Can Tortoises eat Cabbage? ANSWER HERE!

I spotted tortoises eating hay while watching a program earlier today. Given the abundance of cabbage and spinach at my local market, I began to wonder if torts may benefit from this nutritious vegetable.

Cabbage contains goitrogens. So, feeding small amounts, sparingly is safe for your tortoise. But, I wouldn’t overdo it as feeding too many cabbages can negatively affect your pet.

Is it Okay for Tortoises to eat Cabbage?

A healthy diet for tortoises includes a variety of colors of cabbage, including red, green, and purple. However, tortoises should only eat cabbages in moderation since they contain goitrogens, which are poisonous to tortoises and can affect the thyroid glands, liver, and kidneys if eaten excessively.

Do not give tortoises a lot of vegetables that are high in oxalates and goitrogens at the same time. Spinach, kale, and Wild Mustard are a few more plants with high goitrogen content, in addition to cabbage.

Make an effort to provide your tortoise with a diet that is rich in fiber, calcium, and other nutrients. In order to maintain a healthy diet, cabbage can be served once a week because of its high calcium, vitamin, and water content.

ALSO SEE: Can Tortoises eat Cauliflower?

Is it Safe to Feed Cabbage to Tortoises?

Goitrogens in cabbage can cause liver and kidney damage if eaten in excess, thus tortoises can benefit from eating cabbage as long as it is given rarely because of the high quantities of goitrogens.

A tortoise’s diet should include a range of safe items in order to maintain a healthy balance.

Compost your cabbage along with other vegetables and fruits like celery, carrots, strawberries, and tomatoes along with its commercial food in order to acquire a well-rounded diet.

Tortoises from a variety of settings can be fed a variety of foods from the tables below.

Rainforest/Tropical Tortoises

Rainforest Tortoises Preferred Diet
Red-footed tortoises 70% weeds, flowering plants, and other greens
Yellow footed tortoises [Geochelone denticulata] 30% Fruits and a small amount of animal protein
Burmese Brown Tortoises
Kinixys homeana (Home’s Hingeback tortoise


Grazing Tortoises Preferred diets
African Sulcata Tortoises 70% mixed grass and Hay
Leopard Tortoises 20-30% flowering plants, succulents and weeds.
Indian TortoisesLimit or Avoid: Fruits, vegetables, and saladsAldabra Tortoises


Greek Tortoises, Spur Thighed (Testudo Graeca)

Mediterranean Tortoises Preferred Diets
100% variety of weeds and flowering plants
Examples: hibiscus leaves and flowers and Mulberry leaves
Hermanns tortoise (Testudo Hermanni) Limit or avoid: Fruits, vegetables, and salads
Marginated Tortoise (Testudo Marginata) and the
Russian / Horsefield (Testudo Horsefieldi)
Egyptian Tortoise (Testudo kleinmanni)

Consult with a veterinarian to learn more about your tortoise’s species so that you don’t accidentally feed it the wrong food.

Nutrition facts for 100 grams of cabbage are listed in the table below.

Nutrient Value
Water 92.18 g
Protein 1.28 g
Dietary Fiber  2.5g
calcium 40.00 mg
Phosphorus 26.00 mg
sodium 18.00 mg
selenium 0.3 mcg
Choline 10.7 mg
Folate 43.00 mcg
Thiamine 0.061 mg
Niacin 0.234 mg
Riboflavin 0.040 mg
Vitamin A 5.00 mcg
Beta carotene 42.00 mcg
Vitamin B6 0.124 mg
Vitamin C 36.6 mg
Vitamin E 0.15 mg
Vitamin K 76.0 mcg
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For tortoises, cabbage is an excellent source of water.

There is a myth that tortoises do not drink water since they are connected with a dry client.

There is a school of thought that says tortoises should acquire their water from the food they consume.

It is true that tortoises acquire water from the food they consume, but this is rarely enough.

A healthy tortoise needs a constant supply of clean, fresh water to function properly.

Life-threatening renal system failure can result from dehydration.

Giving your tortoise cabbage can help him stay hydrated because it contains a lot of water. For more information on the necessity of providing fresh water to your tortoise, see this page.

Can Tortoises eat Cabbage

Vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber.

As with all herbivores, tortoises necessitate a large amount of fiber in their diet, with a healthy tortoise diet including between 10% and 40% of dry matter, with 18% to 28% considered appropriate fiber content.

From the breakdown of fiber, the tortoise obtains energy in the form of carbs.

Diarrhea from a low-fiber diet might contribute to dehydration. As a result of the tortoise’s digestive system’s inability to handle high levels of urea and uric acid produced by protein digestion, protein should be provided in small doses.

They still require some protein in their diet, though, because they are a source of energy.

Tortoise dry matter meal should have a protein concentration of 15% to 35%. The amount of fiber in the product should be the primary consideration.


Animals need minerals to maintain their maximum health.

While tortoises may get the minerals they need from commercial supplements, feeding foods rich in minerals can get you a step closer to meeting their mineral demands.

Cabbage, as you can see from the list above, is a mineral powerhouse. Minerals including calcium, magnesium, and potassium are critical to tortoise growth and development.

In tortoises that are still growing their shells and bones, calcium and phosphorus are two of the most crucial nutrients.

The availability of phosphorus in the diet and the tortoise’s body’s calcium requirements can have a direct impact on how much of the calcium in the meal the tortoise can absorb.

Calcium to phosphorus ratios of 2:1 or 1:1 are suggested. Green vegetables like cabbage have a low calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, making them a good choice for vegetarians.

Together, these two minerals aid in the formation of tortoise shells, bones, and other skeletal components.

In order to ensure that your tortoise gets enough sunshine or UVB light to produce adequate vitamin D, or if you prefer, you can give your tortoise a commercial supplement that contains both calcium and vitamin D, both of which are important for bone health.

Calcium’s role in tortoise health includes

  • Affects the rate at which your heart beats, the amount of oxygen in your circulation, and the rate at which blood clots.
  • development of the skeletal system and its shell
  • Promotes the absorption of iron
  • The tortoise’s phosphorus requirements
  • Involved in the transmission of genetic material
  • Enhances renal health.

By creating calcium phosphates that are insoluble, phosphorus blocks calcium absorption.

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However, this does not preclude the use of vegetables with higher phosphorus content than calcium. Feeding them in moderation is advised.

Cabbage is a good source of other trace elements that are good for tortoises.

vitamins are crucial to the health of a tortoise since they work hand in hand with minerals to keep them healthy.

Vitamins are classified into two categories:

water-soluble AND fat-soluble.

Because lipids are necessary for fat-soluble vitamins to be absorbed by the body, these vitamins can become toxic if consumed in excess.

One of the fat-soluble vitamins that can cause hypervitaminosis is vitamin A.

Vitamin A, on the other hand, plays a critical function in the well-being of tortoises.

Eye health is promoted by healthy skin and mucosal membranes.

It helps to maintain a healthy sex life

Beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, is found in the majority of plants given to livestock.

When compared to vitamin A, beta carotene’s main benefit is that it may be excreted in the body in small amounts, but vitamin A must be stored until it is needed.

Fat-soluble vitamin K is essential for tortoise blood coagulation and is present in abundance in cabbage.

The water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, will be eliminated in the urine if taken in excess, thus they do not pose a health danger.

As a group, these are referred to as the B complex vitamins.

Vitamin B complex is defined as a group of vitamins that include B1, B2, B3, and B4.

Vitamin Importance
Vitamin B1, thiamine regulator in the carbohydrate metabolism
Vitamin B2, riboflavin is a co-enzyme in energy release
Vitamin B3, niacin, also crucial to the energy metabolism
Vitamin B6, pyridoxine involved in energy conversion from glycogen and in the synthesis of hemoglobin and antibodies

How to Make and Feed a Tortoise a Dish of Sauerkraut

  • Find organically cultivated cabbage.
  • It has to be completely cleaned.
  • Prepare it for your tortoise by cutting it into bite-sized pieces.
  • Adding calcium pills to the mix will help.
  • It goes well with other vegetables and fruits.
  • Remove any cabbage that hasn’t been consumed to prevent infection.
  • Your tortoise’s hydration can be improved by misting the cabbage.

Questions That May Be Of Interest

Cabbage isn’t an obvious food for desert tortoises. Cabbage may be eaten by desert tortoises.. Cabbage, on the other hand, should be consumed in moderation and as part of a well-balanced diet. Goitrogens, which are found in cabbage, are toxic to tortoises’ kidneys and liver.

Cabbage with Russian Tortoises: Is it possible? Cabbage is a staple in the diet of Russian tortoises, along with other Mediterranean tortoises like Hermann tortoises. To avoid liver and thyroid damage and the formation of kidney and bladder stones, doctors recommend feeding cabbage in moderation owing to the high quantities of goitrogens found in the vegetable.

Cabbage in the sulcata tortoise diet? Sulcata tortoises, like other desert tortoises, can consume cabbage. Sulcata tortoises, on the other hand, should only eat cabbage in moderation owing to its high quantities of goitrogens, which can affect the thyroid, kidney, and liver.

Can Tortoises eat Cabbage Leaves?

Despite the presence of goitrogens, this is not harmful to tortoises. A person’s liver and kidneys can be damaged if they are exposed to excessive amounts of goitrogens.

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Can Tortoises eat Red Cabbage?

Red, green, and purple cabbage are all acceptable parts of a healthy diet for tortoises. However, tortoises should only eat cabbages in moderation since it contains goitrogens, which are poisonous to tortoises and can injure the thyroid glands, liver, and cause kidney and bladder stones if eaten excessively.

Can Horsfield Tortoises eat Cabbage?

Cabbage can occasionally be fed. Feeding once a month is all that is necessary. Brassicas, which this vegetable is a member of, can cause goiter in tortoises if eaten in excess.

Can Tortoises eat Savoy Cabbage?

Shelled Warriors Forums. Despite the fact that Cabbage is not hazardous, it contains goitrogens that can harm the liver and kidneys. Consequently, we do not recommend giving your tortoise Cabbage to eat.

Can Tortoises eat White Cabbage?

Even though it is not harmful, cabbage contains thyroid-interfering goitrogens that can harm the liver and kidneys. As a result, we do not recommend feeding your tortoise Cabbage.

Can Hermann Tortoises eat Cabbage?

Wild foraging should be a part of the diet of tortoises. Feed your pet a mix of greens and grasses. Greens can be supplemented with a variety of fruits and vegetables such as apples, apricots, grapes, melons, peaches, and strawberries, as well as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, and carrots.

Can Leopard Tortoises eat Cabbage?

Red, green, and purple cabbage are all acceptable parts of a healthy diet for tortoises. However, tortoises should only eat cabbages in moderation since it contains goitrogens, which are poisonous to tortoises and can injure the thyroid glands, liver, and cause kidney and bladder stones if eaten excessively.

Can Redfoot Tortoises eat Cabbage?

Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbages and collards contain significant nutrients but suppress the thyroid. Overconsumption of members of the cabbage family can lead to goiter development. Neither cat nor dog food is permitted. Their low fiber content makes them unsuitable for tortoises, who have very sensitive digestive systems.

Can Baby Tortoises eat Cabbage?

Despite its non-toxic nature, Cauliflower includes goitrogens, which have been linked to thyroid dysfunction and organ damage. As a result, we do not recommend feeding your tortoise Cabbage.

Can Spur-Thighed Tortoises eat Cabbage?

Cauliflower, Kale, Alfalfa Hays, and finely sliced carrots can all be fed on occasion, but only in little amounts. Wild animals should eat a diversified diet that is adapted to their environment.

Can Greek Tortoises eat Cabbage?

Red, green, and purple cabbage are all acceptable parts of a healthy diet for tortoises. However, tortoises should only eat cabbages in moderation since it contains goitrogens, which are poisonous to tortoises and can injure the thyroid glands, liver, and cause kidney and bladder stones if eaten excessively.


Because of their herbivorous diet, tortoises are simple to care for as a pet. Tortoises require a lot of fiber in their diet because they rely heavily on carbs obtained from fiber digestion for their energy needs.

Because of this, make sure your tortoise is getting enough fiber in their food every day. Even when provided sparingly together with other vegetables, cabbage can help keep a tortoise’s diet balanced.

In light of the goitrogen content in cabbages, caution should be exercised to avoid overfeeding, since goitrogens can interfere with thyroid function and injure the kidneys and liver.

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