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Tortoises make very interesting and rewarding pets to keep, but having them as pets should not be undertaken lightly, and you should carry out lots of research before getting one.

The majority of the problems that we see with tortoises are due to misinformation or incorrect husbandry. These generally could have been avoided if the owner had been better equipped or informed. The following notes are some basic information that mainly applies to the Horsefields tortoise and the Mediterranean species.

Tortoises can make very interesting pets, but special attention needs to be made to their environment and diet to ensure that they are kept happy and healthy. We recommend before giving a home to a tortoise that you research the care needed. This will help you decide if this is correct pet for your lifestyle.



It is important to ensure that your tortoise has adequate housing and space to move around and exercise.

Outdoor housing

Indoor housing



Tortoises should be fed as naturally as possible and young tortoises only to be fed every other day.

More about diet


We recommend that you seek advice from the Tortoise Trust or other reputable organisations which have extensive information on tortoise care, diet and hibernation before you take on the responsibility for caring for a tortoise.

Too long a period of hibernation can result in kidney or liver damage. Only tortoises that are fully fit and well should be hibernated. If they are underweight or have any health problems they should be kept awake and fed all winter.