Why Does My Turtle Try To Climb The Wall?

Turtles have unique behaviors and instincts that they exhibit in their natural habitat and in captivity. One behavior that may be observed in pet turtles is wall-climbing, where the turtle will try to climb the walls of their enclosure.

This behavior can be surprising and even concerning for turtle owners, as they may wonder why their turtle is behaving this way and if it is a sign of a problem.

In this blog post, we will delve deeper into the behavior of turtles trying to climb walls, and discuss possible reasons for this behavior as well as how to address it.

Understanding Turtle Behavior

Turtles are fascinating animals that have a wide range of behaviors that are essential to understand to ensure they are happy and healthy. Turtles are opportunistic feeders, and their diet consists of a variety of food items, including plants, fruits, insects, and small animals such as worms and crustaceans.

Many species of turtles, especially aquatic turtles, will bask in the sun to warm up and absorb vitamin D. Some species of turtles, particularly those that live in colder climates, will hibernate for a period of time, slowing their metabolism and becoming less active.

Providing a suitable habitat with enough space, appropriate basking, and lighting, and a proper diet is essential to ensuring a turtle’s well-being. Understanding turtle behavior is crucial for anyone who cares for them, whether it is a pet turtle or a turtle living in the wild. With a little research and attention, you can provide a happy and healthy home for your turtle.

Why Does My Turtle Try To Climb The Wall?

Some turtles try to climb up the walls of their enclosures in an attempt to escape. This behavior can be caused by a variety of reasons, including boredom, enclosure size, or problems with the environment. If your turtle is constantly trying to climb out of its enclosure, it may be experiencing mental stress and needs to be handled carefully.

Reasons Why Turtles Try To Climb Walls

There are four reasons why turtles may try to climb walls. These are:

  • Natural instincts

Turtles are naturally curious and active animals that enjoy exploring and foraging for food. In the wild, they would swim and crawl through various environments to find food, shelter, and mates. When kept in captivity, turtles may express this natural behavior by attempting to climb the walls of their enclosure.

  • Lack of proper enclosure

A common reason for wall climbing behavior is a lack of proper enclosure. Turtles need a spacious and properly equipped enclosure that provides enough space for swimming, crawling, and basking. If the enclosure is too small or lacks hiding spots, a turtle may attempt to escape or explore by climbing the walls.

  • Basking needs

Turtles need a designated basking area in their enclosure where they can warm up and dry off. The basking area should be equipped with proper lighting and a heat source. If the basking area is not provided or is not of the correct temperature or lighting, turtles may try to climb the walls to find a suitable spot to bask.

  • Health issues

In some cases, wall-climbing behavior may be a sign of a health issue. Some turtles may climb walls due to stress or as a symptom of a disease. It is important to monitor your turtle’s behavior and health regularly and seek professional help if you notice any signs of illness.

How To Prevent Wall Climbing Behavior

To prevent wall-climbing behavior in turtles, there are a few things you can do:

  • Provide a spacious and properly equipped enclosure

To prevent wall-climbing behavior, it’s essential to provide your turtle with a spacious and properly equipped enclosure that meets its needs. The enclosure should be large enough for swimming, crawling, and basking, and should include hiding spots and other environmental enrichment.

  • Ensure proper temperature and lighting for basking

Providing your turtle with a designated basking area that has the proper temperature and lighting is crucial for its overall well-being. Turtles need a basking spot that is warm enough for them to dry off and properly thermoregulate. Make sure to use the appropriate heat and light sources.

  • Provide adequate hiding spots

Turtles need places to hide and feel secure in their enclosure. Providing hiding spots allows them to retreat and rest, which can help prevent stress and subsequent wall-climbing behavior.

  • Monitor your turtle’s behavior and health regularly

Regularly monitoring your turtle’s behavior and health is an important step in preventing wall-climbing behavior. Any significant changes in behavior or health should be addressed immediately and if necessary, consult a veterinarian that specializes in turtles.

In Summary

Turtles may try to climb walls due to natural instincts, lack of proper enclosure, inadequate basking needs, or health issues. Proper care and providing a suitable environment for your turtle are crucial for its well-being and to prevent unwanted behaviors such as wall climbing.

It is important to be aware of the needs of your turtle, monitor their behavior and health, and seek professional help if necessary. With proper care and attention, you can create a happy and healthy environment for your turtle that will discourage wall-climbing behavior and encourage them to explore and thrive.


Can turtles climb out of tanks?

Yes, turtles can climb out of tanks if they are determined, especially if they are able to climb walls and the tank is not properly secured with a lid. This is why it’s important to provide a suitable habitat with adequate space and to properly secure the tank with a lid that turtles can’t escape from.

How do I stop my turtle from climbing out of my tank?

Provide a suitable habitat with enough space, basking, lighting, and a proper diet, and make sure the tank is secured and has an adequate lid.

Can turtles climb walls?

Yes, certain species of turtles can climb walls, for example, box turtles, aquatic turtles, and some semi-aquatic turtles have this ability, however, not all turtles can or want to climb walls. It depends on the species and the nature of the turtle itself.

Why does my turtle keep digging and trying to get out?

Turtles may dig and try to get out if they are not getting the right kind or amount of light, lack space, are not getting the appropriate temperature, have poor water quality, or have a poor diet. Inspect the habitat and care.