Leopard Gecko Happy: Top 4 Signs And It’s Meaning

One of the most important aspects of owning a pet is having the ability to read your pet’s emotions. This is because you will need to determine whether your pet is happy or sad and what you can do to improve their mood. In this article, we’ll explore top 4 leopard gecko happy signs and what they mean.

Just like most animals have different ways of expressing themselves, leopard geckos have ways to express when they are happy or not. As a responsible leopard gecko owner, you should know these signs to help address the issue whenever your animal shows the signs.

It can be quite hard to determine whether your leopard gecko is happy or not as a beginner hobbyist. In this article, we will highlight everything you need to know about leopard gecko happiness, from signs that your gecko is happy to how to improve its mood.

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Cute Reptiles as Pets

4 Signs Of Leopard Gecko Happy

Leopard geckos are popularly known for their smiling faces, but this does not mean that they are happy. There are several signs that can help leopard geckos owners to determine whether their gecko is in a happy mood or not. Some of them are stated below:

  • Your leopard gecko is active and explore its tank
  • Your leopard gecko reacts to being touched
  • Your leopard gecko moves effortlessly and smoothly
  • Your leopard gecko eats a lot and actively hunts for prey
leopard gecko happy
A happy and smiling leopard gecko

Your Leopard Gecko Is Active And Explore Its Tank

One of the signs that you will notice when your leopard gecko is happy is its activity level. Your leopard gecko is happy if you notice that it is exploring its tank from the warm to the cool spot and also move close to the glass whenever it is hungry, or you approach them.

You can be sure that your Leo is happy when it looks bright and alert. However, an unhappy leopard gecko is usually sluggish and lethargic.

Your Leopard Gecko Reacts To Being Touched

Another sign to determine that your leopard gecko is happy is if it reacts to movements and is being touched. A happy leopard gecko is usually alert and will respond every time that you walk around its tank. It will also be reactive when it is hungry.

On the other hand, an unhappy gecko will not show signs that he notices anything around him and will stay still.

leopard geckos loves bonding and handling
happy leopard gecko loves to be handled and bonding with its owner

Your Leopard Gecko Moves Effortlessly And Smoothly

Apart from being active, you can determine that your leopard gecko is active if it moves smoothly around its enclosure. This shows that your gecko is happy and relaxed in its enclosure. Meanwhile, your leopard gecko is scared and unhappy when it makes lots of jerky movement in its enclosure.

This is more true when your gecko is wagging its tail, as this means your gecko is stressed or telling you to back off.

Your Leopard Gecko Eats A Lot And Actively Hunting For Prey

A leopard gecko loves to eat when happy. This means your leopard gecko is happy and healthy if it looks forward to its meal and also alerts you when hungry. All you have to do is continue feeding it as you do to help ensure it is happy and healthy.

Meanwhile, your leopard gecko may be unhappy and sick if it loses its appetite and does not react to food. It is best to take it to the vet for diagnosis once you notice this.

Some of the other signs to help determine that your leopard gecko is healthy are:

  • Your gecko has a healthy sleep cycle
  • Your gecko moves to the front glass whenever it is hungry and sees you
  • Your gecko is rattling its tail
  • Your gecko spends time both in the warm spot and cool hide to balance its body temperature. 
  • Your gecko tongue is out frequently. 

5 Signs Of Leopard Gecko UnHappy

It can be quite hard to determine whether your leopard gecko is unhappy. This is because most reptiles usually don’t show unhappiness when things start to go wrong in their enclosure. Some of the signs that you can be on the lookout for to help determine whether your leopard gecko is unhappy are stated below.

Your Leo Is Lethargic and Sluggish

Since the first sign leopard geckos give when happy is active, your leopard gecko may be unhappy if it does not want to move, is not responsive, or is moving slowly. Once this happens, you should try to take it to the vet for diagnosis and ensure everything in their enclosure is at an optimal level.

Your Leo Eyes Is Closed Too Often

This is a sign that usually occurs with lethargy and can indicate that your leo is unhappy. When this occurs, you should try to check the light in their enclosure, and if it is too bright, you can then adjust it as needed.

leopard gecko closes eyes too often
If your Leo’s closes its eyes too often, although he appear to be smiling, you should check your husbandry for any fault

Your Leo Lacks Appetite

Leopard geckos love eating, and you can easily see this in their will to hunt for food, plus the numerous chubby leo pets found online. Your leopard gecko is usually unhappy, injured, or its tank is too cold when it does not eat.

If you notice that your leo is on hunger strike, the best thing is to check whether it is passing any stools and give it a warm bath to help against impaction. If this continues, you can then take your pet to the vet for diagnosis and ensure the temperature in their tank is at an optimal level.

Your Gecko Makes Quick And Jerky Movements

Leopard geckos make quick and jerky movements when afraid, and this can then stress your gecko out. Once you notice that your gecko is making these signs when outside of its tank, you should try and put it back in its enclosure.

Your Gecko Is Wagging Its Tail Very Often

Leopard geckos wave their tail to indicate that you should leave them alone. Once your gecko starts to make this sign when handling them, it is best to just place it back in its enclosure.

Note: leopard geckos are usually unhappy when stressed or suffering from a health problem. This means when your gecko shows these signs, then it may be stressed or sick.

How Do You Keep Your Leopard Gecko Happy?

As a responsible gecko owner, you should always be on the lookout for ways to make your gecko happy when you notice that it is showing signs of unhappiness. Some of the ways to make your leo happy are stated below.

Providing An Ideal Environment To Live In

The first step to making your gecko happy is by setting an ideal environment for them to live in. This means you will need to provide a suitable tank, hides, temperature, and humidity gradient for them.

The ideal enclosure size for a leopard gecko is between 15-20-gallon tanks with proper ventilation holes. You can also house a male and female in a 40-gallon tank but ensure each gecko has its own hideout area in the tank.

You will need to provide a hide for your leopard gecko to be happy, and this will also help your gecko with shedding. Your hide will also serve as a place that they can go when scared or threatened to help reduce stress.

The temperature gradient in your leopard gecko enclosure should be around 90oF on the hot side and 75oF on the cool side. The nighttime temperature in the tank can drop to about 70oF but not lower. You will also provide a basking bulb that is not too bright in their enclosure.

You will need to turn off the basking light in the evening because leopard geckos are nocturnal creatures and do not need light to function at night. You can use it under the tank heater to help regulate the temperature in their enclosure when the basking lamp is insufficient.

The humidity in their enclosure should be around 30-40%. You can achieve this by placing a shallow water bowl in their enclosure.

Care About Health And Ensure A Diet For Your Leopard Gecko

Leopard geckos love eating, and one of the common signs to help determine that your leopard gecko is unhappy is when it refuses to eat. This means you can keep your leopard gecko happy by giving them suitable food.

Leopard geckos are insectivorous creatures and only feed on live insects. You will need to feed your gecko with mealworms or crickets but can feed them with wax worms or super worms only as a treat once a week.

Before you feed your gecko with insects, you first need to gut load the insect with supplements. This is important for their health and should be done at least 12 hours before offering them to your gecko.

You will also need to dust the insect with vitamins and minerals before you then feed your gecko. You can also provide a supplement to your gecko by placing a small jar lid with vitamin-mineral powder in their enclosure. Your enclosure will lick the powder when their body needs the nutrient.

Note: you will need to feed your leopard gecko with two insects for every inch of their total length. Furthermore, you can feed your gecko every other day. You will also need to provide a shallow water dish with fresh water in your gecko’s enclosure at all times.

How To Build Trust With Your Leopard Gecko?

Although leos are not social creatures, you can build a relationship with them and teach them that you are not a threat. Here are some steps that you can follow to build trust with your leopard gecko:

  • Allow your leopard gecko to acclimatize to their environment for the first 2-3 days that you bring them home before you attempt to touch or handle them. This helps them to adjust to their new surroundings.
  • Make your gecko get used and comfortable with you by speaking in soothing tones to your gecko.
  • Once your gecko does not hide when you come close to its enclosure, you can then start to put it in its cage and rest your hand on the tank’s bottom. Ensure you do not make sudden movements to avoid scaring your gecko away.
  • Allow your gecko to explore your hand to get more comfortable. You will see that it will lick your fingers and start to crawl on your hand.
  • After you notice that your gecko is comfortable resting on your hand, you can then gently lift the gecko out of the cage.
  • You can then handle your gecko for 15 minutes every day.
How to bond and build trust with your new leopard gecko [source: The Artsy Gecko]

Note: You need to be on the lookout for your gecko acting and reacting when handling your leopard gecko. Once you notice that the length of time you handle your gecko is stressing it out, you can then reduce the handling period.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Leopard Gecko Happy

Are Leopard Geckos Happy in Captivity?

Yes, leopard geckos are usually happy and healthy in captivity. Nowadays, most of the leopard geckos kept as pets are raised in captivity.

Your leopard gecko is likely to be happy once you feed your gecko very well and house them in a safe and clean environment.

Do leopard geckos get attached to their owners?

No, leopard geckos are not social creatures and don’t even get attached to members of their own species.

However, your leopard gecko can learn to trust you through regular feeding, stroking, and doing other activities that can make them happy. You will notice that your leopard gecko will start to react to you positively once you do this.

Do Leopard Geckos Like to Be Handled?

No, most leopard geckos do not like when they are being handled, even if it does not run away or show signs of fear when you touch them.

However, they are more suited for handling sessions than most reptile species. Once you are able to exercise patience and bond very well with your leos, they will not likely feel any stress or anxiety when you handle them.

Final Sentences

According to the popular saying, a happy gecko is a healthy gecko. However, leopard geckos cannot directly tell you when they are happy or sad, but their activity level and body language are great indicators of their mood. You can also make your gecko happy by providing it with a good diet and clean enclosure.