Care, Health and Growth, Crested Geckos, Geckos

Do Crested Geckos Like To Be Held or Handled?

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by The Pet Engineers

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Do Crested geckos like to be held?

Crested geckos are naturally solitary creatures who value their personal space a lot.

They need a lot of time to even merely get used to the presence of their pet owners – so wanting or liking to be held or handled is a long shot in the case of pet crested geckos.

So, it is safe to say that generally, crested geckos do not like to be held or handled. If you want a pet to cuddle with, then a crested gecko is sadly not the right choice for you.

Crested geckos are biologically incapable of feeling affection towards anyone, including their pet owners, or their own hatchlings and babies.

Crested geckos feel the most basic emotions that serve a purpose in their survival, such as fear or stress that signals them to run and hide from predators and save their lives.

So, behaviors such as physical affection, which are common in pets like cats and dogs, are absent in pet crested geckos.

It does not, however, mean that crested geckos are complete with the “touch me not” attitude. Some crested geckos do like being handled or held for short durations of time.

The key, though, is to let your pet crested gecko come to you – do not forcefully handle your pet for longer than it wants to be held, or else it will stress your pet out and cause health or behavior-related problems in the long run.

How To Know If Your Crested Gecko Wants To Be Held?

There are a few ways to know that your pet crested gecko wants to be held. You need to be able to observe your crested gecko’s body language when you interact with it.

If your crested gecko seems to feel calm and confident while interacting with you, and if your pet does not get skittish, that means it is okay with the interaction and is used to being in your presence.

Try keeping your hand in the enclosure of your pet crested gecko with your palm facing the top.

If your pet climbs onto your palm of its own accord and is walking up and down your arm, then it is okay to be held – and you can hold him for a while.

If your pet crested gecko walks from your palm to your shoulder, then that is one of the most certain ways to tell that your crested gecko likes being handled and wants to be held.

How To Know If Your Crested Gecko Doesn’t Want To Be Held?

The aforementioned positive body languages indicate your pet crested gecko’s desire to be held.

On the contrary, if your pet shows negative body language when you put your palm in the enclosure or try to interact with it, then it is an indication that your pet does not want to be held.

Your crested gecko will indicate that it does not want to be held by:

  • Running away from you when you approach the enclosure
  • Running and hiding when you put your palm in the enclosure
  • Showing aggression when you try to touch it
  • Squeaking or barking when touched
  • Looking stressed when you approach

These are all signs that your pet crested gecko wants its personal space and does not want to interact or be held.

Never forcefully hold or handle your pet crested gecko because this can cause it great stress and it may start showing symptoms like:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Behavioral issues
  • Constantly hiding and running away from you
  • Dropping of its tail

It is always advisable to let your pet crested gecko come to you of its own accord so that the interaction does not act as a stressor for it.

How To Properly Handle Your Crested Gecko

How To Properly Handle Your Crested Gecko?

The general rule of thumb that you need to adhere to when handling your pet crested gecko is to keep your hand in the enclosure with your palm facing upward.

Let your crested gecko come onto your hand on its own.

If you absolutely have to remove your pet from the enclosure for cleaning and maintenance purposes, then scoop it gently from under its belly and apply gentle but firm pressure to prevent your crested gecko from getting skittish and suddenly jumping – this could injure your pet if it jumps suddenly and lands onto a hard surface,

Baby

A baby crested gecko should only be handled after it crosses the bodyweight threshold of 10 grams. A baby crested gecko can be anywhere between 8 and 15 grams.

Do not hold a baby crested gecko if it is below 10 grams, because considering their skittish behavior, they may easily fall off – and it could lead to injuries and accidents.

Juvenile

A juvenile crested gecko may climb onto your hand of its own accord because, at that age, crested geckos are very curious and exploratory.

But, at that age, crested geckos are also very jumpy and all the more skittish – so you need to exercise greater caution when picking up a juvenile crested gecko.

The method of picking up remains the same – either let it walk up to your palm or if you absolutely have to remove it from the enclosure, then scoop it from under the belly.

Adult

Adult crested geckos weigh around 40 grams to 60 grams and are easier to handle.

However, if your crested gecko is a new pet, then let it first get used to its surroundings in the enclosure and to your presence. Only then you can start handling or holding your pet – that too only for a few minutes initially.

When To Handle or Stop Handling?

As for when you should handle your crested gecko, the only proper reason to pick your gecko and take it out of its tank is if you have to change its tank or get it cleaned.

Other than that, you should only keep your palm in the enclosure – if your crested gecko climbs onto it and is walking on your arm freely, then you can handle your pet for a little while.

Now when you talk about when to stop handling, you need to be very observant of your pet while it is being held by you.

If your crested gecko starts looking uncomfortable, starts squeaking or barking, or if it starts behaving in a skittish manner, then you should immediately stop handling it and place it back in its enclosure.

crested gecko dropped tail
Your crested gecko might drop his tail if improperly handled

Dangers of Improperly Handling Your Crested Gecko

The dangers of improperly handling your crested gecko include:

  • Stressing your pet out to the extent that it loses its appetite
  • Stressing your pet out so much that it drops its tail
  • Health or behavior-related issues arising in your pet
  • Accidental injuries if your pet suddenly jumps from your hand and falls onto a hard floor – these injuries could include fractures and broken bones that take anywhere between a couple of months and a whole year to recover

How Long Should You Handle Your Crestie?

When you have a new pet crested gecko, you should avoid handling it at all.

If you manage to pick it up somehow, even then, handle it only for a few minutes and keep it back in the enclosure.

There is no set time limit for handling your crested gecko. Just let it come onto your palm of its own accord and keep it back in the tank if it starts showing any signs of discomfort.

How Many Times Should Your Crestie Be Handled in a Day, Week, or Month?

You can handle your crested gecko every day or every other day – but this will depend on how well your crested gecko takes it. If your crested gecko does not mind being handled every day, then go for it.

Initially, start by handling your crested gecko for 1 to 5 minutes per day. This will help your pet get used to being held by you.

Once it starts becoming comfortable being handled, you can start handling it for longer durations.

However, it is recommended that you do not handle your crested gecko for more than 15 to 20 minutes. It may get skittish and jump suddenly, risking accidental injuries.

Summary

Crested geckos are known for being solitary creatures – and while that is true, it does not mean that your pet won’t like interacting with you at all.

With patience and the right approach, you will be able to get your pet crested gecko to feel comfortable enough around you to be held by you for anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes. But remember, patience is key.

About
The Pet Engineers

A team of pet lovers. We have owned various pets over their years. From dogs to reptiles, etc. Our love of pets, strive to us to create up-to-date and accurate helpful guides on pets.

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