Your pet crested gecko can get bored if its enclosure does not have enough enrichment activities.
The boredom that your pet crested gecko may experience will not be because of a lack of company or interaction – crested geckos are solitary animals and enjoy being alone.
But you need to provide some enrichment activities in the form of foliage and plant decorations so that your crested gecko can play around and keep itself entertained.
Do Crested Geckos Get Bored?
Whether a crested gecko will get bored depends on where it is living.
In the wilderness, there really isn’t any reason or even the luxury to be bored. There are always a lot of stimuli available.
If a crested gecko in the wild is not out hunting for food, it is out running, escaping, hiding, and preventing itself from becoming someone else’s food.
Moreover, crested geckos come from rainforests. So, in the wild, a crested gecko has enough trees and branches to jump around.
Wild crested geckos hunt insects like crickets and roaches for food. That, in itself, provides enough stimulus to keep a crested gecko from getting bored.
So, if you notice this pattern of crested geckos in the wild, you’ll realize that boredom for crested geckos happens only in captivity – that too if there isn’t any stimulus.
Crested geckos are solitary animals. They do not enjoy being in communities or even pairs.
Your pet crested gecko may get bored not because of the absence of a friend, but because of the absence of stimuli.
How To Tell If Your Crested Gecko Is Bored
A few signs that show that your crested gecko may be bored are listed below:
If your crested gecko gets too bored, it may become lethargic. It will mostly just sit in a place and spend most of its time resting.
Eats too much, or not at all
A sudden and drastic change in the appetite of your pet crested gecko could also be an indicator that your pet is bored.
Every crested gecko has a unique personality – some may indulge in eating too much, some others may experience a loss of appetite.
If your crested gecko gets bored and has nothing else to do, it may spend a lot of its time grooming itself.
Excess grooming can sometimes also be indicative of some skin infection, so it is best to get your crested gecko checked by a vet if it indulges in grooming more than usual.
Biting onto non-food items
This particular behavior is much like a human baby. Just like when human babies get bored, they put random objects like toys or clothes in their mouths, when your pet crested gecko gets bored, it may put non-food items like decorations of plants in the enclosure in its mouth.
Be careful and don’t let your crested gecko indulge in this behavior too often because if it accidentally ingests some non-food object, it may suffer from impaction – which can get fatal.
As opposed to lethargy, some crested geckos may actually get restless and fidgety when they get too bored. Your crested gecko may climb up and down the enclosure walls and may seem unable to sit still.
Is It Bad For A Crested Gecko To Be Bored?
Being bored once in a while is nothing to be concerned about – it is okay if your crested gecko seems bored once in a while.
However, prolonged boredom can lead to your crested gecko indulging in one or more of the aforementioned unhealthy behaviors.
Due to boredom, if your crested gecko eats too much or gets too lethargic, it may become obese and experience obesity-related health problems.
On the other hand, if your crested gecko loses its appetite, it may become malnourished and weak.
Malnourishment can often become the leading cause of metabolic bone disease, which is a very fatal illness for crested geckos.
If out of boredom, your crested gecko becomes too restless, it may become prone to accidents. It may injure itself by jumping from a height or landing incorrectly on a hard surface.
So, while boredom in itself cannot be called bad, the behaviors that your crested gecko may indulge in as a result of boredom can become unhealthy if not checked.
Causes Of Boredom In Crested Geckos
In the wild, as aforementioned, crested geckos are not even familiar with the concept of boredom.
It is in captivity when kept as pets, that crested geckos become prone to getting bored and indulging in unhealthy behaviors. Some of the leading causes of boredom in pet crested geckos kept in captivity are listed below:
Lack of stimulation
This is by far the most common reason behind a pet crested gecko getting bored. In the wild, a crested gecko has a plethora of stimuli.
There is the risk of predators, the hunt for food, the search for a source of cleaning drinking water, the search for a mate, or even the search for a cooler or warmer region to stay in.
All these stimuli keep the wild crested gecko physically and mentally active.
In captivity, however, there is no risk of a predator, no worries about temperature or humidity or food or even water, and no survival-related stimulus.
While this means that you are taking good care of your crested gecko, you should provide an alternate, safer stimuli to your crested gecko.
Lack of foliage
Having a completely empty enclosure with just food, water, substrate, humidity, and temperature levels, is sufficient to keep a crested gecko alive – but it is a very boring tank to live in for your crested gecko.
Ensure that you fill your crested gecko’s enclosure with lots of sturdy branches and foliage so that it can play around.
Also, ensure that you provide enough hiding places in the enclosure for your crested gecko to go to when it is stressed.
Lack of live food
One major stimulus for crested geckos in the wild is hunting insects like crickets and roaches for food.
In the enclosure, if you only give prepared or pre-killed meals to your pet crested gecko, it will be sufficient to keep your pet healthy and alive. But it may result in boredom.
How To Entertain Or Prevent Your Crested Gecko From Getting Bored
Entertaining your crested gecko and preventing it from getting bored does not need the addition of a new pet. In fact, it may become counterproductive.
If you cohabitate your crested gecko with another crested gecko, or any animal for that matter, to prevent it from getting bored, you will end up stressing your crested gecko out instead.
So, what else can you do to entertain your crested gecko? Some helpful tips to prevent your crested gecko from getting bored are listed below:
Provide a lot of foliage and hiding places inside the enclosure
A well-decorated enclosure with lots of foliage, plants, and hiding places, will allow your crested gecko the space to play around as much as it wants to.
Ensure that the humidity levels are accurately maintained. This will allow your crested gecko to also run up and down the walls of its enclosure.
Provide a controlled amount of live food regularly
Too much live food can be nutritionally deficient for your crested gecko. It may become fatter yet remain malnourished. However, too less of live food can mean boredom, which is also unhealthy for your crested gecko.
So, a regular and controlled number of live insects such as crickets and roaches will keep your crested gecko entertained and happily fed. Let your crested gecko have the opportunity to “hunt” inside its enclosure.
Regular handling, if your crested gecko likes to be handled
If your crested gecko likes climbing onto your hand, it may enjoy and be entertained when you let it climb on your hand and play around.
So, spending time with your crested gecko may also be a way of preventing it from getting bored.
However, exercise caution when handling your crested gecko. Crested geckos are usually solitary animals.
So, don’t force your crested gecko to come onto your hand. It will backfire as your crested gecko will go from being bored to being stressed.
Have a bioactive terrarium
If you have the space and resources for it, have a bioactive terrarium for your crested gecko.
A bioactive terrarium mimics a lot of the stimuli present in rainforests, which are the natural habitats for crested geckos.
Crested geckos can also get bored – but that boredom is due to lack of stimuli, not lack of company. In the wild, crested geckos are not even familiar with the concept of boredom.
There is a lot of stimulation in the wilderness – but most of it is out of the threat to the survival of the crested gecko.
In captivity, you naturally need to eliminate all threats to the survival of your pet crested gecko. But you can provide safer alternate stimuli in the form of live food, foliage, and handling.