Do Leopard Geckos Cuddle?

If you’re a leopard gecko owner then you know how hard it is to resist touching them, holding them, and basically doing anything that involves interacting with them.  Just like how we want our dogs and cats to cuddle with us, we want to do the same with our leopard geckos.  Even though that’s what we want though, it may not be what they want.  To be sure though, let’s find out.

Do leopard geckos cuddle?  Leopard geckos don’t cuddle but they do like to nestle up into their owner’s hands and soak up any body heat that they can get.

Cuddling is usually a sign of affection but because leopard geckos don’t experience any feelings or emotion, they only appear to do it for the warmth that we can give them.  And even though that makes it sound like they’re using us, it’s really because they only base their actions purely on instinct and only do what’s needed in order to survive and be comfortable.  Let’s dig a little deeper.

They Don’t Cuddle With Anything

It may be disheartening to hear that leopard geckos don’t enjoy cuddling but to make you feel better, I want you to know that not only do they not enjoy cuddling with us, but they also don’t even enjoy cuddling with other leopard geckos either.

We’d like to think that leopard geckos have the capabilities to think like dogs and cats do when it comes to things like these but because those two animals have evolved over the years to be used to giving and receiving affection from their owners, cuddling with them is much more of a possibility.

Leopard geckos, on the other hand, have not evolved to this point.  As much as I’m sure they’d like to cuddle, unfortunately, their brain won’t allow them to.  Cuddling doesn’t benefit them in any way when it comes to their survival so because of that, it’s not something that they’ve ever participated in.

If you’re looking for a pet that does cuddle then leopard geckos are probably not the pet that you want.  As mentioned above, they will nestle up into your hand or any other warm body part that they can lay on that may make it seem like they’re cuddling, but besides doing that, they won’t voluntarily cuddle with anything unless it benefits them in some way, shape, or form.

Baby Geckos Get No Love

When it comes to a lot of different animal species, it’s normal for the mother and father to provide for their young until they reach a certain age where they eventually let them go to fend for themselves.  When it comes to leopard geckos though, they have to be on their own from the moment they hatch out of their egg.

Not only do they not get any love or cuddles from their parents, but they’re also immediately outcasted and seen as a burden right from the very beginning.  It sounds harsh, but because this is another thing they’ve evolved into doing in order to thrive as a species, it’s the reality that a lot of leopard geckos have had to deal with for a very long time.

That said, if you’re a new breeder or you’re cohabiting leopard geckos that are vastly different in age, then I highly recommend separating your geckos so that there’s no animosity in the tank between any of them.

It may seem cute to have a baby and parent leopard gecko in the same tank but if you know anything about how hostile leopard geckos can get if they’re in the same enclosure together then you’ll know that it’s actually very dangerous.

I recommend cohabiting when it comes to certain gender and age pair-ups, but when it comes to adults and babies being in the same tank together, this is one pair-up that I don’t recommend at all.  Older leopard geckos can defend themselves better if things suddenly go left within the tank but unfortunately, babies can’t.

They will be subjected to harsh attacks and in some cases, can even be eaten depending on how large the leopard gecko is that attacked them.  We’d all like to see babies and parents cuddling and doing all of the things that other pet species do but until that day, it’s best to keep them separated.

If you currently happen to be in a situation similar to this and you’d like to remove one of your leopard geckos from the tank but don’t have a backup to place them in, I recommend looking into getting this one here from Amazon.

Placing them in any kind of tank is better than keeping them together but because that’s the one I use, I felt like it’d be a worthy mention for those looking for a secondary enclosure.

Overcrowding Can Be Confused With Cuddling

Although I’m someone who’s all for cohabiting, I am completely aware of the risks that come with it when too many or too aggressive leopard geckos are placed all in the same tank.  Cohabiting is something that is completely possible and has been proven by many different owners, but when it’s done wrong, it’s inevitable that things will eventually end up going bad.

With that being said, if you do cohabit or plan to in the near future, make sure that you not only have a backup tank just in case your geckos end up going at it but also so that the tank that you’re keeping them in is a large enough size to where they can comfortably share it.

Some owners can get away with cohabiting their leopard geckos in a 20-gallon tank but just to be extra cautious, I recommend going with something a little larger so that you can have room for extra equipment and less interactions.

As I mentioned, cohabiting in a 20-gallon tank has worked for some, but for others, the issue of overcrowding can and has most definitely occurred.  That means that the leopard geckos will be fighting over everything including the water bowl, food bowl, and even hides.

When owners see their leopard geckos laying next to or on top of each other in one hide together, they think that it’s cuddling.  Because we now know that leopard geckos don’t cuddle though, unfortunately, that is not what the leopard geckos that do this are doing.

The fact of the matter is that whenever this happens, it’s because there’s likely not enough equipment in the tank and because of that they’re sometimes forced to literally stack on top of each other in order to satisfy their basic needs.

To avoid this, you’ll need to size up and also invest in further equipment.  That means for each leopard gecko, you’ll want to double the size and essentials until there’s enough of everything for all of them to have a piece of equipment of their own.

Not only will this help prevent them from fighting but it’ll also help with preventing them from stacking on top of each other as well.  If you’d like to know the tank that I recommend for two leopard geckos that don’t seem to want to get along together then check it out here over on Amazon.

It’s not guaranteed that a larger tank will stop them from going at it but what it will do is greatly minimize the risk of it by giving them the space that they need to stay out of each other’s way.

It may seem cute to us whenever we see our leopard geckos sharing something, but because they’re solitary lizards, they actually prefer to be alone and are only sharing because they absolutely have to.

This won’t happen with every owner who tries to cohabit but because leopard geckos can be extremely unpredictable whenever it comes to their behavior, it’s best to be very cautious and take the measures necessary just in case something does potentially end up happening.


Leopard geckos can come off as very loving and affectionate lizards when displaying certain actions but in all reality, it usually just means that they’re trying to benefit from something because they think that it’ll help with their survival.

That isn’t to say that leopard geckos won’t get comfortable around you or show a certain level of trust because they definitely do, it’s just that they don’t show it in the way that most owners think that they do.

If your leopard gecko is in the palm of your hand and they lay down and curl up, I can see where the confusion would come in because it does look like they’re trying to cuddle with.

Because they’re lizards that are cold-blooded though, they’re only doing this because our hand feels extremely warm to the bottom of their stomachs and they enjoy the comfortable feeling that they get whenever laying in the palm of our hands.

For some owners, it is very upsetting to hear that leopard geckos aren’t as loving and caring as they thought they were but because there’s no evidence that says otherwise, it’s very unlikely that they’re lizards that enjoy cuddling with others.