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Malaysian Cat Geckos

Malaysian Cat Gecko
(Aeluroscalabotes felinus)

Native Range: The Malaysian Cat Gecko,Aeluroscalabotes felinus inhabits the cool montane forests of southern Thailand,Malaysia,and Singapore they have also been found on the island of Borneo,in Sarawak,Sabah as well as Vietnam. There is a  sub-species of  cat gecko referred to as  A. f. multituberculatus. Most of the imports today are the A.f. felinus but from all different locations in their range . To date there are several  different eye coloration’s. the “normal”dark coloration,silver eyed and green eyed  locales.

They have evolved to suit an arboreal lifestyle.  They are typically semi-arboreal,being found in shrubs resting on twigs and small branches in the undergrowth of the forests.  They are entirely nocturnal.  They are equipped with small opposable,retractable claws that aid in climbing small branches and twigs that are part of their habitat.  They are a  coffee-colored brown,ranging to a  rust coloration,with some vertebral striping.  There is also a species with silver colored eyes.

Size: Females are always larger,up to 7 inches(17.78cm),males are much smaller,generally up to 4 inches(10.16cm) in length.

Handling: The Cat Gecko is a shy and reclusive species.  They do best when handling is kept to a minimum,such as during routine maintenance.

Caging: I believe that Cat Geckos do best when kept individually and only put together for breeding. Some may do well in pairs.  The enclosure whether it be a glass tank or a plastic storage container should measure approximately 20 in x 20 in x 20 in (50cm) which would be adequate for a breeding pair.  Cork bark tubes or flats provide daytime hides and smaller diameter branches for climbing are always appreciated.  Provide a small water dish for adults;though they may not use it,at least they have the option.  Cat Geckos get most of their water by collecting water droplets from cage furnishings and the side walls from misting.  Live plants like pothos and philodendrons or synthetic plants complete the cage furnishings.

Substrate: Substrate should consist of something that can retain moisture and not be a chocking or impaction hazard.  I have had good success with Coco Fiber. You could also use a similar substrate,such as peat moss or peat mixed with plain potting soil.

Food: Hatchling and juvenile geckos should be fed 3-4 appropriately sized food items at least every other day,making sure there is never an accumulation of prey items in the enclosure.  Too many food items can result in elevated stress levels.  Adults should be fed 4-6 appropriately sized prey items,3-4 times a week.  Care should be taken when supplementing cat geckos.  Dusting the food items with calcium twice a week and vitamins once  a week for juveniles and gravid females,and once every two weeks with calcium and vitamins for adults is adequate.  Development of renal problems can reflect imbalance of water and supplements.

Humidity &Water: Relative humidity should be kept at 75-82%.  Humidity may reach 90% on occasion for short periods.  Misting is very important to the health and well-being of these geckos,it cannot be overlooked.  They will develop a myriad of health issues if their humidity requirements are not met. Use distilled or reverse osmosis  water to spray down their enclosure.  The ability to properly hydrate these geckos is important. They will take advantage of the spray down after dark,lapping up droplets from the walls and objects in their habitat. If you mist daily,do not saturate.  I usually mist mine in the evenings 5-6 days a week.  Keep in mind the type of set up you will keep yours in plastic containers hold humidity well so your likely to have to spray down less to much spraying can accumulate and cause saturation. glass tanks with screen covers can be used but moisture evaporation happens faster and the tanks will have to be sprayed more often. I keep mine in glass tanks with screen doors. I prefer spraying more often because it keeps humidity up  and gives the geckos more access to fresh water. As apposed to tubs which keep humidity high requiring less spray downs which in turn doesn’t give the geckos as much access to fresh water.

Heating &Lighting: Temperatures should range between 75-78°F (24-26°C) during the day,though they seem to prefer the lower end.  Night time temperature decreases of 5-10°F (3-6°C) are fine. Temperatures for A. felinus should not exceed 82°F (28°C).  Normal room temperatures with no additional heating should suffice.  Cat geckos do not require any additional lighting because of their strictly nocturnal nature.

Captive Behavior: My adult Cat Geckos spend most,if not all,of the daytime in their hides,coming out at night to roam around,perhaps get a drink from the freshly misted enclosure and a bite to eat.  They usually become more active after they have been misted.  My adults are usually awake and active earlier in the evening when the temperatures are warmer.  Hatchling and juvenile geckos tend toward the same habits,though they will curl up and sleep on the plants and small branches that are up off the floor of the enclosure more often than the adults,  probably because they can,  due to their much smaller size and weight.