Leopard geckos are known for being active and curious creatures. But do they like to hang out with others? Are they social animals? Do they like being with other lizards or humans?
Leopard geckos are not social animals. They are typically solitary creatures and do best when kept alone. Though prefer their solitude, leopard geckos can be socialized to tolerate and even enjoy human contact with proper care and handling.
Are leopard geckos sociable?
Leopard geckos are solitary animals in the wild. They tend to live alone, pairing up for a hot minute during mating season. They do not have the social structure as you would find in some species.
Though they do not prefer company, leopard geckos are not normally aggressive towards humans, unlike some other lizards (Tokay gecko, I’m looking at you…) leopard geckos are generally quite shy and do not like to interact with people unless they feel safe around them.
Since they are content to be alone, leopard geckos do not require much attention. But that’s not why you got a pet, is it?
Though they are more solitary than social, leopard geckos can be socialized, or tamed, so that they are used to human contact. It is possible to bond with a leopard gecko as it is other pets. In fact, with proper care, leopard geckos are easily tamed. Once they are comfortable, they’ll happily sit in your hand or on your shoulder.
Do Leopard Geckos Get Along with Each Other?
Leopard geckos are very territorial animals. If you decide to add one (or more) to your collection, make sure each leopard gecko gets its own tank. When kept in the same enclosure, you can expect aggressive behavior. These lizards have been known to bite off each others’ tails, and in some cases kill each other.
If you do choose to go down this path, read our posts on tank mates and keeping leopard geckos together. If you’re thinking about housing males and females together for breeding, check out our breeding guide.
It’s best to avoid keeping multiple leopard geckos together. Multiple pets can cause stress and anxiety for each individual animal, and they can become aggressive towards one another. Read our article on leopard gecko fighting for more on the topic.
Are Leopard Geckos Friendly with Humans?
So we know that leopard geckos prefer to be kept alone, how do they get along with people? First, know that leopard geckos would be perfectly happy to have a comfortable living conditions and plenty of food without ever having human interaction.
That said, leopard geckos can be tamed like other pets. You need to put in the time and effort to bond with them. They are usually don’t mind being held once they feel comfortable and safe.
Check out our posts on bonding with your leopard gecko to get started.
Leopard geckos are generally easy going and docile. As long as they do not feel they are in danger, they’ll happily hang out once they are comfortable around you.
Can Leopard Geckos Recognize Their Owners?
In reality, we don’t know for certain, and there is a tendency of pet owners to project feelings and emotion into their animals.
There are several theories as to how leopards geckos may recognize their owners. One theory suggests that they sense vibrations in the air caused by human movement. Another suggests that they use sound waves emitted by our voices for recognition. Most probably they smell and recognize our scent.
Do Leopard Geckos Get Attached to Their Owners?
I’d like to think yes; If you take the time to play with your gecko regularly, and make the effort to bond with it, your gecko may form an attachment to you.
That said, I have a particular gecko I’ve spent a lot of time with. if I never opened the tank again except to drop in food and clean up waste, he’d probably continue going about his business. I don’t think he’d miss the company or contact as a dog or cat would.
I think in the case of leopard geckos (and most reptiles), the attachment is the comfort level and acceptance of having a wild creature with a reptile brain that can set aside its flight or flight response to relax and hang out with us humans.
Do Leopard Geckos Like to Be Handled?
Again, leopard geckos would be perfectly fine being left on their own. With familiarity, they can learn to tolerate (and even enjoy) being held and stroked. Bonus points if your hands are warm, since lizards are cold blooded and enjoy the heat.
Leopard geckos generally will not run away unless they are scared. They usually do not bite unless they feel cornered. Be confident and slow with you movements, and do not move suddenly. Check out our article on leopard gecko handling tips for more insight.
Do Leopard Geckos Get Lonely?
Leopard geckos are mostly solitary animals that live alone, except for breeding season.
They don’t need a friend, and probably do not want another lizard in their tank to compete with for food and hiding places.
You don’t need to worry that your leopard gecko may be lonely. It’s perfectly comfortable not sharing its space or its food while feeling safe & secure in its environment.
Are Leopard Geckos Happy in Captivity?
Leopard geckos are one of the most popular pets in captivity because they are easy to care for and make great companions. But keeping any pet, you need to make sure you’re providing a healthy environment.
If you keep a leopard gecko in a tank too small, it won’t have enough room to move about or enough places to hide. If the temperatures are not correctly regulated, your gecko will not be able to regulate its body temperature or digest its food.
If you feed, clean, and change their water regularly, they will remain happy.
Responsible owners will have created a safe environment with a regulated temperature. There is no need to go on the hunt, their food just “magically” appears. There are ample places to hide. There is little threat of danger.
Leopard geckos can thrive in captivity, as they are safe from predation and have their basic needs provided for them. Pet leopard geckos often live longer than their wild counterparts. (Read more about leopard gecko lifespans.)
Wrap Up – Are Leopard Geckos Social Animals?
Leopard geckos don’t exhibit social behavior amongst themselves (or other gecko species), though they can be socialized to interact with people with proper handing and training.
You can have a happy and healthy gecko that is perfectly fine living alone, and can be comfortable with human contact.