Do Leopard Geckos Poop in the Same Spot?

Poop is an icky subject to talk about, but as much as we hate it, it’s a normal part of life for all living organisms.  If you have a dog or cat, then you know how smelly or messy their poop can get sometimes.  But thankfully, with reptiles, specifically leopard geckos, there isn’t a whole lot of it to clean up and is a lot more low maintenance compared to larger animals that tend to, unfortunately, have much larger bowel movements to clean up after.

Do leopard geckos poop in the same spot? Yes, most of them do.  Leopard geckos are very clean animals when it comes to their bowel movements, so it is not unusual or uncommon at all to see them have a favorite spot in which they frequent when pooping.

One thing that a lot of leopard geckos owners love about this (including me) is the fact that the tank stays a lot cleaner, it makes everything a lot more low maintenance, and it makes the overall appearance of your tank look good and tidy not only for you but for guests who come over as well.  On top of that, their poop isn’t very big at all, so cleaning it up just makes it that much easier to deal with.  Aside from cleanliness, though, here are some other reasons as to why they like to poop in one place along with how to train them as well.

Comfort

Just like you and I, leopard geckos love comfort.  And how are they possibly supposed to achieve it with poop all over their tank?  They can’t.  They may be a little OCD, but for most owners, if not all, this is not a problem at all.

In fact, some of us could probably even take some tips from our gecko’s behavior.  Clean environments lead to happy people and animals, so it completely makes sense as to why they want to keep their poop in the same place every time.  Because when their tank is clean, they feel a lot better about themselves.

Not only that, but leopard geckos are creatures that get stressed fairly easily, so having poop spread throughout the whole tank might cause them to freak out a bit.  And the fact that this is a common behavior amongst almost every leopard gecko leads me to believe that it is probably a hardwired trait that they learned while being in the wild.

A lot of people spend a lot of time and money on professional trainers when it comes to trying to “litter train” their pet, but with leopard geckos, it seems like they already know how to train themselves, which is awesome for us owners.

So, if our dogs, cats, and even us (more specifically babies) can take away something important from a leopard gecko, then it’s to always keep clean to stay comfortable in your own home and to poop in one spot every time you to need make a bowel movement.

Predation Avoidance

After researching a little bit, I’ve found that they are, in fact, hardwired and do this for survival purposes when out in the wild.  It’s just like humans who have anxiety.  As much as we would like to get rid of it, we can’t.  It is a survival mechanism that has been hardwired into our brains back in a time where we had to survive lion and various other animal attacks so that we wouldn’t be killed.

And even though they are in the safe environment of a tank, they still continue to display this behavior just like we display our anxious behavior whenever we feel threatened.  And more specifically when it comes to wanting to avoid predators, they do this because it can either trick a threat into tracking their scent just to find out that they’re not there anymore, or so that they don’t leave a bunch of tracks that lead to them so that they don’t get killed why they sleep, for example.

If you pooped where you slept and everyone tracked everyone by smell, then that would be a very fast and easy way to deal with some harsh consequences.  Thankfully, unlike anxiety, this is not a what seems to be a harmful and scary behavior for your gecko and in the end actually just equals to be a double win for both them and their owners.

Pooping Everywhere

Leopard geckos are usually great at naturally picking a spot to poop in from the get-go, but on some occasions, that’s not always the case.  If you find that your gecko is pooping in multiple corners or all over the place, then don’t worry, they just need to be trained a little bit.

A good way to do this is to lay a thick couple layers of toilet paper or paper towel in the corner that you’d like for them to poop in and then place the poop that is already in the tank into that corner on top of those layers.  Leave it there for the course of a few days and this should “trick” your gecko into thinking that this is where they poop and this is where they always have been pooping and hopefully start to go there from here on out.

Keep in mind that when doing this, you don’t need a ton of poop, only like 2-4 small pieces of it.  If you put too much then your tank can get very smelly, very quickly.  Also, when picking a spot for your gecko to poop at, just know that if you pick the hotter side of the tank, then poops might smell a little worse every time they go. 

So in order to keep the smell down, it’s recommended that you choose the colder side as this will keep the poop cooler and a lot less likely to radiate throughout the tank due to the heat.  If this method doesn’t work after a few days or it does and your gecko starts pooping throughout the tank again, then repeat the process until it eventually gets used to the location you want them pooping at.

Low Maintenace 

Thankfully when it comes to geckos, dealing with having to clean up their poop is not a stressful thing to worry about.  When a dog poops in the house, it’s usually large, very smelly, extremely soft, and sometimes even very liquidy.  And trust me, I know how much of a headache that can be to get off the floor, especially the runny stuff.

With leopard geckos, you don’t have to worry about this as much.  Yes, it might smell a little bit, like all poop does, but it’s extremely easy to clean up compared to a German Shepards poop, for example.

Their poop will vary in size depending on what they’ve eaten, but even if they’ve eaten super worms, it’s nowhere close as big as most household animals, specifically the ones that have paws and walk around the house.

Cleaning their poop up can be an icky thing to do, but if you want to be a responsible reptile owner, then it’s a must.  That is why I don’t recommend children under the age of 13/14 to have one, because when I was that age I was very irresponsible with my pets and most of the work ended up falling onto my parents.

So, if you have a leopard gecko or plan on getting a leopard gecko, then keep in mind that there are some slightly nasty things that you’ll have to deal with.  The good thing is that they are fairly small in size, even as adults, so their poop is never that big no matter what you feed them.  The only thing that’s bad about it is having to clean it up often.  Some poop once every few days while others poop multiple times in one.

Conclusion

There’s nothing better than having a pet reptile that poops in one spot for their entire lives.  It’s awesome.  Not only is it extremely easy to clean, but your tank looks great at all times and you never have to worry about constantly changing the substrate in your tank due to it being soiled from all of the poop.

Leopard geckos are natures natural OCD lizards and are great for owners who like animals that require little work to maintain.  Even if your gecko doesn’t naturally train itself to go in one specific spot, you can always train them yourself very easily.

The amount of poop will always depend on their diet.  But even then, if they’ve trained themselves properly and they poop a lot, they will continue to poop in that same spot and not just go all over the tank just because there is already one small pile of poop there. 

They like to keep their area clean at all times and are great reptiles not only when it comes to handling their poop, but when it comes to taking care of themselves in general as well.