Do Red-Eared Slider Turtles Pee: Everything That You Need to Know!

Yes, red-eared slider turtles peeing typically happens when the turtle is scared, has just eaten or needs to urinate. When picked up, turtles will often pee in their hands, but this is not always the case. Some turtle species will also pee in their shells when scared or anxious. 

Red Eared Slider Turtles and Their Pee


The red-eared slider turtle’s pee looks slightly like water droplets but has a reddish hue. So, if you’re wondering what the deal is with all the turtle pee around, now you know! Just be sure to keep an eye on your red-eared slider turtle’s pee-pee habits, as they can get a little messy in the process! If you decide to get a turtle as a pet, observe their urination habits closely!


Red-eared slider turtles pee through a hole in the base of their tale called the cloaca. To do this, they need to generate heat. This generating heat allows them to regulate their body temperature and drink water without leaving their shell. Plus, it’s just plain adorable! So, whether you’re a turtle fan or not, you’re in for a treat when you watch them go about their business.


Red-eared slider turtles emit an unpleasant smell when poop, but this usually diminishes after a while. ALWAYS closely monitor your turtle to ensure they are healthy and not getting sick from their habits! If you notice any changes in behavior or appearance that concern you, don’t hesitate to take them to the veterinarian. 

There is no harm in turtles excreting their waste – it’s natural for them, and it does help keep their habitats clean. But if you find urine or feces offensive, there is nothing wrong with removing it yourself rather than leaving it for the turtle to deal with later on.

Reason Why Red-Eared Slider Turtles Pee

When Picked Up

As you likely know, turtles – like all reptiles – pee while they’re picked up. This is because they need to expel waste while they’re being transported. So, if you choose to pick up a turtle pet, always ensure the area is clean and free of poop beforehand! This will prevent any messes or peeing incidents during the pick-up. 

Defense Mechanism

Red-eared slider turtles use pee as a defense mechanism. For example, when predators (e.g., dogs) venture too close, the turtles release an odorous liquid to scare them away. Knowing all this makes turtle pee an exciting topic of conversation.


Your turtle is peeing on you because he’s feeling stressed. When turtles are stressed, their urine production increases significantly. You can do a few things to ease the turtle’s stress and fix the peeing problem. Try playing with him or hiding him in a place where he feels safe. If that doesn’t work, it’s time to take him to the vet for a check-up. There might be something wrong with his bladder, or he may need a little treatment. 


When a turtle feels scared, it changes its behavior and increases its heart rate to conserve energy. This increase in heart rate results in the release of urine, which is why you might see sliders peeing when they’re scared or if they’ve been handled roughly. Don’t be surprised – it’s just a natural response to the situation!

Regulate Body Temperature

Red-eared slider turtles peeing in the shell helps regulate turtle body temperature and is also a way for them to stay calm and avoid being seen by predators. Also, this behavior is usually done when the turtle is stressed or in danger. So, next time you see your slider peeking out of its shell, don’t be alarmed – he’s just doing what comes naturally!

Effects of Red-Eared Slider Turtles Pee on Human

The answer is no if you’re wondering whether turtle pee harms humans. Red-eared slider turtles should be left out of human contact unless provoked. However, if you’re unlucky enough to get bitten by one of these reptiles, it could cause an infection. So, if you see turtle pee, don’t panic – take the necessary precautions and contact a vet.

Effects on Skin (Warts)

Many people are wondering if turtle pee can cause warts. The answer is, unfortunately, yes. Red-eared slider turtles do not have Testicles and therefore cannot create Spermaceti oil which can cause warts; however, their pee can still lead to them! 

The main ingredient in turtle pee- the protein skatole- has been linked with skin irritation, blisters, burns, and even blindness! So ensure you stay as far away from these little creatures as possible! If you come in contact with turtle pee, clean the area off as soon as possible to avoid developing a wart. If this does occur, it’s essential to see a vet as soon as possible to rule out any other health concerns.

Symptoms of Infection by Turtle’s Pee

Symptoms of infection by turtle’s pee generally include:

  • Lethargy.
  • A decrease in appetite and water consumption.
  • Redness or swelling around the nose or eye.
  • Discharge from the eyes or mouth.
  • Occasionally seizures.

If left untreated, it can lead to death!

Stopping Red-Eared Slider Turtle From Peeing Every Time During Handling

If you’re looking for a way to stop your turtle from peeing during handling, here are some tried and tested methods: 

  • Ensure the water is lukewarm when cleaning them – this will reduce the stress on their bladder. 
  • Frequently clean the area where the turtle’s tail and head meet – this will help reduce the risk of peeing in those areas. 
  • Aise up his frame so that he is more comfortable while being handled. 
  • Put a towel over his back before removing the shell to reduce stress on his neck. 
  • Try different handling techniques to find the one that works best for your turtle – some turtles like to be held in their shells, while others prefer to be handled without them.
  • Experiment until you find the mode of handling that your turtle enjoys the most.

Picking Up Your Turtle the Right Way to Avoid Peeing

Turtles can be a bit of a challenge to handle, but with some patience and care, you will get the hang of it eventually. Here are four tips on how to pick up your turtle the right way:

  • Always use both hands when picking up your turtle – this will reduce the risk of injuring or stressing out the animal. 
  • Make sure to keep your turtle close to your body at all times – they can quickly become scared if they feel separated from their owners. 
  • Try not to move them around too much once you have picked them up – this might cause stress and make them pee on you!
  • Finally, remember that turtles adapt very quickly, so don’t be surprised if yours starts behaving differently after a while- handling is often quite stressful for these animals!

Toilet Training a Turtle

Toilet training a turtle can be fun if you do it the right way! Here are four tips to make the process go as smoothly as possible: 

  • Make sure you clean up any messes quickly – red-eared sliders are sensitive to ammonia fumes and will quickly become discouraged. 
  • Fill the pot halfway with fresh water and place it next to the turtle’s enclosure. 
  • Once your turtle is used to going outside, gradually move the pot closer until they use it as their toilet! 
  • If your turtle doesn’t have a pot, you’ll need to supply them with one.