home Article Why doesn’t the red-eared turtle eat anything?

Why doesn’t the red-eared turtle eat anything?

Table of Contents

Solution to the problem

The longer the red-eared turtle does not eat anything, the more dangerous its condition becomes. See a specialist. If this is not possible, for example, there are no veterinarians specializing in reptiles in the city, start by checking compliance with the conditions of detention.

  • A complete diet. Turtles refuse the type of food they do not like. Replace it, but remember to balance your diet.
  • Check if the turtle has enough room in the terrarium.
  • Clean all surfaces of the turtle house.
  • Remove small rocks and jewelry that the turtle might swallow.
  • Adjust the temperature.
  • Aquatic species need a place to rest outside the water. Check if there is enough space for all the inhabitants of the terrarium.
  • Remember, the red-eared turtle at home is very demanding on the quality and purity of water. Install quality filters and change the water at least once a week.
  • Limit animal walks outside the terrarium.
  • Make sure that there is no food left in the water. She will pollute the water.
  • Do not self-medicate your pet. It is not easy to identify and cure the disease without experience.

How much a turtle can not eat

Turtles do without food without damage to their health for 3 weeks. In emergencies up to 3 months.

Suppression of weak individuals

Males are quite aggressive towards each other. And the suppressed individual may not receive a sufficient amount of food or even refuse it altogether. This state of affairs threatens the life and health of the animal.

doesn, red-eared, turtle


Diseases of internal organs do not appear externally. If the animals are lethargic, refuse to eat, constantly try to sleep, then only a veterinarian can determine the cause. He will prescribe the correct treatment, recommend vitamins, advise on the diet.

Improper feeding

Feed your pet specialty foods and approved foods. Improper diet will cause not only loss of appetite, but also all kinds of diseases of the intestinal tract. The diet of an adult red-eared turtle must include meat, sea fish with bones, shrimp, as well as plant foods.

It is impossible to force a turtle to eat food that it does not like.


The hibernating individual accordingly refuses to eat. The pet becomes lethargic and inactive, constantly sleeping. Veterinarians do not recommend such overwintering at home, as it is associated with the risk of death of the animal. To avoid hibernation, maintain a constant temperature of around 30 degrees and clear daylight, or consult a professional.

If your pet is not eating on the 5th day after coming out of hibernation, take it to your veterinarian. Possibly wasting, dehydration, or gout or liver failure.

11 reasons why a red-eared turtle stops eating

The red-eared turtle is a popular pet. Bright color, unpretentiousness in food and low price made this breed a frequent inhabitant of home terrariums.

Not all owners follow the rules of pet care and feeding. Most often, the red-eared turtle does not eat, is sluggish and sleeps due to inappropriate conditions.

Mating season

During puberty, males become more active, but eat much less than during normal times. After the end of the mating season, food consumption will return to normal.

The red-eared turtle does not eat

The most common and likely reasons why the red-eared turtle does not eat may be:

  • stress;
  • improper nutrition;
  • a sharp change in living conditions;
  • addiction to captivity;
  • overheating or hypothermia;
  • puberty in males;
  • constipation;
  • illness.

Most often, the turtle does not eat anything after buying and changing home. The very move and change of living conditions for the turtle is a lot of stress.

With hypothermia, the red-eared turtle also does not eat, becomes lethargic, swims only on the surface of the water, cannot dive.

If you are unsure why your turtle is not eating and what to do, follow these instructions:

  • Create the right environment for your turtle to live in your home. This requires an aquaterrarium with a volume of at least 200 liters, which is approximately half filled with water. An island with a size equal to 25-30% of the base area is equipped in the center. Such a piece of land is made either from plexiglass with notches or pits on the edges for the convenience of a turtle, or from polished wooden planks with suction cups. You can place a soft pad of algae, moss, sand, or any hard rock on the bottom that will not pollute the water. However, the size of the decorative elements must be taken into account, since turtles can swallow small stones, which can lead to intestinal obstruction and even death. Therefore, their size should be 2 times the size of the turtle’s head. On the other hand, when using very large and unstable decorative elements, the turtle can break glass.
  • Provide a comfortable climate. The water temperature should be at least 26 ° C and not more than 35 ° C, for which heaters are used. Adequate air temperature (2-3 ° C higher than that of water) is achieved using incandescent lamps and special ultraviolet irradiators, which must be turned on 12 hours a day not only for heating, but also to prevent rickets.
  • Keep track of the amount (should cover at least the width of the shell) and the purity of the water in the aquarium. It is necessary to install a special filter (only not a household one), designed for a volume of water 2 times larger than your aquarium. The water should be changed as soon as it gets dirty, but at least 1-2 times a week, while filling in previously settled water.
  • Feed your pet properly. His diet should include raw, lean fish, liver, poultry offal, seafood (do not remove bones, shells, shells, etc.), earthworms, May beetle larvae. Vegetable products should include cabbage, carrots, spinach, lettuce, apples, dandelion leaves, duckweed and various algae.
  • Special feed should only complement natural food, not replace it. You can not feed monotonously, in large portions.
  • Do not send your turtle to walk on the floor, as hypothermia and infection (such as salmonellosis) is possible.
  • If your turtle is severely malnourished, it should be treated immediately.

When the turtle does not eat anything, hibernates, does not go out on land, does not dive, becomes lethargic, we can talk about the manifestations of a stressful situation and diseases from which the turtles can die.

Your veterinarian is the best way to help you determine the reasons for your turtle‘s lack of appetite. But not an ordinary one, who treats mainly warm-blooded animals, but a herpetologist. a specialist in turtles.

The little red-eared turtle does not eat even if the water is polluted, so you need to be especially careful about the purity of the water in the aquaterrarium for young red-eared women. Special requirements are imposed on the diet of young animals. it should only be live food (small crustaceans and insect larvae), as well as the feeding schedule (daily for 5 minutes).

Solution to the problem

After carefully observing your pet and, unfortunately, not finding out the true reasons for his starvation, the best solution would be to make every effort to create comfortable conditions for your turtle. These instructions will help:

  • To begin with, take care of a fairly large turtle “house”. an aquaterrarium, the volume of which should be about 200 liters. The container should only be half full.
  • Familiar conditions. Care must be taken to make the turtle feel at home, where it spends most of its time not in the water, but on land. To do this, in the middle, you need to equip a small island made of high-quality plexiglass with recesses, which will provide the turtle with convenience and comfort when surfacing on it. A litter made of moss, sand, algae, or some other material that won’t make the water cloudy is also good. It is important to consider that the stones should not be small, otherwise a lover of absorbing everything in her path can get very sick.
  • The purity of the water. It is necessary to change the fluid at least once a week, and better. as it gets dirty. The water will become of high quality and suitable for your red-eared beauty, if you first defend it and pass it through a filter.
  • The amount of water. Only 30 cm of liquid is enough to make the reptile feel at home and can easily get out on land.
  • Suitable climate. To do this, you need to maintain the temperature of the water in the aquarium starting at 26⁰C and make sure that it does not rise above 35⁰C. If the house is cold, then heaters will help. The air temperature will also be suitable, and this is a couple of degrees higher than that of water, if you use ultraviolet irradiators or incandescent lamps. These devices will provide heating of the air, and will also help the patient fight rickets.

Causes of loss of appetite

There are so many things to look out for to help your turtle re-experience the joy of life. Some of the possible reasons that could rob a mammal of calmness:

  • Getting used to a new environment;
  • Captive adaptation;
  • Disease;
  • Stress;
  • Bowel problems;
  • Extreme temperatures (cold or heat);
  • Puberty
  • Malnutrition.

The main reasons for unwillingness to eat are considered to be stress from a change in habitat and hypothermia of an animal. From the very process of transportation, the reptile’s nervous system can be severely damaged and it will take more than a day to recover.

The red-eared turtle does not eat

It happens that you get a pet, take care of him, take care of him, and at some point he gets sick or just loses his appetite. This can easily happen to the red-eared turtle, which can be very picky about grooming. Why she doesn‘t want to eat, she, of course, will not say, but it is quite possible to watch her and try to figure out what the matter is. And you should not hesitate with this in order to take timely measures and avoid complications.

Red-eared turtle nutrition

To avoid loss of appetite, do not allow your pet to eat poor quality food. This will adversely affect her health and lead to serious illness. Several points apply to this:

  • The presence of animal products in the diet (seafood, fish, liver, offal of birds);
  • Plant foods (apples, cabbage, spinach, carrots, lettuce, dandelion greens);
  • Restriction in feeding with special food for turtles;
  • Do not let her crawl on the floor, where she can, as usual, swallow something and contract salmonellosis;
  • Avoid monotony. Food should be very varied and nutritious.
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If you have done everything possible to create suitable conditions for your pet, and she, in spite of everything, looks very weak, emaciated, thinner, does not leave the water and sleeps a lot, then you need to urgently treat her. And not on our own, for example, with the help of the Internet, but by contacting a specialist in tortoises. a herpetologist, who can, on a professional level, find out the reason behind the lack of appetite. Before that, try to pamper your turtle: feed it with seaweed, because this is its most favorite delicacy! And who knows, he will suddenly be tempted and start eating?

How to get your turtle to eat. What to do if he refuses food.

Improper care

The red-eared turtle belongs to cold-blooded animals, so that it is comfortable, the ambient temperature should be from 26 to 35 degrees.

A UV lamp is required to maintain the required temperature. You also need an incandescent lamp with a 40 watt light bulb, which must be turned on for 12 hours a day.

When reptiles are cold, they not only refuse food, but also look lethargic, swim on the surface and cannot dive. As soon as the ambient temperature is optimal, the animals’ appetite is normalized. If this did not happen, therefore, it is not hypothermia and the help of a veterinarian is required. It must be remembered that overheating is the same dangerous for reptiles as hypothermia.

Improper feeding

Perhaps the red-eared turtle does not eat because it is being given the wrong food. She needs animal and plant food. Reptiles need to be given lean varieties of meat: beef, poultry, horse meat will also work. But pork and lamb are contraindicated for the turtle, since they are too fatty and the animal’s gastrointestinal tract is not intended for their digestion.

In addition to meat, the pet can be given offal. In order to prevent a calcium deficiency in the reptile’s body, shrimp should be present in the diet, a low-fat sea fish, which should be given along with the bones. You can give raw snails and squids.

But in the absence of plant food, the animal will develop hypovitaminosis and other health problems. You can give dandelion and plantain leaves, carrots, beets, pumpkin, cucumbers, zucchini.

The older the pet is, the more plant foods should be in its diet.

But little turtles may refuse if they are given vegetables and fruits, they prefer animal food.

You can not give your pet boiled and fried foods, a loaf, dairy products (except for cottage cheese).

It is also important to follow the reptile feeding regimen.

Perhaps she is being fed too often and given too much food. While the turtle is small, less than 12 months old or less than 10 cm in size, it is fed daily. Adults are fed 2-3 times a week. To determine the volume of one serving, you need to see how much a reptile eats in 30 minutes and give this amount constantly.

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The mating season and other reasons

In captivity, the reptile grows faster and reaches sexual maturity earlier. When the size of the male reaches 10 cm he is ready to mate.

If the pet remains active, but ignores the food, then it is possible that it has reached puberty. During the mating season, male turtles are very restless and often have no appetite at all. It is not worth worrying, as soon as he passes the reptile starts to eat.

Although in captivity the reptile rarely hibernates, but with the arrival of autumn, the red-eared turtle does not eat, it is sluggish and sleeps. In this case, nothing needs to be done, as soon as January comes, everything will return to normal. It is necessary to observe the previous temperature regime and the dose of UV rays, the pet will survive the fall, but will be slightly less active.

If, nevertheless, the animal fell into hibernation, does not open its eyes, then you need to be prepared that it will sleep for 1-2 months. It is necessary to place the pet in a small house, pour 10 cm of sand on the bottom and pour a little water to maintain moisture. After that, within 1, 5 weeks, gradually it is necessary to reduce the ambient temperature to 8-10 degrees. The pet should be checked regularly during hibernation.

If there are several turtles in the terrarium, then perhaps they are taking food from each other. In this case, you need to watch the reptiles, and if you notice that some of them do not have enough food, then during feeding it must be removed and fed separately.

Reasons for refusing food

When the owners are faced with the fact that the turtle does not eat anything, it is important to find out what is the reason for this behavior of the pet and, based on this, decide what to do.

Refusal to feed can be triggered by:

  • disease;
  • stress;
  • improper care and feeding;
  • arrival in autumn.

Male turtles may refuse food at puberty.


When a red-eared turtle gets sick, its appetite completely disappears. A reptile can suffer from pneumonia, constipation, helminthic invasions, and more. But in addition to refusal to feed, in this case, other symptoms are observed.

The herpetologist will determine the reason why the turtle stopped eating. He will select a treatment, possibly prescribe vitamins. In addition, the specialist will tell you how to make the turtle eat.

Having discovered signs of illness in your pet, do not delay the visit to the veterinarian, otherwise everything may end in the death of the pet.


When the reptile was just bought, it is not surprising that it refuses food. She can get used to a new place of residence not a single day. The animal is under stress, so she refuses to eat. As soon as the pet gets used to the new conditions, he will begin to take food.

For the first time, you should not stand near the terrarium for a long time, and even more so knock on it. Until the animal gets used to it, you should not try to pick it up, so as not to irritate the pet once again.

over, you should not take baby turtle in your arms, the babies are very shy and this can become stress for them, as a result, they will stop eating and may even get sick.

Why the red-eared turtle is sluggish and does not eat?

Quite often, the owners of red-eared turtles are faced with the fact that reptiles do not eat or eat little. The reasons for this can be very different. Therefore, you need to observe the animal and understand why the red-eared turtle does not eat and how to make it so that it is active and healthy.

Reasons why the turtle doesn‘t eat

Red-eared turtle poor appetite problems can be due to the following reasons:

Lack of a balanced diet

Often the red-eared turtle refuses to eat due to an incorrectly selected diet. If the animal’s food does not contain enough nutrients, the turtle can become seriously ill.

Attention! Any food, be it meat, fish, seafood, fruits or vegetables, should be given to the red-eared turtle only raw, otherwise the turtle may experience digestive problems.


Diseases are one of the common reasons why a pet refuses to eat. It can be both colds and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, which are characteristic of these animals. In such cases, the turtle completely loses its appetite.

When an animal refuses food due to illness, in addition to poor appetite, other symptoms may be observed: lethargy, lethargy, nasal discharge, etc.

Attention! You should not treat your turtle at home, giving her various vitamin supplements or medications without consulting a doctor. This treatment can end very badly for the pet. Having found the first signs of the disease, contact a herpetologist.

Painted red eared turtle

Stopped eating due to detention conditions

Inappropriate living conditions for red-eared turtle also cause loss of appetite.

Small aquarium, too much or too little water, no land island, low water or air temperature, etc. can cause the animal to refuse food.

What to do if your turtle won’t eat?

The first thing to do if the animal does not eat anything is to understand the reason.

If the reason for refusing food was poor-quality food or unbalanced nutrition, then it is important to introduce the required amount of animal and plant feed into the pet’s diet.

Attention! The amount and type of food depends on the age of the individual. Young turtles prefer animal food and hardly eat plants. But the older the pet gets, the more plant foods should be in its diet.

The diet of an adult should include the following foods:

  • lean meat (beef and poultry);
  • fish products (small fish, shrimps, shellfish, snails, squid and others)
  • offal;
  • field plants (dandelion and plantain);
  • fruits (apples, pears)
  • vegetables

Compliance with the feeding regimen will also solve the problem of poor appetite.

It is recommended to feed small turtles every day, but for adults it is enough three times a week.

Attention! To determine how much food your turtle needs to eat at a time, notice how much food it eats in half an hour. This amount will be its constant portion.

Feeding should take place at the same time. Then the body of the turtle will produce the necessary substances by a certain hour, and the pet will eat with appetite.


When the reason for refusing food is severe stress, then the animal just needs to be given time to overcome it. As soon as the pet comes to its senses and gets used to it, then its appetite is normalized.

During puberty and preparation for hibernation, you don’t have to worry. This is the normal life cycle of the turtle, at the end of which it begins to feed as usual.

However, when observing a pet in the fall, it is important to ensure that it does not fall asleep completely. If, nevertheless, the turtle fell asleep completely, then for a calm course of hibernation, it is necessary to transfer it to a small house, at the bottom of which there will be a layer of sand (about 10-12 cm).

Attention! The sand must be filled with water to maintain the necessary moisture, otherwise the turtle may die of dehydration.

After moving the turtle in the terrarium, the air temperature should be gradually reduced to 10 degrees. After that, the pet will sleep for about 2-2.5 months.

If, after observing the pet, it is not possible to identify obvious reasons for refusing food, it is important to pay attention to the conditions of detention.

The volume of the terrarium must be at least 200 liters. To create the usual conditions, it should be filled with water by about a quarter, so that the turtle feels comfortable and does not experience difficulties getting out on land.

It is also necessary to equip an island of land on which the turtle could easily climb after water procedures. Sand, moss, algae and stones are good as an island.

Attention! The stones should not be small, because too small stones trapped in the intestines can lead to serious illness of the pet.

The water in the aquarium must be clean. It should be changed at least once a week, and ideally as it gets dirty. Better to use filtered water.

The water temperature should correspond to the air temperature or be 2-3 degrees lower (from 23 to 34 degrees). If the room where the terrarium is located is cold, then additional heating must be provided. For this, ultraviolet irradiators and incandescent lamps, with a power of no more than 40 watts, are perfect.

Attention! Keeping an eye on the temperature, it is important not to allow overheating, as it is just as harmful to the red-eared turtle, as is the cold.

If the conditions of detention correspond to the required, and the reasons for the starvation are not identified, you should immediately contact a professional. A herpetologist veterinarian will examine the turtle, determine the reasons for refusing food, diagnose and prescribe effective treatment.

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At home, sexual maturation of the red-eared turtle occurs earlier than in nature. In freedom, males become sexually mature at six years old, and females at eight, while at home, males reach sexual maturity by four years, and a female by five.

After the size of the shell has surpassed the 10 cm mark for males and 13 cm for females, the animals are ready for mating and raising offspring.

Therefore, if the pet refuses to eat, but remains active, there is a high probability that it will enter the mating season.


The turtle experiences stress for a variety of reasons. These are both inappropriate conditions of detention, and an unusual environment, getting used to which can last more than one day.

Why doesn‘t the red-eared turtle eat anything?

The turtle doesn‘t eat anything. Causes and consequences

Sometimes reptile owners have to figure out why the turtle is not eating anything. A pet may refuse food in several cases, and not all of them pose a danger to his health. To correct the situation and still feed the pet, you need to find out the reasons for his refusal to eat and eliminate them.

Why doesn‘t the turtle eat anything??

Let’s dwell on each of them in more detail.

Sometimes inexperienced pet breeders may simply overfeed the animal without knowing its nutritional standards. If you are asking the question: “The turtle doesn’t eat, what should I do?”, First of all remember the frequency of its feeding. For adults, one meal per several days is quite enough, and their frequent coercion to consume food can lead to refusal to feed. You cannot force feed a pet. the animal itself knows how much it needs to eat in order to replenish its energy reserves. Offer your pet exactly as much as he usually eats. Watch the frequency of feeding and do not offer food often.

Also, some inexperienced breeders are wondering whether it is necessary to water a land turtle and whether a lack of drinking can cause food refusal. The answer is simple. there is no need to water the turtle, it should be bathed. It is during this process that the reptile will receive the amount of moisture it needs. Dehydration cannot be a reason for refusing food, since there is some liquid in the feed. Watch your pet. if the turtle prefers only juicy food, perhaps it really does not have enough moisture.

As a rule, before falling into a long sleep, the activity of the reptile sharply decreases. If your turtle is sluggish and eats nothing, it may just be about to hibernate. It begins with the onset of winter. At home, it is not recommended to create conditions for animals for such a long sleep. If you notice attempts to fall asleep for a long time, increase the ambient temperature for the reptile and increase the brightness of the light in its home.

If you are wondering why the turtle does not eat anything, then be prepared for the most unexpected answer. During the breeding season, reptiles can dramatically change their behavior. However, this will only happen when two individuals of different sexes are kept in one aquarium or terrarium. If you notice mating games, if your pets are ready to procreate, do not worry about their refusal to eat. The reluctance to eat will pass as soon as the turtles mate.

The turtle does not eat. what to do? Unfortunately, this question is most often asked by owners of sick reptiles. Many diseases completely deprive a pet of appetite. If your turtle is sluggish and not eating, check it out. You may be able to notice the symptoms of turtle disease. If you did not find any obvious reasons for refusing food, did not reveal the development of the disease, or simply cannot determine the disease, a visit to the veterinarian is recommended. It is the specialist who will be able to identify the true causes of the pet’s poor appetite, prescribe the correct treatment and, if necessary, carry out some therapeutic measures. In the veterinary clinic, you can also find out the possible reasons for refusing food in your species of turtles, get advice on the prevention of poor appetite. Veterinarians often advise using vitamins for land turtles or their aquatic counterparts so that the reptile’s body receives all the elements it needs.

If your turtle is sluggish and does not eat, the best solution is to go to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Self-diagnosis of the reasons can only harm the pet, and wrong actions can worsen its health. If it is not possible to visit a specialist, try to find the reason for refusing food. The above are the most common situations in which a pet’s appetite can significantly deteriorate.

Why turtles don’t eat in winter?

Many species, with the arrival of autumn cold weather, begin to prepare for hibernation. There are several important points in this business.

  • The essence of wintering is to fall asleep in a cool and humid place before the temperature rises. If food remains in the stomach, after awakening, the death of the turtle is inevitable, at best it will wake up sick and long-term treatment will begin.
  • Therefore, it is difficult to ensure the correct hibernation regime at home. But nature itself prompts the rejection of food and the transition to low energy costs. The red-eared turtle does not eat in winter for the same reason: it gradually prepares for suspended animation.
  • To prevent hibernation, you should increase the temperature, install a UV lamp.

How much a turtle can not eat?

The pet has been refusing food for several days and it is not known whether there will be a change in behavior in the near future. This is the pattern seen by many turtle owners. Panic quite naturally begins, because refusing food cannot be safe for the body for a long time. If we consider the question of how much a red-eared turtle can not eat, then we are talking about terms of the order of three weeks. Some terrestrial species do not want to eat during the heat, when the thermometer is above 25 ° C. Fasting can last up to two to three months.

The turtle does not eat and sleeps all the time

Wintering in apartment conditions without hibernation implies an inactive lifestyle, but this period is enclosed in a very specific time frame. Large adults are in hibernation for 12-14 weeks, young animals 8-10. If, on the fifth day after the supposed end of hibernation, the turtle does not begin to return to the previous rhythm, this is a sign of disturbances in the body.

  • Appetite will return gradually, there is no point in expecting a sharp active eating of your favorite food. Spring anorexia, when about 40% of weight is lost during the winter without food, is considered the norm. Heating under a lamp will bring your pet back to active life.
  • The obvious reason why the turtle does not eat and sleeps constantly may be dehydration and exhaustion of the body. If, before the hibernation period, the animal did not have time to empty the stomach, there is a possibility of renal or liver failure due to improper wintering.

The turtle does not open its eyes and does not eat

After the winter period, the pet should return to activity and the previous appetite. If this does not happen on the fifth or sixth day, you should consult a specialist. Alarm signal. constantly closed turtle eyes.

  • The obvious reason why the turtle does not eat may be a lack of vitamin D. A UV lamp will help to compensate for this deficiency. Closed eyes, lethargy and refusal to eat are the first symptoms of rickets or metabolic disorders. The turtle should take about 12 hours a day sunbathing under a lamp; in addition, vitamins and preparations should be introduced into the diet to restore the body after wintering.
  • The picture, when the turtle does not eat anything, and its eyes are closed and signs of conjunctivitis are already visible, is characteristic of a lack of vitamin A. The fact is that vision in reptiles plays an essential role for nutrition, therefore, inflammation of the eyelids will necessarily lead to refusal of food. Washing, injections and other procedures will be prescribed by a specialist; in such a case, self-medication poses a real threat to the life of the turtle.

Turtle does not eat does not swim

It is relatively easy to observe the correct conditions of detention; this is the key to the health and life of the pet. Let them walk on the floor or on the carpet, do not check the temperature of the water and air, forget about the gradual decrease or increase in temperature with the change of season. all this is a direct path to the development of pneumonia in the turtle. If the water turtle does not eat, but immediately falls on its side in the water, these are symptoms of pneumonia. Injections, heating under a lamp, increasing the temperature of the content and steam warm baths will help here. All this is appointed by a specialist.

The land turtle does not eat

Inexperienced owners of land turtles often do not fully understand the importance of observing the conditions for keeping reptiles. The Central Asian species does not claim a lot of attention, reptiles are really unpretentious. However, every beginner faces the problem of lack of appetite. If the already listed general answers to the question why the turtle does not eat did not fit the description, the terrestrial pet probably refuses food for another reason.

  • The place of purchase is of great importance. Buying from an unknown person increases the likelihood of bringing home a sick animal at times. The first step is to check the lower part of the shell and the mouth with the neck for yellow spots and flakes.
  • Taking the pet home is another test for the owner. Refusal to eat at first. a consequence of adaptation. However, on the way home, the turtle could catch a cold. For the same reason, experts strictly do not recommend letting the turtle move freely around the apartment.
  • Find out what you fed your pet before selling. The turtle eats habitual food more readily in new conditions.

Why doesn‘t the turtle eat anything??

Refusal to eat can be the result of a variety of reasons. Some species are sensitive to temperature changes, others do not eat the proposed food, sometimes this is a process of adaptation or behavior patterns in different periods of the year.

  • When an exotic pet appears in the house, the process of feeding it is exciting and you want to pamper it with various delicacies. However, the first and common reason why the turtle does not eat is overfeeding. The young eats little by little every day, and the adult eats in just three meals a week. Observing the turtle, you can determine its portions and taste preferences, because you cannot force feed.
  • If there are several individuals in the aquarium, the male turtle does not eat due to the desire to reproduce. Pets simply do not want to waste time and energy on food. After mating, everything will return to normal and the appetite will resume.
  • When the turtle does not want to eat, and even does not open its eyes, it should be taken to a specialist. A common cause of ailments is low temperature, improper care. This issue is resolved exclusively after consultation.

Why the turtle doesn‘t eat anything. main reasons

Sometimes the owners of such exotic animals as turtles are faced with the problem of refusing food. When an animal does not eat anything for a long time, this is often the first sign of stress or illness. There can be a huge number of reasons for this, so in order for the reptile to start actively absorbing food again, the first step is to find out and eliminate the cause.

Conditions in the terrarium

The terrarium you have created should be comfortable for the animal in every sense. Conditions should resemble natural habitat. Any changes can affect the mood and health of the turtles:

  • Temperature. This may be the reason and the answer to the question why the turtle does not eat for a long time. The optimum temperature should be between 25-27 degrees. If the turtle is cold, it becomes inactive, can sleep a lot and even hibernate.
  • Lighting. Poor lighting can also affect the appetite and mobility of reptiles. It is important that the lamp is UV-emitting. It is this kind of lighting that helps the body produce vitamin D3.
  • Water. Make sure that there is always clean and fresh water in the cup. Often the turtle may refuse to eat due to thirst.
  • Food. Your pet may not be happy with the food offered. Remember, food must be varied and appropriate for the food supply. Try giving herbivorous turtles, in addition to plants, sprigs of fruit trees, sunflower seeds. Diversify animal food for predators. It so happens that a reptile just fell in love with a certain product and is waiting for it.
  • Pregnancy. If the turtle does not eat at the time of pregnancy, this means that the animal feels restless, therefore, appetite may disappear for 2-3 months.
  • Puberty. This is an important factor that can affect your pet’s appetite.
  • Diseases of the eyes. If the reptile is doing well, not pregnant, but still refusing to eat, pay attention to her eyes. Fasting can be caused by conjunctivitis. The fact is that turtles find food through their eyes (not smell), and puffy eyelids can simply interfere with finding food.
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In addition, if there are two individuals of the opposite sex in your aquarium, then mating games can be the result of poor appetite. Of course, at this moment it is not time to eat, but after mating, the animals will certainly renew their strength and eat more than they should. You should not be surprised and worried about this.

Reasons for refusing food

One of the first reasons a turtle doesn‘t eat is overfeeding. But besides this, there are a number of situations that can affect the appetite of a reptile.

It should be noted right away that turtles are cold-blooded animals and due to changes in the environment or living conditions, they can significantly slow down their metabolism. Adults can go without food for up to three months. At the same time, up to 40% of body weight is noticeably lost. It should be understood that prolonged fasting can be the result of exhaustion and negative health consequences.


Is your turtle sick? After all, sick turtles do not eat well, become lethargic and lethargic. Depletion of an animal can lead to the worst, and the worst is death. The most common cause of digestion and nutrition is intestinal parasites. Therefore, owners of exotic animals should, if they suspect digestive problems, collect the animal’s feces and hand them over to the veterinarian for analysis.

So what can you do if the reptile stops eating? First of all, you need to inspect the turtle externally, follow its behavior and general condition.

Consider diseases and their external signs:

Why doesn’t the turtle eat anything??


Before this, the reptile begins to lead a semi-active lifestyle. If she is not active and refuses to eat, it is possible that she needs to find a suitable place with suitable conditions for hibernation. Since it will not be possible to provide it with appropriate conditions, it is better to increase the temperature of its content with an increase in the amount of light. An increase in her activity will certainly indicate precisely this reason. This fact will testify that the turtle could have been kept under the proper temperature conditions.

Frequent feeding

Excessive care, expressed in frequent feedings, also leads to negative results. Before feeding an animal, you need to familiarize yourself with its food feed, which directly depends on its age. If the turtle has stopped eating, then the first thing to pay attention to is the frequency of food intake. For an adult, one meal every few days is enough, and daily feeding can lead to this result. In no case should you force-feed your turtle. If she refuses to eat, then she has enough energy reserves. Therefore, you need to control the frequency of the turtle’s food intake.

Not knowing the intricacies of turtles, many owners ask the same question regarding the turtle’s drinking of water and how often it needs to be watered. Most turtles do not need this, but you need to bathe your turtle more often. It is at this moment that the turtle is stocked up with the necessary moisture. The turtle is not in danger of dehydration, since there is a certain percentage of moisture in the food, by observing the reptile it is possible to determine whether it needs moisture. If the turtle prefers juicy food, then it really needs it.

The turtle does not eat anything

Many turtle owners are faced with the problem of turtle refusal to eat. The reasons may be different and not all can affect her health. In order for a reptile to start eating, you need to find out the reasons and eliminate them.

Breeding period

If two opposite-sex individuals grow in the aquaterrarium, then the result can be absolutely predictable, especially since mating games are hard to miss. Naturally, during this period they have no time to eat, and after that they will definitely eat more than they need. Therefore, there is no reason to worry.


This is the worst thing that can happen. Any disease oppresses the animal, and as a result, it can refuse food. If it is found that the turtle has become lethargic and has stopped eating, it is imperative to inspect it. This examination can help detect some diseases. If nothing is visually visible or there is no such experience, then it is better to contact your veterinarian. Only a professional can determine the cause of a turtle’s poor appetite and lethargy. If the cause is found, then appropriate medications will be prescribed and appropriate medical manipulations will be carried out. over, the veterinarian will be able to give useful advice, based on finding out the cause. The fact is that many owners of turtles do not particularly delve into the intricacies of their content, as a result of which they have many questions. Such a visit to the veterinarian will always be beneficial.

It is best not to resort to self-treatment or diagnosis. As a rule, this leads to a deterioration in the condition of the pet and serious harm to its health. After such individual treatment, very often, even the veterinarian is not able to do anything.

If there is no opportunity to visit a veterinarian, then you need to carefully examine it and analyze the conditions of detention and the diet. For no reason, just like that, the turtle will not get sick. Either she has poor nutrition, or she is kept in unsanitary conditions, or the temperature regime is far from optimal. Of course, you can change everything, but not always. In this case, you cannot do without a visit to a specialist. In order not to have to look for a veterinarian for your pet, you do not need to forget about him and constantly take care of him, providing him with acceptable living conditions, close to natural.


Under natural conditions, with the onset of cold weather or unbearable heat, free-living reptiles go into hibernation, during which metabolism slows down, sexual cycles in males and females are synchronized, and hormonal regulation is normalized. Due to this physiological feature, turtles can go without food for a long time in winter and summer.

Domestic red-eared turtles do not need hibernation, they are kept in comfortable conditions all year round and receive a sufficient amount of food. But in some individuals in the fall, against the background of a decrease in the length of daylight hours, the lack of central heating, or as a result of the action of instincts, life processes slow down, the animal stops eating dry or natural food, becomes lethargic, looks for a dill corner, tries to hide. If the turtle is inactive in October-November, almost does not swim, often lies on land and has not eaten for 2 weeks, most likely the animal has hibernated.

What to do when an exotic pet is stressed?

The best treatment in such a situation is to create a calm, quiet environment and optimal conditions of detention. As it gets used to it, the animal will recover from stress and begin to feed without the use of drugs.

What to do if your turtle stops eating due to a containment breach?

In order for the reptile not to get sick, it is necessary to keep the red-eared turtle in clean, settled water of the optimum temperature; the aquarium should have islands for heating and a cleaning system. A prerequisite for the normal life of reptiles is the installation of a fluorescent and ultraviolet lamp, as well as a balanced feeding with high protein products.

Improper care

Reptiles are cold-blooded animals, in which, when environmental conditions change, metabolism slows down, as a result of which animals move little and do not eat. Comfortable temperature for red-eared turtles is 26-28C in water and 28-32C on land with a day length of 12-14 hours. When keeping a pet in other conditions, the turtle becomes inactive and does not eat well, in such conditions the animal becomes vulnerable to the action of pathogenic microorganisms and fungi.

What to do if a red-eared turtle refuses food due to illness?

The causes of diseases in domestic turtles are violations of the conditions of keeping and feeding aquatic reptiles. If an exotic animal has stopped crawling and swimming, constantly lies on the bottom, floats or falls on its side, the reptile has swollen eyes, deformation or softening of the shell, fractures, skin rashes, bleeding, clicks and wheezing are heard when breathing, you cannot waste time or on your own treat your pet with medicines from the home first aid kit. The appointment of specific drugs and the calculation of the dosage in each specific case should be dealt with by a veterinarian, it is best to find an experienced herpetologist. The specialist will understand the reasons for refusing food and tell you how to feed a sick reptile.

Hormonal changes

A normal physiological response is the refusal to feed the animals during the mating season and during pregnancy. If your turtles are active swimmers and respond appropriately to touch and stimuli, don’t worry. With the normalization of the hormonal background, the animals will again begin to feed on their own.

What to do if a red-eared turtle has stopped eating, is constantly sleeping and is lethargic?

Decorative turtles have long been kept at home as pets, the owners love exotic animals for their unpretentiousness and calm nature. Aquatic reptiles are the most popular, freshwater and sea turtles are distinguished by their activity, interesting habits and excellent appetite. But if the red-eared turtle does not eat for a long time, it becomes lethargic and constantly sleeps, there is reason for concern.

There are physiological and pathological reasons for the animal’s refusal to eat, if the lack of appetite is accompanied by a change in the appearance or behavior of the reptile, it is worth consulting with a herpetologist. With a prolonged lack of appetite or pathologies, when the pet cannot open its mouth, the owner will have to feed the sick turtle on his own so that the animal does not die from exhaustion.


A stressful situation for an exotic pet can be a banal change of habitat, rearrangement of the aquarium, moving new neighbors into it, mating games, sharp noises and sounds, new food, careless handling, falling from a height, injuries and intrusive attention of the owners. Against the background of stress, the reptile becomes inactive, does not eat anything, reacts poorly to touch and constantly sleeps.