Why Is My Leopard Gecko Not Moving? (10 Common Reasons)

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Closeup shot of a leopard gecko that looks sick in a wooden log

Have you noticed that your leopard gecko is not moving? There could be several reasons for this behavior, ranging from stress and illness to shedding or even tank conditions.

In this article, we’ll explore some common causes behind your leopard gecko’s lack of movement, so you can better understand and care for your pet. Let’s dive in and try to solve this mystery together.

Here are the most common reasons your leopard gecko is not moving: 


Impaction is a condition where your leopard gecko has a blockage in its digestive system, typically caused by ingesting substrate or foreign materials.

This can lead to discomfort and inactivity in your gecko. To prevent impaction, use a safe substrate like newspaper, paper towels, or reptile carpet.

If you suspect impaction, consult a reptile veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment options.

Metabolic Bone Disease

Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) is a severe health issue that occurs when your leopard gecko does not receive enough calcium. MBD symptoms can include weakness, fragile bones, and difficulty with walking.

To prevent MBD, provide your gecko with calcium-rich diet and adequate UVB lighting. You should consult a veterinarian for proper treatment if you notice signs of MBD in your leopard gecko.


Dehydration can also cause inactivity in your leopard gecko. If your gecko’s eyes appear sunken, they may be dehydrated.

Ensuring your gecko stays hydrated is crucial not only to their activity levels but also to their overall health. Offer a shallow dish of fresh water in their enclosure, and consider misting the habitat occasionally to provide additional moisture.

If you suspect your gecko is dehydrated, seek advice from a veterinarian for guidance on rehydration techniques and potential causes.

By monitoring your leopard gecko’s behavior and environment, you can help prevent these health issues and ensure your pet stays healthy and active.

Incorrect Tank Temperature 

These cold-blooded animals require a temperature gradient to regulate their body temperature properly. Ensure the warm end of the enclosure is around 31-33°C (88-92°F) and the cool end is 22-24°C (71-75°F).

Invest in a quality heat lamp or heat pad to maintain these temperatures. Regularly monitor the temperature with digital thermometers placed at both ends of the enclosure.

High Humidity

Leopard geckos thrive in a relatively dry environment. If the humidity is too high, it can cause stress and health issues, potentially contributing to your gecko’s lack of movement. Ensure the humidity in the cool end of the tank is between 30-40%.

You can measure humidity using a hygrometer. Reduce humidity by increasing ventilation or placing a dehumidifier nearby if needed.

Inadequate Lighting

Leopard geckos require low levels of ultraviolet (UV) light to properly synthesize vitamins and minerals important for their health.

Inadequate lighting may cause immobility in your pet. Ensure you provide them with a UVB light source within their enclosure.

The UVB light should be kept on a 12-hour cycle to mimic natural daylight. Remember to replace the bulb as per the manufacturer’s recommendations, as its effectiveness may decrease over time.


Brumation is a natural process similar to hibernation in which reptiles, including leopard geckos, slow down their metabolic processes and become less active during colder months. 

While brumating, you may notice your gecko moving less or not at all. To ensure your gecko is healthy during this time, maintain a consistent environment and monitor their health closely.


Factors like an improper habitat, aggressive tank mates, or a disrupted daily routine can cause your gecko to feel anxious and stressed. In response, they might become less active or even hide away for extended periods. 

Be mindful of potential stressors in your gecko’s environment and take steps to address them.

Shedding Process

Leopard geckos go through regular shedding cycles as they grow; they might become less active or not move much during this time.

This is because their old skin can be uncomfortable before it entirely sheds, causing them to be more cautious in their movements.

During this process, keep an eye on your gecko and provide a moist hide to help ease their shedding.

New Environment

If you’ve recently introduced your leopard gecko to a new environment, it’s normal for them to feel a bit uneasy and move less while they explore and adjust to their new surroundings.

Provide hiding spots and ensure their habitat is set up correctly to help them feel secure and to encourage healthy activity levels over time.

When to Seek Veterinary Care

Here are a few signs that it’s time to seek veterinary care for your beloved gecko friend:

  • Unusual lethargy: If your leopard gecko is consistently staying still or is visibly struggling, it may be a sign of a health concern such as metabolic bone disease or another illness. Don’t hesitate to consult a veterinarian when you notice unusual lethargy in your pet.
  • Poor appetite: Leopard geckos should be fed regularly, depending on their age, and should have an appetite for live, moving insects. Consider seeking professional advice if your gecko is refusing food or losing weight.
  • Abnormal skin or shedding issues: Leopard geckos shed their skin regularly without complications. If you observe uncommon shedding or skin irregularities, it’s essential to consult a veterinarian to diagnose and treat any underlying health issues.
  • Change in demeanor: A sudden change in your gecko’s demeanor, such as showing signs of stress or aggression, could indicate a health concern. A veterinarian can help you determine the cause and appropriate course of action.

Remember, leopard geckos can be good at concealing signs of ill health, so keep an eye out for any abnormal behavior or changes in their appearance. Early intervention can significantly affect your gecko’s overall health and happiness. Don’t hesitate to seek prompt veterinary advice when worried about your pet’s well-being.

Preventive Measures

You can follow several preventive measures to keep your leopard gecko healthy and active. The key areas to focus on include providing a proper diet, regularly cleaning their habitat, and closely monitoring environmental conditions.

Proper Diet

Offer your leopard gecko a nutritious, balanced and varied diet. Feed them a mix of insects, such as crickets, mealworms, and small roaches.

Consider dusting the insects with calcium and vitamin supplements to support their well-being further. Always remove any leftover food to prevent spoilage and bacteria growth.

Regular Cleaning

Maintaining a clean habitat is essential for your gecko’s health. Regularly clean your leopard gecko’s enclosure by removing feces, shed skin, and uneaten food daily.

Every few weeks, perform a thorough cleaning, including disinfecting the tank and replacing the substrate. This will help minimize the risk of illness and keep your gecko feeling comfortable in their home.

Environmental Monitoring

Proper temperature and humidity levels are crucial for your leopard gecko’s health. Ensure the tank has a warm and cool side, with temperatures ranging from 75-90°F (24-32°C). 

Regularly measure the humidity levels in the tank to ensure they stay within an optimal 40-60% range. By closely monitoring the environment, you can minimize the chances of your gecko becoming inactive due to stress or illness.

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