Indoor free roam idea- thoughts?

Arirang

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Hello, all!

I had an idea for my Russian tortoise, Ollivander. I'm soon going to be moving to a larger home, and will have room for a larger enclosure for him. Something I had in mind was to build something that has a removable front wall, and a ramp in and out, so that I can leave it open when I'm home. I like the idea of letting him roam freely.

The habitat itself would of course have heating, on a lampstand. Would I need other "stations" for him to warm up at throughout my apartment, or would just the one be sufficient for him to return to? The apartment would be roughly 800 sq ft.

Secondly, I have a cat. While I would not let him roam freely without me being there, would it be OK for him and the cat to share a space when I am? I supervise his free-roam time right now, and she's actually a little scared of him and leaves him alone. She's very gentle around all of my other animals.

Thoughts?
 

Maro2Bear

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Greetings...

I’m going to say that the concensus among Forum contributors will be a big fat “don’t let your tortoise roam.” Plain and simple. There have been many many stories shared here on the bad things that happen to free roaming torts.

Shared with cat....hmmm, again. Not a good idea, all it takes is a quick move by the tort, a faster inquisitive claw and your tort loses an eye. Not good....

Hope this helps....not the news I’m sure you wanted, but better play it safe on both accounts.

Happy Torting!
 

wellington

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I have too totally agree with Maro2Bear post and as they said, many on the forum will too.
If you give your tort a proper size enclosure, 4x8 minimum for an adult Russian with proper heat, light, substrate, hides, etc, he will be perfectly happy. A summer outdoor enclosure will make him even happier.
 

Pearly

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Couple of things to consider: 1) SAFETY, like with little toddlers the area should be enclosed (escape-proof) and all potentially dangerous items removed off the floor or any place the inquisitive tort can access (any small item that can be put in their little mouth causing injury or poisoning - SO HAVE YOUR FLOOR CLEAN! No trash, no hairs, strings, chemicals, fooditems, Cosmetics, etc), 2) TEMPERATURE - the floor level inside our homes is usually pretty cool, much colder than the tort’s environment should be, simply NOT GOOD for the tort, 3) CLEANLINESS- torts bowel/bladder function is often not very predictable, so would I want for my torts to deposit a big puddle of pee or poo on my hardwood floor or my pretty, soft cozy rugs???? Some thing to consider for ya there. I do let mine trot around one area in my house (where all of the above conditions have been met) at times when we bring them inside and their bath is not ready yet for whatever reason, I let them eat there before their bath. I also have a cat, who is not least bit interested in my torts as anything (food or entertainment) to him they are just 2 moving rocks and he doesn’t mind them at all
 
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rideburton87

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I let my tortoise roam free for a while but it was a bad idea. He started ripping up and eating the carpet that separated the living from out bedroom hallway. Once he did that I made a tortoise gate for my kitchen where he now lives. I have a sulcata thats probably about the size of a smaller dinner plate so i do not like the idea of keeping him in a cage. They do tend to go to the bathroom whenever they like but having him on the tile has helped clean up a lot, as well as giving him daily warm baths in the morning keep him from going to the bathroom on the floor too often. Like someone else said though, you have to keep your hair cleaned up, I caught him with a mouth full of my girl friends hair once and he will eat anything he can put his mouth on. He's got his own house in the corner of the kitchen he sleeps in and goes to if he's cold. I got heat lamps/CHE emitting from the top and keep a heating pad made for chickens on the ground. I think it all works well but just keep in mind you have to keep the floor as clean as you would his cage and not leave things around you wouldn't want your tortoise to eat.
 
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