Leopard geckos are friendly reptile pets. While they’re not daily feeders, you’d expect the pet to eat some food at least after every few days. Sometimes your gecko may stop eating – something that’ll definitely worry you.
A leopard gecko not eating can mean there’s nothing to worry about, but in some cases, you might want to pay closer attention and even take the pet to the vet.
Why is my leopard gecko not eating?
Leopard geckos are predators that eat a variety of prey. Leopard geckos pet owners report that sufficiently fed geckos don’t portray the presumed cannibalistic behavior.
Here are some of the reasons why your leopard gecko is not feeding:
The main reason why leopard geckos quit eating is that they might be excessively cold. A basic fix to their current temperature will make them begin eating once more. Normal leopard gecko temperature should be 75-80F to keep it warm.
Leopard Gecko Shedding
A few days before your leopard gecko shedding, it is very normal for it to stop eating. A couple of days during shedding, they might still show no signs of feeding. During this time, they actually eat their own skin as part of their shedding cycle. However, in the event that this continues you will need to take your gecko to the reptile vet.
Proper Belly Heating
To process food, you need to ensure that there is adequate stomach warmth for your gecko. On the off chance that they can’t process food appropriately, they do stop feeding. The ideal belly heat is between 88-93 degrees Fahrenheit. Gecko owners regularly only measure the air temperature while it is significant that you measure the floor temperature where your gecko will lay to get the appropriate temperature belly heat. You can easily:
- Measure your tank’s floor temperature by using a temperature gun.
- Have an under-tank warming cushion/pad for the gecko to lay on.
Pro Tip: Try not to use basking lights since leopard geckos are nocturnal creatures and don’t relax under daylight. Basking lights are for diurnal species like iguanas and bearded dragons.
Lack of Proper Lay Box
In order for a gecko to feed well, it needs to be well maintained. Use a good lay box substrate, and store the box in a well-maintained manner, the lay box ought to be all properly fitting for the leopard gecko, for the Leopard gecko to feel secure and comfortable the lay box should be well hidden and private and it should be a little moist.
Breeding and Season Cycles
At the point when a leopard gecko is 1 year old (adulthood), its body will begin working on a more occasional timetable. Reproduction season as a rule starts around January and it could go on until the months of June/July.
On the off chance that you have a female gecko, it will be ovulating while on the off chance that you have a male gecko, it will begin getting fretful and need to emerge from the tank constantly. It is during this time of the year; your adult gecko goes through breeding heat.
At this time, there’s a decent possibility your leopard gecko will quit eating. The gecko might stop eating for about a week and sometimes even months. Take note of the following characteristics:
- Ovulating females eat between ovulation cycles.
- Breeder females will eat between clutches.
N.B: The geckos will feed just a short time before they are ovulating again and go back to fasting. The male geckos during this time for the most part will eat however very little. They could go off food for quite a long time.
Geckos stop eating during the breeding season thus losing a gram every few days which is typical for them.
In the event that your female is laying eggs, she will lose more weight over a few weeks.
When the breeding season is finished, the leopard gecko begins fasting once more.
On the off chance that your gecko is female, she will continue eating when she quits ovulating.
The main reason why they have a stout tail is so they can go through significant stretches without food. The fat put away inside their tail is utilized by their body when they are off food.
This cycle takes place annually and it should not be of alarming to the pet owner.
Leopard Gecko Puberty
On the off chance that your gecko isn’t losing weight and still not eating, it is very likely that your gecko is going through adolescence. At the point when leopard geckos first reach sexual development, their conduct may change.
Male geckos could reach sexual development as early as at half years old, while female geckos on the other hand reach their sexual maturity at around 8-12 months old.
You ordinarily would see your male gecko getting very territorial for the first time while your female gecko may get a little jumpy in light of the fact that they are ovulating for the first time. The male and female gecko could stop eating when they first reach sexual maturity, regularly for weeks or months. This is an ordinary cycle each youthful leopard gecko goes through.
Parasites and Sickness
Another explanation as to why your leopard gecko quit eating is that they are sick or they have parasites. Try not to be frightened at this time, the signs to pay special attention to decide whether they are ailing are:
- Loss of Weight: Begin tracking your gecko’s weight as a sick gecko will probably get out of shape quickly, losing about 5-10 grams per week. If this is the case take your gecko to a reptile vet.
- Watery faeces: When visiting the vet, go with newly gathered faeces. The watery stool is an indication of potential parasites. Quick weight reduction and rapid contracting tail with conceivable tail loss are additional indications of parasites or illnesses in the leopard gecko.
Stress or Bullying
In the event that your leopard gecko has tankmates and one of them stops eating, you may have to reevaluate about isolating them. Leopard geckos are mostly solitary animals. In the event that you house two or more geckos, any sort of bullying behavior can make a gecko quit eating. Here are some steps to ensure your gecko is comfortable:
- During feeding time try to notice any harassing conduct from other geckos.
- Begin fabricating another tank and separate your geckos if one of the geckos is in distress.
- Keep in mind that there isn’t an approach to train your geckos to get along.
How to get a leopard gecko to start eating again
The best way to deal with treating the absence of appetite in a leopard gecko is to analyze your pet’s current circumstance, conduct, and actual appearance. Here are some of the things you can do to get the Leopard gecko to start eating again are:
1. Fix the environmental temperature
A leopard gecko needs to be kept at a temperature of 75–80F as per the cool side and 80-85F as per the warm side in order for it to feed well. Leopard geckos stop feeding when they become excessively cold and by fixing the temperature the geckos may resume to proper feeding.
2. Check for poor vision
Leopard geckos can stop feeding due to poor or impaired vision. This affects its ability to see food. Poor vision in Leopard geckos might be caused by incomplete shedding or low to zero humidity in its lay box. Once this sign is noted, it is advisable to consult a reptile vet.
3. Check if the gecko is emptying the bowels appropriately
If you observe that your pet gecko is not emptying the bowels properly, try to rub its belly in a gentle way to bring ease as you check the temperature since belly heat helps with digestion.
4. Control any pain/injury
If your pet gecko has an injury or is in pain, it may stop feeding until it feels at ease. Observe if your pet gecko is going through pain and seek help from the reptile vet.
5. Treat your gecko for any sickness or diseases
If your pet gecko is ailing, this might cause the pet to stop eating and treatment for diseases from the reptile vet will put the leopard gecko back to its normal eating habits. Cold temperatures normally cause respiratory infections that commonly cause the gecko to stop eating and a visit to the vet will help.
On the off chance that you’ve attempted every one of the tips above with no improvement ensure you plan a visit to your gecko’s vet so they can help you sort it out
Leopard gecko won’t eat for months
Leopard geckos can be confounding with regards to their hunger, and their cravings can shift every which way in cycles.
It is normal for the geckos to stop eating for months. During this time, they make due by using the fat stored in their tail.
However, as long as they don’t lose a big measure of weight and everything referenced above is alright, try not to stress. If all else fails, there is no harm in taking them to a vet for a test, just to put your psyche at ease.
What will happen if they go without food for months
In the case that your leopard gecko has taken a break from its food; it should be safe for some time.
This happens on the grounds that when they are in the wild, food sources become scant during the colder months, so their bodies have learned how to adjust to the absence of food as they can likewise go for half a month without water.
You should check your leopard gecko for any indications of ailment or injury and check their tank to be certain that conditions are ideal. On the off chance that everything is as it ought to be, don’t get too stressed – your gecko will eat when they are ready.
How long can a leopard gecko go without eating?
Leopard geckos can go for up to 2-3 months without food, which is what many wild geckos need to persevere. Nonetheless, pet geckos ought to be taken care of all the time more often as per their age and their size.
Very young leopard geckos require more ordinary care (every day), though grown-up geckos can be taken care of just 1-3 days of the week. In contrast to numerous different types of reptiles, Leopard geckos are more low maintenance.
Do leopard geckos starve themselves?
It’s imperative to note on the off chance that you’ve rehomed your geckos, they could likely stop eating.
Being put in a totally new living environment is a serious matter to them. Leopard geckos are enthusiastic about their area, they need to realize where they’re living is protected and natural.
At the point where you move them totally to another tank/area, or maybe you just got your new gecko from the pet store, it will take them some time to get familiar with their new living condition.
It could take days or even a long time before they get comfortable enough to feed.