How to Take Care of a Leopard Gecko That Won’t Eat

Leopard geckos are interesting animals that make wonderful pets. But as a pet owner, it can be scary if your gecko stops eating suddenly. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for leopard geckos to go on hunger strikes, and there could be several reasons behind this behavior. 

As a responsible owner, you should figure out what’s wrong and do what you must to get your gecko eating again.

Common Reasons Why Leopard Gecko is Not Eating

Let’s look at more possible reasons why leopard gecko isn’t eating.

1. Picky

Leopard geckos have a reputation for being able to eat almost anything, and some of them can develop a picky eating habit. So if your gecko has suddenly stopped eating, first make sure it’s healthy, and then try to entice it back with a selection of insects. 

Dubia roaches are a great addition to your gecko’s diet because they are high-protein and are less likely to carry parasites than other feeder insects. Premium quality Dubia roaches for sale are now available at various online and offline stores. 

Remember to keep their diet well-balanced and not give them too many fatty insects like silkworms and wax worms. 

2. Brumation

Brumation is a natural process that can cause leopard geckos to stop eating. It’s like hibernation; their metabolism slows down, and they don’t move around as much. 

Even if their habitat’s temperatures and humidity are right, brumation usually happens in the winter. 

You don’t need to worry if your gecko stops eating in the winter but doesn’t look sick. Just monitor their weight and ensure clean water, calcium, and food. This can last for two to three months.

3. Ovulation

Leopard geckos may stop eating during ovulation, which happens a few weeks after the brumation period and prepares the female’s body for mating. During this time, they might be more active and refuse to eat, but this is normal and nothing to worry about. Most of the time, ovulation lasts a few weeks.

4. Temperature

Leopard geckos need the right temperature to digest their food properly. If the temperature is too low, around 70 degrees or lower, their metabolism will slow down, and they won’t be able to digest food. 

On the other hand, if it is too hot, they will look for a place to stay out of the heat. Leopard geckos do best when the temperature is between 75 and 85 degrees, and they must control their body temperature.

5. Stressed

When leopard geckos are stressed, they may stop eating. This can happen if there is too much movement or activity in the room, too much handling, the enclosure is too crowded or doesn’t have a good hide box, or too much noise. 

To help your gecko feel less stressed, you should set up a closed cage on three sides and give it a safe and comfortable place to live.

6. Sickness

You should take action if you see that your leopard gecko is displaying symptoms of illness or injury, such as not eating. As your pet ages, illness is more likely to be the cause. 

If your leopard gecko isn’t eating and has other signs like being lethargic or lack of mobility, you should take it to the vet as soon as possible to get it checked out. Your vet can help you determine what’s wrong with your gecko and give you treatment options to get it to eat and feel better.

7. Injured Pain

When a leopard gecko is hurt, it may not eat because it is in pain and doesn’t feel good. Injuries can be small or big, and they can take a few days to a few weeks to heal. It’s essential to keep a close eye on the injured gecko and give it a safe place to rest and get better.

8. Poor Eyesight

Leopard geckos may stop eating if they have trouble seeing their food, which can be caused by various factors such as corneal ulcers, infections, or incomplete shedding. If your gecko is experiencing vision problems, it must be taken to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment to ensure it can resume normal eating habits.

9. Environment Change

Leopard geckos often spread their scent to mark their territory and find a mate. When their environment changes quickly, and their scent is no longer there, they may stop eating until they can mark their territory again. This is normal, and it can happen when you change the gecko’s home, add new decorations, or bring in a new gecko.

10. Overfeeding

You may be overfeeding your leopard gecko if it stops eating. If you give your pet too much food, it may have trouble digesting, and get sick. You must wait until it’s hungry again. Put in more minor bugs to get them to eat. 

Monitor your gecko’s digestion and feed it adequately to keep it from getting too fat.

How long can leopard geckos go without eating?

Leopard geckos can go up to two weeks without eating. This is because they shed their skin or go into brumation. They store fat in their tails, which gives them enough energy to live off of when they don’t eat. 

But, if you suddenly start losing weight, it could be a sign of something more serious like an injury or parasites

Adult leopard geckos should be fed two to three times a week. Afterward, they can go 10 to 14 days without getting sick, and young leopard geckos can only go ten days without food. 

Bottom Line

Leopard geckos are great pets, but you have to pay close attention to their needs if you want them to stay healthy. For example, even though it is normal for them to stop eating for short periods, if your pet refuses to eat for a long time or shows other worrying signs, you should talk to a vet.

Remember to keep an eye out and act when necessary, but don’t worry too much because leopard geckos can go for a long time without food.