I'm considering getting a crested gecko - should I?
January 21, 2014 8:42 PM   Subscribe

I was recently introduced to the soft and tame adorableness that is the crested gecko. I am somewhat surprisingly considering purchasing one. Advice?

I have seen this thread but I'd like to resurvey the crowd as that thread is both a few years old and also less focused.

Reasons I like the crested:
Was soft and tame and adorable
Size stays small (unlike dragons/skinks)
Eats Repashy fruit mix mostly, only irregular crickets
Visually appealing
Sounds like easy care requirements

Care won't be easy/scared I'll kill it
Want to hold it but scared it'll jump to inaccessibility in my house and die
Scared I'll cause tail loss
Scared I'll lose interest/enjoyment and feel burdened (had this happen with a guinea pig several years ago, felt awful, ended up giving away to a friend's sister who actually did want him, still feel bad about being a bad guinea pig owner)

Other relevant information:
I currently am a somewhat reluctant owner of a green anole lizard that hitchhiked up north with me on a plant on my last move and needed to be saved from freezing/desiccating when I discovered him in my living room after bringing plants inside for winter. He's cute, and I like him (plus for other irrelevant reasons, he felt fated to be my pet), and his requirements are low enough to not feel overly burdensome, but I would not actively seek out being an anole owner. Though since I am an anole owner, I already have to go buy crickets/board him when traveling/etc. And I am happy to stick it out with my anole and will not rehome him.

Also don't have kids (so no rough handling). Do plan on getting a dog at some point but no cats.
posted by vegartanipla to Pets & Animals (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Crested geckos are awesome! You might also look at leopard geckoes; also soft, and very hardy, and much less jumping.
posted by The otter lady at 9:49 PM on January 21, 2014

I just got one for my son a few weeks ago. Note that they are nocturnal, so plan handling times accordingly, and remember not to handle it more than necessary (if at all) for the first few weeks until it gets used to the new environment. Our little guy is just starting to eat (and poop) and climb/jump on my son and I. And yeah, I am totally worried about causing tail loss, but apparently in the wild very few adults still have their tails, so it is a fairly normal event if it happens.
posted by davejay at 10:02 PM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Also: make sure it has a horizontal sheltered surface somewhere in the cage for sleeping, and that the enclosure is tall with places to climb and jump (they rarely go to the enclosure floor.)

One last note: since you don't need to feed bugs, getting petsitting volunteers is much easier.
posted by davejay at 10:04 PM on January 21, 2014

Best answer: A site with advice that I have been using.
posted by davejay at 10:17 PM on January 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Cresties are SUPER-easy to care for. I have snakes, and that's pretty much all I ever wanted. I was not up for the inconvenience of feeding lizards bugs. But, hey, cresties don't eat bugs! And they're adorable! And they give my snake-phobic friend something to hold when she's over!

I definitely recommend the little guys. They're incredibly hardy as well as cute, and they don't need supplemental light or heating. Just make sure your room stays room-temperature, spray them pretty frequently, feed them, and they're good. I imagine you already know they don't regrow their tails when they drop them, but, as davejay says above, that's something that happens to almost all wild ones. I got one who had already dropped his tail intentionally, so I didn't have to worry about it. From what I hear, they're much easier to take care of than anoles. (By the way, thank you for taking care of the little guy who hitched a ride home with you.)

Yep, cresties are pretty awesome.

One thing to note is that apparently people are having some problems with the newest version of the Repashy CGD. There are other brands out there getting better reviews, but unfortunately I do not remember the names, because the sample my friend gave me is going to last forever (I only have one gecko). I think the CGD problems are more related to breeding than just pet ownership, but it's something to look into.

Bear in mind that I am pretty much in love with reptiles, though, and will get very enthusiastic about anything to do with them. I personally like them *much* better than guinea pigs. But I worried about losing interest in the first cat I got, too, back in 1998. And, through all the years and trans- and intercontinental moves and other pets, I never have.

Go to a rescue or a reputable breeder in your area, not a pet store, and you'll get a healthier pet and better advice. Good luck!

Yay reptiles!
posted by Because at 1:47 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Cresties are totally great! I've had mine for about 5 years now. You mentioned being worried about him escaping…well, mine was loose in my apartment for two months. I left out food and water for him and eventually ended up catching him, but it was pretty scary. Make sure whatever cage you get latches securely, as my guy wormed his way out through a loose corner in the lid.
posted by d13t_p3ps1 at 6:23 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

We have had a crested gecko for going on two years. We were kind of glad she didnt lose her tail, but it doesnt seem to bother them if they do. She is wonderful! Beautiful and fun. She does jump, which can be kind of surprising at first. She escaped once, but we could hear her jumping at night and were able to track her down.

They are reputed to be the easiest reptile to own, and I can see why. Super cute, "friendly", fun. You can handle her day or night.

If you have a ficus or something in your house they love to climb trees of course.

Highly recommended!

As to your other concerns, they are very low maintenance. They are jumpers, not likely to get hurt if they jump out of your hands. Kids love em!
posted by jcworth at 7:41 AM on January 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

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