Care, Health and Growth, Crested Geckos, Geckos

7 Reasons Why Does My Crested Gecko Not Eat Food 2022

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by The Pet Engineers

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Why does my crested gecko not eat food? Crested geckos are relatively tiny pets and do not eat a lot – especially as adults.

An adult crested gecko only eats 2 or 3 times a week, and sometimes, it may go without eating for anywhere between 10 to 14 days.

However, if it has been more than 10 days, and your crested gecko is still not eating anything, then you might want to dive deeper to figure out why your pet seems to have lost its appetite.

The normal frequency of eating for a crested gecko as per its age is as follows:

  • Hatchlings: 5 to 7 times a week
  • Juveniles: 3 to 5 times a week
  • Adults: 2 to 3 times a week

As the crested gecko grows, its appetite naturally reduces. Moreover, since your pet crested gecko will be more active at night, thanks to it being crepuscular.

You may not even be able to directly tell if your crested gecko has eaten or not. The best way to know for sure if your crested gecko is eating its meals regularly is to:

7 Reasons Why Your Crested Gecko Isn’t Eating

Here are 7 common reasons why crested geckos sometimes lose their appetites:

Reason 1 – Your crested gecko is experiencing some kind of stress.

Crested geckos have many potential stressors, and when stressed, one of the first things that happen to them is a drastic loss of appetite. These stressors could be anything, such as:

  • Acclimatization to the new surroundings. If you have just brought home a new crested gecko, it will need time to acclimate to the new surroundings. Until that happens, it may experience a loss of appetite.
  • Incorrect temperature or humidity. Temperature and humidity are two main parameters of the environment of the enclosure of your crested gecko. Any changes in either one or both of these parameters that puts them out of the ambient range will stress your pet crested gecko out and it may lose its appetite.
  • Forced cohabitation. Crested geckos are solitary creatures and they value their personal space highly. They hate being forced to cohabitate with others of their own species, or even other species, and they may lose their appetite as a consequence.

Reason 2 – Your crested gecko may be close to shedding.

During, before, and a little while after shedding, your crested gecko will experience a temporary loss of appetite. It may even be less active than normal.

And that is all perfectly okay. Once it has shed all of its skin properly, your crested gecko will recover in a day or two and return to its normal levels of activity and appetite.

Reason 3 – Your crested gecko may be sick.

One of the earliest and most common symptoms of any kind of health issue in a crested gecko is a drastic loss of appetite combined with excess lethargy.

If your crested gecko has not been eating for a while, and if it seems more lethargic than normal for an extended period of time, chances are very high that your pet is experiencing some kind of a health issue.

It is best to consult a vet in such cases to figure out the root cause of the issue and help your pet crested gecko get the right treatment in a timely manner.

Crested Gecko with Metabolic Bone Disorder
A sick crested gecko loses it appetite

Reason 4 – Your crested gecko may be impacted.

Impaction happens when a crested gecko swallows either a lot of loose substrates or a piece of food that is too big for it – this then gets stuck in the digestive tracks of the crested gecko and leads to constipation and a loss of appetite.

Reason 5 – Your crested gecko is simply growing and experiencing a reduction in its appetite.

If you have had your pet crested gecko since it was a hatchling, it is normal for you to have these moments of concern more often than someone who brought home an adult crested gecko.

This is because as a crested gecko grows, its appetite reduces naturally. So, at different points in its lifetime, you will see your crested gecko “not eat enough” like it used to. Don’t worry, it’s normal.

Different ages equal different levels of appetite and different frequencies of feeding per week for crested geckos.

Reason 6 – Your crested gecko must have entered the breeding season.

Now, this is where a crested gecko often differs from a conventional pet like a cat or a dog – when in heat, sometimes, a crested gecko’s appetite may actually reduce.

So, if your pet crested gecko is not eating enough, it may be because it is in its breeding season.

Reason 7 – Your crested gecko does not have enough activity.

If you do not provide enough foliage for your crested gecko to climb trees and jump around as it does in the wild, your pet will become lethargic and won’t get much physical activity.

This will consequently mean that your crested gecko will not get hungry often.

This is bad for a crested gecko’s health as a lack of enrichment can eventually lead to problems like lethargy, improper weight, and stress due to lack of stimulus – which further causes other health problems.

7 Solutions on How To Get Your Crested Gecko To Eat

In order to get your crested gecko to eat, you must first figure out the root cause behind why it is not eating in the first place.

Then, depending upon the reason, you may or may not need to intervene or change anything about the diet or lifestyle of your pet crested gecko.

Given below is a list of things you could do for each of the 7 reasons behind your crested gecko’s reduced appetite:

Solution 1 – Figure out and eliminate the stressors from the environment of your crested gecko.

First, figure out what is causing your pet to get stressed out – and then make changes accordingly. For instance, try rechecking and readjusting the humidity and temperature of the enclosure.

Give it some time for your crested gecko to readjust to the normal environment. If that does not work, then see if there are any other potential stressors.

If you have cohabitated 2 or more crested geckos in a single enclosure, then it is advisable that you put the stressed crested gecko in a separate enclosure altogether.

Forced cohabitation never works – it will only lead to health problems in your crested gecko.

Solution 2 – Let the shedding process be over; your crested gecko will be back to normal on its own.

There is nothing much that you can or need to do if the reduction in appetite is due to shedding. All you should do is ensure that the humidity and temperature are strictly in the ambient range – it is pertinent for complete shedding.

Partial shedding comes with its own series of health-related problems – so, do your best to avoid putting your crested gecko in such a situation.

Other than that, you don’t need to do anything extra to make your crested gecko eat. Once it has shed its skin and recovered from the stress of shedding, it will eat on its own.

Solution 3 – Monitor the symptoms and consult a vet.

If your crested gecko is showing other symptoms of sickness along with a drastic reduction in weight, then you need to consult a vet immediately to figure out the root cause behind it and give your pet the treatment it needs in a timely manner.

vet
Consult a vet if your gecko hasn’t eaten for 10 days or more

Solution 4 – Depending upon the severity of impaction, you may need rehydration, changes in husbandry, or surgery.

Start by rehydrating your crested gecko more often and try to give it some foods with high fiber content. If none of it works, or if the severity of impaction is too high.

You may need to go for surgery to remove the stuck-up food in the digestive tracts of your pet.

Solution 5 – Rearrange the feeding schedule of your pet according to its age.

As your crested gecko grows, you will need to reschedule the feeding frequency of your pet per week. For hatchlings, you need to provide food 5 to 7 times a week.

For juveniles, the frequency reduces to 3 to 5 days a week; for adult crested geckos, the frequency drops drastically to only 2 to 3 times a week.

Solution 6 – Simply wait for the breeding season to be over.

Again, there is nothing much you can do here other than maybe find a mate for your crested gecko. You will have to wait this period out – your crested gecko will automatically return to its normal levels of appetite.

Solution 7 – Provide enough enrichment and stimulus in the enclosure of your pet.

Let the enclosure be of appropriate size for your crested gecko to roam around in without getting too stressed.

Also, be sure to provide enough foliage and green cover because crested geckos are arboreal and love spending most of their active time on trees.

What Do I Do If My Crested Gecko Won’t Eat?

Firstly, while it is okay to be concerned as a pet owner, do not panic about your crested gecko not eating. Adult crested geckos can go without eating comfortably for 10 to 14 days.

Other than that, just be sure to monitor your crested gecko daily and look out for any symptoms of sickness or stress.

Sometimes, you may not even need to interfere or make any changes – the problem will resolve itself. But just keep an eye out to be sure that no interference is needed.

Will A Crested Gecko Starve Itself?

No, a crested gecko will not starve itself. It may lose appetite due to some underlying problems with its health.

So, if your pet has gone a long time without eating for no explainable reason like stress or shedding, then it is better to consult a vet and get to the root of the problem.

There may be some underlying health conditions that may require medical attention.

pill bugs
Isopods are good food for crested geckos

Why Won’t My Crested Gecko Eat Live Food?

Sometimes, a pet crested gecko may just be a picky eater who does not want to eat live food. But since it is the nature of a crested gecko to be an insectivorous animal that hunts insects in the wild.

If your crested gecko is refusing to eat live food, you should monitor its symptoms and see if it shows any signs of impaction, stress, or any other health or behavioral problem.

Should You Force Your Gecko To Eat?

You should not force your crested gecko to eat. It will only cause more stress and backfire – because stress leads to a reduction in the appetite of crested geckos.

Instead, monitor your crested gecko closely for the next few days and figure out the root cause behind it not eating anything. Then, address the problem at its root.

How Long Can Crested Geckos Go Without Eating?

An adult crested gecko can comfortably go for 14 days without eating.

If, however, your crested gecko is not eating even after 2 weeks, you should consult a vet and figure out if there is any underlying health issue that requires medical attention.

Summary

As a pet owner, it is only natural for you to be concerned when your crested gecko stops eating all of a sudden. However, you don’t need to panic.

Learning about the behavioral tendencies of crested geckos will help you deal with such a situation better – you will be able to gauge in a better way when you need to interfere, when you can let the problem solve itself, and when you may need to consult a vet.

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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