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How Long Can Leopard Geckos Go Without Food?

Nicole Cosgrove

The typical adult leopard gecko can go between 10 and 14 days without food, surviving on the fat they store in their tails. On the other hand, young geckos can only survive a maximum of 10 days without food, as they do not have as much fat in their tails as adults do.

It is normal for leopard geckos to go for extended periods without food. This is one of the main benefits of being cold-blooded. Since cold-blooded animals do not rely on food to generate body heat as mammals do, cold-blooded critters do not have to eat as much as warm-blooded animals. This is why reptiles are able to survive even months without eating, especially during the cold season.

However, despite that fact, there is still a possibility that your leopard gecko could be refusing to eat for other reasons.

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Reasons Why Leopard Geckos Might Refuse to Eat

GeckoIV_Piqsels
Image Credit: Piqsels

As mentioned, like other reptiles, it is not uncommon for leopard geckos to go for lengthy periods without eating. However, certain factors or conditions could cause them to either refuse to eat or be unable to. These include:

Cold Temperatures

As mentioned earlier, reptiles do not burn calories to generate body heat, relying on external sources instead. That is why all reptiles bask in the sun, as it allows them to raise their body heat. While being cold-blooded allows an animal to survive for long periods without eating, it can spell doom for a critter with no access to an external heat source.

This is because cold-blooded animals need to be warm enough for natural processes such as digestion to occur. When a leopard gecko is too cold, it is unable to digest its meal. As a result, the lizard might opt not to eat altogether.

Therefore, make sure that temperatures within your pet’s tank never go below 75° Fahrenheit.

Dehydration

Leopard geckos are averse to eating when they are dehydrated. As such, make sure that your pet has access to plenty of fresh water. Additionally, replace the water bowl daily to ensure that your lizard does not drink contaminated water.

gecko eating_Faizal Zakaria_Pixabay
Image Credit: Faizal Zakaria, Pixabay

Stress

Leopard geckos tend to refuse to eat when they are stressed. Many things can stress out a leopard gecko, with the most common being a sudden change in environment, unideal temperatures within the cage, housing them with another gecko, and illness.

Common signs of stress include hiding for lengthy periods, being skittish, displaying dull colors, and tail wagging.

Consider taking your pet to the vet if it displays signs of stress.

How Often Should Leopard Geckos Eat?

While leopard geckos can go for weeks without eating, it should be out of their own volition, not yours. Therefore, make sure to follow a regular feeding schedule. It would be best if you fed young leopard geckos every day.

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Conclusion

Adult leopard geckos can go for up to two weeks without eating, while young geckos can survive up to 10 days without a meal. However, it is crucial to ensure that your pet leopard gecko is not refusing to eat due to an illness or improper care. If you think that something might be wrong with your reptile, consult a vet immediately.


Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.