Leopard geckos are one of the most popular reptile pets for good reason – they are quite cute and can be handled and played with.
However, when it comes to housing them, there is a common misconception that leopard geckos can or should live together in a single enclosure. This is not a good idea.
While keeping multiple leopard geckos together is possible, there are important factors to consider and risks to be aware of before making this decision. Also, they need a lot more space than many websites claim!
The Pros of Keeping Leopard Geckos Together
Leopard geckos aren’t really social animals. In captivity, keeping multiple leopard geckos together can provide them with some social interaction, but they aren’t lonely without it. Unlike humans and many other pets, these reptiles don’t need a group or active social life!
However, keeping multiple leopard geckos together can also make feeding and caring for them more convenient for the owner. Keeping two or more geckos in one enclosure can also save space and money, compared to buying a new tank and equipment for every single gecko.
The Cons of Keeping Leopard Geckos Together
While keeping multiple leopard geckos together can have its benefits, there are also some significant risks to consider. One of the main risks is territorial behavior and aggression. Leopard geckos are territorial animals and, when kept in a small space with other geckos, they may become aggressive and fight for territory. This can lead to serious injuries for your pets and even death.
While males are what you may think of first, females can display similar aggression when kept together constantly. After all, especially during mating season, other females are rivals as well.
Another risk to consider is the potential for disease or parasite transmission. When multiple geckos are kept together, it’s more likely that one will get sick and spread the disease to the others. This can be especially dangerous for young or older geckos, which may have weaker immune systems.
Finally, keeping multiple leopard geckos together can also be difficult in terms of providing enough space and resources for them. Leopard geckos need a certain amount of space and hiding spots in order to feel secure. In a group setting, it can be hard to provide enough of these resources for each gecko, which can lead to stress and other health problems.
While 20 gallons is often recommended as tank size, we recommend at least 30, or even a 50-gallon tank for a leopard gecko. This makes it easier to provide all the hiding spots and necessary environmental additions (like a humid hide) to keep them happy and healthy. (more on choosing the right tank size)
But with two or more geckos, you will start to look for a much bigger tank to provide all the necessary space and hiding places. Many owners underestimate the space requirements and end up with a tank that’s too small, resulting in much more aggression and territorial fighting than necessary.
Factors to Consider Before Keeping Leopard Geckos Together
If you’re considering keeping multiple leopard geckos together, there are several factors to consider before making a decision.
The first and most important factor to consider is the size and layout of the enclosure. Leopard geckos need a certain amount of space to feel comfortable and secure, and a larger enclosure will be needed to accommodate multiple geckos. If you don’t feel comfortable spending at least $500 on the enclosure, or likely around $1,000 for the entire setup, you should not get more than one gecko. (here’s what a leopard gecko setup really costs)
Another important factor to consider is the number of geckos being kept together. The more geckos in the enclosure, the greater the risk of territorial behavior and disease transmission. As a general rule, it’s best to start with only one gecko. Once you feel confident and have experience with keeping leopard geckos, you can consider buying a second one.
The age, sex, and personality of the geckos are also important. Young geckos are more likely to get along with each other than older geckos, who may be more set in their ways. It’s also important to consider the sex of the geckos you’re keeping together. Male geckos can be very territorial and may fight with other males. It’s best to keep them separated at all times, and only keep females together.
Also, keeping a male with one or more females will result in mating and a pregnant female gecko. Unless you plan to breed your geckos and are ready for the entire process, it’s best not to house a male and female together.
For a more in-depth look at the dangers of leopard gecko co-habitation, this Reddit post explains and shows what can happen when these geckos live together.
Tips for Successfully Keeping Leopard Geckos Together
If you’ve decided to keep multiple leopard geckos together, there are several tips that can help increase your chances of success. One of the most important is to gradually introduce new geckos to the enclosure. This allows the existing geckos to get used to the new addition and reduces the risk of territorial behavior and aggression.
Another important tip is to provide multiple hiding spots and basking areas in the enclosure. This allows each gecko to have its own space to retreat to and reduces the likelihood of territorial behavior. It’s also important to make sure that the enclosure is large enough to accommodate all the geckos, and that it includes a variety of different climbing and basking areas.
Regularly monitoring the geckos’ behavior and health is also crucial. Keep an eye out for any signs of aggression or illness, and intervene if necessary. This is important to ensure that all the geckos are healthy and that they are getting along with each other.
Keeping leopard geckos together can be done successfully with proper planning and care, but it also comes with certain risks. As a pet owner, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and make an informed decision about whether or not to keep more than one leopard gecko together.
Factors such as enclosure size, number of geckos, age, sex, personality, diet, and veterinary care should be considered. With the right care and attention, keeping leopard geckos together can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for both you and your pets.