Why Is My Turtle Eating Less? (3 Reasons Why + What To Do)

Your pet turtle gets its energy from its food, so, if your pet stops eating said food, then you may start to worry about its health and overall well-being

This article is a look into why your turtle seems to be eating less

Why is my turtle eating less?

Healthy turtles will gobble up anything they can, they will even eat when they are full, so if your pet starts doing something out of the ordinary, if it stops eating or starts eating less, then you’d understandably start to worry

Here is why your turtle may be eating less:


One of the reasons why your turtle may be eating less may be because of stress. Stress in turtles can cause major behavioral changes, including a loss of appetite

Turtles, in the wild, are prey animals, so they are always watching for predators or changes in their environment, if your pet’s environment changes then this can cause stress on the animal

Changes in lighting, changes in temperatures, and bullying may cause stress in your turtle

Another stressor of turtles is predators. In the eyes of turtles dogs and cats in the area are predators.

What to do:

You’d need to closely observe the animal to determine what caused stress in the reptile.

If a change in environment caused your pet to become stressed then getting things back to how they used to be will be the solution.

If cats or dogs are around your pet then keep the animals separate from now on. If bullying is the cause of your turtle’s stress then you’d need to nip that in the bud.

Cold weather:

Another reason why your pet turtle may not be eating, or may be eating less, is that the temperature in the environment is too low.

These animals are cold-blooded so their internal body temperature is closely related to their outside environment.

If it is too cold then sufficient digestion can’t take place, if this happens then the animal’s body will not send the signal to the brain to make the turtle want to eat

The result is a turtle who does not have an appetite.

What to do:

You’d need to increase the temperature of your pet’s environment.

If it’s winter in your area then you’d need to increase the temperature of the room that your pet’s tank is in.

You can also use an aquarium heater in the tank to maintain a comfortable temperature in it.


Shedding is another reason why your turtle may not be eating. Shedding is a natural process and is something that all turtles go through.

This process is similar to how other animals, like snakes, shed their outer layer of skin, but in this case, the turtle will shed its outer scute layer to make room for new scutes.

While this process is normal it is energy-intensive, itchy, and uncomfortable and turtles commonly don’t eat during this process.

What to do:

The animal’s scutes will come off when they are ready, you should avoid peeling the scutes off as this could cause pain and damage the underlying tissue.

However, you can use a soft toothbrush, warm water, and gentle scrubbing motion to help the process along.

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: Why Is My Turtle Filter Not Working?, Why Is My Turtle Filter Making Noise?, Why Is My Turtle Filter So Loud?How To Keep A Turtle Tank Clean Without A Filter? Can I Clean My Turtle Tank With Vinegar?Why Does My Turtle Tank Get Dirty So Fast?Why Is My Turtle Eating So Much?

Why Is My Turtle Eating Less? (3 Reasons Why + What To Do)
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