Tortoise Not Eating But Active? Find Out The Reason Why

Most tortoises don’t eat every day, much less many times. You find out that your torte not eating but still active. That isn’t to say that your tortoise should stop eating completely. There will be a reason for your tortoise’s lack of hunger.

tortoise not eating but active

Why Is Your Tortoise Not Eating?

A tortoise not eating, sometimes known as ‘Anorexia,’ can be dangerous. It might be a symptom of poor management or sickness, but one thing is certain: until the reason is found and remedied, your pet’s health will become worse. Here is some reason why your torte stop eating and lost their appetite:

1. Hibernation

Some tortoise species, particularly those from the Mediterranean, will undergo hibernation It is actually unusual for these animals to stay active 365 days a year. Even if you provide your pet tortoises with the best possible surroundings, they may still need to hibernate. If your tortoise’s habitat appears to be healthy, hibernation might be the cause of your pet tortoise’s lack of appetite.

Hibernation can take anywhere from three weeks for young tortoises to up to 22 weeks for adults. It’s also not a good idea to force your tortoise to hibernate if you’ve only owned them for a year or less, regardless of age.

For the first few days after emerging from hibernation, a tortoise may exhibit little interest in eating until it has had a drink and is thoroughly rehydrated.

This is normal behavior, but your goal should always be to reignite your pet’s hunger as soon as possible. The type of food supplied at this period can make a big difference, with tortoises preferring juicy, high-water-content meals like tomatoes over dry pelleted diets.

Simply place them in lukewarm water to warm them up, and then return them to their environment once they’ve hydrated and cleansed out their systems. In a day or two, their hunger should return. It’s better to take them to the vet if they aren’t eating after a week.

2. Illness

If you’ve double-checked that the tortoise cage is properly calibrated and that the tortoise doesn’t need to hibernate, it’s usually reasonable to think they’re unwell. Look for signs of disease, such as a runny nose, puffy eyes, discolorations on their skin, or if they haven’t pooped in a long time.

Take your pet to the veterinarian right away if you suspect they’re unwell. You may need to seek out a tortoise or reptile specialist in general.

3. Easy access to food

It may seem obvious and straightforward, but ensuring that your tortoise has easy access to its food is critical. Most of us use a custom manufactured tortoise or reptile food bowl for this since they have low walls and sometimes a ramp to make it simple for your tortoise to go in and out.

It’s also crucial to maintain the eating area of your tortoise as clean and sanitary as possible. This entails washing out the dish after your tortoise eats each day and removing any food particles from the habitat.

4. Proper Lighting

Your tortoises will require UV light in addition to heat. UVB and UVA are the two kinds of UV rays. UVB helps tortoises create Vitamin D, which is important for bone health, while UVA encourages tortoises to behave normally. Although most commercial UV bulbs emit both forms of UV, it’s still a good idea to double-check your bulbs before purchasing.

Tortoises see the world via UV light. That’s why, depending on whether or not their UV lamp is turned on, tortoises may respond differently near you. When you’re not shining in UV, you appear to them to be a whole different person.

Between 10 and 14 hours every day, UV lamps should be switched on. If you can get natural light into their cage, it will cost you less. Insufficient illumination might cause your tortoises to lose their appetite as well as become inactive.

Tortoise Not Eating But Active

1. Temperature

Tortoises are sensitive to the ambient temperature of their environment. Tortoises, like other reptiles, are ectothermic, or cold-blooded, which means they create very little or no body heat, therefore they can only get as warm as their immediate surroundings.

Tortoises brumate in cold temperatures. It’s a normal habit in most tortoise species that happens approximately once a year, and it shouldn’t worry you. Leopard tortoises, for example, are not all brumate.

Outside of brumation, tortoises require a temperature of 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit on one side of their cage. This should be supplemented by a basking area that is kept at 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit.

According to Herpetologica, tortoises will thermoregulate by moving between these areas as needed.

2. Intestinal parasites

It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your tortoise’s droppings for symptoms of intestinal parasites, especially since a significant worm infestation may quickly lower a tortoise’s appetite and the cause may not be obvious.

It’s possible that you should do this twice a year, once in the early summer and again in the autumn, just before your pet goes into hibernation.

Treatment can then be administered as needed, however, due to the presence of tiny worm eggs in the tortoise’s habitat, it can be difficult to avoid reinfection.

How Long Can A Tortoise Survive Without Food?

Adult tortoises are strong and hardy animals. A healthy adult tortoise may go for up to six months without eating.

Young tortoises are still growing and can’t go without nourishment for lengthy periods of time. All juveniles under the age of six months can only go for a few weeks without nourishment, while hatchlings can only go for a few days.

Even if they survive, juvenile tortoises without nourishment may have developmental problems.

Encouraging Your Tortoise to Eat

Once you’ve solved the problem of your pet tortoise not eating, it’s time to start encouraging them to eat. There are ways to increase your tortoise’s appetite:

1. Switching it up

It’s always possible that the tortoise doesn’t like or recognize the food it’s eating. This was a difficulty when professionally prepared meals were initially introduced, because tortoises didn’t find the pellets very appealing, but this issue has now been resolved.

2. Give them a little bit of moisture

Give the tortoise a few soaks in warm water to rehydrate it. If you’re giving your tortoises pellets, soak them in water for a few minutes to soften them up. This is how some tortoises prefer their pellets. To give the pellets a little more taste, soak them in fruit juice.

3. Live food

You can provide your tortoise with its favorite foods. Providing them with a tasty reward, such as fruits or berries, might encourage them to eat. However, other animals, particularly those living in dry settings, should avoid eating fruit frequently since too much sugar might injure their kidneys. Forest tortoises, on the other hand, should be alright.


Adult tortoises may go months without eating and typically recover quickly once they regain their appetite. The tortoise may require veterinarian care depending on the cause of its inappetence.

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