Hermit Crab Not Eating: Common Reasons and Things You Should Do

If a hermit crab isn’t eating, it may be because of one of the following reasons: the crab is sick, the crab is molting, or the crab is house-trained. So it’s possible that your hermit crab isn’t eating because of a change in water or enclosure changes. 

Try different things to tempt him, like wetting his food with fresh water or adding some aquatic life (like live reef organisms). If he still doesn’t eat, it may be time to change his water and enclosure again. If he’s been eating but hasn’t been active in a while, it’s possible he’s sick and needs to be treated. Either way, it’s essential to keep an eye on your hermit crab and ensure he’s getting the nutrition and water he needs to stay healthy.

Reasons Why Hermit Crab Won’t Eat

Full Stomach

Hermit crabs need to have full stomachs to digest food properly. Ensure enough food is in their tank and feed them different types of healthy food. Occasionally, move the crab around, so it has new areas to explore. If you notice your crab is injured or sick, take it to a vet for treatment.

Negative Connotations With Food

In most cases, the crab is just avoiding new foods that it may be unsure of. Therefore, patience and gradually introducing new food items will usually work best. If this does not solve the problem, you might need to take the crab to a vet as its health could be at risk if it isn’t eaten correctly.

Experiencing Excessive External Stimulation

Hermit crabs are creatures of habit and need a routine to function optimally. When their environment is constantly changing, or they’re receiving excessive external stimulation, this can cause them not to eat or be lethargic. To help your crab live a healthy and happy life, try to provide a stable environment free of overwhelming stimuli. 

Lack of Saltwater

Make sure to provide freshwater and saltwater daily while also providing soft, wet rocks to crawl on or bury themselves in. If the crab seems unwell, it might be sulking because it’s not feeling well and needs time to heal. So make sure you don’t force it to eat – if it doesn’t feel like eating, it’s sicker than you thought! Finally, provide slightly salty water – half a teaspoon should do the trick.


Hermit crabs can become stressed by various factors – from too much light and noise to being unable to find the proper cave. If this happens, one of the first things you’ll notice is that your hermit crab won’t eat. To prevent stress in your hermit crab, make sure his habitat is comfortable (with plenty of hiding spots) and provide him with enough food (hermits like mollusks). 

Sickness or Injury

If you notice your hermit crab is not eating or seems sick, it’s essential to take action. Before doing anything else, ensure the crab has plenty of fresh water and a changing area to keep them clean. If the sickness persists, consult a vet or pet store for help.


Molting is a natural process that hermit crabs go through during their lifetime. It can be quite an event, and your crab may not eat or move around for a few days after molting. If he doesn’t start eating again, it’s time to take him to the vet! Molting can also cause some crabs to shed their exoskeleton (outer shell)

Problems With Humidity

If your crab is still not eating, it may be because of humidity issues. Humidity levels in the home or office should be between 70-80%. Too low, and your crab will die. You can solve the problem by providing a humidifier in your home or office. Check out our other blog posts for more information on how to help your hermit crab!

Picky Eater

If your hermit crab isn’t eating, there are a few things you can do to try and get it interested in food again:

  • Change its water often, so it always has fresh drinking water.
  • Feed it different types of food daily, so its palate is constantly stimulated. If that still doesn’t work or your crab seems sick, consider taking him to the vet for a check-up.
  • Don’t hesitate to try new foods, as sometimes giving something new a chance can reignite an eater’s love for good nutrition!

Low Temperature

One of them is that the crabs’ habitat may not be excellent enough – try to keep it at around 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit (23-29 degrees Celsius). The humidity should also be high, and the environment shouldn’t get too wet. If all else fails, you can try different types of food but ensure that it doesn’t contain live insects.

Getting Your Hermit Crab to Eat

You can do a few things to help them get back on track. 

  • First, try giving them some of their regular food items. If that doesn’t work, try changing their food options a bit. 
  • Sometimes the crab needs some time to get used to new food items. 
  • Finally, if all else fails, you can try giving them a little love and care. 

Just be patient and understanding – hermit crabs are creatures of habit and will eventually return to their regular eating routine.

Offer Different Food To Your Hermit Food

If you’re unsure what your hermit crab likes, experiment with different food items and see what he prefers. Keep a close eye on him so if he doesn’t start eating soon, go to the vet. It may take some time for him to get used to a new food – be patient!

Hand Feeding Your Hermit Crab

Hand feeding a hermit crab can be fun if done correctly. Here are some tips to make the process as smooth as possible: 

  • Make sure you have plenty of food items to offer your hermit crab – fresh and wet foods are always best. 
  • If your hermit crab is not eating, the first step is to try and hand feed them with small pieces of food placed in their mouth directly from the dish or bowl they live in. 
  • Always keep an eye on their water dish – it should be complete and clean since hermits drink copious amounts of water daily (in addition to eating).

Do Hermit Crabs Eat and Drink Every Day?

Contrary to popular belief, most hermit crabs do not eat and drink every day. If you notice your hermit crab is not eating or drinking, it’s best to get it checked out by a veterinarian. They may occasionally drink if they’re in a humid area or if they feel thirsty. Most importantly, provide appropriate habitats for your hermit crabs – including food and water – so they can live healthy lives!

Time Frame Hermit Crabs Can Live Without Food or Water

The average hermit crab can live up to two weeks without food or water, but he will perish if he doesn’t get either of those things. Make sure to provide him with food and water regularly, and keep an eye on him – if he doesn’t get food or water, he may start to lose weight and become lethargic. Remember that hermit crabs are active by night and rest during the day, which helps conserve energy for when it counts – like in a fight with another crab!