Iguanas and Tortoises: Can They Live Together?

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

If you’re considering adding an iguana or tortoise to your family, you may wonder if they can live together.

The answer is yes – but there are a few things you need to keep in mind. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of keeping these two species together and give tips on how to make it work if you decide to go ahead.


Can iguanas and tortoises live together?


It’s not uncommon for pet owners to wonder if they can house multiple reptiles together.

After all, they all require similar care, so it stands to reason that they could coexist peacefully. However, there are a few things to consider before placing iguanas and tortoises together in the same enclosure.

  • Tortoises are generally much larger than iguanas, so they may inadvertently crush their smaller counterparts.


  • Additionally, iguanas are known for being aggressive, and their sharp claws can cause severe injuries to tortoises.


  • Finally, tortoises are much more passive than iguanas, so they may be unable to keep up with the latter’s active lifestyle.

For these reasons, it’s generally best to house iguanas and tortoises separately.


The pros of keeping iguanas and tortoises together


While some believe that iguanas and tortoises should be kept separate, there are several benefits to keeping them together.

Tortoises are often slow eaters who can compete with other animals for food.

However, iguanas are much faster eaters and can help clean up any leftovers that the tortoises don’t finish. In addition, iguanas are excellent climbers, and they can often reach places that tortoises can’t.

This can come in handy if something needs to be moved or retrieved from a high spot. Finally, iguanas tend to be relatively low-maintenance pets, which can take some of the care burdens off of their owners.

There are plenty of good reasons to keep these two species together.


The cons of keeping iguanas and tortoises together


Iguanas and tortoises may seem like they would make compatible pets, but there are several reasons why keeping them together is not a good idea.

  • For one thing, iguanas are natural climbers, and their sharp claws can easily damage the shells of tortoises.


  • In addition, iguanas are vegetarians, while tortoises are omnivores. As a result, the two animals will have different dietary needs that can be difficult to accommodate.


  • Finally, iguanas can grow quite large, and their movement can be unpredictable. This can be stressful for tortoises, which are naturally shy creatures.

For these reasons, keeping iguanas and tortoises as separate as possible is best.


Tips for making it work if you decide to keep them together


If you’re considering keeping a tortoise or iguana as a pet, you might wonder if it’s possible to keep them together. While it’s true that these two reptiles have different needs, there are some tips you can follow to make sure they both thrive in their shared habitat.

First, providing a warm basking spot for your iguana is essential, as they require higher temperatures than tortoises.

You’ll also need to set up a UVB light to help them absorb calcium and prevent metabolic bone disease.

As for your tortoise, you’ll need to create an excellent area for them to retreat to when the temperature gets too high.

It’s also essential to give them plenty of space to roam, as they can become stressed if they feel cramped.

Following these simple tips can create a happy and healthy home for your tortoise and iguana.




Although they are both reptiles, iguanas and tortoises have different needs in terms of housing, food, and temperature. For example, iguanas require a warm, humid environment, while tortoises do better in dry climates.

Iguanas also need a diet high in protein, while tortoises are herbivores and need a diet high in fiber. For these reasons, it is generally not recommended to house iguanas and tortoises together. However, if the enclosure is large enough and the temperature and humidity can be controlled, these two types of reptiles can coexist peacefully.

About the author

Latest posts

  • Can You Pick Up Grass Snakes? Tips and Precautions

    Can You Pick Up Grass Snakes? Tips and Precautions

    Yes, you can pick up grass snakes. However, it’s important to handle them gently and with care to avoid causing them any harm.   Is It Safe to Pick Up Grass Snakes?   Grass snakes are non-venomous, harmless snakes commonly found in grassy areas and gardens. They are docile and generally not aggressive towards humans.…

    Read more

  • Can Grass Snakes Hurt Cats? A Clear Answer with Expert Knowledge

    Can Grass Snakes Hurt Cats? A Clear Answer with Expert Knowledge

    Grass snakes are not harmful to cats. They are non-venomous and typically avoid confrontation with larger animals. In fact, they are more likely to flee when encountering a cat. However, it’s always best to supervise your pets when they are outdoors to ensure their safety.   Potential Risks to Cats Bite Risks   Grass snakes…

    Read more