11 Reasons Why The Red-Eared Turtle Stops Eating

Trachemys is a popular pet. Bright color, unpretentiousness in food and low price made this breed a frequent inhabitant of home terrariums.

Not all owners comply with the rules of caring and feeding the pet. Most often, the red-eared turtle does not eat, is lethargic and sleeps due to inappropriate conditions.

Why does the red-eared bug not eat

The causes of loss of appetite – from improper care and puberty to the terrarium and diseases.

Improper feeding

Feed your pet specialized feed and permitted foods. Improper nutrition 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 necessarily includes meat, sea fish with bones, shrimp, as well as vegetable feed.

It is impossible to make a turtle eat food that it didn’t like.

Young individuals will not eat vegetables.

Binge eating

Often the animal refuses food with excessively frequent feedings. Young animals are eaten every day, and adults eat every 2 days. Normalize the food system, watch the pet to find out how much food it needs.

If the portion is not eaten completely, the amount of food should be reduced.


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

Improper care

The most common error in the content. Make sure that the temperature is kept constant within the limits required for a particular breed. Reptiles cannot independently maintain body temperature. During hypothermia, they become lethargic, refuse to eat, get sick and die.

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Water rocks show a lack of heat, staying exclusively on the surface. If the reptile does not swim at all, pneumonia is possible.


Animals are stressed. Loud sounds, sudden movements, a sudden change in familiar conditions – these factors lead to a refusal of food. Eliminate sources of stress, appetite will gradually return.


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

If the pet does not eat on the 5th day after leaving hibernation, take it to the veterinarian. Exhaustion, dehydration, or gout or liver failure is possible.

Mating season

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

Habitat change

With a sharp change in environment, it will take time to get comfortable. Follow your animal’s usual diet and diet. Having got used to a new place, the pet will start to eat. If you want to change the nutrition plan, do it when the animal is settled.

Addictive to captivity

Wild animals caught in the terrarium are stressed and often refuse food for a week. Show patience and create indoor conditions that are close to natural. If, after getting used to it, the tortoise eats poorly, review the diet.


With constipation, the tortoise eats nothing. If your pet has not had a chair for a long time, then consult with your veterinarian to identify the exact problem.

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Suppression of weak individuals

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

Solution to the problem

The longer the red-eared turtle eats nothing, the more dangerous its condition becomes. Contact a specialist. If this is not possible, for example, in the city there are no veterinarians specializing in reptiles, start by checking compliance with the conditions of detention.

  1. A complete diet. Turtles refuse to feed their animals in a bad way. Replace it, but remember about a balanced diet.
  2. Check if the turtle has enough space in the terrarium.
  3. Clean all surfaces of the turtle house.
  4. Remove the small stones and jewelry that the turtle can swallow.
  5. Adjust the temperature.
  6. Water rocks need a place to relax outside the water. Check if there is enough space for all the inhabitants of the terrarium.
  7. Remember, the red-eared turtle at home is very demanding on the quality and purity of water. Install high-quality filters and change water at least once a week.
  8. Limit animal walks outside the terrarium.
  9. Make sure that no food is left in the water. It will pollute the water.
  10. Do not self-treat your pet. It is not easy to identify and cure a disease without experience.

How many can not eat a turtle

Without food, turtles do without damage to their health for 3 weeks. In emergency situations up to 3 months.


The reasons for the lack of appetite are many. A specialist can find a problem and solve it. If the turtle does not eat, is very lethargic and sleeps, and there are no apparent reasons, do not delay visiting the veterinarian. Pay attention to the change in the condition of the pet. And remember: preventing the disease, observing the basic rules of care, is easier than curing the consequences.

11 Reasons Why The Red-Eared Turtle Stops Eating

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