Why Is My New Or Older Leopard Gecko Hiding All The Time?

Leopard Geckos are among the most popular household reptiles in the world, and for good reason. They are sweet and friendly with sociable personalities, so you might be surprised when yours seems to spend most of its time hiding away from you. Whether you’ve just brought your gecko home or you’ve had them for many years, this behavior is always worth investigating.

Leopard Geckos tend to hide when they are nervous, so it is pretty common to see when they are adjusting to a new environment or significant changes. It is perfectly normal for them to rest during large parts of the day and night but, on rare occasions, hiding can be a sign that your gecko is uncomfortable or unwell in some way.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at a few reasons why your new (or even older) Leopard Gecko is hiding. Read ahead to get to the bottom of exactly what this behavior might mean, so you can figure out whether it is normal or cause for some concern.

Why Is My Leopard Gecko Hiding In His Hide Or Other Places In His Enclosure?

Before we get into all of the different scenarios and reasons why your Leopard Gecko might be hiding more than you expect, we should first understand to what degree this behavior is actually normal and healthy.

Leopard geckos, like many other reptiles, spend a lot of their time being relatively sedentary, and often in a hiding spot of their choosing. They are also crepuscular animals, which means that they are most active around the twilight hours (as opposed to being nocturnal or diurnal).

When they are not active, hiding helps them to feel safe as they are relatively vulnerable to predators in the wild.

They conserve energy when they are not hunting so that they are able to make the most of the food that they eat – and they like to bask too. As cold-blooded creatures, they can’t warm themselves up with their own body heat, so they need to relax in a nice warm spot pretty regularly.

Let’s investigate some of the scenarios in which your Leo might be hiding, the possible reasons why it might be happening, and how to get them to come out and play again.

Gecko Hiding All Of A Sudden

If you are noticing that your Leopard Gecko has recently started hiding in a way that they were not doing before, then it is certainly more likely that something is wrong.

Possible Reasons

  • They have gained too much weight and have become lazy.
  • Scared of new home and needs time to adjust.
  • They are bored and need more stimulation.
  • They are going through brumation.
  • They are shedding.

What You Should Do If This Is A New Behavior They Are Exhibiting

If hiding is a relatively recent behavioral change for your Leopard Gecko, then the first thing you should do is look at what else might have changed. Have you moved them to a new environment? Have you placed new things into their enclosure? If so, you may just need to allow them time to adjust, or you might want to change things back to the way they were.

Otherwise, you could try changing their diet or giving your Leopard Gecko more stimulation and encouraging them to come out with interesting additions to their terrarium, such as substrates to dig in and sticks and inclines to climb on.

One of the most natural reasons for hiding is known as brumation. This is essentially a version of hibernation for reptiles, and it is completely normal during cold periods in the wild. In a housed enclosure, Leos tend to have the same conditions throughout the year and may not go into brumation at all. If your Leos are brumating, then you can provide them with more warmth.

If they are only hiding for a short period of time, then they might just have found themselves a safe place to shed.

Hiding All Day And All Night

If your Leopard Gecko is hiding throughout the entire night and the day as well, this behavior can indicate that they are not quite as happy as they could be.

Possible Reasons

  • They are sleeping.
  • They have gained too much weight and have become lazy.
  • They are bored and need more stimulation.
  • They are more comfortable or warm in their hiding place.
  • They don’t feel well

What You Should Do

Hiding all day and night could be the natural sleeping pattern for your Leopard Gecko, as they tend not to be very active outside of twilight hours. If they are very inactive, though, then they might need more stimulation and a more suitable environment.

Excess weight could also contribute by making them lethargic, or it might be that their hiding place is the part of their enclosure where they are most comfortable.

To get them to come out, try making the rest of the enclosure more enticing with engaging things to do, and make sure that they have a reliable heating mat where they can relax outside.

If they are hiding all day and night they could be ill. Take them to the vet for a check-up.

Hiding Just In The Daytime

Hiding during the day but becoming active in the evenings or at night is perhaps more common for Leopard Geckos than other hiding behavior, but it can still mean that they need a bit of additional care or attention.

Possible Reasons

  • The lights in their enclosure are too bright.
  • They are nervous in their wider environment.

What You Should Do

If it is just the daytime when your Leopard Gecko is hiding, then it is more likely that something that they are exposed to throughout the day is making them uncomfortable. If the light is too bright, then they might prefer to hide in the shade, so consider reducing the amount of direct light that is on their enclosure.

It might also be due to something in the room that is making them feel stressed or anxious, like other pets or loud noises.

Hiding Just At Night

Leopard Geckos are often mistakenly thought of as nocturnal animals because they tend to be more active and mobile at night than during the day. While twilight is when they do most of their hunting and feeding, it can be slightly worrying if you see them hide throughout the night.

Possible Reasons

  • They are sleeping.
  • They are too cold.

What You Should Do

Hiding throughout the entire night might mean that your Leopard Gecko simply has a slightly abnormal sleep schedule, or it could mean that they are feeling cold and are trying to conserve heat.

If you want them to be more active during the night-time, make sure that the enclosure is warm throughout these hours, and make sure they are able to rest and sleep during the day as well.

Hiding When He Eats

You might have spotted your Leopard Gecko taking his food away every mealtime and becoming secretive while eating.

Possible Reasons

  • They are protecting their food.
  • They feel vulnerable.

What You Should Do

Mealtimes are often when geckos feel most vulnerable, and they can be pretty protective over their food.

As long as your Leo is eating normally, then this shouldn’t be a cause for concern, however not eating at all can mean that they are sick, overweight, or even pregnant.

Hiding While Pregnant

A pregnant Leopard Gecko obviously needs to be monitored carefully, so noticing that they are hiding more than usual is bound to make you a little curious.

Possible Reasons

  • They are more nervous.
  • They are instinctively hiding from predators.

What You Should Do

Almost all Leopard Geckos will be more likely to hide away when they are pregnant, so this is rarely a reason to be worried. They also tend to move less, they might lose their appetite, and their behavior might change in other ways too.

It makes sense that they would be anxious at this time because they are trying to protect their young from predators, and they are less mobile and able to escape than they normally would be.

Hiding And Not Eating Or Moving Much

If your Leopard Gecko is hiding often but also seems to be avoiding food or barely moving in the way that you are used to, then it is more likely that they are feeling a little out of sorts and may have a problem that needs to be addressed.

Possible Reasons

  • They are sick.
  • They are pregnant.
  • They are stressed or anxious.

What You Should Do

If your Leopard Gecko is hiding but also not eating or moving much at all, then this is usually a sign that something is wrong. You might want to get them checked out at a vet in case they are unwell or pregnant.

Additionally, it might mean that their environment is not quite suitable, and you need to make some changes so they are more comfortable and happy.


Your Leopard Gecko might be hiding for perfectly natural reasons, such as sleeping, feeling warm and safe in their hiding spot, shedding, or for brumation. If they are showing other signs that they are distressed, such as a loss of appetite, then they might be sick.

To encourage your Leo to come out, make sure that the entire enclosure is an inviting, interesting, and suitable environment – and that you are providing them with a healthy and appropriate diet.


Chris is a reptile enthusiast, breeder, and blogger from the Milwaukee, WI area. After breeding hundreds of bearded dragons to supply local pet stores and owning many other types of reptiles, he is now focused on sharing knowledge to help owners properly care for their little reptiles friends.

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