Leopard with soft shell - only had him a month


New Member
Apr 1, 2015
I have now had my leopard for 5 weeks, we noticed yesterday that the underside of his shell his soft.
He has a substrate of sand/soil mix, slate to walk on over a third of his accommodation and grass that he buries into.
He eats very well, he goes into his water about 5-6 times a day to drink/urinate and he defecates once a day.
He sleeps for 17 hours, but the 7 hours he is awake he is very active.
I have read about shell rot and MBD but he does not appear unwell.
He has a UVB/heat light, calicium added to food daily and nutrobal once a week. He also has a night heat light.
He is not in a vivarium.
Is it normal for 3 month old leopards to have soft shells? We want the best for him and to make sure we are doing everything right.
many thanks in advance, Vicki


Well-Known Member
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Sep 6, 2011
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Hello and Welcome. Yes, they can have some what of a soft shell, but not squishy. Please read Toms threads below in my post for the proper housing of a baby leopard. The sulcata threads will pertain to your leopard too.


Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Jan 21, 2015
Location (City and/or State)
Port Charlotte, Florida
here's an example of a closed chamber for babies first year...Yours doesn't have to be as ornate. some people just use a plastic bin with cutouts for lights or such. There's a thread or a couple hundred where you can see other ideas. Babies need the higher humidity to keep their shells nice and smooth and higher heat to guard against respiratory infections. wellingtons mentioned Tom's threads. It looks like you can copy the 4 lines down and enter them one at a time into the search bar at top of page to read more. enjoy the new baby and welcome. I'm a newbie also and have just gone through what you're going through...I have Burmese Black Mountain torts which need LOTS of humidity as babes.


  • table1.jpg
    87.4 KB · Views: 33
  • table2.jpg
    98.6 KB · Views: 32
  • table3.jpg
    97.3 KB · Views: 32