If your leopard gecko is not eating you might start worrying about your little friend. Is it okay? Is it sick? Is this normal? Did I do something wrong. I get it. All you want is that your little gecko is happy and healthy and at the moment there seems to be something wrong.
However in most cases you shouldn´t be worried. It is absolutely normal for leopard geckos to not eat for a couple of days. Actually there are some leopard geckos that refuse to eat for months. This can happen if your leopard gecko is a little bit overfed. Your leopard gecko decided that it does not need any food at the moment and gets the required energy from it´s fat depots.
In this article you are going to learn about other reasons that causes your leopard gecko not to eat and when you should really start to get worried.
Your Leopard Gecko Is Stressed
Stress isn´t good for humans and it is not good for leopard geckos either. Stress can lead to unwanted behavior and a lot of horrible diseases. So here are a couple of things you should know about that.
If you just got your gecko it is absolutely normal if it might not eat right after moving to the new home. In fact you should wait with feeding for around two days after you got your leopard gecko. Let it get used to the new environment. Let it calm down after the stressful journey to it´s new home.
If you just got your gecko there is really no reason to worry if it does not eat for a couple of days.
Another Gecko Might Be The Reason
I know that a lot of leopard gecko keepers keep more than one leopard gecko in one and the same tank. It is recommended to keep them in separate tanks though. Why? Leopard geckos can get territorial. You might think everything is okay, but what you might not see is that one of your leos gets suppressed by another.
Separating your geckos can help if one of your gecko really gets bullied. Your gecko will start to eat again as soon as it feels that there is no danger anymore.
Placement Of The Tank
Some leopard geckos are simply more sensitive than others. While one leopard gecko is not stressed at all if there is someone in front of the tank all day, another might be stressed out by it. It may help to move your leopard gecko enclosure to a place that is not that busy.
You might want to check your tank setup. Often times there are a couple of mistakes in the set up that cause unwanted behaviors in leopard geckos. Here are two major things you should check.
Is The Temperature Okay?
You should definitely check your temperature. If the temperature is to high your leopard gecko might get stressed out because of dehydration. You might see your leopard gecko run around in the tank all day looking for the right temperature zone to rest. Too high temperatures can even kill your leopard gecko. If you night help with heating, read my leo lighting guide.
If your temperature is extremely low your leopard gecko might go dormant. However you really have to have very low temperatures for that. In fact I would rather go with a little lower temperature than with too high temperatures. You can read here more about why it might be better to have lower temperatures.
You need lots of, lots of hides in your leopard gecko tank. Those hides should have different temperature and different humidity so your leopard gecko can choose what it needs. If you need help with setting up a moist hide (which is very important) read my moist hide guide.
Your Gecko Might Be Picky
Believe it or not, some leopard geckos are simply picky when it comes to their food. Your gecko might eat mealworms like crazy, but as soon as you offer other feeding insects it doesn´t eat anymore. Most of the time leopard geckos start to eat anyway as soon as they are really hungry.
However there are actually a couple of leopard geckos that refuse to eat as long as they do not get their favorite food again. It is a small number of geckos though.
Your Gecko Wants To Mate
This often happens around spring. Your leopard gecko refuses to eat and the tail might get a little bit smaller in size. If you have a female gecko the belly will become a little bit bigger and you might even see white points on it. That´s because your female starts to produce eggs.
That´s absolutely normal and you don´t have to worry about. As soon as your leopard gecko is ready, it will start to eat again.
If you have a male leopard gecko you might experience the same thing without the physical symptoms. Male leopard geckos are ready to mate during this time and their mind is so focused on finding a female and looking out for other males that might be competitors that they stop eating. Again, don´t worry, your leopard gecko will start to eat again after a while.
Once a year leopard geckos go dormant. This is normal and you should support your leopard gecko during that phase as it is a very healthy process. Before the brumation your leopard gecko might stop eating and get inactive. You should cut down the temperature during that phase, but that is a whole other topic.
Your Leopard Gecko Is Sick
Definitely the worst case, but hey, it can happen. You should look for other symptoms like diarrhea. Is your leopard gecko getting thin really quickly? Does it look a little bit dull? If you see any weird behavior in your leopard gecko combined with not eating you should go and visit a vet.
The Only Thing You Have To Worry About If Your Leo Isn´t Eating
Okay now you know what might be the reason for your leopard gecko to stop eating. However when should you really get worried? The only thing you should really worry about is the tail. If the tail is around one and a half times bigger than the tail base, your leopard gecko is absolutely fine. It can be a little smaller than that and you are still not in trouble.
If the tail is really thin and you can see the spine through the skin, you definitely want to get your leopard gecko to a vet.