Close this search box.

What Should You Do If Your Box Turtle Stops Eating?

Are you wondering to know about What Should You Do If Your Box Turtle Stops Eating? You have come to the right place.

If you are the owner of a box turtle and you notice that your pet has stopped eating, your initial reaction may be one of panic. Nevertheless, this is a very common issue that can be brought on by a wide range of different things. In this piece, we will discuss some of the potential causes of why box turtles stop eating, and we will also give you some suggestions on how to get your pet to start eating again.

Understanding Box Turtles

Before we dive into the reasons why your box turtle may have stopped eating, it’s important to understand a little bit about these creatures. Box turtles are reptiles that are native to North America. They are known for their hard, protective shell, which they can retreat into when they feel threatened.

Box turtles are omnivores, which means that they eat both plant and animal matter. In captivity, they are typically fed a diet of vegetables, fruits, insects, and other small animals.

Why Box Turtles Stop Eating

There are several reasons why a box turtle may stop eating. Some of the most common causes include:

1. Environmental Factors

Because of their sensitivity, box turtles must live in very specific conditions in order to thrive. They might experience stress and stop eating if the temperature of their habitat is too high or too low, or if there is not enough humidity in the air. In addition, if there are an excessive number of people or other animals in the vicinity, they could grow agitated and refuse to eat.

2. Illness or Injury

Illness or injury can also cause a box turtle to stop eating. If your pet has recently been injured or if you notice any signs of illness, such as lethargy or runny nose, you should take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

3. Aging

As box turtles age, their metabolism slows down, which can cause them to eat less. If your turtle is getting older, you may need to adjust their diet or feeding schedule to accommodate their changing needs.

4. Incorrect Diet

If you’re not feeding your box turtle a balanced diet, they may stop eating. Make sure that you’re offering a variety of foods, including vegetables, fruits, and insects. Additionally, make sure that you’re not overfeeding your pet, as this can also cause them to lose their appetite.

5. Hibernation

In the wild, box turtles hibernate during the winter months. If your pet is not getting enough rest or if they are being kept in an environment that is too warm, they may start to hibernate early and stop eating.

What Should You Do If Your Box Turtle Stops Eating?

If you notice that your box turtle has stopped eating, there are several things that you can do to get them back on track:

1. Check Their Environment

Make sure that your turtle’s habitat is clean, well-maintained, and at the right temperature and humidity levels. Additionally, make sure that there are no other pets or people around that could be stressing them out.

2. Offer a Variety of Foods

Try offering your turtle a variety of different foods to see if there is something that they prefer. Make sure that you’re offering a balanced diet that includes vegetables, fruits, and insects.

3. Monitor Their Behavior

Watch your turtle’s behavior to see if they are exhibiting any signs of illness or injury. If you notice anything unusual, take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

4. Adjust Their Diet

If your turtle is getting older, you may need to alter their diet or the schedule on which they are fed in order to meet their evolving nutritional requirements. In addition, make sure that you are not giving your pet more food than it needs.

5. Provide Plenty of Water

Make sure that your turtle has access to plenty of fresh, clean water.

6. Offer a Soaking Area

Box turtles need to soak in water to stay hydrated and maintain their shell health. Provide a shallow dish or pan with clean water, and ensure that it is changed daily.

7. Consult with a Veterinarian

If you have tried all of the above solutions and your turtle still refuses to eat, it’s time to consult with a veterinarian. A vet can examine your turtle, identify the underlying cause, and provide the appropriate treatment.

8. Don’t Force Feed Your Turtle

It’s important to note that you should never force feed your turtle. This can cause more harm than good and may cause your turtle to become even more stressed.


In a nutshell, if your box turtle suddenly stops eating, it is imperative that you identify the underlying cause and take the necessary steps to remedy the situation. Ensure that the environment that your turtle lives in is spotless and comfortable, provide it with a diet that is well-balanced, and keep a close eye on its behavior. If you have tried everything else and are still having trouble, you should make an appointment with a veterinarian so that your turtle can get the finest care possible.


  1. Can a box turtle go without eating for long periods of time?

Yes, box turtles can go without eating for several weeks or even months.

  1. How often should I feed my box turtle?

Box turtles should be fed every other day, with a diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, and insects.

  1. Can stress cause a box turtle to stop eating?

Yes, stress can cause box turtles to lose their appetite.

  1. Can a box turtle die from not eating?

Yes, if a box turtle refuses to eat for an extended period of time, it can become malnourished and eventually die.