How To Potty Train A Tortoise?


We all have heard the story of the rabbit and tortoise race and concluded that slow and steady wins the race. The tortoise being the champion of the race is the most loved among all the pets. It looks cute and attractive and does all the nasty activities that are enough to give you a well-spent day. Studies have reported that around 70 percent of the world’s total pet community comprises turtles. It takes a lot of research and knowledge before you think of keeping a tortoise as a pet. Among everything how to potty train, a tortoise is what is of major concern. Unlike cats and other pets tortoises normally don’t get trained soon therefore you need to follow certain guidelines before you bring it as a pet at home.

Top Ways To Potty Train A Tortoise

Before you skip to learn about potty training a tortoise know that you just cannot program it forcefully. Your little joy will slowly and gradually learn it.

1. Patience Comes First

It is very natural that when you bring a tortoise as a pet home then you will surely run to wanting it to learn to carry out its jobs itself. It is fairly difficult but not impossible. Don’t rush in teaching them in fact, wait and watch how they grow and learn things themselves.

It can take from days to months for a tortoise to be fully trained to attain the level where it can excrete its waste within the confined zones. As said earlier “slow and steady wins the race”. So wait, your tortoise will reach the finish line soon.

2. Notice Their Time

All the creatures are humans or animals that follow a circadian rhythm. It means that they perform their jobs and activities daily at a specific time. This makes it easier for you to understand that at what time they normally excrete out their waste. When you start noting the time what you can do is start keeping a Potty chair or any DIY box that is meant for their toilet. You need to be very keen and sharp to detect their times. If you feel you can miss the time then set an alarm or a reminder daily.

3. Specific Place

It is said that after cats turtles are the ones who are very particular and specific about the places they poo. This fact makes it easier for you to train them. If you have fabricated a small house for them then you should subject a place for them where they can poo whenever they want. In the beginning, you will have to take them to the toilet area yourself and then eventually they will learn to go themselves whenever they will feel the urge for nature’s call.

4. Cleanliness Matters

If you think not keeping the toilet place tidy does not affect the tortoise then know that you are wrong. Tortoise is very particular when it comes to cleanliness. Not pooing in a day can be due to a toilet place which is not well maintained. Therefore make sure that you keep their house spotlessly clean. You will notice that once they are used to poo in a place they will eventually go for it next time too. The fact is that the place should be devoid of any litter.

5. Pairs Learn More

If you think besides doing everything your little tortoise still fails to be potty trained then there is one way you can succeed. Bring another tortoise home who is already trained. Your little tortoise will start mimicking the actions of the trained one. Very soon you will figure out that your tortoise has started to poo himself on the right places and track. Another main reason why it is important to have a pair is that your tortoise will feel less lonely.

6. Seeking Help

There are many animal control and centres that offer training to pets. You can reach out to them and take help from them. some centres will take your tortoise for a day or two and will train them.  

7. Trying Different Environment

Sometimes tortoise normally don’t feel adaptable in tanks and sand they are kept in. They feel hesitant. Try leaving your little one outside on the grass, on some huge rocks or in the yards. Try to notice everyday where he eases himself off. If he excretes in a specific place then try to recreate something like that in his tank or cage. He will become familiar with it.

8. The Water Hack

As you know that tortoise can live both on land and water they often feel comfortable in relieving themselves in water. If your tortoise feels uncomfortable in pooing in the sand then it is very likely that it needs water. This may be due to the ecosystem it has come from. Therefore, all you need to do is either place him in a tank of water for atleast half an hour. Your tortoise will definelty poo in it!

9. Follow Their Instincts

Some tortoises have certain habits which they do and poop either after that or befor that. Try to figure out what is that habit which your tortoise has and notice that time. The next time he tries to do something habitual see if he releases himself or not.

10. Train Yourself First

It is not your tortoise who needs to be trained first but you! If you want a well trained pet then you need to follow a team work. You and your tortoise both need to work in hand and only then you both will succeed. Try to adapt the kind of routine your tortoise has. Follow the patterns he has and implement it on yourself.

How To Maintain Hygiene For A Tortoise Undergoing Potty Training?

When your tortoise is learning to carry out its jobs itself it becomes very messy and disgusting because they poo wherever they feel like in the beginning. However, it is not very hard some few, tried and tested ways can help you maintain hygiene while potty training them.

  • Replace the sand and mud they crawl in
  • Invest in buying a water filter that cleanses and purifies the water tank
  • Keep separate cleaning tools for them
  • Clean their litter often
  • Water buffs are available that can work as showers bring them for regular cleansing
  • If you leave your tortoise in yards or grounds then make sure the grass in clean.
  • Fumigate your tortoise’s tank atleast in every 6 months.
  • Never ever leave their waste dispose it off immediately. Many diseases can occur if the waste is left.

How Do You Know That Your Tortoise Is Potty Trained Well?

There are some ways by which you can figure out whether your tortoise has learned to properly poop or not. for example:

  • They will go for excretion themselves and you will not need to force them anymore
  • Their potty chair will be filled during certain fixed times of the day
  • They will feel hungry often
  • You will not feel miserable anymore
  • A positive and fresh change will be noticed in their behavior.
  • He will start showing some signs that show he needs to release
  • He will start sticking to a daily routine
  • Your tortoise will start landing in a specifc place whenever he needs to release.

Final Words:

Pets are no less than a family member. You have a different bond with them and when they are in pain the owner is pained too. The first few days of bringing a tortoise are hectic and difficult. This is because they are not well trained however following a few techniques will eventually teach them everything. In all this, your patience and perseverance are what matters.

If you think after trying everything your tortoise still lacks the skills to be potty trained then it is better that you should seek advice from a vet. There might be a possibility that your tortoise has a disease or some disorder that needs to seek attention.

Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top