Have you ever walked into a room and found your leopard gecko staring? You might be wondering what this means. Is he just being curious about you? Does he hope you are coming with treats?
If you’ve ever asked yourself “why does my leopard gecko stare at me?” You’re not alone.
So why do Leopard Geckos stare at their owners?
The simple answer is that he is acting instinctually as he would in his natural habitat. When in the wild, leopard geckos have to be vigilant of any predators that might be out there trying to get them. When things move – like you – your pet will watch you closely to make sure he is safe. Ultimately, your leopard gecko is keeping its eyes on you because it is engrained in his nature to protect him from predators.
That said, when your leopard gecko is in captivity, there might be other reasons why he stares at you. Keep on reading to find out what these might be.
Leopard geckos and staring – completely normal behaviour – the reasons.
You might be sitting down with a drink watching TV when you look towards your leopard gecko to find him staring at you.
Later on, you might catch a glimpse to find he’s still in the same position with his eyes fixed on you. This might be unnerving and cause you to question if everything is ok.
It’s highly likely that everything’s fine. Staring is normal in leopard geckos and if you see your pet doing this, you don’t need to worry; he’ll probably break his gaze soon.
The fact that your leopard gecko stares can actually be a source of amusement. You could try walking to a different place and see if his gaze follows your movements.
If your pet is staring for a long time, this isn’t any reason to worry. You should allow him to do so with the understanding that this is natural and normal behaviour.
Some leopard gecko owners love this staring behaviour as it’s quite cute and endearing. It’s nothing to be scared of and is simply an instinctual safety measure for the gecko.
Could he be hungry?
Have you ever watched a TV commercial for food and really fancied it? It could be that your leopard gecko is hungry and recognises you as the food provider.
If you notice your pet staring when you are approaching him, it might just be him hoping you are bringing him something delicious!
If you’re not coming armed with food, it might simply be that he’s trying to ask you for something.
This is more likely to happen when you and your gecko have bonded and he knows you are the one that provides food for him.
Have a read of my leopard gecko feeding guide for more info on the diet of a leopard gecko
He has sharp eyes
Leopard geckos are small but their eyes are really sharp. When you’re little, you need to have excellent eyesight to keep you safe from much bigger predators that could be around.
When you’re so small, you’re easy prey. Leopard geckos know what’s around them and one way of them learning about their environment is by staring at things that move.
They use their sharp eyes to decide whether something is harmful, safe or food. You’ll recognise this behaviour when you give him different types of food. Your leopard gecko will behave differently towards his food depending on whether it is live food or dead food.
The majority of leopard geckos much prefer their food to be live since this is what they would eat in their natural habitat. Lots of them won’t be interested in any sort of dead insect.
If your leopard gecko will eat them, you’re very lucky. In the majority of cases, it’s not worth trying to persist; just stick with live food and you’ll not have any problems.
A bonus to live food is that leopard geckos like moving things. If their food is alive, they will have to move and catch it, like in their natural habitat.
This gives them something to do that enriches their feeding experience and makes it more interesting.
Your leopard gecko is curious
As we’ve already said, things that are moving are interesting for your leopard gecko. We as humans actually have similar behaviour.
When we see something different or something moving in our periphery, we’ll turn our heads to see what it is. Curiosity could be a reason why your leopard gecko is staring.
However, we mustn’t forget that these creatures are instinctually wary of movement due to being prey. Their staring could be curiosity but it’s also likely that they might be that they’re wary of movement because it’s ingrained in their nature to look out for predators.
Is it normal for my leopard gecko not to stare?
We’ve talked a lot about how normal staring is among leopard geckos, but what if you never see your pet stare.
You might worry that something is wrong but just like other animals, each one has its own personality. Some leopard geckos won’t stare at all and this is fine and normal.
One great thing about leopard geckos is how different they all are. You shouldn’t expect each one to behave in the same way, just like people don’t.
As long as your pet is cared for, has lots of food, a clean enclosure that’s the right temperature, he’ll be just fine.
To summarise, whether your leopard gecko stares or not, he’s probably behaving in a way that’s perfectly normal for him.
It might even be a good thing for him not to stare – it means he is comfortable in your presence and doesn’t see you as a potential predator.
Which other reptiles stare?
As you can imagine, the reasons leopard geckos stare are also common to other reptiles too.
Iguanas, crested geckos and bearded dragons also stare too for the same reasons. They want to keep an eye on what is in their environment and what they need to look out for.
Unlike crested geckos and many other reptiles who can’t blink or close their eyes, leopard geckos can. The leopard gecko’s eyes appear much more human-like in terms of shape and form. Sometimes they even appear to wink at us!
Being a leopard gecko owner is challenging at times. You have to make sure you’re managing the temperature, the hygrometer, feeding him appropriately, carrying out your daily/weekly cleaning and providing enough enriching activities.
But, as we’ve seen in this article, staring is not something you need to worry about. If you’re leopard gecko stares, this is totally normal behaviour so you can rest assured when you see your pet doing this.
Remember, staring means they’re curious and interested, which are good things. While at first, you might find the staring behaviour unnerving, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t trust you. After all, if he was feeling this way, he would hide and hiss at you instead.
One thing to make sure of, though, is that your pet isn’t staring because he’s hungry. Ensure that you have a reliable feeding schedule so that he never goes hungry and can rely on regular feeding times.
Finally, try to enjoy their staring and give them attention by staring back into their cute eyes!
My name is Andy Baines and I am the owner and writer here at Super Crazy Pets.
For the last 20 years I have been the carer/parent of many exotic pets, from reptiles to amphibians I have cared for and looked after them all.
I created this website to share my knowledge of looking after pets with other fellow owners.
My works and articles have been shared on many online publications including The Spruce Pets.
You can read more about my story by visiting the about me page.