Knowing an Iguana’s Mood

Iguana Mood

Iguanas are sensitive creatures with their mood swings depending on their surroundings, which is to say that their activities also depend on their mood. But you should know how to deal with them when they become too aggressive, fearful, or stressed.

Normal Activities for Iguanas

  • They are physically active.
  • They are always alert and well-sensed in their surroundings.
  • They do not feel tired when they walk. Their arms, tail, and legs move easily without any abnormality.
  • They have a regular appetite.

Calm Iguanas

Calm iguanas have smooth and graceful head movements, appearing to have a peaceful mind.

Calm Iguana


Leaving your pet iguana in the cage to sit the whole day with no human interactions does NOT make them happy. Unhappy iguanas will start to stare at you with enlarged pupils, giving you an “evil look” while bobbing their head.

How To Make Your Iguana Happy

Making your pet iguana happy is a little bit tricky, but you should still treat them in a friendly way by providing all their basic needs such as:

  • Provide a climbable lounger and/or branch in their enclosure.
  • Play melodic pieces for them with low volume. They enjoy the music, but remember to keep it low since they are scared of loud music or any sound.
  • Try to play with them or communicate with them to prevent them from feeling bored.
  • Do not forget to feed them regularly with fresh food and water.


Happy iguanas are always cheerful and healthy with their regular activities. If your iguana’s eye nearest to you is closed, then it means they feel relaxed with you. Do not be alarmed if its other eye remains open, this is so they can continue observing what is going on in their surroundings.

Happy Iguana


Although reptiles go through depression, it is still not a common thing. They get depressed when their needs are not met. Understanding your pet iguana means paying attention to what they need, but, first is to notice if they are depressed or not. Signs include:

  • Physical inactivity / will refuse to do their usual activities
  • Significant drop in appetite
  • Reduced climbing routines


Male iguanas in all the species are more aggressive than females. Their aggression begins at a young age, but they eventually become friends as they grow older. From then, aggression can be triggered by:

  • The way you hold them is uncomfortable for them
  • Too much or too little light
  • Sexual frustration
  • Seeing another iguana in its own territory
  • Their needs are not met

How to Calm an Aggressive Iguana

When your iguana is too aggressive, you just pick it up and wrap it with the towel. This will stop their tail from whipping around and scratching you. Distance the wrapped iguana from your face to avoid accidents, and raise it above your head to begin calming it.

Aggressive Iguana


Stress for iguanas may be caused by three things:

  • Environment/surroundings: poor husbandries (problems with lighting, heat, day-night rhythm, size of the terrarium, improper decoration of the terrarium, and the surroundings of the terrarium). Changes in the terrarium can cause stress for your iguana.
    Behavioral stress: this stress is related when you are on the holiday or away for a couple of days, they may feel stressed for not providing the proper foods, water and etc.
  • Social stress: When the Iguanas meet new friends, they do not feel comfortable. They do not accept the other iguanas as their friends. So, when you let two or more iguanas in a single enclosure, they may feel stress and become aggressive.

Signs of the Stressed Iguanas

Signs of stress in iguanas show by:

  • Shut eyes
  • Their body turns dark
  • Hiding in small, dark spots
  • Digging in their tank
  • Pooping more or less at irregular spots
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleeping less or more than usual.
  • Zoning out


Iguanas get scared for several reasons, so you need to know how they get scared and what makes them afraid to prevent them from feeling scared in the first place:

  • The iguanas will be scared of their predators. They try to escape by hiding in the leaves.
  • They get scared when they see the new surroundings or new enclosure.
  • When nervous or scared, they will have quick and jerky head movements.
  • They run fast they can to hide.
  • They will be more conscious of their threats.

Final thoughts

The iguana’s mood swings depending on their environment, but you should have the minimum knowledge of their mood and their respective activities. You should also know to identify and how to calm them when they feel stressed and when they become aggressive. They are not happy as a default – if you want them to be happy, you need to take great care of them.