Reptile Maniac

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leopard gecko hiding all the time
Is your leopard gecko hiding all the time?

As a leopard gecko owner, it’s important to understand the behavior of your reptile.

In doing so, you will be better equipped to care for your reptile!

It’s also important to keep up with the behavior patterns of your leo’s because certain changes may be a result of a health issue.

Some of these health issues can be serious and require medical attention. Hence, why it’s so important to keep a close eye on your leo.

So, circling back to our main question, if your leopard gecko is hiding all the time, what does it mean?

If your leopard gecko is hiding all the time, it’s typically not a cause for concern. Leopard geckos are crepuscular, meaning they tend to be more active during the evening. Therefore, if you notice your leopard gecko is hiding a lot, it’s probably because you and your leo are on different schedules!
However, there are a variety of other reasons why your leopard gecko may be hiding a lot. Some are a cause for concern while others are relatively normal.

Hence, we’re going to be going over the various reasons why your leopard gecko may be hiding often and if it’s something normal or unhealthy.

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Your Leopard Gecko is Sleeping

As mentioned previously, leopard geckos are crepuscular. This is similar to nocturnal, although nocturnal animals are active at night.

Leopard geckos, on the other hand, are active during the evening. Generally, this is between 8 P.M to 3 A.M.

However, keep in mind, like people, not all leopard geckos are the same. Some are going to be more active at night whistle other may be more active during daytime hours.

As humans, we’re typically awake between 7 A.M and 10 P.M. Therefore, it’s likely that you’ll only see your leopard gecko active for an hour or two each day.

Additionally, leopard geckos tend to prefer to sleep in their hides. This is because they prefer to sleep on their heat mat.

They Feel More Secure

Wild leopard geckos tend to hide in rocks, caves, plants, and everything in between.

This is because these places tend to be either warmer or colder (depending on the season).

Furthermore, according to the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, wild leopard geckos have an array of predators such as birds, foxes, snakes, and other reptiles.

Consequently, leopard geckos tend to hide to avoid being eaten by one of these predators.

Naturally, leopard geckos in captivity still have these innate instincts and do a lot of time hiding as a result of it.

Your Leopard Geckos’ Heating Mat Is Too Hot or Cold

Leopard geckos are cold-blooded animals. Therefore, they are reliant on the environment to regulate their body temperature.

As such, it’s important to have a reliable heating mat in order for them to maintain warmth. Even more importantly, you must have a digital thermostat that accurately controls the temperature of your leopard geckos enclosure.

If you don’t already have one (or you’re afraid yours is unreliable), we have an article on the best thermostats on currently on the market. It’s also strongly recommended that you have a temperature gun to test the temperatures of your leopard geckos’ warm hide and cool hides.

Most leopard geckos are slightly uncomfortable in room temperature environments. Therefore, they tend to stay in the warm hide with the heat mat for the majority of the time.

This is because the warm hide will not only help them regulate their body temperature to their preference, but also allow them to digest their food quicker and more efficiently.

Your Leopard Gecko is Shedding

Oftentimes, when a leopard gecko is shedding, they require moisture to detach the old skin.

This is why it’s important to keep a “moist” hide for your leopard gecko. The moist hide usually consist of a damp paper towel or sphagnum moss.

Generally, when a leopard gecko goes into its shedding phase, it will spend a lot of time in the moist hide to aid in the shedding process.

At What Point Is Your Leopard Gecko Hiding Too Much?

If your leopard gecko is constantly hiding in one its hides and never comes out, it may be a sign of an issue.

This is rare and in most cases, a leopard gecko is simply hiding because they prefer their heat mat.

However, there are situations which a leopard gecko may be hiding due to a problem.

Here are some of the more common issues that may be a consequence of your leopard gecko hiding all the time:

Your Leopard Gecko is Sick

If you find your leo hiding all the time, it may be a sign that they’re sick.

Typically, an ill leopard gecko will be lethargic and will oftentimes stay in its hide.

However, it’s important not to automatically assume your leopard gecko is sick because it’s hiding often.

Generally, a sick leopard gecko will show other signs of being sick as well.

Some of the more common signs that your leopard gecko is sick include:

If your leopard gecko exhibits any of the above symptoms, it’s strongly advised that you seek the help of a vet.

Your Home Is Too Cold

Leopard geckos prefer temperatures of 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit on the cool side of their enclosure and 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit on the warm side of their enclosure.

Therefore, if you keep your house around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, your leopard gecko may avoid coming out.

Instead, they will stay in their warm hide to stay warm.

There’s not much you do to fix this, other than getting a heat lamp. Many people find that heat lamps work great with their leopard geckos.

If you decide to go this route, we recommend a 80 watt bulb. This will produce the perfect temperature for the warm side of your leopard geckos enclosure.

Once you get a heat lamp for your leopard gecko, they will be much more likely to leave their hide and explore the rest of their enclosure.

Final Thoughts - Why Is My Leopard Gecko Hiding All the Time?

Leopard geckos oftentimes hide for a variety of different reasons. Some of the more common reasons is because of instinct, warmth, security, or sleep.

Most often, it is completely normal for your leopard gecko to be hiding. However, there are a few times when it may be a cause for concern.

Although it’s usually normal if your leopard gecko is hiding all the time, if you have any doubts, it’s best to contact a veterinarian to put your mind at ease.

All in all, we hope you found this information helpful. As always – Happy Herping!