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Old 31-10-2009, 06:22 PM
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Default Can a tortoise live indoors and roam the house?

I am thinking about getting a tortoise. Of course I would read up solid to ensure I can provide correct care. I am moving into a flat, so as you can expect an outdoor cage is impossible, but if this will effect the tortoise I would not get one and the save the poor fella a hard life.

I've heard about tortoise tables. Again I need to read up more, but can a tortoise live indoors and roam the house as a form of exercise?
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Old 31-10-2009, 06:39 PM
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To be perfectly honest, no a tortoise shouldnt roam a house. They can pick up and eat almost anything that can be dropped on the floor. Pick up germs and bacteria too. They also live naturally on soil and sand, and need the sun on their backs when the oppotunity occurs from May to October. They are wild animals, and need their own freedom. Sorry if its not what you wanted to hear.
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Old 31-10-2009, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplepixie View Post
To be perfectly honest, no a tortoise shouldnt roam a house. They can pick up and eat almost anything that can be dropped on the floor. Pick up germs and bacteria too. They also live naturally on soil and sand, and need the sun on their backs when the oppotunity occurs from May to October. They are wild animals, and need their own freedom. Sorry if its not what you wanted to hear.
No thats fine. I'd rather someone be open and honest.

Ive seen a lot of indoor kits, with UV lights. I love tortoises though, I find them amazing. Might have to go for a 2 bedroom house instead of a flat.
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Old 31-10-2009, 08:03 PM
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ok i know a lot of people will not agree with me and think im wrong
But i let my trevey roam my living room in the evenings. yes i make sure its safe etc i think he realy enjoys it and its made him so much more tame. Dont get me wrong i dont think its a thing you can do permently but for an hour or so in the evening i let him free.
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Old 31-10-2009, 08:16 PM
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I would go for the house better for you and you can have a tortoise, outside during the Summer months
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Old 31-10-2009, 09:43 PM
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although I agree that outside space is important its not impossible in a flat if you had say a balcony or even a shared garden, as a hatchling is so tiny for the first couple of years his table could be put on the balcony for a while with a wire cover or if you were using an indoor rabbit cage they come with a wire top, and you could sit outside for a while with him in a garden. Its only as adults when they really become to big to keep inside, so its certainly not a definate no and you might be considering moveing somewhere with more space in a few years time. Even putting his table in front of an open window will allow him access to natural uv and you can always plant weeds/grass etc in his home, my hatchlings (july this year) had an old sink as their outdoor space that I planted with various edibles etc and it had a simple wooden framed lid with wire if you have balcony space you could make him a small garden out of a planter or large container it doesn't have to be big but to my hatchlings a sink was enormous,they were only about as big as a 50p, it had lots of places to explore etc.
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Old 31-10-2009, 09:47 PM
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i'm afraid no garden - no tortoise.

its simply not fair to keep a tortoise indoors.

maybe you should consider a different reptile.
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Old 31-10-2009, 10:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dusty cricket View Post
i'm afraid no garden - no tortoise.

its simply not fair to keep a tortoise indoors.

maybe you should consider a different reptile.
Although it's not how I choose to keep my tortoises, I think that if you had one smallish tortoise in a decent sized tortoise table, with the correct lighting, it would be as happy, if not more so than many other pets.

I wouldn't agree with letting them roam free around the house, as they could easily injure themselves.
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Old 31-10-2009, 10:28 PM
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my concern isn't with its happiness, its with its requirements.

i'm a believer in outdoor tortoises, obviously considering the species...

i'm guessing this is a med tortoise.

from a hatchling, i'd use a table with full lighting for bad weather days or cold days but the tort would have outdoor access ALL good days and be brought in at night.

from a year old, i'd keep it outside permanently in a secure enclosure, i think that they grow better when left outdoors.

a garden is the best place for a med tort of acceptable size, i really don't think its fair to deny them this.

i mean this in the nicest possible way and i don't mean to offend.
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Old 31-10-2009, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dusty cricket View Post
my concern isn't with its happiness, its with its requirements.

i'm a believer in outdoor tortoises, obviously considering the species...

i'm guessing this is a med tortoise.

from a hatchling, i'd use a table with full lighting for bad weather days or cold days but the tort would have outdoor access ALL good days and be brought in at night.

from a year old, i'd keep it outside permanently in a secure enclosure, i think that they grow better when left outdoors.

a garden is the best place for a med tort of acceptable size, i really don't think its fair to deny them this.

i mean this in the nicest possible way and i don't mean to offend.
I keep mine outside all through the summer, which I think is beneficial for them.

I think we get a bit carried away on the tortoise forum with trying to recreate their natural environment.

You can't do this in the UK!

There are advantages to keeping a tortoise outside, such as more space, natural grazing, and natural sunshine, but the thing is that apart from a few days of the year the yemps and light pattern are going to be nowhere near a tortoises natural habitat and neither are things such as humidity, types of plants, landsacpe. You are also only putting your tortoise in a slightly bigger box outside, you aren't giving it the unlimited space it would have in the wild.

Inside, you can control the temperature to more accurately reflect a tortoises natural range, but it is more difficult to give space/ natural graze/ real sun. However, UV can be provided, so the tortoise will not be dficient if this and the appropriate vits and calcium are provided.

It's a trade off IMO.

Outside has more space and is more similar to nature in some ways, but is not suitable for tortoises full time. Tortoise live in areas such as Italy where the winters are as cold as here and survive well. It is the lack of consistant summer sun and too much summer rain which cause the problems.

Inside, the temps are good, but space is more limited and it's difficult to naturally plant etc.

I have mine in for some of the year and out for some, which I think is a good compromise. I personally feel that keeping them outside all year is as deficient in some areas as keeping them inside is when it comes to replicating their natural environment. I know you can provide heating outside, but then to keep warm your tort would have to stay in that one small area so may as well be inside!

I'm not saying anyone is doing it wrong, or wanting an argument(although I will happily debate the points), I just don't think you can say 'You can't keep a tortoise inside full time' because I think it can be done. All pet keeping involves taking animals from their natural habitat, and keeping them in what is essentially a compromise. People have to decide which compromise suits them and go for it!
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