How To Care for Indian Star Tortoise Properly

The Indian star tortoise is a beautiful and exciting animal that is popular among pet owners who want a unique pet. It is known for its distinctive star-shaped pattern on its shell, which is why it is called the star tortoise. The Indian star tortoise is well-known in the international trade of exotic pets due to its striking patterns and beautifully rounded shell. It is a small, terrestrial species of tortoise that can be found throughout Southeast Asia. If you are interested in having one, you should understand how to take care for Indian star tortoise. 

How To Care for Indian Star Tortoise Properly
How To Care for Indian Star Tortoise Properly

Although they are relatively easy to care for, they require a specific habitat, diet, and environmental conditions. So, we will discuss how to properly care for an Indian star tortoise, including its habitat and diet, as well as some smart tips to keep your pet healthy and happy. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your tortoise lives a long, healthy life.

Is it good to keep the star tortoise at home?

No, keeping a star tortoise at home is not a good idea. These animals are wild creatures and need to be in their natural environment to thrive. Keeping them in captivity can cause them a lot of stress and can lead to poor health. Also, star tortoises require a specific diet and environment that is difficult to replicate in a home setting.

How To Care for Indian Star Tortoise Properly
Is it good to keep the star tortoise at home?

If you still want to place them at home, Indian star tortoises can be maintained indoors on a tortoise table that is 4’L x 4’W or larger. It’s because they do well in this type of enclosure and enjoy dry circumstances as long as they have access to a humid microclimate, such as a moist hide. However, it’s preferable to keep Indian star tortoises outside whenever it’s practical.

With the proper knowledge and dedication, you can create a home environment that is comfortable and healthy for your Indian star tortoise. Here are some tips on how to take care for Indian star tortoise at home to ensure its health and happiness:

1. Provide a Warm and Humid Environment

The Indian Star Tortoise requires a warm, humid environment. The enclosure should have a temperature of around 80-90°F (26-32 degrees Celsius) during the day and about 75°F at night. The humidity should be approximately 70-80%.

A warm and humid environment helps to keep the tortoise’s body temperature regulated, prevents dehydration, and helps to ensure the tortoise is well nourished. Additionally, providing a warm and humid environment helps to prevent respiratory illnesses, which can be a common issue for this species of tortoise.

2. Separate Dry and Wet Areas

The enclosure should also have a dry area for the tortoise to bask. Moreover, provide a wet place that is kept moist for the tortoise to drink from. A shallow water dish should also be provided. In the dry area, the tortoise can warm up in the sun and absorb UV rays, while in the wet place, it can stay cool and hydrated. 

Additionally, keeping the areas separate allows the tortoise to rest in the dry area and defecate in the wet zone, allowing for easier cleaning. It also helps to reduce the spread of disease and parasites, as they are not able to move between the two areas.

3. Give Enough Substrate

The enclosure should also have a substrate such as soil or cypress mulch. This will help to keep the humidity levels high and provide the tortoise with places to dig and hide. Plain topsoil mixed 60/40 with play sand works well as a substrate for Indian star tortoises

Moreover, the substrate provides a soft surface for the tortoise to walk on and can help to prevent shell damage from hard surfaces. It also helps to absorb any waste and odors in the enclosure, which helps to keep it clean and smelling fresh.

4. Provide Hiding Places

The enclosure should also provide plenty of hiding places and climbing structures. These should include rocks and logs that allow the tortoise to feel secure. Hiding spots enable the tortoises to retreat from potential predators and other potential dangers. 

These hiding places also offer the tortoises places to rest and sleep, which is especially important for juveniles who may need extra rest and safety. Therefore, you can help reduce stress in the tortoises, improving their overall physical and mental health.

5. Maintain Its Diet

The diet of the Indian star tortoise should include a variety of fruits, vegetables, and proteins. This can consist of dark leafy greens, squash, dandelions, geranium, roses, and more. To simulate foraging, feed it once per day at the same time every day from various food trays dispersed about the cage. Don’t forget that fresh water should always be available to ensure that your tortoise is appropriately hydrated.

A variety of foods is essential to ensure that your tortoise gets the necessary vitamins and minerals. Additionally, you should provide calcium and vitamin supplements to ensure that your tortoise receives the proper nutrients.

6. Handle with Care

The Indian Star tortoise should be handled with care and not be stressed. It is crucial to take them gently and not pick them up too often. Tortoises should also never be dropped or mishandled, as this could cause injury or even death.

By handling these animals with care, we can help ensure their long-term survival. You should always provide a comfortable and safe environment when handling a tortoise. 

How many times should I feed my Indian star tortoise?

Indian star tortoises should be fed once or twice a day, depending on their age. Juveniles should be fed once a day, while adults may be fed twice daily. Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet for your tortoise is important, so feeding them the right amount of food is essential to their health and well-being.

how to care for indian star tortoise
How many times should I feed my Indian star tortoise?

To simulate foraging, feed it once per day at the same time every day from various food trays dispersed about the cage. You can either estimate the amount of food to feed as being around the size of the animal’s shell, or you can give them as much as they will eat in 15 to 30 minutes.

What is the Indian star tortoise’s favorite food?

The star tortoise is a unique and beautiful species of land tortoise that is native to India. While these tortoises are not common in the pet trade, they are becoming increasingly popular among turtle enthusiasts and keepers. One of the most important aspects of caring for a star tortoise is to provide it with a balanced diet. But what is a star tortoise’s favorite food?

How To Care for Indian Star Tortoise Properly
Indian star tortoise’s favorite food

Indian star tortoises are herbivorous, so they need a diet high in fiber. Their diet should consist mainly of grasses and weeds (90%), with just 10% of other vegetables and “grocery store sale” greens. To give you a better explanation, let us break down what kind of food you should give to your star tortoise diet.

1. Grass/Leaves

Safe grasses/leaves for Indian star tortoises are lawn grass (untreated), mulberry leaves, grape leaves, hibiscus leaves, meadow hay, oat hay, orchard hay, timothy, Bermuda, rye, clover, dandelion, nasturtium, geranium, thistle.

2. Greens/Vegetables

Safe greens and vegetables for Indian star tortoises include cactus pads, kale, collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, chicory, endive, escarole, radicchio, carrot, bell pepper, and squash.

3. Flowers

Edible flowers like nasturtium, dandelions, geranium, roses and hibiscus are great for adding variety and extra vitamins. However, fruits should be avoided or given in small amounts.

4. Supplements

You can add calcium and vitamin pills to keep your tortoise from possibly having a deficiency. We recommend you give Repashy Super Veggie lightly powdered over each meal. To make sure your tortoise is receiving adequate vitamins, give it a small amount of Mazuri grassland tortoise formula or Zoo Med Natural Grassland Tortoise Food.

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Is Indian star tortoise Lucky for home?

In accordance with Hindu mythology, literature, and Vastu Shastra, keeping a live tortoise within the home is fortunate. Moreover, one of Lord Vishnu’s avatars is the tortoise. As native tortoises from India, star tortoises are regarded as lucky creatures. They are thought to represent wealth and prosperity in all their richness. 

How To Care for Indian Star Tortoise Properly
Is Indian star tortoise Lucky for home?

Moreover, the Indian star tortoise is a popular pet due to its small size, beautiful patterns, and resilient nature. It is a peaceful species that can live for many years, making it a lucky pet to have in the home. It is also known to be a low-maintenance pet, requiring minimal care and attention.

Indian Star Tortoise Common Health Problems

indian Star Tortoise Common Health Problems
Indian Star Tortoise Common Health Problems

The Indian star tortoises are popular pets in the reptile community due to their unique appearance and relatively easy care requirements. While the Indian Star Tortoise is generally a hardy species, there are some common health problems that owners should be aware of.

1. Shell Rot

Shell rot is a common health issue in Indian star tortoises. It is caused by bacteria or fungus that feed on the soft tissues of the shell, leaving it weakened and prone to damage. 

Shell rot can be prevented by providing a dry environment and avoiding waterlogged conditions. If not treated promptly, shell rot can cause permanent damage to the shell and even death.

2. Respiratory Infections

Respiratory infections are another common health issue in Indian star tortoises. These infections are usually caused by a bacterial or fungal infection in the tortoise’s lungs and can be deadly if left untreated. 

Respiratory infection symptoms include wheezing, labored breathing, and mucus production. Treatment may involve antibiotics and other medications.

3. Metabolic Bone Disease

Metabolic bone disease (MBD) is a common condition in Indian star tortoises. It is caused by an imbalance of calcium and phosphorus in the diet. Moreover, MBD can lead to deformities and softening of the bones. 

The best way to prevent MBD is to provide a balanced diet consisting of various fresh and nutritious foods, such as dark leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits. Additionally, providing a source of ultraviolet light, such as natural sunlight or a UVB lamp, is essential for giving the tortoise the necessary vitamin D to absorb calcium.


The Indian star tortoise is a unique and captivating species that require special care and attention. Caring for this species can be a very rewarding experience as long as you understand how to take care for Indian star tortoise properly. With proper diet, environment, and medical care, the Indian star tortoise can live a long and healthy life that you can enjoy for many years.

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Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

Do Indian star tortoises bite?

No, Indian star tortoises do not bite. They are herbivores, meaning they only eat plants, and they are gentle creatures by nature. They may try to nip if they feel threatened, but they rarely bite. Although they don’t often bite, they might nip if they mistake a brilliantly colored toenail or fingernail for a flower petal.

How do you take care of an Indian tortoise?

To take care of an Indian tortoise, it is essential to provide a habitat that is similar to its natural environment. This includes a warm and humid environment, a basking area, and a shallow water dish. Indian tortoises also need a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits, and grasses to provide them with the necessary vitamins and minerals. 

Besides, it is also essential to keep their habitat clean and to provide regular health checks with a veterinarian. Taking care of an Indian tortoise is vital to ensure it has a long and happy life.

How do you give Indian star tortoise water?

Indian star tortoises should be given water in shallow dishes, as they are prone to drowning. The water should be changed daily, and the plate should be checked for algae growth, as algae can become toxic. The water should also be shallow enough that the tortoise can easily reach the surface to breathe.

Moreover, the water dish is not typically offered indoors. Instead, you should give the tortoise a once-weekly dip in lukewarm water, where it will drink and frequently urinate. If you do provide a shallow water dish, make sure to maintain it clean and replace the water as often as required.

How long do Indian star tortoises live for?

In the wild, Indian star tortoises have an average 35 to 80-year lifespan. These tortoises typically live for 25 years in captivity. This is because they have very long life spans due to the fact that they are cold-blooded animals, meaning that their metabolic rate is much slower than warm-blooded animals. This allows them to live much longer than other animals of a similar size.

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