Do Pet Tortoises Need Toys? 6 Good Toys For Your Pet Tortoises

Just like conventional pets in most households, exotic pets can also get bored. Tortoises, for instance, need time to play, as it is good for their health and gives you ample time as an owner to bond with them. However, does this mean that your tortoise needs toys?

Toys are necessary for tortoises because playing helps them improve their physical and mental health. They love rolling balls, pebbles, and other items in their enclosure. They also enjoy climbing, digging, and hiding. Toys will keep them active, which is beneficial for their health.

We will take a look at the tortoise’s behavior to find out whether they love to play and the type of toys they love. Read on as we tell you all you need to know about your pet’s playtime.

Do Pet Tortoises Need Toys

Do Tortoises Play?

When you think of pets playing, the first thought is mammals like cats and dogs. Exotic pets like tortoises are not known to be active or show emotions like other pets. However, both juvenile and adult tortoises need stimulation and exercise that they can only obtain by playing.

Many reptile owners don’t know it, but tortoises need to play, and it seems that they love it. Many people associate play with physical strength and agility, but tortoises lack these qualities. It may be true to some extent because it is impossible to play fetch with your tortoise. Therefore, only focus on less strenuous activities for your tortoise if you want to play with it.

Many people often judge them claiming that they are not critical thinkers and are incapable of emotions. Also, people insinuate there is no way that a pet tortoise can get bored or achieve the excitement that comes with play. However, tortoises get bored. Although they don’t show ecstasy, they love to play. They indulge in various activities and can play with any object that captures their attention. 

Many owners state that their pets seem to have fun with toys. They show it by approaching objects in their enclosure and trying out new items. Whether your pet lives indoors or outdoors, you can never run out of ways to play with them, and, luckily, different toy options are available in pet stores to suit your pet. There is something for all species and sizes. You can even go for strong toys meant for more active pets, which they can use in their enclosure or as they bath. 

It is fascinating that some owners are beginning to train their tortoises. While playing, they give them treats for every activity they achieve. It may take some time for them to get full training, but it is great fun to watch your tortoise learn new tricks. This simulation activity is like positive reinforcement, and you can also try it with your pets. 

The Best Toys for Tortoises

Tortoises are known to be solitary animals; however, they need some company once in a while. The best time for you to bond with your pet is at playtime. They may not show it, but tortoises love toys, and they get thrilled when they get new items to explore. Since playing connects to their health and development, look at some of the best toys you may get for your pet tortoise. 

Hiding Spots

Surprisingly, tortoises have fun playing hide and seek. When in the wild, they dig up hiding spots from predators and harsh weather conditions like the scorching sun. In captivity, where they don’t need to hide from predators, tortoises will have fun putting their claws to use. If your pet is active and adventurous, it will love having hideouts in the enclosure. You can buy one at the store according to its size. 

Moreover, you have various options to choose from; there are dark, lit, dry, and damp hideouts. It is advisable to go for variety to improve your pet’s innovative and cognitive skills. On the other hand, if you are creative, you can build the hideouts yourself. All you need is a brilliant idea and local materials; it is more economical and enables you to customize your tortoise’s specific needs. 

Climbing Toys

Tortoises love to climb. They do it in the wild and their enclosure. Perhaps, this explains why there are several cases of tortoises escaping their homes. Again, here is where they utilize their adventurous spirit. You can find some natural objects like rocks, stones, and wood for them to climb over. The only concern is that they must be sturdy and secured to prevent your pets from falling over. The intention is to find items that they would typically run into while in the wild. 

Similarly, you can go for manufactured products, which are available in retail stores. They sell various plastic toys that look natural and durable. Synthetic climbing toys don’t host bacteria and last long; however, some products contain lethal chemicals. The safest alternative is building your climbing toys. It is easy to find regular household items for them to use as toys. Consider cardboard boxes or turned-over containers. 

Digging Spots

Most tortoises are natural diggers, thanks to their sharp claws. While those in the wild do it for survival, those in enclosures will do it as a hobby. To help them, you can set up soft materials in their enclosure.

The best to use is sandy dirt or wood chips, but you need to ascertain that it is dry and smooth. It shouldn’t be too muddy and should leave some breathing space if they manage to go under the pile. Another viable alternative is damp moss. Lastly, if you are concerned about cleaning up, you can place the sand in a box instead.  

Bathing Toys

Tortoises and turtles enjoy spending time in water and particularly love when you bathe them. To make them enjoy every bit of it, you can maximize that time and add some bath toys in the tub when they bath.

Try water ducks and other floating items to capture their attention. They will enjoy bath time even more with these toys. 


Back to the tortoises’ adventurous nature, they will be thrilled to find hidden objects independently. You can also jump in on the fun by hiding items in their substrate for them to locate. It will be ecstatic to discover things like.

Pebbles Toys

Tortoises love pushing objects around, and if you can provide them with some pebbles in their enclosure, you would make their days more exciting. Some tortoises may heap the items in one place, while some would scoot them all around the tank.

For this, you require a large enclosure. You can obtain the toys from pet stores or creatively make one. Additionally, you can collect small stones of various shapes, colors, sizes, and feel.

All About Tortoise Playtime

One way to increase your tortoise’s lifespan is by helping them do exercises and activities that improve their thinking. These methods are scientifically known as enrichment. They help the tortoise enhance its cognitive skills while keeping the brain active.

Generally, tortoises love to explore their environments, and you can use that to your advantage. They walk around, hide and play around with items in their enclosure. Also, they love to dig using their long sharp claws. Other tortoises are known to love human company. 

These findings go against other people’s beliefs that tortoises don’t express their feelings. Many owners, particularly those with more than one tortoise, report that their pets have individual personalities. Therefore, it is easy for humans and their pets to bond. Unless your tortoise loves its own company, you can use toys and other creative items to make bonding time fun for both of you.

There are several activities and many innovative ways to get your pet to play. For instance, you can use a reward system. Here, you give it a treat or anything they fancy after successfully completing an activity. This trick will also come in handy if you want to train your pet on some tricks. 

However, be prepared since not all tortoises are the same, and some will not be receptive to the idea. They may take a while to get used to it; thus, you need to be extra patient. Even if they are not welcoming to toys, you can do several other fun activities together. Try exercises like puzzles, shapes, mazes, and chasing games. Tortoises get attracted by color, and it is easy to get their attention. 

You can also play catch with it, but be ready for the slowest game in the world. Any physical activities will surely help your pet stretch and exercise but remember not to overexert them. They tend to burn a lot of calories and get stressed quickly.

Fun activities will enhance their critical thinking, especially when they put all their senses to work. These activities will also engage their sight, hearing, and smell, giving you a healthy tortoise. 


Just like humans, tortoises also enjoy playing. Their methods may not be the conventional high-energy games you are used to, but they are still playful depending on the individual. They love hiding, digging, and discovering new items, and if you can take advantage of that while looking for toys, your pet will undoubtedly enjoy it.

You can buy one at your local pet store or make one yourself; only remember to consider your tortoise’s personality and size to find the best fit for them. Whichever toy or game you set up will go a long way in improving your tortoise’s physical and mental health.

Read more about 20 Tortoise Accessories (Must-Have + Nice-To-Have)

Harvey Wells

I am an intense cool pets lover. I have tortoises, tarantulas and a few other exotic pets. And I would love to share what I have learned.

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