Do Crested Geckos Like to Be Held?

do crested geckos like to be held

Crested geckos do not always like being held. However, over time you can acclimatize your pet to your handling and petting them. Since crested geckos are pretty easy to control and quiet, they can be handled, but it does not mean they like it all the time.

Do Crested Geckos Like To Be Held? What Is the Temperament of a Crested Gecko?

Crested geckos are a species of Geckos – a carnivorous lizard type belonging to the class Reptilia. Crested geckos are arboreal and prefer solitude in the wild. 

They are not prone to socializing with other animals or geckos. Domesticated crested geckos will also show this secluded behavior. If you are a new owner of the crested gecko, it will be even more difficult for you to be around your crested gecko, as it may perceive you as a threat and get scared or stressed out.  

Despite all this, crested geckos are very easy to control and quiet. That is why you can handle it briefly with the right approach and patience.

Are Crested Geckos Affectionate Towards Their Owners?

Crested geckos are solitary creatures. Other pets, like cats or dogs, are more social and expressive in displaying affection towards their owner. However, a crested gecko is not as expressive as other pets. 

You cannot expect a crested gecko to cuddle or snuggle up to you as a typical domestic pet would. 

Once it is accustomed to your company and starts trusting you, it can display some signs of affection. The affectionate signs of a crested gecko could involve having a relaxed posture while being handled by you or lightly licking your hands. 

These gestures show that your crested gecko trusts and is comfortable around you. It is essential to note that each crested gecko can have its personality and may or may not behave similarly while displaying affection. 

It is best to give sufficient space and time to your crested gecko to get used to being around you.  

How Can You Get Your Crested Gecko to Like Being Held? 

Even though crested geckos are solitary pets, you can get them used to being handled by you. Following are some guidelines by which you can make your crested gecko more accustomed to you handling them. 

  1. Giving Your Crested Gecko Time to Adapt to New Environment 

Whenever you bring your crested gecko, remember it is an entirely new environment for them. They may be stressed and still adapting to the new environment. 

It is crucial to give them their time to adapt to both the new surroundings and you. 

  1. Providing Them with a Safe, Comfortable Habitat and a Good Diet

A comfortable, safe, and well-equipped environment will ensure your crested gecko feels secure and comfortable in your habitat. Crested geckos are arboreal. 

If your pet enclosure houses perches or hammocks, your pet can relax and spend more time on these, as they will help imitate the natural habitat crested geckos are generally used to. 

Providing your pet with a diet rich in nutrients, and feeding it regularly without missing any meals, builds trust in you. This is a slow but sure way to build more confidence in your pet for you.

Ensuring no other stressors, like other pets and loud noises, will help your newly bought pet fit into its environment comfortably.

  1. Picking Them up for Short Periods

Finally, slowly picking up your crested gecko for very short periods is a significant step in getting your pet used to your touch. 

Start slowly by lifting them when they are in their enclosure itself. As they are in their enclosure, they will not feel too threatened by you lifting them. However, keep an eye out for any indications of stress and gently let it go if it looks stressed. 

How to Handle a Crested Gecko? 

Handling a crested gecko is a learned skill. You should be careful while handling your pet if you end up hurting it.  

  • The first and foremost thing to follow is never grabbing your crested gecko. This sudden action may fright them, and they may drop their tails.
  • The best way is to gain trust with them over time. Once you are sure they are comfortable around you, give them a light nudge and let them climb your hand. 
  • Something else to bear in mind is to keep your hands clean and steady while picking up your pet. Lifting it from the stomach region is the best way to handle it. Be gentle while doing all these actions. Be mindful that rapid and fast movements can scare your pet. 
  • While starting, you can hold your crested gecko for five minutes. Later on, as your pet becomes more and more comfortable with it being handled, you can stretch the time to ten to fifteen minutes.  

Precautions to Be Taken While Handling Crested Geckos

Below are five essential precautions you should follow while handling your crested gecko.

  1. Avoid Handling Baby Crested Gecko  

If your crested gecko is still, you should take a baby extra precautions. 

Do not pick them until they are at least three inches long. 

The baby crested geckos can be very nervous or excitable. Plus, they might also get stressed in a completely new environment. 

So, it is best not to handle a baby crested gecko unless it is essential.

You can check out how to tactfully handle your baby crested gecko here.

  1. Do Not Handle Crested Geckos by Their Tails

Crested geckos have the instinctual mechanism of caudal autotomy. They can drop their tails when they sense a threat or are highly stressed. 

While handling your pet, do not accidentally grab it by its tail, as it may perceive your gesture as a threat and drop off its tail. Plus, it can also distrust you based on that action. 

  1. Avoid Carrying It at a Height 

Once comfortable on your hands, crested geckos can often display their fun side if jumping. They like jumping from one hand to another or other nearby surfaces. 

However, ensure you do not hold it too high. Crested geckos can lose their tails if they fall from a great height. They might also get other injuries. 

  1. Ensure There are No Other Pets Around 

Crested geckos prefer solitude. They may get stressed when they are around other pets in your house. So it is best to handle crested geckos while your other pets are not around. 

Cats can tend to attack your crested gecko. These interactions can cause panic in your crested gecko and, therefore, accidents. Keeping a safe distance between your other pets and your crested gecko is best. 

  1. Wash Your Hands

Like most reptiles, crested geckos carry disease-producing bacteria like Salmonella. You must wash your hands thoroughly after handling your crested gecko. 

Crested geckos also tend to absorb a lot of bacteria, germs, and other toxic elements that could be attached to your skin. So, ensure you also wash your hands thoroughly before handling your pet. 

Signs Your Crested Gecko Does Not Like Being Held

Below are the two most common signs that indicate that your crested gecko doesn’t like it when you hold it. 

  • The most obvious sign that your crested gecko does not like you holding it is that it will try to escape your grip or jump away from you. This jump is different from the playful jump. 
  • They may also try to bite you to warn you off. If your crested gecko does not like being held, respect its wishes and leave it alone. It means they are unhappy. Do not force holding it, as it may agitate it further. 

Do Crested Geckos Socialise with Other Pets? 

No, crested geckos do not socialize with other pets. They do not even associate with other geckos. The only period they mix with other crested geckos is mating time. 

Post mating, they retreat to their solitary behavior. It is, therefore, a bad idea to house two crested geckos together. 


Whether crested geckos like being handled or not is a subjective matter, it depends very much on many factors like how comfortable the owner has made the crested gecko, whether the crested gecko trusts the owner or not, or simply despite trying everything and doing everything possible right, the crested gecko will not like being handled. 

At such times, accept that your pet is a solitary being. Or you could consult your vet for any ways that you might try to make your pet more human-friendly. Remember, do not take crested gecko’s aloof behavior personally.

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