Leopard geckos are great pets, so many of us like to think: the more, the merrier!
Unfortunately, a lot of animals just do not always get along.
You know, just like there is always that one person that just gets on your nerves, leopard geckos seem to think that way about most other members of their species.
Whether you call that a solitary lifestyle or simply introversion, understanding the way that leopard geckos most like to live about one another is incredibly important.
We as pet owners always need to do proper research to reduce any harm that could befall our beloved animal companions, including that which could be caused by other animals.
Keeping leopard geckos together is inherently risky, and strictly discouraged among most members of the reptile community.
Leopard geckos are solitary animals and have a high likelihood of fighting resulting in severe injury or death when kept together in an enclosed space.
How leopard geckos live in the wild
If you were to stumble upon a leopard gecko crawling around in the desert, what would you see? No, leopard geckos don’t travel in large herds (as cute as that would be), nor do they stay in small groups either.
Leopard geckos are strictly solitary animals just like crested geckos and they don’t live together even in the wild. The only time they will ever volunteer to interact with another one of their kind is during breeding season when it is time to find a mate. Even then, things can be testy.
Leopard geckos are very territorial creatures, wanting to make sure that they have food secured within an area without worrying about another leopard gecko “trespassing” and taking the food that they depend on.
The desert is a very competitive habitat for these little creatures. All kinds of predators would love to snack on them and steal their limited food supply.
This being said, leopard geckos in the wild are not very friendly to one another, to say the least.
Things to consider if you are determined to keep leopard geckos together
There are many questions we should all ask ourselves when we are thinking about getting a pet. We need to make sure we have the space, resources, and knowledge before embarking on the journey of owning any animal.
Here are five questions you need to ask.
- Are you willing to risk your leopard gecko’s health and well-being to keep them together?
- Do you have the money to pay for vet bills if they fight and get injured?
- What are the sexes of the leopard geckos you want to house together?
- What kind of personalities do these geckos have?
- Do you have an enclosure that is large enough to accommodate your desire to house them together?
Leopard gecko health
If you are curious about putting leopard geckos together, another thing to consider is the health of the geckos.
If one Leo is sickly than the others, they would likely be bullied and harassed by any other geckos in the tank.
The other geckos would also be prone to keep all the food to themselves, so if insects are not tong fed, then the geckos would likely fight over who gets the feeder, with some having too much food and others being prevented from eating an adequate amount.
Geckos that are not at their healthiest would likely become sicker because they would be under a lot of stress feeling the need to compete with other geckos for food and not having the ability to get away.
Many people always say that when they are more stressed at work or school, they tend to succumb to illness much easier.
The same goes for geckos, as stress can cause them to be susceptible to various illnesses that they would normally be able to fight off, except to a much more exaggerated degree than us humans.
This is incredibly risky because reptiles do not tolerate disease super well, so we as keepers must do what we can to keep them as healthy as possible by doing our best with the factors that we can control.
Leopard geckos do not have very many visible differences that are distinguished by their sex.
However, though males and females may look more or less the same, their sex could be the determining factor that allows them to survive an encounter with another leopard gecko.
Interactions between two female leopard geckos
Female-to-female interactions are what many would consider one of the least dangerous interactions that two leopard geckos could have with each other.
Females are typically a lot less aggressive with each other compared to males, as they are the ones being sought after during breeding season and have no need to compete to mate.
This does not exclude the possibility of competing for resources and territory, which could still cause these geckos to fight and severely injure or kill each other.
Though this is very unlikely many keepers prefer to eliminate this risk by housing them in different enclosures, though a lot have done this successfully with the use of a large enclosure.
Interactions between a male and female leopard gecko
It may seem counterintuitive, but pairing a male and female leopard gecko together still is not a good idea under typical living circumstances.
Though the males and females need to work together to reproduce, even these interactions can turn violent if not handled properly.
Female and male leopard geckos can technically be housed together for breeding purposes, but if breeding is not the goal, then it is not recommended.
It may seem a bit odd that I continuously mention competition when they are not competing for food in a captivated setting. Though this may be true, they have this instinct ingrained in their nature through millions of years of evolution. This makes efforts to “reason” with them futile, as no amount of conditioning can undo the instinctual behaviors encoded in their genetics.
Interactions between two male leopard geckos
Having two male leopard geckos in a confined space is, to be quite honest, a terrible idea. Males compete with each other the most in the wild.
They can not just simply survive to reproduce. They have to be the most suitable mate for the female and will typically have to compete with other males to essentially win her over.
This paired with food and resource guarding makes keeping two males together extremely dangerous and a very bad idea, even when they have a lot of space at their disposal.
Tank size matters when keeping two leopard geckos together
If you plan on housing multiple leopard geckos together for whatever reason, then you must have a large enough enclosure space for them to establish their territories.
Nobody likes having their space invaded, so of course territorial animals will become aggressive and potentially attack each other when they feel they are competing for territory when there is not enough space.
You should also add more hiding places so that the leopard geckos can hide away from each other when they feel threatened. Live plants can make for great hiding places for leopard geckos.
Keeping baby leopard geckos with adults
Many people often see baby leopard geckos housed together at the pet store, so they may think it is a good idea to either keep babies together or add a baby to their adult enclosure.
This generally is a bad idea, as keeping many growing hungry babies with steep nutritional needs together can cause issues with some not getting enough food and struggling to grow, which can make them stunted.
Putting a baby leopard gecko with an adult seems sweet, but we must remember that leopard geckos are not mammals and do not care for their young in the same way. Hence, we should always keep different age groups different.
That being said, a baby leopard gecko would not be given any pity when it came to territory disputes and general aggression, making it incredibly dangerous to keep adults and babies together.
Do leopard geckos get lonely?
Though leopard geckos are usually housed separately, they do prefer it that way. These little guys just want to have their own space where they don’t have to worry about competition.
Housing multiple geckos together are typically very stressful and dangerous for them, so in all honesty, it is just best to keep them alone.
Leopard geckos can still get bored, though. Make sure to create an enclosure that has many hiding spots and things to crawl around on.
Things such as rocks and sticks can add a lot of enrichment for your reptile and honestly makes the enclosure look a lot nicer to the human eye.
Why Shouldn’t You House Multiple Geckos Together?
All in all, housing leopard geckos together is not a good idea. Yes, some people have done it successfully, but what exactly does that mean?
They may have been alive, but the geckos were likely under chronic stress, and their quality of life was not as good as it could be. If someone is to commit to getting a pet, they should keep in mind the fact that they are responsible for the well-being of that animal.
It is not fair to the animal for the standard of their care only to stay alive. As keepers, we should try our best to enrich the lives of our reptiles to give them the best life we can.
Many moral and ethical concerns come up when the topic of keeping geckos together arises. It is important to remember that having a pet is a privilege and not a right, so we should take great care in doing proper research to educate ourselves on the best care methods.
Though there is no perfect or foolproof way of keeping a leopard gecko, there are many things that responsible keepers tend to avoid due to the explicit risk of injury.
In the end, we should love our pets and do all that is possible to keep them happy and healthy.
How many leopard geckos can live together?
I hope that this article allowed you to understand the risk of keeping leopard geckos together, and the moral and ethical concerns that come with knowingly putting an animal at risk of injury or death.
If you are keeping them together, you could have more than two in an enclosure, but it would have to be quite large with lots of hiding places, while still accommodating proper light and heating requirements.
Will two female leopard geckos fight?
The short answer to this is yes. Any solitary animal can and will fight when they are put in close quarters, as it would be in an enclosure. Though this is less likely than if it were two males, it definitely can happen and result in serious injury or death for your leopard geckos.
Though there is technically nothing preventing you from keeping leopard geckos together, it is important to consider the welfare of the animal.
Without extremely large enclosures and lots of barriers in place to prevent the leopard geckos from attacking each other, it just is not reasonable to keep them together. It is much safer to just go ahead and get a new enclosure for the new addition.
We should not obtain an animal just to put them at significant risk of injury, though that is not to say that accidents do happen. Keeping leopard geckos together is very risky and can cost them their lives so if this is a requirement to keep them, please consider the real reason you want a pet and if what you are doing is in their best interest.