Why Does My Iguana Stare at Me? {Learn What It Means Here}

My mom got me an iguana when I was a young girl. I asked my mom, “Why does my iguana stare at me all the time?”

I liked the attention I was getting, but it was also making me nervous. It turns out my iguana was nervous too. There were many other reasons for this staring as well.

Why Does My Iguana Stare at Me?

Your iguana will stare at you as this is there way of saying hello.  It can also be because they are establishing dominance over you or they are feeling unwell.

There are plenty or reasons why your iguana is looking deep into your eyes. They might be:

  • Upset
  • Curious
  • Acting dominant
  • Analyzing you
  • Agitated
  • Scared
  • Alert

An iguana who is not staring or with closed eyes is relaxed and happy. Staring at you with dilated pupils is clear that they are alert and not trusting you or the situation.

Are you also staring at your iguana? Look away and ignore. Reduce volumes and move, speak or go about your business in a gentle and smooth way to keep the overall atmosphere more relaxed.

How Does My Iguana Recognize Me?

Your iguana is studying you. Your movements, sounds, voice, steps, actions are being monitored. You are being analyzed by their fantastic and intelligent eyes.

The vision of an iguana is keen and sharp (more on iguana eyes written here)

  1. They must use this ultimate sense to make sure they are safe at all times. Look at how tall you are in comparison. You tower over this creature and they must make sure you are not going to harm them.
  2. The staring and deep analysis of your sounds or actions are all forms of input to make sure that you are not a threat. Speak more often to your iguana is a familiar tone that is gentle and soothing. Include their name very often in your speech.
  3. You don’t need to make constant eye contact because this might be perceived as a challenge to them. Just do your thing around the house, watch TV, use your phone and talk to your iguana like a buddy sitting next to you.

Top 5 Reasons Why Iguana Stare At People

Iguanas are looking at people or other living creatures in their natural environment. They have the ability to remain still, but soak up the atmosphere with their eyes. They can dilate their pupils and remain extremely alert for sudden movement or threats.

You might notice your iguana staring at you for a long period of time. Do not engage in a staring contest. This is not a game. Simply ignore it and keep talking to them in a friendly tone of voice.

Iguanas stare because they are:

  1. Curious
  2. Angry
  3. Annoyed
  4. Excited
  5. Distrusting

1. Curious

Curious iguanas stare to see what you will do next. Will you make a sudden movement? Will you offer food? Can we do something together?

A curious iguana would appreciate plush toys, platforms to climb, boxes to crawl into or branches to manipulate. Give them something else to do instead of staring at you.

2. Angry

Angry iguanas perceive fear and do not wish to back down. You should not either, but you should not engage in staring. Look away, but remain where you are and enjoy what you are doing.

Let them stare for now. This iguana is upset about something and let’s see how long it lasts. Avoid eye contact, but keep talking to them. Be soft, friendly and gentle in your actions and vocal tones.

YouTube video

3. Annoyed

Your iguana could just be annoyed at the surrounding situation and could be staring at you to demand a change. The lights might be too bright or the enclosure could be too small. There could also be too many loud sounds.

Currently, as I type this article, there is a parade going on outside my window. My iguana is staring at me and wishing for me to quiet down. I got up and closed the windows. I also dimmed the lights. Let’s hope this parade is over soon.

4. Excited

Before you get excited, know that anxiety and fear are very closely related to the excitement that your reptile might be feeling. Do they anticipate food coming soon?

Since an iguana is capable of learning routines, they may start staring when they know it’s just about time for a feeding or a bath. Don’t respond to the staring right away. Wait for them to look away before you get up and get the food or prepare the bath.

5. Distrusting

An iguana that does not trust you yet, could run away from you, refuse contact or simply stare at you. They may also appear dull or pale in color when unwell. Consult this article to help with, can iguanas change color.

You are not familiar enough and you have not yet established predictable routines to make the days go by peacefully without any surprises.

They must learn that you are going to stick around, offer food and keep them safe. Your voice and actions will feel comforting in time and trust will develop.

Is My Iguana Feeling Lousy?

Why is my iguana feeling sad?

  1. Sometimes an iguana stares out of boredom or is sad and lousy when they are about to shed their skin.
  2. They might not like the regular routine meal plan.
  3. They might be requesting a change or rearrangement of their enclosure.
  4. They might just want to sit with you for a while.

If you iguana is also hissing, whipping their tail,  narrowing their eyes and staring, back off or ignore for now.

Check out the temperature and make sure you are using a proper heat lamp in their basking area. I wrote about iguana heat lamps here. 

Help your iguana out with some changes in the routines you have set up and let us know how things go.


Iguanas are intelligent creatures who learned to survive for centuries because of their keen senses. They stare because this gives them plenty of information about their surroundings.

You are the focal point for now, but you must not pretend to be one in the same. As an intelligent human, you have many other tools and strategies to not engage in a staring contest.

See wheat else you can do to reduce the staring by making slight changes to the physical environment or your own actions and tones to feel more relaxed around your home as well.

Your iguana might actually encourage you to become a calmer, stress-free and smooth talking person around your home. We wish for your relationship with your iguana to become more trusting, enriched and rewarding.


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.