Why Does My Iguana Run From Me? {Try These Tricks and Tips Today}

Have you also experienced your iguana thrashing or squirming to get away from you? This happened to me many times. I wanted to know why does my iguana run from me?

Is your iguana tamed or gradually learning to become more tame in this territory in and around your home?

This article is meant for you and your iguana to come closer together and to eventually have an iguana trust you to not run away from you.

Why Does My Iguana Run From Me?

An untamed iguana needs time to socialize and familiarize themselves with this new territory you call home.

Stress, boredom, loud noises, running water, small enclosures are all possible reasons why an iguana is wishing to flee to the farthest corners or anywhere that is away from you.

Taming and building trust with an iguana might feel like it is the same thing, but there are some differences between both aspects. A tamed iguana may still have trust issues. Let’s dig deeper in this article to find out what you can do about it.

Will My Iguana Trust Me?

Yes. Your iguana doesn’t wish to live in constant fear of perceived threats nearby. The territory you offer for them to claim as their own hasn’t been fully understood yet.

Sharing this safe territory with you is another task that comes after relaxing to this new space. Learn what else is threatening your iguana moments before they react by trying to run away.

Here are some possible explanations and tips:

  • Lower volumes (this includes your voice, steps, TV, music, etc.).
  • Move slowly.
  • Reduce lighting.
  • Stop any water flow (iguanas tend to hate the sound of hoses and taps)
  • Take your time. Try again tomorrow if today’s effort was unsuccessful.
  • Use a soothing voice and let them get to know it better.
  • Don’t back away. Stand your ground.
  • Don’t chase.
  • Try a smaller space or room

The final point is a good one to repeat. The space where your iguana is located could be too large for taming purposes.

If your aim is to stop your iguana from running away from you, start with a smaller room and follow the rest of the tips above. Remember to be patient. This is a delicate process that takes time.

Is My Iguana Tamed?

Do you want to know how to tame an iguana or are you unsure if the previous handler is correct when they told you this beautiful reptile was already tamed?

Let’s start from the beginning and take a deep breath because patience is needed before anything else. Routines are also a must.

  1. Start by talking to your iguana often with a soothing voice. Be gentle in your vocal tones and repeat their name over and over again.
  2. Move in a smooth way that is never frantic. Glide around your home and enjoy how that feels for you as well.
  3. Approach an iguana from the side and never head on.
  4. Secure any other exits or limit other options for escape.
  5. Remove any fragile objects, wires and cords from the room.
  6. Iguanas are excellent climbers. Reduce shelving in this training area.
  7. Support the belly and pelvic region when you slide in for a pick up.
  8. Never grab the tail as they can shed it out of fear.
  9. If you aren’t able to make soft, gentle and confident contact without them scurrying away, try again later or tomorrow.

An agitated iguana is not going to respond to you any longer. Let them reset and try for another attempt in a short while.

If you are already holding onto your iguana and they are trying to escape for you, see if you can hold on confidently and wait for them to calm down a little more before letting go and releasing them back to their enclosure.

Did I Stress Out My Iguana?

How do you know if your iguana is stressed? I was young when my mother brought home an iguana for our household. It was her dream pet that she wanted when she was a young girl, but her mom never allowed it.

We were too excited about this new family member. Our excitement brought our iguana stress. We weren’t relaxed or calm about it. Our voice, quick movements and impatience contributed to the stress.

Our house was noisy with a high traffic area and a TV blasting all the time. None of this helped. We were left frustrated that our iguana wanted nothing to do with us.

These signs of stress or stressors we created for our iguana related to:

  • Social stress
  • Environmental stress
  • Behavioral stress

Now I know they were all connected to each other and the stress my iguana felt was not her fault.

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Bored Iguanas Wish To Escape

Iguanas need routines and enrichment as much as children or adults do. We will easily get bored when there is nothing to do. I would create a necessary change in my lifestyle to make it more interesting if I was constantly bored.

If I couldn’t, I would like to escape or take a trip somewhere. Why do we think an iguana wouldn’t also want to get away when there is nothing to do?

Is your iguana also:

  • Thrashing around?
  • Messing up the enclosure?
  • Pulling down lights?
  • Clawing at the glass walls?
  • Acting lethargic and disinterested?
  • Losing their appetite?

An under stimulated iguana could get sick easily or take the first opportunity to run away from you.

Adding more safe spaces to roam, including more objects to manipulate such as branches or platforms to climb, boxes or caves to hide in, will all add to the enrichment they need to prevent boredom and the response to escape.

Does My Iguana Like Me?

Your iguana likes comfort and anyone in a comfortable environment that is helping to sustain their lives with enrichment, food, shelter and safety will be liked and appreciated.

You will be allowed to hold, pet and enjoy life with your iguana. Be a little more patient and try some more positive changes such as:

  • Clean up the enclosure. Iguanas like clean and hygienic spaces.
  • Remove uneaten food often.
  • Scrub the cage once a week.
  • Get the largest enclosure possible for your home (Aim for 3.7m x 1.8m x 1.8m (12 feet x 6 feet x 6 feet).
  • Add climbing spaces.
  • Add caves ore boxes for hiding.
  • Use a variety of treats.
  • Set up warm bath.
  • Get a soft and thick towel for them afterwards.

My iguana hated running water. I would set up the bath away from her and when it was ready, I would invite her in and she would love it.

Can I Make My Iguana Stay With Food?

Can you offer food to convince your iguana to stop running away from you? This depends on the food and setting.

  1. Let’s start with a small area and clean floor.
  2. Offer an iguana a treat such as a mango slice or a veggie item.
  3. Place the food on a dish for now. They don’t need to eat out of your hand right away.
  4. Sit down on the floor or lie down.
  5. Don’t make eye contact.
  6. Read a magazine, play with your phone or watch TV.
  7. When they start eating food, ignore them.
  8. When they come closer to you, ignore them.
  9. If they remain with you for a few minutes and stop focusing on you, gently slide closer.
  10. Place your palm under the belly and gently pick them up.
  11. If picking up is not comfortable for them yet, gently pet them and say their name over and over again.

This process should be comfortable for you as well. Don’t feel stress and they won’t either. Iguana are really good at analyzing what you are doing and how you are reacting as well. If you are hostile and nervous, they will be too!

Will My Iguana Run Away Again?

Once you have gone through the steps to tame and relax your iguana, we congratulate you. Your patience is required with a calm guinea that doesn’t run away from you.

Does this mean they will never run away from you again? No. Pet iguanas will never be truly tamed to the point that they remain loyal under any conditions.

The moment they feel fear or sense the frantic nature of sounds, lights movements around you or your home, all bets are off the table.

One day everything is perfectly normal and suddenly the enclosure is trashed again and your iguana is trying to escape or run away from you. Repeat the steps and tips we have provided in this article and don’t be discouraged to start again.

The process of training your pet, your body, your diet and everything else in life takes repetition with setbacks. Nothing ever flows in a linear way without some regression. Embrace it and stay patient. You can do it and we applaud your efforts!


Thank you for visiting PocketPetCentral.com for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.