We all love our pets. And for all the joy they give us, part of keeping any pet is the cleanup. Dogs need to go for a walk (BYO Baggies), cats need their litter box emptied, hamsters and gerbils need their bedding changed – you get the idea. What about your lizard? Do leopard geckos pee, and how hard is it to clean up?
Yes, leopard geckos do pee, though leopard gecko pee is solid, not liquid. Wait, what? Solid pee? How can that be? Let me explain.
Leopard geckos originate from an arid desert environment, where life and survival is all about water conservation. To keep more of the water content in their bodies, leopard geckos don’t urinate to pass liquid waste. Instead, uric acid and unneeded chemicals are passed out of the body in solid chunks called urates. The urates are usually passed along with the feces. So, leopard geckos excrete more so than urinate.
What does leopard gecko pee look like?
You may notice that leopard gecko feces is usually a swirl of brown and white. As you would expect, the brown stuff is poop. Why is some of it white? That’s the leopard gecko “pee,” or urate. It comes out as solid chalky white chunks that will turn into powder if crushed.
If you want to know exactly what you’re getting into looking after a leopard gecko or just have an insatiable curiosity, take a look at the photo below.
There may be some fluid passed along with the excrement. This is just a small amount of fluid that helps things move along and pass smoothly through the digestive system. It usually dries quickly.
Check the Urate Color
If your leopard gecko’s urate looks more yellow than white, this is a sign of dehydration. Make sure you are offering your leopard gecko fresh water. Leopard geckos do need to drink; You can read more about their water needs in this article.
Also make sure you are providing your gecko a healthy diet, and feeding (gut loading) your feeder insects. Though they need to drink water, leopard geckos get much of their moisture and nutrition form the insects they eat. Just like humans or any other living creature, what goes in affects what comes out, and a healthy diet leads to healthy poop (and pee.)
It is possible your gecko can pass the urate without any feces… so just the white stuff without much or any poop. This may mean your gecko isn’t eating. This can be normal for geckos during the mating season, especially females.
How do you clean up gecko pee?
Graciously, leopard geckos usually choose one corner of their enclosure to do their business. You’ll usually find their poop (and pee) in the same corner of the tank.
If you’re using paper or paper towel as a substrate, you can just roll up that section of paper towel and discard it. Paper towels don’t look great, but they win at clean up.
If you’re using reptile carpets, mats, or tiles, the easiest way I’ve found is to wait a short time until everything hardens, and scoop it up with a plastic spoon. If you scoop it up while it’s still “fresh” chances are you’ll smear it as much as scoop it. Ewww. Be gentle scooping the urate. Too much pressure and you can crush it from a chunk to white powder.
Wrap up: Leopard Gecko Pee and Urates
So yes, leopard geckos pee, but it’s not what you’d typically expect. All things considered, solid pee seems easier to clean up. Scoop and go, and it does not soak in to the substrate as a liquid would. Bonus!
Leopard geckos are easy to clean up after, which is another reason they are one of the most popular reptiles and a favorite choice of pet.