a survival instinct, your leopard gecko might also be genuinely interested in your presence and want to see what you will do.
These creatures are known for being curious, and this staring habit fits right in.
Attraction To Movement
We have touched on your leopard gecko watching you, but don’t go feeling too special because leopard geckos like to watch other things move also.
If something is moving in their line of sight, odds are they will watch it.
Again, to check if it is a threat, they also wonder what the heck the moving thing is.
This attraction to movement is a significant reason Leos won’t even look at dead insects as potential food.
The movement of insects is stimulating to the leopard gecko, sparking their instinct to hunt and feast.
Why Doesn’t My Leopard Gecko Stare?
If staring at you is normal behavior, you might be concerned if yours isn’t participating in this habit.
This is especially a concern for new Leo owners who aren’t as used to the animals or those with only one animal to base the “normal” on.
Don’t be worried at all.
Your pet’s normal could be abnormal for another.
Leopard geckos are like every other animal and even people.
Each animal will be a little bit different with different habits, mannerisms, and personalities.
Don’t panic if yours isn’t following you around the room with their eyes.
Some leopard geckos just never are going to want to do this.
As long as you practice good animal husbandry, including keeping the cage cleaned and at the appropriate temperature, providing them with food, water, and enriching activities, your animal will be fine.
Common Leopard Gecko Behavior And Body Language You Should Know
We’ve covered the reason behind staring, but here is some other common behaviors leopard geckos display that makes pet owners curious.
Tongue flicking is a very common behavior in leopard geckos because this allows them to explore and familiarize themselves with their surroundings.
Leopard geckos are no different than other lizards and snakes in having a Jacobson’s organ.
The Jacobson’s organ is located on the tips of their tongues and is a small olfactory organ, providing them with a sense of smell.
When they flick their tongue, they smell you or their environment to get a sense of what is around them.
Tail Shaking And Wiggling
The primary tool a gecko has to communicate with other geckos is their tail.
The speed of the shakes and wiggles will tell other members of the species if they are irritated, feeling threatened, letting others know they are around, and how a male introduces himself to a lady gecko.
Slow wiggling lets other geckos know they are there, while fast, vigorous shakes indicate the Leo is being defensive or feels threatened.
The tail can also be used as a distraction when defending themselves.
Understanding the shakes and wiggling of a gecko tail will help you when you are attempting to handle or even interact with your pet.
If you see quick and vigorous shakes when you try to pick it up, you will understand your gecko is not interested in being handled.
Take these cues from the animal to help you provide better care and attention.
Chirping And Squeaking Sounds
For the most part, Leos are quiet animals, rarely making any noises, but if you hear chirping or squeaking sounds, your leopard gecko is likely feeling threatened.
These chirps will come out suddenly, and researchers believe this is an evolutionary trait used to startle the potential predator.
Some leopard geckos will make noises when they are in pain, so if you hear them for no reason, take the time to pay attention and check if there is an apparent injury.
Even if you think the squeaks and chirps are cute and entertaining, you should not try to get them to make these noises,
Again, chirps are made out of fear, and provoking the animal to make them will only cause stress for no good reason.
Leopard geckos are most active in the evenings, so it isn’t completely unheard of for your gecko to hide during the day.
Hiding for 24 hours or more could mean something else is going on.
The most common reason for hiding for an extended period is that the tank is too cold for them.
These animals are cold-blooded and have a warm exterior temperature to regulate and perform bodily functions.
If the tank is too cold, everything in their body slows down.
Hiding is also related to stress or fear, especially when brought into a new home.
Give them plenty of places to hide until they feel safe and be patient.
Try to lure your gecko out of their hide by bribing them with a tasty treat instead of forcibly pulling them out.
This will help them feel secure and put them on the path to trusting you.
Once they are out of the hide, you will better assess their current state and make sure they are not hurt or sick.
Tank climbing is another typical behavior leopard geckos will display.
You will often see them trying to climb the glass walls, and most of the time, nothing is wrong.
Sometimes, however, tank climbing can sign your Leo is trying to get out of the environment because something is wrong.
It could be as simple as incorrect tank size, a dull environment, or they aren’t getting along with another gecko in their tank.
Ensure you provide the animal with the proper tank size and temperature and plenty of places to climb and hide to provide stimulation.
If you notice fighting between geckos, it is best to separate them and give them their own space.
Is My Leopard Gecko Sick?
There are some behaviors you will spot if your leopard gecko is not feeling well.
Even though these animals are known to be hardy pets and usually healthy, there are times where they fall ill.
Knowing and understanding the body language sick geckos might display, you have a better chance of discovering and treating the issue early.
This will get your pet back on track to being healthy.
A sick Leo is likely to lack appetite, leading to extreme weight loss over a short time.
You might also notice your leopard gecko has sunken eyes or is lethargic and inactive.
Another thing to look for is a lack of feces.
This will tell you if they are eating or may be impacted.
If you notice any of these behaviors or something decidedly out of the ordinary, don’t be afraid to contact your veterinarian for help.
They will be better able to identify any underlying conditions your pet might have.
It is essential to know your pet and their healthy behaviors for early detection if something is wrong, but staring at you is not one behavior to give you concern.
If your gecko is staring at you, enjoy them, and understand they are doing so out of curiosity and interest.
The behaviors of leopard geckos are often fascinating for owners to watch, and having them stare at you might be near the top of the list.