Leopard geckos are one of the most popular reptile pets in the world.
They are small, colorful, easy to care for, and have unique personalities. But do they like to be handled by their owners?
And if so, how often and for how long?
In this article, we will answer these questions and more, based on the experiences and opinions of leopard gecko owners on Reddit.
Let’s dive in…
Factors That Influence Leopard Geckos’ Tolerance of Handling
Some of the factors that influence how well leopard geckos tolerate handling are:
- Personality: Some leopard geckos are naturally more friendly and sociable, while others are more shy and skittish. Some are more curious and adventurous, while others are more cautious and fearful. Some are more calm and docile, while others are more feisty and aggressive. These traits may affect how they respond to handling, and how much they enjoy or dislike it.
- Trust and bonding: Leopard geckos are not very social animals, and they do not form strong bonds with their owners like dogs or cats. However, they can learn to recognize and trust their owners over time, especially if they are handled regularly and gently. The more trust and bonding a leopard gecko has with its owner, the more likely it is to tolerate or even like being held.
- Mood and health: Leopard geckos may have different moods and health conditions that affect their willingness and ability to be handled. For example, they may be more irritable and defensive when they are hungry, shedding, breeding, or stressed. They may be more lethargic and weak when they are sick, injured, or dehydrated. They may be more relaxed and happy when they are full, clean, warm, or comfortable. These factors may influence how they behave and feel when they are handled.
- Previous experiences: Leopard geckos may have different previous experiences with handling that shape their attitude and expectations. For example, they may have been handled roughly or improperly by their previous owners, breeders, or pet store staff, which may have traumatized them or made them fearful of handling. They may have been handled gently and correctly by their current owners, which may have made them comfortable and confident with handling. They may have never been handled at all, which may have made them unfamiliar and curious about handling.
Signs that your leopard gecko is comfortable or uncomfortable with handling
Leopard geckos may show different signs that indicate whether they are comfortable or uncomfortable with handling.
Some of the signs that your leopard gecko is comfortable with handling are:
- They are calm and relaxed and do not try to escape or bite.
- They are curious and explore your hand, arm, or shoulder, and may even lick you.
- They are warm and soft, and may even fall asleep on you.
Some of the signs that your leopard gecko is uncomfortable with handling are:
- They are tense and nervous and try to escape or bite.
- They are scared and hide their head, tail, or body, and may even squeak or hiss.
- They are cold and stiff, and may even drop their tail.
How to handle leopard geckos safely and correctly?
Handling leopard geckos is not difficult, but it requires some patience and caution.
Here are some tips on how to handle leopard geckos safely and correctly:
- Always wash your hands before and after handling your leopard gecko, to prevent the transmission of germs and parasites.
- Avoid handling your leopard gecko during the day, when they are sleeping and more likely to be stressed. The best time to handle them is in the evening or at night, when they are active and alert.
- Do not grab or squeeze your leopard gecko, as this can injure them or cause them to drop their tail. Instead, gently scoop them up from underneath, supporting their body and tail with your palm and fingers.
- Do not lift your leopard gecko too high from the ground, as they may jump or fall and hurt themselves. Keep them close to your chest or lap, and provide a stable surface for them to walk on, such as your arm or hand.
- Do not handle your leopard gecko for too long, as they may get cold, dehydrated, or stressed. Limit the handling sessions to 10-15 minutes, and return them to their enclosure when they show signs of discomfort or agitation.
- Do not handle your leopard gecko if they are shedding, sick, injured, pregnant, or newly acquired. Wait until they are healthy, comfortable, and settled in their new home before attempting to handle them.
Leopard geckos are popular pets that can be handled safely and correctly, but their tolerance and preference of handling may vary depending on several factors.
Some leopard geckos may like to be held, while others may not. It is important to observe and respect your leopard gecko’s signs and signals, and to handle them only when they are willing and able.
Handling leopard geckos may have some benefits and drawbacks, both for the owner and the gecko, so it should be done with moderation and caution.
Q: How often should I handle my leopard gecko?
There is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on your leopard gecko’s personality and mood.
Some leopard geckos may enjoy being handled daily, while others may prefer being handled once a week or less.
The general rule is to handle your leopard gecko as often as they are comfortable and happy with, and to avoid handling them when they are sleeping, shedding, sick, or stressed.
Q: How long should I handle my leopard gecko?
Again, there is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on your leopard gecko’s personality and mood.
Some leopard geckos may be content with being held for a few minutes, while others may be fine with being held for an hour or more.
The general rule is to handle your leopard gecko as long as they are comfortable and happy with, and to return them to their enclosure when they show signs of discomfort or agitation.
I am Abdul Kader, the founder of Hellocutter.com. I have a passion for all things tech and love finding ways to use technology to make our lives easier. I have a background in computer science and have been working in the tech industry for over 10 years.