Here’s How Long a Leopard Gecko Can go Without Eating

By Frank Miller •  Updated: 09/22/23 • 

Seeing your leopard gecko go for several days without eating can be alarming for a first-time pet owner. However, you don’t have to panic; sometimes, a leopard gecko skips meals even when in a healthy state. In this article, I’ll explore how long your Leo can survive without eating and some reasons why it is not eating.

Leopard geckos usually store their excess fat reserves in the tail, which is later utilized in case there is no food. For a younger leopard gecko that has yet to build its fat reserves in its tails, it cannot go long without food. However, older adult leopard geckos with fat reserves in their tail can go up to three months or even more without food.

During the brumation or hibernation period, when the temperatures begin to drop, a leopard gecko will slowly stop eating in preparation for cooling down. Stop feeding your leopard gecko during this period, which is usually the start of Autumn. Any food left in its digestive system will not be digested and will rot.

Leopard Gecko Hiding

Leopard Gecko Hiding

However, during brumation, you should always have fresh drinking water in the enclosure. Inside the enclosure, you can also create an artificial autumn and start cooling it down slowly to mimic the changes that happen in nature. Slowly lower the temperatures until it’s about 50°F (10°C) inside the enclosure and leave it for about five weeks or when they start walking around. Check out this guide to learn about brumation and how to warm up after that.

Apart from brumation, a leopard gecko can also go without food longer during the breeding season. During breeding, a leopard gecko, male or female, will stop eating for days or weeks. This is normal behavior; during this time, all you can do is watch your Leo and ensure it’s ok. If you’re planning to breed your gecko for a female Leo, add calcium to its diet so that its eggs develop without affecting its body.

> Recommended Reading: Leopard Gecko Brumation

Other Reasons Why Your Leo is Not Eating

Brumation and breeding are two seasons where your leopard gecko might go for long days without eating. However, other reasons might cause your Leo to avoid food.

For more information, if your leopard gecko is not eating, see my post on why my leopard gecko is not eating for a detailed understanding.

Leopard Gecko Licking His Lips

Leopard Gecko Licking His Lips

How to Get A Gecko to Start Eating Again

If your gecko is in a healthy state and there is no sign of brumation of breeding, then you can try to feed it. Usually, I give my leopard gecko its favorite snack to tempt it into feeding. You can also place a meal with insect feeder meals such as dubia roaches, silkworms, waxworms, crickets, or hornworms and see which your Leo will eat.

If that fails, hand feeding is another option to get them into feeding. However, if that fails, contact your local vet for help.

Frank Miller

Frank Miller is the Founder of Lizard Advisor and owns several pet lizards, from leopard geckos, bearded dragons, crested geckos, chameleons, and others. The mission of this website is to make owning a pet lizard very easy for everyone, but mostly beginners. And each year, he continues to help more people learn more about lizard care and much more.