How Long Can A Gecko Go Without Eating?

A gecko’s skin is made of two layers, making it one of the most unique lizard species out there! The gecko’s first layer is their epidermis, which acts as their protective barrier against other creatures and external factors.

Then, right underneath that, they have a very strong musculature attached to their second layer, which is their dermal skeleton or “skin”. This allows them to cling onto surfaces for dear life!

This article will discuss how long a gecko can go without eating before suffering starvation. Also, we will look at some theories about why this gecko did not eat for 24 hours and what could be done to help it recover!

I would like to emphasize that if you find your gecko in this situation, do NOT force feed it! This could cause internal injuries due to lack of oxygen. There are many ways to help your gecko feel better including offering it different types of food, using warm water bottles to hydrate it, and applying gentle pressure with a soft cloth or tissue paper.


Factors that affect gecko lifespan

how long can a gecko go without eating

Being hungry is not good for any creature, much less a lizard! Luckily, there are some things you can do to make sure your lizards eat enough of their favorite food to survive!

First, determine how many times per day the geckos should be fed. This will vary depending on the size of the gecko as well as its breed.

Smaller, shorter lived species may only need to be feed once every few hours while larger ones may require twice daily at most.

Make sure to check whether they are full or if they have eaten before. If they appear to be starving then increase the amount of time between meals.

You can also try giving them a second choice food instead of just meat to see if they prefer it more.

Gecko health affects lifespan

how long can a gecko go without eating

While most geckos do not live longer than three to five years, how long they can go without eating impacts their overall health and longevity.

If you look closely, you will notice that some lizards don’t seem as lively or active. They may appear slightly thinner than normal geckos, and they may even show signs of wasting away.

Geckos who are very hungry tend to spend more time inactive. This is because they are spending energy to search for food instead of moving around energetically like other lizards their own size.

When a gecko feels tired and sluggish, it may be an indication that it needs to eat soon. However, if it doesn’t get the chance to find food and nourish its body, it could suffer from malnutrition and possible death.

Geckos that survive the winter in healthy conditions often get re-fed once spring arrives so he/she does not have to go too long without nutrition. The same goes for when a hatchling finds its first meal!

General tips: If you see your gecko looking thin or weak, try to give it some extra love by feeding it more frequently or bigger meals. Also, make sure his/her enclosure is adequate for activity and shelter.

Hunger increases stress

how long can a gecko go without eating

Being hungry can actually increase your body’s level of stress, which is why geckos are always looking for something to eat!

When you feel stressed, your body produces hormones that help regulate mood and behavior. These include things like cortisol (the “stress hormone”) and adrenaline (known as the “fight or flight” response).

Adrenaline makes us more focused and motivated, while cortisol helps keep us calm by lowering blood pressure and dampening down activity in other parts of the brain.

Starve geckos

how long can a gecko go without eating

If you ever find yourself with a collection of geckos, try to isolate them by putting some rocks or other objects in front of their shelter to prevent them from accessing food or water.

Geckos are actually very sensitive to changes in both temperature and moisture levels, so if you need to take a break then do it as soon as possible!

Many people suggest holding your lizard overnight during this time to help reset its internal clock. This is helpful for geckos that have been exposed to heavy sunlight which can cause them to overheat, or for animals that must wake up at night to hunt or feed.

If left without sleep, they may ingest too much saliva, creating a potential risk of poisoning due to exposure to toxins in the saliva.

Needs to drink correctly

how long can a gecko go without eating

While most geckos can survive without food for several days, this is not optimal behavior. If they need to escape or find shelter, they cannot do so because they are unable to search or move around.

Geckos need to consume enough water to function properly. They must ingest enough liquid to hydrate them, help flush out any chemicals in their system, and maintain proper blood glucose levels.

If a gecko does not get adequate amounts of water, it will become very ill and possibly die.

Consuming only limited quantities of dry food while drinking is not ideal either as it may cause nutritional deficiencies. A healthy gecko needs appropriate nutrients to thrive.

Too little nutrition can also be an issue if a gecko becomes sick or injured and recovery depends on having sufficient weight gain.

General tips: Try putting some damp paper towels into the container your gecko lives in to facilitate fluid intake. Make sure there are no holes through which it can escape!

Also, try rolling the tube up and squeezing it slightly every few hours to promote more wetness. This may require holding it for a short time until you feel it is safe to do so.

Hopefully one of these strategies works for your lizard and helps him/her get back on track with eating!”

Drinking too much water can be harmful for other reasons. For instance, geckos that fail to slow down their drinking habits may drown due to dehydration.

Too much water can be harmful

how long can a gecko go without eating

Even though geckos are not mammals, they do share some similarities with us in terms of how we’re made.

We have two fluid-filled cavities called lungs that help us breathe air. We also have blood which is primarily composed of water. This means that if you give a gecko too much water, it may suffer or even die!

Geckos need enough water to drink, but only limited amounts of water at a time. They must conserve all of this liquid because they will soon exhaust their supply from searching for prey.

Heat kills


As we know, geckos can survive up to 20 years without eating! This is due to them being heat tolerant. When they are not feeding, geckos enter into a state of hibernation, or what some call sleep mode. During this time, they do not need energy to live so they conserve it.

When threatened, geckos will sometimes drop their body temperature by moving around and shaking in place or even going completely still. They also use special skin layers called keratin to store thermal energy which they then re-use when needed later.

By looking at pictures and videos of geckos who have never been fed, you can see that they look rather thin. This is because they lost weight while dormant.

However, hunger calls eventually emerge as normal life conditions dictate growth and reproduction. At this stage, geckos begin searching for food.

Low temperatures kill

how long can a gecko go without eating

While geckos may seem very sturdy, they are actually quite sensitive to cold. When they are not eating or seeking shelter, they must find somewhere warm to live in. If their habitat is too hot, they will be unable to survive.

As mammals, they pack white blood cells together to maintain heat. This helps keep them warmer by helping them radiate off some of their body heat.

When animals lose enough heat, these internal defenses can fail which is what happens when they are exposed to colder than normal temperatures for long periods of time!

Geckos that do not eat also waste all of the energy that would otherwise be used to help regulate their body temperature.

Sadly, due to human intervention, many geckos don’t have this chance to prove themselves as survivors. Many habitats have been destroyed or closed down because people could not stand to watch them die.

Many captivity facilities never give geckos adequate opportunity to learn how to survive outside of the womb! Luckily, there are ways you can make sure this doesn’t happen to the ones that deserve it.

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