How to Potty Train an Iguana? (Proven Techniques for Quick Results)

Potty training your iguana is a crucial step if you’re an iguana owner looking to simplify the task of cleaning up after your pet. In this post, you’ll discover effective methods to potty train and toilet train your iguana, along with valuable tips for potty training outside the cage. By understanding your iguana’s intelligence, cleanliness, and preference for routines, we can decipher their behaviors and assist them in achieving successful potty training.

Can You Potty Train an Iguana?

If you’ve ever wondered, “Can I really potty train my iguana?” then let me tell you, yes, you absolutely can! Iguanas are intelligent creatures, capable of learning routines and adapting to their environment, including where to do their business.

There are prevalent misconceptions about iguana potty training. Some believe that iguanas are too primitive to learn such habits. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Iguanas, like many reptiles, have shown remarkable adaptability in captivity, and with consistent training, they can indeed be taught to use a designated area for their poop.

Another misconception is that potty training an iguana is an uphill battle, considering their supposed lack of cooperative nature. However, with my firsthand experience and interactions with other iguana owners, I can confirm that iguanas can be just as cooperative as any other pet when it comes to training, given the right approach and environment.

When Should I Start Potty Training My Iguana?

Timing is pivotal in successfully potty training your iguana. Starting too early or too late may create challenges.

Most iguana owners begin the potty training process when their pet reaches about a year old. At this stage, iguanas are generally more open to learning and can grasp the concept of a designated bathroom area. However, this is not a hard and fast rule. Each iguana is unique, and their readiness for potty training can vary.

We suggest potty training your iguana from a young age. If you have bought a hatchling, you can start training it from the start. If you have an adult iguana that you have got from someone then chances are that the iguana is already potty trained. Even if your iguana is already potty trained you will still need train it to the new environment.

To determine if your iguana is potty trained, place a bucket, shallow container filled with water in your iguana’s enclosure. If your iguana is already potty trained, there is a higher likelihood that it will choose to defecate in the water-filled container.

If your newly adopted iguana is not potty trained, we suggest starting it soon as possible.

How Long Does It Take to Potty Train an Iguana?

Potty training iguanas is not an overnight process, but a rewarding journey that requires dedication. On average, it takes around 3-6 weeks to potty train an iguana fully. This timeline can be influenced by various factors such as where do you want it to poop, the iguana’s age, its individual personality, and how consistent you are with the training.

If you want your iguana to poop inside a water dish inside the enclosure can be achieved quickly compared to toilet training.

Younger iguanas tend to be more adaptable and can often be trained faster than older ones. Moreover, each iguana is unique; some may take to training quicker than others.

Types of Potty Training for Iguanas

When it comes to potty training your iguana, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The most effective method hinges on several factors including your iguana’s age, temperament, and living conditions.

1. In-Cage Potty Training: This technique revolves around creating a specific bathroom area within the iguana’s enclosure. It requires a sturdy container—like a shallow plastic bin—filled with water. The rationale behind this is that iguanas, by nature, prefer to defecate in water.

Benefits: It’s convenient, easy to clean, and great for iguanas who spend most of their time in their cage. Drawbacks: For larger or more active iguanas, this method may restrict their movement.

2. Outside-Cage Potty Training: This method involves designating a specific area outside the iguana’s enclosure for bathroom duties. Again, a plastic bin with water often works well. The key to this technique is consistency and observing your iguana’s routine to guide them to the area when it’s time.

Benefits: It’s an excellent option for iguanas who spend a fair amount of time outside their cage. Drawbacks: It may require more time and patience as you’ll need to monitor your iguana’s behavior closely to avoid accidents.

3. Potty Training for Free-Roaming Iguanas: For those of us who let our iguanas roam freely around the house, the challenge is a bit higher. However, free-roaming iguanas can be trained to go outside or use a designated bathroom spot inside the house.

Benefits: It allows your iguana more freedom and mimics a more natural lifestyle. Drawbacks: This technique requires the most patience, supervision, and can be more time-consuming.

4. Water-Based Potty Training (in the tank): This method utilizes an iguana’s natural inclination to defecate in water. Start by placing a plastic container filled with water in the bathtub, sink, or a safe area outside the cage. Once the iguana becomes comfortable pooping there, move the water-filled dish inside the tank.

Benefits: Your iguana can relieve itself whenever it needs to, without waiting for you. Drawbacks: The water in the container needs to be changed and cleaned frequently to maintain hygiene.

5. Sound of Water Potty Training: Some iguanas prefer to poop to the sound of running water or a shower, even without actual water present. Training in this method begins outside the cage and, after the iguana is trained, you’ll need to take it out every day to poop with the sound of running water.

Benefits: It’s an effective solution for iguanas that dislike soaking in water. Drawbacks: This method requires daily commitment on your part to take your iguana out.

6. Toilet Potty Training: This unique approach involves training your iguana to use the household toilet. A helpful tip here is to construct a ladder or ramp for your iguana to climb onto the toilet by itself.

Benefits: It eliminates the need for you to clean up after your iguana. Drawbacks: This method requires considerable patience and training time.

7. Paper Towels/Newspaper Potty Training: For this method, designate one spot of the tank and place paper towels or newspapers there. Your iguana will be trained to defecate in this particular spot.

Benefits: It simplifies cleaning and minimizes the spread of waste. Drawbacks: Paper towels or newspapers will need regular replacement to ensure cleanliness.

8. Specific Spot Potty Training (free-roam): For free-roaming iguanas, you can train them to defecate in a specific spot of the house, like bathroom tiles. Puppy training pads can also be used in the designated spot.

Benefits: Allows your iguana to maintain its free-roaming lifestyle. Drawbacks: Requires constant supervision to ensure your iguana sticks to the designated area.

9. Outdoor Potty Training: If you live in a constantly warm climate, you can train your iguana to poop outside in a specific spot of your garden.

Benefits: It offers a more natural pooping environment for your iguana. Drawbacks: Not suitable for public spaces as excessive attention could stress your iguana.

Each iguana is unique and what works for one may not work for another. Evaluate your own lifestyle and your iguana’s habits to decide which method will work best. For example, if you’re often at home and can monitor your iguana, free-roaming training may be viable. However, if you’re away for several hours a day, in-cage training might be the better option. And remember, success won’t come overnight. Patience, persistence, and consistency are the keys to a well potty-trained iguana.

How to Potty Train Your Iguana?

  1. Understanding Your Iguana’s Natural Behaviors: It’s essential to understand that iguanas are naturally inclined to defecate in water. The sensation of being in water relaxes them and prompts the urge to poop. We can utilize this inherent behavior to our advantage while potty training our iguanas.
  2. Establishing a Training Schedule: Firstly, establishing a consistent training schedule is vital. Iguanas thrive on consistency and are creatures of routine. If you have been with your iguana for a while, you may have noticed they often defecate at the same time each day. Leverage this natural pattern by starting your training sessions just before your iguana’s regular poop time.
  3. Setting Up a Soaking Area: For the training, prepare a suitable soaking area. This could be a tub or plastic container filled with lukewarm water up to the iguana’s side. Ensure the environment is comfortable and non-threatening to your pet. Bathtubs may be too large and slippery, causing your iguana to feel nervous. A sink or a smaller tub with a designated towel at the bottom may be a more suitable choice.
  4. Training Sessions: During the training sessions, soak your iguana in the water for as long as necessary. If you’ve timed it well, your iguana will most likely poop promptly. If it doesn’t, remove the iguana from the water and try again later in the day. Remember, consistency and patience are key here.
  5. Transition to In-Cage Training Once your iguana gets accustomed to this routine and consistently defecates in the water soon after you place it in the tub, you can consider your pet potty trained. At this stage, you can move the water dish into the cage for in-cage potty training.
  6. Associating the Water Dish with Pooping Your iguana will start associating the water-filled dish with pooping. For free-roaming iguanas, you’ll often notice them waiting by the tub to be let in when they need to go. The same principle applies to toilet-trained iguanas.
  7. Important Points to Remember Finally, remember never to fill the tub with cat litter, soil, or similar materials. Always use lukewarm water for the training sessions. You can also maintain a separate water dish in the tank for drinking.
  8. Summing Up In sum, potty training your iguana is a consistent, gradual process leveraging their natural behaviors. Keep your iguana’s comfort and safety as the top priority throughout the process, and with time and patience, you’ll achieve a clean, hygienic living environment for both you and your pet.

Toilet Training Your Iguana

Let’s cut to the chase: toilet training your iguana within its cage is an absolute game-changer. And here’s why: Not only does it maintain hygiene and create a stress-free environment for your scaly friend, but it also simplifies your life and saves you countless cleaning hours.

Step one: Designate the Spot: Your iguana’s enclosure needs to have a dedicated toilet spot. Here’s the plan: you can corner off a section of the cage with a flat surface like a tile, which is easy to clean, or use a shallow tray filled with reptile-safe substrate. Remember, iguanas like to do their business in a consistent spot, so the placement matters. I’d recommend putting it in a less-trafficked corner.

Step two: Make it Appealing: Now it’s time to put on your iguana’s skin (figuratively, of course) and think about what would make this spot the go-to bathroom zone. Iguanas often poop in water, so adding a small water dish to the designated spot might just do the trick.

Step three: Positive Reinforcement: Just like us, iguanas respond to rewards. If your iguana uses the designated spot, make a fuss—give them their favorite treat or extra petting time. Let me be clear: never punish your iguana for missing the spot. Trust me, patience and persistence will get you there.

As for streamlining the process, consistency is key. Every time you spot your iguana getting ready to do its business elsewhere in the cage, gently move it to the designated spot. Let me tell you, the first time I had to do this, it felt like a waiting game, but it works wonders in the long run.

Potty Training Your Iguana Outside the Cage

Potty training your iguana outside its cage can be an effective strategy. This method affords a number of benefits, including a cleaner habitat, an opportunity for your pet to explore, and a more natural environment for it to do its business.

Preparing the Outdoor Space

To start with, your task is to identify and prepare an appropriate outdoor space for your iguana’s potty needs. The selected spot should be easily identifiable and comfortable for your iguana. I suggest using a shallow container filled with water, as iguanas in the wild often prefer to defecate in or near water. Placing this in a consistent spot will help your iguana identify the designated area.

The Training Process

Here are the assertive steps I have followed to train my iguanas effectively:

  1. Consistency: Always place your iguana in the designated area at a consistent time daily. Most iguanas defecate once a day, often in the morning.
  2. Supervision: Stay with your iguana during this time, offering positive reinforcement when it uses the designated spot.
  3. Patience: Understand that this process takes time. Do not rush or force your iguana.
  4. Routine: Create a routine around this process. Iguanas are creatures of habit and respond well to established routines.

Safety Precautions

Safety is paramount during outdoor potty time. Here’s what you must ensure:

  1. Supervision: Never leave your iguana unattended outside its cage.
  2. Safe environment: The designated area should be free from potential hazards or predators.
  3. Cleanliness: Regularly clean the potty area to maintain hygiene and prevent potential health risks.

Handling Difficulties

Should your iguana refuse to use the designated spot or show signs of fear or confusion, remain calm. Reassure your pet, reinforce positive behavior, and patiently persist with the routine. It may take time, but remember, I have successfully done this and so can you!

Potty Training Your Iguana Outside the Cage

Potty training an iguana outside its cage is not only possible, but also beneficial for both the pet and the owner. While it demands patience and commitment, the results are well worth the effort.

Firstly, choose a specific spot outside the cage where you’d like your iguana to defecate. Consistency is key here – stick to this spot throughout the training process. I recommend using a newspaper or a portable reptile litter box to make clean-up easier. A designated bathroom spot that’s easy to clean can save you time and effort in the long run.

Next, understand the signs that your iguana needs to go. These might include becoming restless or making a specific sound or movement. Observing your pet and recognizing these signs is crucial for successful potty training.

Now, when you see these signs, gently carry your iguana to the designated bathroom spot. Give it time and space. Remember, this is new for your pet and it might take a while for it to get comfortable. While waiting, avoid distractions that could stress or frighten your iguana. With enough repetition, your iguana will begin to associate this spot with the act of defecating.

Make sure to reinforce this behavior positively. Upon successful use of the designated spot, reward your iguana with a treat or extra playtime. Positive reinforcement works wonders in training iguanas, much like it does with other pets.

Training Your Iguana to Poop Outside the House

Training your iguana to defecate outside the house is not only feasible but also incredibly beneficial. This step can save you significant cleaning effort and further enhances your iguana’s well-being by stimulating its natural behavior.

Having trained several of my own iguanas to do this, I can assure you that the task is not as daunting as it might sound. Let’s break it down into manageable steps:

  1. Choosing the Spot: Iguanas are creatures of habit. So, select a designated area in your yard for your iguana to defecate. This place should be safe, easily accessible, and relatively private.
  2. Setting the Routine: Take your iguana to this spot every day after feeding. The process of digestion in iguanas is temperature-dependent, so choose a warm part of the day when your iguana is more likely to poop.
  3. Rewarding the Behavior: Positive reinforcement works wonders with iguanas. When your iguana successfully poops outside, reward it with its favorite treat or an extra bit of basking time. This will help cement the connection between defecating outside and receiving a reward.

Remember, safety is paramount. Ensure that the outdoor area is free from potential dangers such as predatory animals or toxic plants. Use a leash if necessary, especially in the early stages of training.

However, be aware that not all climates are suitable for outdoor defecation training. If you live in a colder region, your iguana may not be comfortable, or it might be too risky to let it outside even for a short period. In this case, indoor potty training is a more suitable alternative.

What Are Alternatives to Potty Training an Iguana?

Potty training isn’t the only method to handle your pet’s waste management. A variety of other solutions also exist that are equally effective and can cater to the unique needs of both you and your reptilian friend.

1. Utilizing Specialized Reptile Litter: Reptile litter, made of non-toxic, absorbent materials, can be a viable alternative. Place it at the bottom of the cage, and it will absorb waste and control odor.

Pros: Easy to use and clean; Efficient at odor control. Cons: May be ingested by the iguana if not monitored; Not all types are eco-friendly.

2. Designating a Specific Waste Area in the Cage: You can set up a distinct corner in the cage with newspaper or pet pads where the iguana can defecate.

Pros: Cost-effective; Easy to clean. Cons: Iguanas might not stick to the designated area; Frequent changes required.

3. Using a Reptile Diaper: Yes, they exist! Reptile diapers are a thing and can be used for larger, free-roaming iguanas.

Pros: Allows your iguana to roam freely; Can be reused. Cons: Some iguanas might not tolerate them; Initial training is required.

How to Clean Iguana Poop

A tidy living area doesn’t just keep your home smelling fresh; it also plays a vital role in your iguana’s overall health and happiness. With this understanding in mind, let’s plunge right into the topic of how to clean iguana poop effectively.

  1. PreparationWhen dealing with iguana waste, it’s best to suit up for hygiene and safety. Trust me, as an iguana owner, it’s worth investing in a good pair of reusable or disposable gloves. Keep them handy, and ensure they’re reserved specifically for cleaning duties.
  2. Surface CleaningIguana poop, as unpleasant as it may be, isn’t too challenging to clean off most surfaces. If your iguana’s designated ‘bathroom’ is inside its enclosure, I recommend a simple solution of white vinegar and water (a 50/50 mix). This blend is a safe and non-toxic cleaner that works wonders. Just spray the mixture on the affected area, let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe clean. For stubborn stains, a non-abrasive scrubbing brush can come in handy.
  3. Deep Cleaning EnclosuresA regular deep-clean of your iguana’s enclosure is a must, and I suggest doing this once a week. Take out all furnishings and carefully remove any visible waste. Next, use a pet-safe disinfectant to wipe down the entire enclosure. Make sure it’s thoroughly dry before putting everything back. Your iguana will thank you for a clean and fresh-smelling home!
  4. Preventing Future MessesRegular cleanings are necessary, but let’s talk about preventing the poop-pocalypse in the first place. Part of this comes with successful potty training (as we’ve discussed in previous sections). Additionally, strategically placing absorbent puppy pads or newspaper in your iguana’s favorite ‘business spots’ can catch the mess before it becomes a problem. Regularly replace these pads to ensure cleanliness.
  5. Hygiene is KeyAfter every cleaning session, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly. This not only protects you from potential bacteria but also keeps your iguana safe from any harmful germs you might introduce into its environment.

Cleaning iguana poop might not be the most glamorous part of pet ownership, but it’s undoubtedly an essential one. By being assertive in maintaining a clean environment, you’re providing your iguana with the care it deserves. Your home will be more pleasant, and your iguana will be healthier and happier. Win-win!

Why Does My Iguana Poop in Random Places?

Iguanas are territorial creatures. Their defecation habits may be a way of marking territory. If you notice your iguana pooping outside its usual spot or designated bathroom area, it might just be laying claim to that space. Stress or discomfort can cause an iguana to defecate in random places. Yes, iguanas do get stressed, and when they do, they can act out by altering their bathroom habits.

Does an Iguana’s Poop Smell?

No, iguana’s poop shouldn’t normally smell too strong. It should have a mild or almost unnoticeable scent, similar to that of souring vegetables. However, if the feces are left unattended, they will emit a significantly stronger smell. Regularly cleaning both the feces and any uneaten food from the tank is essential for odor control. Maintaining cleanliness will help prevent unpleasant smells from lingering. If you notice a foul odor emanating from your iguana’s feces, it could indicate an underlying internal infection. In such cases, it is advisable to collect a sample of the feces and promptly take it to a veterinarian for examination.


Iguanas (and other reptiles) poop and pee at the same time. Its the same mess as bird poop, which makes sense since they are closely related in their evolution. Iguanas have no sweat glands, all excess water leave the body with their feces, which can make for some very messy disasters if you allow your iguana to go freely about the house.

The best way to clean after your iguana is to have a roll of toilet paper handy. I cover the whole mess with it and then let it sit for a few minutes. The paper will soak up all the fluid (add more as needed) making it easy to swipe it all off.

Iguanas love to poop in water, so if you would like to avoid this whole process you could offer them daily baths (mine loves hot showers!) where they will most likely take care of business.

On a related note, if you are trying to potty train your iguana… always immaculately clean after the accident if its in an undesired location. Iguanas like to do it on the same place over and over, so the faintest trace will cause a chain reaction. When you see them looking for a suitable spot, place them where they should go and then do a mediocre job cleaning it, this will help them remember to go there again and again. Once the habit is ingrained, you should clean after them fully.

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