How to Know a Gecko’s Mood

Thirsty Gecko

Though they lack the ability to speak, geckos have their own peculiar gestures to convey their emotions. We do not feel happy when we are hungry, too cold, too hot, or in pain. Their basic needs need to be satisfied to ensure a happy state.

Stress is one of the common factors that every living being undergoes, but the point is to identify and approach it at the right time. With a little bit of reading and experience, the signs of stress are easy to spot, and, in most cases, the issues are easy to solve.


Usually, we will not know the exact reason for his happiness, so we can predict that being fit, healthy, alert, and well-fed is the sign of his happiness.

  • The gecko looks brighter and alert.
  • You can notice a good appetite in him.
  • Gecko moves smoothly without any effort or difficulty.
  • It will react, when you touch.
  • Your gecko respond to the movements that happens inside and outside of his enclosure.
  • The gecko appears in the front glass and try to capture your attention, when he is hungry.
  • He might take an exploring trip in his enclosure.
  • The gecko balance his body temperature by spending some time in both warm and cold spot inside his enclosure.


Reptiles have a tendency to conceal their sadness and distress. When something goes wrong in or around their enclosure, they get stressed. Though it’s harder to understand their state of sadness, you can notice the things stated below to properly assess:

Laziness and drowsiness:

Unwillingness to move or moving slowly, being unresponsive. Laziness should not be mistaken for a lot of healthy sleep. Lack of appetite is one of the most common signals of poor health, an injury, or a cold tank.

If your Gecko has just gone on hunger strike, pay attention if he’s passing any stools and give him a warm bath if there is no sign of bowel movement, he might be blocked. If the issue continues, don’t waste the time and take your pet to their veterinarian. Additionally, if their eyes are closed too often, even when awake.

This sign often co-occurs with drowsiness and can have similar underlying causes. There is one additional option to consider, check for the lights and adjust them to the requirement.

Quick and jerky movements:

Quick and jerky movements are the signal of fear and fear produces stress. If you notice these signs from your gecko when they are out of the enclosure, then understand that it needs to get back to its enclosure.

Tail waving:

Tail waving is a sign that says “Leave me alone”. If your gecko is doing the wave when you want to handle him, it is better to take his advice and stop handling him. These are all stress and health-related signs. That is why they overlap with the symptoms that reveal that a gecko might be stressed or sick.

There is one big difference between a sick and a healthy gecko when it comes to sleeping. When you awake your healthy sleeping gecko by touching him or producing him with some food, he will become alert and interested almost immediately.

On the other hand, a sick or unhappy gecko will not show interest to move or he might feel hard to move, this means his laziness. If your gecko is new to your home, then tail waving is common before you handle him.


Stress is the response of a living being in a dangerous or hostile condition.

Here is the list of most common stress signs in captive geckos:

  • Stress Licking
  • Stress Waving
  • Vocalizing
  • Excessive Hiding
  • Closed Eyed
  • Glass Surfing
  • Cohabitation Stress

Stress licking:

If you are noticing too much of your gecko licking itself, then you must take it to the vet, as this can be a symptom of a serious issue. Mouth rot is a serious condition that is often accompanied by excessive licking. Symptoms include:

  • Gaping mouth
  • Lack of appetite
  • Mucus, or puss around the mouth
  • Willing to eat, but unable to pick up food

Eye Licking is a separate issue. Usually to maintain the moisture and to be clean, your gecko licks their eyes often. However, if you notice your pet is licking them too much, it can be a signal of the tight shed or something else stuck in the eye that they can’t get rid of.

Excessive hiding:

In the case you got your gecko only recently, hiding is pretty normal behavior. He needs some time to adapt.
However, excessive hiding beyond this period could be a sign that something is wrong with either your gecko’s environment or his health. Have an eye for the below-mentioned signs,

  • If your gecko’s enclosure lacks heat spot, then he hides himself to conserve the energy.
  • If your gecko is always hiding in the cool part of the tank, check the general temperature, as well as the temperature at his basking spot under a heat lamp.
  • Laziness and difficulty moving are common features of Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD), a dangerous condition that occurs because of a lack of calcium and vitamin D3.

Closed eyes:

If the gecko is inactive and keeps his eyes closed often, first check if the temperatures are too low. Eyes that are closed too often in an otherwise healthy gecko can also signal that the lights in his tank are too bright, or that he doesn’t have a hide he likes.

If you have determined that nothing is wrong with his environment, you must know that closed eyes and laziness can also signal several problems, an illness such as the aforementioned MBD, parasites, and many other alignments. Also, a Gecko will close his eyes if he is in pain.

Glass Surfing:

When your gecko is under stress and if he wants to get rid of such a situation, they notify you through glass surfing or glass dancing. Insects in the tank, a small tank, increased temperature, or cohabitation stress can provoke glass surfing.

Sometimes your gecko may glass surf to pass his time but if this occurs often you must have an eagle eye to the possible triggers.

Can Electric Fans Stress out a Gecko?

To promote air circulation, fans are used in the enclosure. If the humidity level is certainly high in your home, then a fan might help you to restrict the humidity accumulation inside the enclosure. A perfectly positioned PC- type fan will not stress your gecko.

To make the air wander under the ceiling, attach the fan in the back sidewall of the enclosure, close to the ventilation. Always remember, the air should not blow at your gecko.

Does UVB Light Stress Geckos?

It is certainly possible that UVB radiation is stressful to geckos even if they can’t consciously notice it. However, any bright light can create stress on your gecko. Have extra care at your UVB lights and also set a dark place for your gecko inside the enclosure. So that he may get away from the light when he feels uncomfortable.

Can Crickets Stress Geckos?

Crickets are one of the fabulous food for your gecko and a disastrous cohabitant too. They can bite and even chase your pet gecko and cause him quite a lot of aggravation. While you are feeding your gecko, do not forget to check for the left crickets. Even a single cricket in the tank will stress out your gecko.

Will a Gecko die of stress

Geckos won’t die from the stress itself but from the underlying causes of stress such as disease or mismanagement. This is the reason to rule out the roots of unusual stress-related behavior. Address the root sooner to avoid serious issues.

The Solutions to Avoid Stress in Geckos:

  • Setting up his enclosure in a perfectly comfortable manner is the foremost way to avoid stress. Remember that, the pet store is not the place to obtain the required information.
  • Do not handle your gecko too much. Stop when you see that your gecko is getting restless and nervous and put him back into his tank. Avoid squashing and tugging the geckos, while handling. Admire his natural gesture, also have a control on him.
  • Feeding your gecko the right food with enough supplements, and paying close attention to safety when feeding them feisty feeders such as crickets and superworms will also support his stress free life.

Do Geckos Get Lonely?

Geckos are not social animals. Literally, they lack a part of the brain that is related to the social being. When they are cohabitating with another gecko or other animals, they become more aggressive and get provoked to attack. In fact, they like to be alone in their enclosure.