As a responsible pet owner, most folks want to know how much effort it will take to care for a pet, especially when cleaning up after them. So, how often should you expect your leopard gecko to poop?
Hatchling and juvenile leopard geckos may poop several times a day, where adult leopard geckos may poop once every few days. Age, metabolism, and amount of food consumed will all affect how often a leopard gecko poops.
Just like humans (and other animals), there are a number of factors that affect the frequency of bowel movements. All people are a bit different in their digestive cycle.
When leopard geckos are young, they are eating frequently and growing rapidly. During this rapid growth stage it’s a simple equation of more goes in, more comes out.
Adult geckos may only feed once every two to three days, and therefore have to poop less frequently.
Where do leopard geckos poop?
Just like we have designated bathrooms, your leopard gecko will usually choose a particular spot in the tank to poop. Usually this will be in a corner of their enclosure.
You can keep this in mind when setting up your tank and leave one corner clear to encourage your gecko to use this spot for their toilet.
It’s helpful not only for cleanup, since you (usually) know where to find it, and makes it easier to track how often they go to the bathroom related to how often they eat.
What does leopard gecko poop look like?
You can spot leopard gecko poop in your tank by looking for small brown and white swirls. The darker brown part, as you can guess, is the poop. The white part is urates, which is actually solid pee. You can read more about it in our post: Do leopard geckos pee?
Does leopard gecko poop smell?
Leopard gecko poop is fairly small, and doesn’t have a noticeable odor. You most likely won’t know that your gecko has gone to the bathroom until you actually see it in the tank (meanwhile our cat can clear a room after visiting the litter box.)
You shouldn’t have odor issues with your leopard gecko, especially if you’re diligent cleaning up after it.
What if my leopard gecko isn’t pooping?
While it may be perfectly normal if a leopard gecko goes several days without pooping, there may be extended periods of time without passing some stool. If your leopard gecko hasn’t pooped for more than several days, it may be cause for concern. If it hasn’t been eating, there won’t be anything to poop out; but you may want to visit a vet that specialized in reptiles to find why your gecko has lost its appetite. This could be a sign of other health issues.
Impaction could be another reason why your leopard gecko isn’t pooping. Impaction means there is a blockage in the digestive tract. This most frequently happens as a result of using sand as a substrate, and some of the sand is ingested.
Offering feeder insects that are too large can also result in a blockage. As a guideline, insects should be no larger than than the space between the gecko’s eyes for it to be able to swallow and digest them. If it’s too large, undigested insects can get stuck and cause issues.
Related Post: find out which substrates are safe in our post on leopard gecko substrate and bedding.
Improper Tank Temperatures
Temperature may be another factor. Leopard geckos depend on heat from the ground (belly heat) to help them digest their food. If the temperature is too low, it will affect their ability to digest. This is the reason we recommend under tanks heaters for leopard geckos.
Temperatures should range from about 90 °F (32 °C) on the warm side of your enclosure ambient temperature, while the cool side should be about 80°F (27 °C), with a dip into the 70s at night. You can find out more about your leopard gecko’s heating needs on our habitat setup page.
Dehydration may be another reason a leopard gecko may have a problem pooping. Without enough moisture, the stool won’t be able to form properly to pass through the digestive system. Leopard geckos get a fair amount of moisture from the insects they eat, though still need to drink water.
Related post: Do leopard geckos drink water?
A dehydrated leopard gecko will have slightly sunken in eyes, and the skin looks wrinkly or creased. Lack of urates (the white part of the poop) are sometimes an early sign of dehydration.
Wrap up: How often does a leopard gecko poop?
The short answer is, it depends. Just like individual people have slightly different digestive cycles, each leopard gecko may vary with the frequency and amount of feces.
How often leopard geckos poop largely on the age of the leopard gecko and the amount of food they are consuming, though you should look to be cleaning up after them at least every few days.