If you have a pet turtle, you have probably noticed them intently staring at you at some point. They might even look at you every time you get close to their tank. In this article, we will explain all of the main reasons why your turtle stares at you.
Why does my turtle stare at me?
The main reason your turtle looks and stares at you is because they are expecting food. They could also just be interested in your appearance.
They are expecting food
If you feed your turtle every day, eventually they will begin to associate your presence with food. Even if you don’t feed them every time you come to their tank, it is still natural for them to assume food is coming.
Think of it like Pavlov’s dog study. As the dog’s would salivate whenever they heard the bell, your turtle will probably intently stare at you if they expect you are going to feed them.
Turtles are opportunistic eaters, which means they will basically eat anything thrown at them even if they are already full. This means they might even stare at you right after you feed them. While it might be hard to turn them down, it is important that you only feed them once or twice a day.
You can learn more in my guide on how much to feed a turtle.
They are fascinated by you
While turtles are relatively solitary animals and can totally be kept in a tank by themselves, they can still be captivated by another creature coming near their habitat. In fact, it is part of a turtle’s nature to be attentive to their surroundings.
There is a good chance that your turtle is fascinated by your large size. Compared to them, you appear like a giant. Also, due to the reflection of the water and glass, there is a chance your size can be distorted from their view.
Should I be worried if my turtle keeps on staring at me?
No, there is no reason to be worried if your turtle keeps staring at you. This is a natural behavior that is very common among pet turtles.
As long as you are feeding your turtle regularly and ensuring their tank is in good condition, there is no need to worry.
However, if you are annoyed that your turtle is looking at you and you are looking for ways to curb this behavior, continue reading below.
How to stop my turtle from staring at me
There are plenty of things you can try to prevent your turtle from staring at you, including an automatic feeder, toys/decorations, a tankmate, or getting a larger tank.
A simple trick to try is to start using an automatic turtle feeder. Once your turtle gets used to getting fed from the feeder, they might stop associating you with the source of their food. This might allow you to get close to their tank without them immediately swimming towards to and looking at you.
They are cheap and able to feed your turtle at the same time every day, which requires one less chore from you. Even if you aren’t the one physically feeding your turtle, it is still important to regularly check in on their tank to make sure everything is okay.
Also, you can try giving some feeder fish to your turtle. This live bait will not only keep them stimulated, but also encourage them to exercise.
You can also try to stimulate your turtle by adding turtle toys or decorations to their tank. This will keep them amused and might take some of the attention off of you.
Turtles love habitats with a lot of objects that they can swim around and hide in. The more objects they have to explore, the less time they will spend staring at you.
Adding a tankmate to your tank can also help distract your turtle from constantly staring at you. It can also help improve their mental health.
While another turtle would be great, you can also add some fish to your tank. Just make sure you know what fish can go in a turtle tank. There are some fish species that have different environmental requirements, and others that can be dangerous to your turtle if consumed.
If you do get another tankmate, you should definitely consider the below.
Increase tank size
One of the biggest mistakes that turtle owners make is that they get a tank that is too small for their turtle. If your turtle’s habitat is too small, they will have reduced activity and probably stare at you longer.
Therefore, having a large tank is critical to not only their mental health, but also their physical health. Your tank should have at least 10 gallons for each inch of your turtle’s shell.
I hope this article helped explain why your turtle is always looking at you. As I mentioned, this is a very common behavior among captive turtles and there is no reason to worry.