Are Leopard Geckos Fast? (If Yes, How Fast Are They?)

Are Leopard Geckos Fast

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Leopard Geckos have a reputation for being docile and easy to care for.  Some reptile owners wonder if they are easy to handle and how fast they can move.

Leopard geckos can reach speeds between 3-6 mph, or 5-10 kph.  This is pretty quick and can get a gecko to safety, though certainly won’t set any land speed records.  

How fast can a leopard gecko run?

 Leopard geckos are known for being able to move quickly,  estimated between 5 – 10 kph. Coupled with their smallish size can make them difficult to manage if they do decide to go for a sprint.

Leopard geckos can move quickly when they need to, though are far from the fastest critters around. Other lizards, like house geckos or bearded dragons are faster movers by comparison.  A house cat can hit speeds around 30 mph (keep your gecko away from your cat!)

Here are comparisons with some other animals to put a leopard gecko’s speed in perspective:

Leopard Gecko3-6 mph5-10 kph
House Gecko27 mph43 kph
Bearded Dragon9 mph14 kph
Cat30 mph48 kph
Human7.25 mph11.6 kph

What Makes a Leopard Gecko Run?

Leopard geckos are usually fairly easy going lizards, though can move quickly if they need to.  What would motivate a leopard gecko to run?

To Escape Danger

Leopard geckos are not at the top of the food chain, and are subject to predation in the wild.  They’re capable of quick bursts of speed to avoid being eaten. The ability to move quickly allows them to escape predators such as owls and birds of prey.

 Keep in mind, a leopard gecko may run if they perceive danger.  A sudden noise (like opening their enclosure) or a quick movement could spook them.  Don’t try to pick up your gecko by reaching down from above it – this is typically the same approach a predator would use, and may put your pet on alert.

To Catch Prey

Just as a gecko does not want to be another creature’s lunch, they’ve got to find some food for themselves.  Leopard geckos may spring into action with a burst of speed when on the hunt or chasing down a meal.

Preventing Leopard Geckos from Running

While not the fasted critters, leopard geckos can move quickly when they are trying to get out of harm’s way.  They’ll usually head directly for cover. If your lizard gets away from you, check our article on what to do if your leopard gecko gets loose.

Leopard Gecko on the Loose

The easiest way to prevent a leopard gecko from running is to not give it anything to be afraid of.  Check out our handling tips and article about bonding with your gecko if you need some guidance.

If you enjoy taking your gecko out of the enclosure for some play time, you want to limit its movement.  A pet pen like this one is inexpensive, collapsible, and ensures that even at full charge they can only go so far.  

Wrap Up – How Fast are Leopard Geckos?

Leopard geckos move pretty quickly when they want to. After watching them in their enclosure, it’s easy to misjudge their speed. They can move much faster than you’d expect. A healthy adult can reach estimated speeds up to about 6 miles per hour (10kph.) 

About the author

About the Author: H. Evan Miller & Leopard Gecko

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