Help!! My tortoise will only eat cat food!!

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hetty

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I have been struggling to get my one year old Hermans tortoise to eat recently, then the other day when he was out around the house i noticed him making a bee-line for the cat food dish! Within seconds he was munching away quite happily. He turns his nose up at everything else i offer him.
Will this do him any harm??? or is it a case of he's better eating something rather than nothing??? Any advice would be very much appreciated.
 

siwash

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I think cat food ios VERY harmful - at least over the long run... get him off of it ASAP. WAY too much animal PROTEIN

just expose him to good leafy greens - he'll have to eat it at some point

good luck...
 

egyptiandan

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Yes feeding your Hermanns dry catfood isn't a good idea. Also letting him/her roam around on the floor of your house isn't good for your tortoise either. It's much to cold and drafty on the floor.
To help us understand whats going on we need to know how your keeping him/her.
What do you have for lights? How long are they on for? What are the temperatures in your enclosure, warm end, cool end, under basking lamp and night time? What are you feeding?

Danny
 

Crazy1

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Hello Hetty and welcome to the forum. Cat food or dog food is way to high in protien for your tort.
this could cause renal failure in time. It's a time for tuff love. offer your tort greens. if it was drawn to wet cat food you might want to wipe a leaf with the scent of the cat food at first then gently taper off. I would not recommend you allowing it on the floor as the floor is cold at this time of year and a multitude of indigestable stuff they can get into is down there that you don't even realize but they will find like strings, buttons, screws etc. If the catfood is outside pick it up before letting your tort in the area.
Like people torts don't always eat or want to eat what is best for them. They will get hooked on a specific food and only want that food, and like kids will have a temper tantrum by not eating what is good for them but when they get hungry enough they will eat.
 

hetty

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Thanks for the advice, it is very much appreciated.
He is kept in a vivarium with a spot lamp and uv tube, warm end 28c, cool end 20c, night temp 20c. I currently keep the lights on for 12hrs, is this enough??
Sounds like i need to go back to basics, greens only from now on!! How long is it safe to starve him for if he throws a tantrum and refuses to eat the greens??
 

siwash

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He won't starve. 28C sounds a bit cool too me, but Im not the expert here... others will confirm. My 'hotspot' is 35C (95-96 F)

Keep him off the floor. Never leave unattended when outside his habitat.

I'd be SHOCKED if he didn't go for some escarole, dandelion, or endive... my just love that stuff... and he's just a few months old.

Dust with calcium supplement (Vit D3)

don't worry, he won't starve to death!
 

FGCinHB

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try giving him some mazuri and see what happens
 

hetty

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Sorry for being thick, but what is Mazuri?? and where would i be able to get some???!!
 

Laura

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When I got one of my rescues, he came from a home where he was allowed to cruise the hosue. He also ate the cat food andapparently hair balls.. his poop was very loose and stringy/hairy at first..because of his love for cat kibble.. he took to mazuri right away.
I buy it at my local feed store that carries Purina food. they can special order it if they carry purina.. I pay about $23 for the large bag.
 
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