Do Turtles Like To Be Held

With most pets, you can show affection to them by petting them or holding them

It’s our way of showing how much we love our pets

Turtles are a little different



Turtles don’t like to be held or petted.

They aren’t very affectionate or friendly and they don’t enjoy being around others, especially when they have to physically interact with them.

However, there are other ways in which you can show your love towards them.

Turtle owners often wonder what ways they can show their love for turtles without being too obvious.

In this article, we’re going to explore some fun ways to express your affection for your turtle.

First, we have to understand what turtles think about and how they view us.

Turtles have been known to think about things other than eating, sleeping and mating.

They often ponder questions such as ‘Why am I here?’ and ‘Where did I come from?’

Turtles are much simpler than many pet species.

They only care about three things: eating, survival and basking


Turtles dislike being handled or touched because they feel vulnerable

Turtles are very smart animals.

They know how to survive in any environment.

The first thing they do is assess whether the environment is safe enough for them to stay.

If not, then they move away immediately.

If they feel threatened, they run away.

If a predator is near, they try to escape.

Turtles don’t think you should touch them because they feel threatened.

They will most likely be frightened by how you show affection.

The best-case scenario is that they will realize that you do not want to hurt them and will become indifferent to this.

However, in any case, they won’t like it.


Turtles love their owners so much they’ll even eat anything they give them.

Turtles primarily view humans as their food source.

They eat what we provide for them, and they do not seem to care much about our presence.

If another person were to say that to you it won’t really be a compliment, but coming from a turtle is one of the biggest compliments possible.

Nutrition is extremely important for turtles.

When turtles are in captivity and they feel safe in the place they are, their main priority becomes food, they are not interested in toys, like cats and dogs are, or anything else, in particular, they just care about food.

So one sure way to make your turtle happy, and to show your affection is to give them extra snacks.


Basking is another thing that turtles care about.

Bathing is essential for them because it helps them stay healthy, so finding a great bathing spot is vital for them.

The only thing you can do here is to provide them with a good resting spot, nothing more, nothing less.

Turtles are not sociable creatures

Turtles aren’t social animals; they rarely interact with each other except when necessary.

And they certainly don’t hang around humans unless forced to.

Turtles are only interested in survival

How to show affection to turtles

Turtles are very sensitive creatures and require lots of care. They also love treats and toys. So, while you’re at it, why not give your pet some of those?

The most important thing for a turtle is survival so providing them with a safe space, food, and a basking area will ensure they remain healthy and happy.

There are a few things that could make your turtle unhappy, even if you provide the basic necessities.

Let’s go through them.

Things That May Cause Your Turtle To Become Upset


Turtles are pretty tough creatures. If handled roughly, they can even break bones. So, when you pick up a turtle, try not to grab its shell too tightly. This way, you won’t hurt it.

If you put too much stress on them when handling them they will feel it and they won’t like it.

The same thing happens when predators attack them, so naturally, they will think that you want to harm them.

You shouldn’t hold them in your palms because this will make them feel trapped as they have nowhere to go

Small living space

Turtles that live in tanks smaller than 1 cubic foot tend to exhibit aggression towards others and become fearful and anxious.

They also tend to hide away from everyone else.

Turtles can be territorial animals, and if they feel crowded in their tank, they can get aggressive towards each other.

This doesn’t just apply to tanks, but also to the basking area.

If the basking area isn’t large enough for all of your turtles, they will fight among themselves, and they will begin to act aggressively towards you as well.

Not Enough Food

Turtles are very intelligent animals and they can learn how to open doors, climb stairs and even pick locks.

They are known to eat almost any type of food, so they will also try to bite you if you don’t feed them regularly.

To ensure your turtle gets enough food, we suggest you measure its head size before feeding it.

This method says that you should feed your turtle the same amount of food that it would take to fill its head (without the neck)

To get started, you’ll need something around the same size as the head of your turtle, without the neck. You can use a medicine cup, a shot glass, or even a bottle cap.

Fill the container to the brim, then give the food inside the container to your turtle.

You don’t always have to use a container, you can always just estimate how much food you’d need to fill its head.

Turtles grow at different rates, so this method isn’t guaranteed to work.

However, it does provide a good starting point for feeding turtles.

You can adjust the amount of food based on how fast your turtle grows.

I have been using this same method for feeding my turtles for several years now, and they seem happy enough so far.


Turtles can get very territorial over nesting areas and even over food sources.

If you have more than one adult turtle, they will be aggressive towards each other for numerous reasons, it doesn’t matter what you do; they will start to be aggressive.

This doesn’t mean that they will be fighting all the time, but they will do it often enough that they will start to be under constant stress and because of this, they may even be aggressive to you

That’s why it’s important to have a large aquarium

It gives them plenty of space to be in their own territory

If you decide to keep more than one turtle that is


Stressful situations can cause your turtle to feel anxious, depressed, or angry.

Having another turtle around can also increase your pet’s anxiety level.

If you notice that your pet seems overly stressed, try keeping noise levels down and cleaning the aquarium regularly.

Is it okay to hold a turtle?

I understand you want to hold your turtle and show that affection

Similar to how we would with a dog or a cat or pretty much any other pets

But turtles are different

Turtles aren’t always the kind of pets that love being touched.

They may prefer spending their whole lives near humans and never show any interest in interacting with us at all.

It’s just the way it is

Now I know what you’re thinking

Do turtles show affection to us humans?

Or do we just accept it’s a one way thing

Here’s the good news

They actually do show affection to humans


I’ll explain

How do turtles show affection?

Turtles express their love through body language rather than words.

They rarely greet you with a big smile or a hug; instead, they just stare at you while wiggling their heads back and forth.

However, once they get used to you, they will slowly begin to move closer to you and even follow you around the house.

Turtles often exhibit behaviors called “courtship” or “mating”.

For instance, if you approach your turtle tank on one side, your turtle will likely swim or walk over to that side to greet you.

This behavior shows affection, and some turtles also do this to ask for food.

Turtles also display affection through touching heads and necks.

In nature, this is a normal behavior that turtles exhibit.

If a turtle touches its head or neck toward you, it shows how much he trusts you and wants to express his love for you.

Turtles that feel affection for their owners will also love following them around.

If you put them down on the floor, they might inch ever closer to you.

Some turtles love being petted, while others won’t tolerate any contact at all.

If you try touching a turtle without permission, he/she may react aggressively.

Wrapping Up

It might be your turtle doesn’t mind being held but in reality they don’t actually like it

But they would appreciate plenty of room to move around, a balanced diet, and a safe environment.

To ensure your turtle feels loved, give him or her ample space, a healthy diet, and a secure home.

This is a great way of showing your turtle love and affection

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