The Complete Guide To: Why Is My Crested Gecko Not Eating?

Crested geckos are among the easiest pet reptiles that you can keep. However, with the varieties of commercially produced crested gecko diets out there, it can sometimes be hard to get crested geckos to eat regularly.

One of the common issues encountered by new crested gecko owners is getting their geckos to eat. It can be quite hard to know if your cresties are eating as they do not eat much.

However, you can check their poop and lick marks to determine if they are eating.

In this article, you will learn more about why your crested gecko is not eating and the effects on their health.

Why Did Your Crested Gecko Stop Eating?

Why Did Your Crested Gecko Stop Eating?
Why Did Your Crested Gecko Stop Eating?

Whether or not your gecko is eating may be because of how you raised them or some changes you made. Some of the things that can cause your cresties not to eat are stated below.

Your Crested Gecko Has Not Acclimatized Yet.

If your new crested gecko has an eating problem when you bring it home, they may be stressed and scared. You will need to make their tank comfortable before they start eating.

It is best to provide their tank with different branches and foliage so they can hide. This helps to provide some security, and they will feel they are back in the wild. You should avoid hand-feeding or offering them food with tongs during this period.

Instead, you can simply place a food station in their tank to eat whenever it wants, however, if your cresties do not eat within a week. You can offer some food on a spoon or in a cap by touching its snout gently.

You can also mist the gecko to encourage eating.

Note: It will take a few weeks to a month before crested gecko can fully acclimatize and be comfortable in a new home. You can try to speed up the acclimatization process by making the living conditions ideal for them.

Your Crested Gecko Is Stressed.

Stress is among the major causes of poor appetite in crested geckos; they can also be easily stressed by improper living conditions and several other factors.

Stress can often occur because of other cage mates, wrong cage setup, or a very big or small tank.

Crested geckos are solitary, and it is best not to keep them together, especially the males, hatchlings, and juvenile cresties. It is common for them to bully each other, which may lead to stress and feeding problems.

Your Crested Gecko’s Terrarium Is Too Small Or Too Big.

When a crested gecko’s tank is too big or small, it can lead to stress. It is best to keep baby cresties in a small 5-gallon terrarium or a plastic container for some months until they are 8-10g.

Using a smaller tank for hatchling and baby cresties makes it easy to find food and water. Adult crested gecko can be kept in at least a 20-gallon tank. This is because it can be hard to create a temperature gradient in smaller tanks.

Crested Gecko Tank Size

The Temperatures In The Terrarium Are Too Low.

It is normal for crested gecko during the winter months not to eat a lot. This shows your cresties will not eat if their enclosure drops below 70oFahrenheit for a long time.

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However, if your crested gecko tank is too hot, they will also get stressed. When stressed, your crested gecko may not eat. It is best to make sure their enclosure temperature is between 71-79oFahrenheit.

Your Crested Gecko Gets A Health Issue

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Health issues are one of the major concerns when your crested gecko is not eating. Some of the health issues that can cause your crested geckos not to eat are:

Your Crested Gecko Is Sick.

Your gecko will refuse food when it is sick. Sickness in crested gecko can be caused by internal parasites and other kinds of infections. Once you notice that your cresties are losing weight and are lethargic, they may be infected by parasites.

Some of the other illnesses that can affect crested geckos appetite are respiratory infection, MBD, etc. However, whenever you suspect illness, it is best to take them to the vet.

Your Crested Gecko Is Impacted.

Impaction is one of the major health issues that can make your crested gecko lose their appetite. It is tough to detect impaction in crested geckos and can lead to death.

This is why you need to avoid keeping your hatchling or juvenile cresties on a loose substrate. They risk ingesting the substrate, which can cause constipation.

Another cause of impaction is feeding your gecko will feeder insects bigger than the width between the gecko’s eyes.

To avoid impaction, keep your hatchlings and juveniles cresties on a tank with paper towels. You should avoid feeding with large insects or insects that have hard shells like beetles.

For adult cresties, avoid using small rocks or sand in their tank.

Signs Of Impaction

  • Round belly
  • Sudden weight gain
  • Constipation

Treatment

  • Try to help your gecko pass the mass
  • Offer watery foods high in fiber
  • Soak your crested geckos
  • Limit feeding them with harder to digest food.

Your Crested Gecko Is In Its Lizard’s Transition

When a crested gecko is in lizard transition like shedding, they eat little. You do not have to worry once they are through with the phase; they will start eating. Some of the transitions are

Your Crested Gecko Has Grown Up.

As crested gecko age, they start to eat less. During the hatchling stage, the crested gecko can eat five times a week, but they eat less as they grow older. Juveniles can eat three times a week, while adults can eat 2-3 times a week.

Although the change in crested gecko’s diet can look sudden, once they turn to about 6-8 months old, it will start to eat less. You can then change their diet once they start eating less.

Your Crested Gecko Is Shedding.

During the shedding period, the crested gecko can lose their appetite. They can lose their appetite 2-3 days before or after shedding. However, you do not have to worry, as they will start eating a few days after they finish shedding.

Your Crested Gecko Has Started Brumation/Hibernation.

As mentioned above, crested geckos eat less during the winter period. The brumation period in crested gecko may naturally start during the late fall. This is when the temperatures start dropping, and the light cycles change.

During the brumation period, crested geckos are usually inactive as they eat and move less. It is best to allow your cresties to go through this period as it helps to replenish their energy once the period is finished.

Your Crested Gecko Might Not Eat Much During The Breeding Season.

During the mating season, the female crested gecko will start laying eggs even without a male mate. However, during ovulation, female cresties may refuse food.

The males can also eat less during the breeding season when searching for a potential male. There are also some periods when the male can stress out the female and make them eat less. However, this change will pass by itself, and you don’t have to worry.

Your Crested Gecko Is Dehydrated.

Although crested geckos need high humidity levels of about 70-85%, it does not have to be high all the time. This is because constant high humidity will lead to high bacterial and mold growth in their tank.

However, if the humidity in their tank is too low, your crested gecko will be dehydrated. This will then cause them not to eat much. If you have a problem increasing their humidity levels, use a reptile fogger.

It is best to mist your crested gecko once a day around the evening period to stimulate their appetite and even improve hydration. You should also provide a small water bowl so your cresties can get water whenever they want.

How To Help Your Crested Gecko Start Eating?

How To Help Your Crested Gecko Start Eating?
How To Help Your Crested Gecko Start Eating?

It may take a few days to weeks before a new crested gecko will start eating properly. However, you can start to offer food more actively if it does not eat for a week after you brought it home.

You can try to feed it with small amounts of crested gecko diet with a bottle cap. You will then stop hand feeding them once you notice that they start eating by themselves. It is best if you can simply incorporate two feeding stations in their enclosure.

Note: crested geckos have different preferences for food consistency. Some will love runny food, while others prefer a thicker consistency. It is best to experiment with the two to see what it likes the best.

New to crested gecko? Check out the crested gecko care sheet now! We had listed out all the things you need to know about crested gecko as pets. Check it now!

You can promote their interest in eating by giving them small live insects. You should avoid handling new crested gecko for about two weeks for easy acclimatization.

However, crested geckos eat small amounts of food, and they can go off food for some days. You can simply leave their food for a day because of some crested geckos like fermented food.

You could limit the number of bugs that you give your cresties if they stopped eating a complete gecko diet. You can also treat them with veggies and fruits sometimes.

Can You Force Your Gecko To Eat?

Can You Force Your Gecko To Eat?
Can You Force Your Gecko To Eat?

If you are worried about your crested gecko’s weight loss, you can try to hand feed them. However, this can make them dependent on you to feed them. You should also keep in mind that handling can lead to stress.

However, hand-feeding does not mean you force-feed them. You can hand-feed them by dabbing a little crested gecko diet on the side of its mouth with a small spoon, a syringe with the needle removed, or a toothpick.

Ensure you do not force their mouth open and try to feed them every other night to reduce stress. If you want to rehabilitate a sick or rescued gecko, try to consult your vet on the ways to administer food through a feeding tube properly.

However, this method is not recommended for anyone without medical aid experience with reptiles. This is because crested geckos can aspirate their food and die.

How Long A Crested Gecko Can Go Without Eating?

How Long A Crested Gecko Can Go Without Eating?
How Long A Crested Gecko Can Go Without Eating?

In the previous article about how long a crested gecko can go without food, we discussed in length about this topic.

Hatchlings and baby crested geckos will eat a lot. This is because they are still growing, and it is best to feed them about five times a week.

However, they can go for a few days without food, which can be due to keeping them in a new enclosure.

Although juvenile crested gecko eats a little less, you will need to feed them three to four times a week. They can go for several days to a week without eating.

Adults crested gecko can go for about two to three weeks without eating their meals. However, they need to weigh around 30-55g during adulthood, and if lower, there may be a cause for concern.

It is best if you weigh them weekly to keep track of their weight.

When Do You Need A Vet?

When Do You Need A Vet?
When Do You Need A Vet?

As mentioned above, the adult crested gecko can go for around two to three weeks without eating. However, you will need to consider taking your cresties to a vet after the second week.

Feeding Your Crested Gecko

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