To price a inquiry of just how long a turtle have the right to go there is no eating, us must know several things. First, the answer right here would count on which type of tortoise is in question- is it a wild or a pet. Again, it would be an essential to questioning yourself exactly how much and how often the reptiles characteristically should feed.

You are watching: How long can red-eared sliders live without food


Turtles don’t call for too much energy to keep their inner body temperature as in the reason of homoeothermic animals. This would therefore mean they perform not should consume much power when homoeothermic animals.

That said, these reptiles could go because that a longer time without food. Turtles, more so the wild ones carry out hibernate especially during cold winter months. This is the usual instance when they walk without eating. Although as soon as kept as pets, they do not normally hibernate, situations can pressure it to walk without food.

For instance, friend went because that a vacation trip, and also you were forced to spend numerous months away are throughout a house renovation, friend forgot her turtle that obtained trapped under debris are standard examples as soon as it have the right to without food.

How long can turtle go without eating?

According to, “a healthy, adult turtle (at the very least most species) that has been fed properly throughout its life should have the ability to survive for months without eating anything,”

Suppose you asked a question such as exactly how long deserve to turtle walk without eat or drinking water? In this case, ours answer would certainly be, no so long. Water is a very crucial factor than food in this case.

However, the is not basic to correctly tell exactly how long this reptile can go there is no eating however our estimate will depend on the habits and types at the particular habitat and the problem of that habitat in ~ a specific time.

Factors affecting duration a turtle takes there is no eating


The very first factor the can influence how lengthy it deserve to go without food is the accessibility of water. If that has access to clean and pure water for drinking and swimming, even when food is not available, it can stay for numerous weeks though; it might lose little fat storage. However, this can not be something serious as this constantly happen also to wild turtles throughout adverse ecological conditions.


Turtles are well-known to be cold-blooded animals. They therefore regulate their body temperature by behavioral means such together warming your bodies through outside sources of power like sunlight and also warm water.

Their metabolic price does no fluctuate through temperature transforms despite gift slower than in homoeotherms, or the warm-blooded animals.

An boost in metabolic rate boosts the oxygen requirement of the turtle since this would boost the quantity of oxygen needed and vise vasa, hence it might not require constant feeding.

Access come basking area, warm lamp, and also UVB

For the an excellent health of any kind of other form of pets turtle, a dried area because that basking, proper temperature detailed by a heat lamp and UVB lamp have to be availed.

These reptiles have the right to live comfortably through no major health worry for number of months, without food, if castle have access to pure water because that swimming and drinking as well as a ideal basking location with UVB and also heat lamp. Buying the Zoo Med Aquatic turtle UVB heat Lighting Kit can job-related as a resource of heat and UVB.

For aquatic or water turtle, the temperature of the aquatic atmosphere should be kept at the selection of between 78 come 82 degrees Fahrenheit (°F).

In enhancement to the optimum temperature provided, the turtle owner should also offer a warmer basking area that a temperature selection between 80°F and also 85°F or more, relying on the specific species you very own as a pet. If every these space available, then this pet can take a much more extended duration without food.

According to Dr. Mitchel, researcher and also professor of zoological medicine at the college of Illinois “make sure the turtles have actually an proper temperature gradient.” He proposal “providing the temperature controls their metabolic activities.”

Note that also though they deserve to go for numerous months without food, it does not mean that they will certainly be healthier, it can lose a most body fats.


We need to ask ourselves that, why execute turtles have shells? this reptiles room cold-blooded animal also known together ectothermic animals. When we take it a close look at them well, you will certainly realize that their metabolic price is typically low, transforms with temperature increase.

Being ectothermic, they control their human body temperature by behavioral adaptation. For instance, they warmth their bodies v the aid of outside sources like heat water and temperature increase. Therefore, once the temperatures increase, they have tendency to move really fast while on cold temperature, they relocate slowly.

When turtles relocate faster, more oxygen is needed. Therefore, in this case, it would require more food. In summary, as it might need food depending on the problem of your habitat concerning temperature, this uses to small turtle aquariums together well.

Hibernation underwater

Because they room cold-blooded animals, they can be extremely active in high-temperature conditions and also less energetic or even inactive as soon as the temperatures drop. The lower the temperature, the reduced the task level.

At the suggest of the too much drop in temperatures, turtles tend to go into hibernation. Some hibernate without any kind of signs of breathing inside the pond or in the mud. Throughout hibernation, they do not move as they affluent a suggest where they just use basal metabolic rate. The pulse rate additionally reduces as they respire anaerobically.

At this time, they either need tiny amount or no food at all, and this can go for several weeks or months.

Age of the turtle

Age is another important variable when determining just how long a turtle have the right to go there is no food. Also if water and also basking demands are accessible for younger people (6 months and also below), they would still no go much longer without food.

Younger turtle is quiet in require of expansion required to, because that instance, cater for cell department and multiplication. In this regard, they should for this reason be fed frequently. Gain someone to check on lock if you plan to go away or for prolonged period. This one must be done every few days or once a week.

Lower metabolic rate

The reason as to why they deserve to live for long without food also is favor a mystery. Among the components or variables the play vital role here, a lower metabolic rate makes them capable of staying much longer without feeding.

To add on the lower metabolic rate, as soon as they get into a state of hibernation likewise known as brumation, throughout hot and cold temperatures. Scientists believe that throughout such conditions, water turtles have the right to stay underwater because that weeks and months without oxygen and food.

Dr. Mitchel, notes that “everything is relatively slower because that turtles,” Mitchell says. “They have the right to undergo anaerobic respiration, which enables them to procedure things at various rates.”

How long deserve to a red-eared slider turtle go without eating?

On a red-eared slider turtle, it depends on the various components we have looked in ~ such together age, accessibility of clean water, basking area, warmth lamp, and UVB room made available. An adult red-eared slider deserve to go for numerous months without food.

You must ensure that it is healthy and complimentary from any kind of prior wellness issues, yet if the red-eared slider turtle is 6 months old and also below, then all these conditions in addition to food are mandatory, otherwise, it may not live for a month.

What around a box turtle

Just together red-eared sliders, package turtles are also able to live for number of weeks or months without food. However, they have to be provided with clean water for drinking and swimming. The water will alleviate its temperature to cope with the problem of starvation.

This is since lower the temperature lowers the rate of respiration hence, much less or no food is required. To protect against it from hibernating, the box enclosure must be adequately heated. This additionally answers a question on exactly how long deserve to a sea tortoise lives.


Please note this, a turtle have the right to live for several months there is no eating any type of food, yet water need to be availed of it. In the lack of both food and also water, then it is practically impossible because that it come live much longer than even weeks provided that that is not hibernating.

Like person beings and other animals, this reptiles need to be provided water which is vital for hydration, digestion, respiration among other physiology processes occurring in your bodies.

See more: How Far Is Sanibel Island From Key West From Sanibel, How To Get From Sanibel Island To Key West

In the lack of water, a turtle have the right to die in ~ a few weeks or months. Any kind whether a land tortoise e.g., crate or water ones, water should be made obtainable in your habitat for their daily life.