Aggression In Iguanas

Have you recently adopted an iguana? These charismatic lizards can make very fun pets. However, Iggy isn’t perfect. Aggressive behavior is not uncommon in iguanas. A Lexington, KY vet offers some insight on your pet dinosaur’s tantrums in this article.

Causes of Aggression

The most common cause of aggression in iguanas is called breeding aggression. Iguanas’ natural breeding season runs from October to February. You may start noticing your reptilian buddy acting more restless than usual at this time of year. Some iguanas also get more aggressive when they are taken outside, especially if they aren’t used to it. Another thing that can set Iggy off? Bright colors, such as red or purple. Other potential causes include the presence of another pet and/or being startled, such as by sudden movements. That said, it’s important to understand that aggression in iguanas can also be caused by pain from medical issues. Make sure to have Iggy examined by your vet regularly.

What To Do

What do you do if your cute lizard suddenly starts acting like Godzilla? If you think that he’s going to bite you, you can tell him No or Don’t bite in a firm tone of voice. You may also find it helpful to transfer your scaled pal’s aggression to something else. Waving a green towel in front of him may help. If breeding aggression is the cause, your lizard may need a ‘mate’ … such as a towel or a stuffed toy iguana. Ask your vet for specific advice.


Making sure that your pet is happy and comfortable can go a long way towards preventing aggression. Iggy should have a roomy, comfortable habitat. Light cycles are also very important here. Keep your lizard’s light cycles on a normal schedule, so he experiences ‘day’ and ‘night’ even indoors. If you are nocturnal yourself, you’ll need to make sure that your pet can keep to his normal diurnal schedule. This may mean putting him in a room you can close off at night. It’s also important for you to know your lizard, and become familiar with the warning signs of an impending tantrum. Finally, keep in mind that, while aggression may seem sudden, it’s often a very natural reaction. Do plenty of research, and ask your vet for more information.

Do you have questions about iguana care? Contact us, your Lexington, KY animal clinic, today!

Comments are closed.