Are Crested Geckos Good Pets for Adults and Children?


Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

Crested geckos are one of the most popular pet lizards in the world, but do they make good pets? Or maybe you’re a beginner looking for your first lizard as an animal companion. If so, then a crested gecko might be just right for you!

Crested geckos make excellent pets for adults and children. Caring for a crested gecko is easy. They have a friendly nature and you can handle them with some basic training. Although crested geckos are good pets for children, you should never let (young) children handle them without supervision.

Like other reptiles, crested geckos don’t have the reputation of cuddly pets. They’re fun to watch but don’t expect them to be as affectionate as a dog. You can keep a crested gecko and limit the handling to a minimum or handle them for a short time each day.

Crested geckos have the reputation of being a good “starter” reptile because they are hardy creatures. They don’t require a lot of care and are relatively low-maintenance pets. Besides that, crested geckos also come in a wide variety of colors and patterns called morphs.

There are a lot of different factors that determine if a pet is a good pet. A pet can also be more suitable for adults than for children. For example, a very tiny and fast animal isn’t that easy to handle by young children.

This article will go through all the different aspects that determine if a pet is a good pet and apply them to the crested gecko. You’ll know why crested geckos are (generally) considered good pets for both adults and children.

Are Crested Geckos Good Pets for Adults?

Crested geckos are often considered good pets for adults because they provide a low-maintenance, easy-to-care-for pet. This is especially true when compared to other reptiles like snakes. However, some considerations must be made before buying this type of pet.

Factors that determine a “good pet”

Not one person or family is the same. Some people have a hectic work schedule and don’t have a lot of time to spend with their pets (or come home late and start work early); others spend more time caring for children and the household.

For a person who isn’t home a lot, the factors that determine if a pet is a good pet will be different from those who are home more often. However, the following factors determine if a pet is a good pet no matter the specific situation:

  • easiness to care for
  • hypoallergenic nature of the animal
  • required cage size

Some other factors that are (less) important depending on your situation are:

  • startup and recurring cost of the pet
  • the attention that your pet requires and gives
  • the lifespan of the pet
  • sleeping habits of the pet
  • child-friendliness

Now let’s examine these factors for one of the cutest pet lizards, the crested gecko.

Are crested geckos easy to care for?

Crested geckos are easy to care for and aren’t high maintenance. They need to be fed at least every other day and need fresh water daily. You should also keep the humidity at the right level. You should spot-clean the terrarium daily, but a thorough cleaning is usually only required once a month.

Are crested geckos hypoallergenic?

Crested geckos are not hypoallergenic, but they are less likely to cause allergies. The skin, urine, and feces could cause allergic reactions, although such allergies are rare. More common an allergic reaction is caused by the used substrate, live plants, or feeder insects.

study from the Allergy Department of the Institut Universitari Dexeus (Spain) found an allergy to Iguana scales. This study noted that allergic reactions to lizards were rarely reported. However, with pet lizards becoming increasingly popular more cases might be reported.

If you do suffer from allergies and can’t keep furry pets, you can try to keep a crested gecko as a pet. The likelihood of an allergic reaction is far less than when you own a furry pet, like a rabbit or guinea pig.


Example 1

Jason is a 20-year-old single who just left home and started a new life in a new city. He feels lonely sometimes so he wants to get himself a pet and lifetime friend for company when it gets dark out. Unfortunately, Jason has severe allergies to most animals but doesn’t want one that requires too much maintenance because this will be his first pet ever.

After doing some research online, he found the crested gecko. He adored its unique look and that it is awake soon after he gets home from work. Knowing about his life-time allergies to most pets, he visited local breeders to see if there were any signs of allergies; thankfully, there weren’t! In order to know for sure whether or not a crestie would be right for him an experienced breeder told Jason all about their care.

He has already gathered all necessary supplies and is off to get his very first pet, a crested gecko.


Do crested geckos need a lot of space?

A crested gecko doesn’t need a lot of space. It needs to be kept in a terrarium or mesh cage. Crested geckos are solitary pets and should preferably be kept alone in their enclosure. For an adult crested gecko, the minimum terrarium size is 20-gallon, although 30-gallon is better.

So, a crested gecko can be housed easily in even small homes and apartments. Unless you want to keep more than one crested gecko, you won’t need a lot of space to house your pet.

How much do crested geckos cost?

A crested gecko will cost between $50 and $100 unless you want a unique morph. The largest part of crested geckos’ cost comes from the terrarium, substrate, accessories, and food. The total cost of a crested gecko is between $400 and $600. On average, the recurring cost is $20 each month.

Do crested geckos need a lot of attention?

Crested geckos don’t need a lot of your attention and can live perfectly fine without your attention. You can watch a crested gecko climb and jump around in its terrarium. Although handling is unnecessary, it can be easier to take the crested gecko outside of the terrarium for cleaning purposes.

Do crested geckos give a lot of attention?

Crested geckos aren’t cuddly pets and usually don’t like to be held for a long time. Don’t expect your crested gecko to like being held in your hand like a guinea pig and don’t expect the same loyalty as a dog. Your crested gecko will likely want to climb on you or jump from one hand to another.

When is a crested geckos active?

Crested geckos are crepuscular, which means that they are most active during twilight periods. Your crested gecko will sleep during the day and will wake up in the evening. During the night, your gecko will eat, drink, and explore the terrarium. At dawn, your crested gecko will retreat to sleep.

How long do crested geckos live?

Crested geckos in captivity have a lifespan between 15 and 20 years. So crested geckos are a long-term commitment. Several factors will influence this lifespan, such as genetics, care, and diet. But you should expect your crested gecko to be part of your life for at least a decade.

Are crested geckos child-friendly?

Because of their friendly nature, crested geckos are considered to be child-friendly. Crested geckos can be handled by children from the age of 5, although supervision is always necessary. Teenagers can take up some chores like cleaning the tank or feeding them.

Before you let your children handle the crested gecko, you should make sure that they are used to being handled. Observe your crested gecko’s behavior when your crested gecko is being handled by your children and make sure they know how to handle them properly.

Children under five years should not handle crested geckos. They can accidentally squeeze or hurt the crested gecko or can take them by the tail. Another risk of letting young children handle a crested gecko is that they might let the gecko fall, causing injuries or an escape.

A crested gecko might also be a carrier of the Salmonella bacteria, causing severe health issues in young children in some cases.


Example 2

The Jones family are a couple who have two kids. They live in an apartment and don’t want any pets that require too much work, so they’re deciding on what kind of pet to get for their son. A crested gecko seems like the perfect choice because it doesn’t need a lot of care! The mom or dad should mist its terrarium once per day with help from 10-year old Noah – he can do this every time his parents aren’t home. It also isn’t a disaster if Noah forgets to feed his crested gecko once in a while.

Noah likes to look at the crested gecko before he goes to bed. On the weekends, his dad and he have a ‘crestie time’ where they handle it for few minutes together. Noah loves how much fun a crestie is when it jumps around!


Are Crested Geckos Good Pets for Children?

For children, there are very different factors that determine if a pet is a good pet. Children don’t care about the cost or space requirements. They care that the pet looks cute or unique and can hold and pet it (in general, showing affection is important for children).

Crested geckos have a cute and unique look. They don’t like as scary as a snake and are small compared to other reptiles. Your children will love watching a crested gecko and its curious behavior (strange sleeping positions, climbing and jumping, licking their eyeballs,…).

But crested geckos aren’t cuddly and will show only a little affection to their owners. They don’t bite unless they’re afraid and a bite will rarely hurt. This makes them good pets for children. However, your child might expect to cuddle the crested gecko a lot and a crested gecko will only like handling for a short time.

The most fun part for children can be to watch the crested gecko in a naturalistic-looking terrarium. Your children can spend time just watching the behavior of the crested gecko. You should be aware that a crested gecko will only become active in the late evening, so your child won’t have a lot of interaction with it.

Special considerations for young children

When your child is between 5 and 10 years old, you can let him or her handle a crested gecko under your supervision. Only do this if they know:

  • how to properly handle a crested gecko
  • how to react to their behavior

Children that are older than ten years can participate in feeding and cleaning. Older children can also take full responsibility for a crested gecko.


Example 3

An elementary school wants to get its students accustomed to “strange” pets as a permanent educational program. Children from 6 to 11 years old will have the chance of learning more about reptiles in the wild and why it’s important to protect our reptilian friends!

As part of the program, the school decides to keep several crested geckos in separate naturalistic terrarium specially made for your class. Crested Geckos are known for their hardiness in captivity and that’s what makes them perfect as pets. Each child has a task- from preparing meal replacement powder to misting the terraium! There’s even a webcam so they can look at their pet while its awake.


Want to Learn More?

If you want to learn more about crested geckos as pets, please read the following articles.

If you’re interested in getting crested geckos as pets you should also definitely read our article about baby and juvenile crested gecko care or (adult) crested gecko care.


Kevin N.

Kevin is the owner of My Crested Gecko. He wrote this blog for many years and has been a geckos enthusiast his entire life, but only became an official "geckophile" five years ago when he acquired one as a pet! Kevin knows how to care for hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits, and degus in addition to crested geckos which are more than happy with him every day!

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