My Turtle Is Not Moving

In this article you’re going to discover the possible reasons why my turtle is not moving

If you have a turtle or tortoise, there are times when it will just lay on its side – refusing to move.

It could be stuck in one spot for days, weeks, months… even years!

You may think that something must be wrong with your animal because of how disinterested it appears to be.

But don’t worry too much yet.

There’s hope!

If you’ve ever seen a cat laying around all day, chances are good that your pet turtle is simply having an uneventful day.

Let’s take a look at why your turtle might be “lazy” and see some ways to help them get back up and running again.

Do turtles stop moving?

It depends on whether they were previously active animals or not.

In general, most reptiles tend to slow down their activity levels once they reach maturity.

This usually happens after mating season (when females begin producing eggs) and during hibernation (usually between November and January).

Tortoises also become inactive during extreme heat waves, so make sure to keep tabs on temperatures outside as well.

Why has my pet turtle stop moving? Possible reasons

There are many different causes for a lack of movement among pets.

Some of these include boredom from being cooped up inside, illness, stress, injury, poor diet, dehydration and malnutrition.

Lack of appetite 

Turtles that are experiencing a lack of appetite will often not move around much.

They will usually just stay in their basking spots and refuse to swim.

You might notice that your turtle is losing its appetite because he or she is ill, or maybe they just do not like the food you feed them.

In either case, you should mix up your turtle’s diet with one of these pellets:


Although it isn’t as common in turtles, they do occasionally get lazy.

This can be a result of boredom and is more common in tanks with only one turtle.

Turtles are social animals, so if you think your turtle isn’t moving because he or she is lazy, then you should consider getting another turtle to keep him or her occupied.

You might also want to buy some toys for your turtle.


Turtles often develop internal infections, causing them to remain in one spot.

Swelling in the ear, eye, or shell region or abscesses are among the most common skin issues in turtles.

Turtles can get sick just like humans.

If you notice anything unusual about your pet’s behavior or appearance, contact your veterinarian immediately.

You can also call your vet if you see something red or swollen on your turtle’s lower half.

This condition is called “red leg syndrome” and it can be caused by a variety of diseases.

Turtles can get sick and injured just like any other animal.

If you notice anything unusual about your pet, bring him or her to the veterinarian immediately.

Discharge Or Bubbling 

Turtles get sick when their diets lack adequate amounts of vitamin A.

They often develop eye infections because of this deficiency.

If you see any signs of infection, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Bubbles come out of the turtles nose when it gets sick.

This happens because the nasal passages get blocked by mucous, causing air to move through the lungs instead of the trachea.

Bubbles and discharge are among the top causes of turtle disease.

Respiratory issues are among the most prevalent ailments in marine animals.

Turtles often exhibit symptoms of gasping, wheezing, and even sneezing.

These signs indicate respiratory problems.

Turtles also yawn with their mouth open, known as gaping.

While they remain still, turtles do move their necks to grab more air bubbles into their bodies.


Turtles can get sick because they often eat plants that contain toxins.

These toxins can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and bleeding.

A severe infection can lead to organ failure, so they need immediate medical attention as well.

If feces or feces with blood are present, this could indicate an issue with your turtles digestive tract.

This condition can be extremely painful, causing your pet to remain immobile and unable to move around.

How can I tell if my turtle is dying?

Your best bet is to check your turtle every time you feed it.

Make certain that its eyes are open and responsive, particularly while feeding.

When checking water temperature, watch out for excessive bubbles, cloudy water or strange odors.

These signs indicate sickness, which means it needs immediate attention.

The same goes for erratic swimming behavior, such as spinning wildly in circles, splashing violently, or sinking rapidly.

A sick turtle will often show symptoms like fever, weakness, depression, lethargy, constipation, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, or swelling in the abdomen.

If you notice any of these things, immediately call your vet.

Why is my turtle floating and not moving?

A float tank works great for keeping your turtle comfortable and alive, but without proper care, your turtle can quickly die from overheating.

Turtles require oxygenated fresh water that reaches 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit.

They cannot handle hot water, either. Water held within the body becomes dangerously high due to a process called thermoregulation.

Heat enters the bloodstream through blood vessels near the skin surface, where specialized cells known as thermometers measure and maintain the body’s internal temperature. As long as incoming energy continues, the cell membrane remains intact.

However, when excess energy stops entering the bloodstream, the cell membrane begins to lose integrity.

With enough damage, the membrane ruptures completely.

Once the inner fluid leaks out, the core temperature rises until the organism dies.

To prevent this, turtles need constant access to cool freshwater.

For those who live outdoors, the sun provides plenty of heat — especially in summertime.

Even though turtles absorb sunlight more efficiently than humans, prolonged exposure to intense warmth can still lead to death.

For indoor residents, heating units provide another source of extra heat.

Unfortunately, heated aquariums can create dangerous conditions by trapping carbon dioxide gas under warmer water.

Because the turtle lacks respiratory muscles, it doesn’t expel this harmful waste product like other mammals do.

Therefore, elevated CO2 levels can gradually kill the turtle over several hours or days.

By adding aeration devices, such as air pumps, into the system, owners reduce the buildup of CO2.

Although turtles prefer cooler climates, they can tolerate reasonable increases in temperature as long as adequate ventilation occurs.

So avoid leaving your tank uncovered when the weather gets warm, and never leave your turtle unattended in a car.

Another reason your turtle might be floating is if he/she isn’t getting enough food.

If your pet hasn’t eaten in two days, give him a little snack, then return him/her to his habitat.

Don’t force feed your turtle — you risk causing harm if you add too much food at once.

Afterward, monitor intake carefully to ensure sufficient amounts of nutrients continue coming in.

Poor health leads to weak digestion, which further slows absorption rates.

Finally, remember that turtles eat grasses, algae, shellfish, and dead fish.

If you suspect that your turtle’s eating habits aren’t healthy, consider talking to your veterinarian before making changes to his/her routine.

Why is my turtle being lazy?

Laziness can result from inadequate nutrition, disease, injuries, toxicity, parasites, poor environmental quality, etc.

Be aware that a change in environment can affect your turtle’s mood and motivation level.

Keep in mind that tortoises are extremely sensitive creatures, so slight variations in lighting, humidity, noise, and smells can drastically alter their demeanor.

While living indoors, you probably won’t notice these subtle differences unless you pay close attention.

Changes in habitat can mean big trouble, however, if left unchecked.

Consider consulting your vet regarding appropriate placement, maintenance, and filtration requirements for a safe home.

Why is my turtle not swimming?

Aquatic turtles such as red-eared sliders often refuse to enter the water due to cold temperatures, imbalances in the water, or illness.

Other possible causes include: Being annoyed by the water.

Check out my articles

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Do turtles get tired of swimming

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