My Turtle Hasn’t Eaten In Months (2 Reasons Why + What To Do)

All animals need to eat, this is how they maintain their energy levels so they can go about their day and their lives.

If your turtle hasn’t eaten in months you may start to become quite worried, and understandably so.

This article looks into why your turtle hasn’t eaten in months.


My turtle hasn’t eaten in months:

The well-being of your turtle is of high priority for any responsible turtle owner so it will understandably be alarming if the animal goes for a while, months, without eating.


Its winter: 

Your pet turtle may have stopped eating come wintertime and may have not eaten since, this also could have happened if the heater in your pet’s enclosure stopped working. 

When temperatures drop, and it gets cold, the animal’s metabolism drops and this causes it to lose its appetite. 

This happens because the turtle’s body needs heat to be able to digest food properly, so if there is no heat then the animal won’t be able to digest food properly. 

These animals don’t need to eat consistently in the first place but not eating for months can happen because of the change in temperature. 

What to do: 

It isn’t unnatural for your turtle to stop eating during the winter months.

While domesticated turtles don’t usually go through this change it can still happen and is still safe as long as the animal has decent muscle tone, and was well fed beforehand.

If this is the case then the animal will be fine during this time. 

What you can do, if the animal is still moving from time to time, is offer it food once or twice a week to see if it decides to eat, if the animal doesn’t eat the food then try again the next week. 

You can get the animal out of this state by increasing the temperature in its enclosure and increasing the lighting in the enclosure.

Doing this will speed up its metabolism and get its digestive system working again.  

The animal is dead: 

Shockingly these animals can survive several days without a head, a 17th-century experiment by physician Francesco Redi showed that these animals’ movements are controlled by muscle memory. 

The physician showed this by removing the animal’s brain for 6 months and then removing the head. The turtle survived 6 months without a head 

Your pet may be moving around in death but death will stop the animal’s appetite, and this may be what is going on with your pet.

Live turtles may not move much, or at all, for long periods of time but dead ones may. 

What to do: 

You’d need to check that the animal is not dead. Reactions to stimuli usually indicate that the animal is alive, then again, this may be muscle memory. 

Check that the animal is dead by poking its eyelid and eye, then picking it up and turning it over, if its legs are stiff and its eyes don’t react then the animal may be dead.  

If you’re worried about your pet then consider taking it to the vet to see if it is dead.  

If you enjoyed this article then you may also be interested in other turtle/tortoise related articles. Here are some articles that you may be interested in: My Turtle Keeps SplashingWhat Happens If You Drop A Baby TurtleTurtle Hasn’t Eaten In A WeekMy Turtle Escaped His Tank, Why Is My Turtle Floating Upside DownHow To Find Lost Turtle In YardTurtle HiccupsCan I Put My Turtle In The Sun?Why Is My Turtle Bleeding From Tail?

My Turtle Hasn’t Eaten In Months (2 Reasons Why + What To Do)
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