UniquePetsWiki is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more

Cutest Pet Turtles (Photos + Exclusive Video included)

Turtles are among the oldest reptile groups in the world. Which makes them a fascinating creature to keep as a pet. You are going to find numerous types of cutest pet turtles. That can range from sea turtles to snapping turtles and lots more.

Since the list of turtles that you can keep as a pet is overwhelming, I took it upon myself to do extensive research on some of the cutest and perfect turtles’ species to keep.

Cutest turtles around the world that you can keep as pet:

  • African aquatic side neck turtle
  • Red-bellied short-necked turtle
  • Painted turtle
  • Central American wood turtle
  • Red ear slider turtle
  • Reeve’s turtle
  • Caspian pond turtle.

Thanks and all the photos credit to unsplash for the great image source that they are providing.

Top 7 cute turtles in the world

Top 7 Cute Turtles In The World
Top 7 Cute Turtles In The World

African Aquatic Sideneck Turtle (Pelomedusa Spp)

African Aquatic Sideneck Turtle
African Aquatic Sideneck Turtle

This adorable turtle species has a unique look, which makes them fun to watch. They are known as a side-neck turtle because they can tuck their head to a side of their shell.

They also have anatomy that is different from a typical aquatic turtle, such as the extra scutes on their shell, unique cervical spine, and skull characteristics. It has varying colors, which range from dark brown and tan, gray, and black.

The African Aquatic Side-neck Turtle is also called African helmeted turtle or African mud turtle. It is a native to Africa and commonly found in the East African region in countries like Madagascar, Seychelles, and numerous freshwater parts of Africa.

You will easily find them living in small ponds, small lakes, and streams with slow-moving water.

When under threat, the turtle will fold its head below the upper edge of its shell. They have necks that are longer than numerous other species of turtles, and it gives them a better survival adaptation than many turtle species.

They can use their long neck to get back on their feet when turned upside down on their shells.

This cutie is mind-blowing and will surely be a great addition to your aquarium. It is an excellent pet, and it is active during the daytime. It can also grow to about 8-18 inches long and live up to about 25 years in captivity.

They are also readily available as a pet since they are not on the endangered species list.

Red-bellied short-necked turtle (Emydura subglobosa)

Red-bellied short-necked
Red-bellied short-necked

It is a magnificent turtle species, and it is among the cutest turtle that you can keep for pet owners. They are small in size with a little olive-colored head and yellow-cream strip from its nose to eye. They can grow to about 10 inches in length.

In the wild, they are common in New Guinea and also on the south side of Australia’s Cape York Peninsula. They adapt well to water environments like numerous turtles.

They prefer living in places like ponds, rivers, and swamps. They feed on tadpoles, fish, and worms. They also love basking in the sun.

They are among the famous turtle that you can keep as pets. You will need a bigger aquarium if you want to keep these cuties. You can feed them fish, plant matter, and commercial turtle pellets. They can also live for over 20 years.

Painted Turtle (Chrysemys spp)

Painted Turtle
Painted Turtle

The painted turtle is another mind-blowing turtle species and among the most attractive pond turtles that you can keep.

When you are choosing for this cute turtle species, you will need to choose from its four types, namely the eastern painted turtle, the western painted turtle, the midland painted turtle, and the southern painted turtle.

You can quickly identify these species with their color. The midland subspecies look like the eastern painted turtle, but they have a darker colored blotch on their underside.

The western subspecies has a bright red pattern across the bottom of its shell. The southern painted turtles are the smallest, and they have a red stripe on their shell.

They are known to be among the most widespread turtle species as you can find them from the Pacific coast to the Atlantic coast. In the wild, they prefer living in a freshwater body with a soft, muddy bottom.

You will easily find them in lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, and slow-moving water sources. They spend most of their time basking in the sun or hunting for food. They are omnivores and can feed on aquatic insects, dead fish, duckweed, algae, and lily seeds.

Painted turtles do not respond well to handling, as it can cause undue stress to them. Caring for them as a pet is a lot like caring for a pet fish, but you will need to provide a place where they can dry dock beside their tank.

If you want to keep them as a pet, you will need a large fish tank that can hold 100 gallons of water; you can also use a pond liner, kiddie pool, or large plastic container to keep them.

Central American Wood Turtle (Rhinoclemmys pulcherrima manni)

Central American Wood Turtle
Central American Wood Turtle

It is a famous and common wood turtle that you can keep as a pet. It is also known as Ornate Wood Turtle. They can grow to about 8 inches long, and they usually have a varying pattern on their shells.

They also have different color as the species from Costa Rica has bright colors while Nicaragua species have subdued color. Their color ranges from yellow to orange swirls with varying black eyespots on their carapace.

In the wild, you will find them in bushes, rainforests, and shallow rivers. They are terrestrial, but you can also find them in shallow water. It is an omnivore animal and can feed on worms, nest mice, insects, snails, shrimp, and so on.

This cute turtle is a great pet to keep as they are sociable and well-tempered. It is also intelligent and personable, and it remains at a manageable size. Once it acclimatizes in the right enclosure, it will be hardy. You can also feed it by hand.

Red Ear Slider Turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans)

Red Ear Slider Turtle
Red Ear Slider Turtle

This turtle species is among the most famous and commonly kept pet turtle for decades, and you will quickly see one once you set your eyes on this beauty.

They are called red-eared slider because of the striking red streak that is on each side of its face, and also because they can quickly slide off rocks and logs into the water. They can also grow to about 12 inches in length.

The Red Ear Slider Turtles are native of the United States, and you will find them in Illinois, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee, and also northern Mexico.

They prefer living in slow-moving streams, lakes, creeks, ponds, and marshes that have a fresh and warm water supply.

One of the fascinating things about this cute turtle species is that they cannot seal off their shell entirely after withdrawing into their shells, which makes them vulnerable. It avoids predators by diving into deep water.

They are omnivores, but they need to be friendly and warm before they can feed. They feed on a mix of vegetables, fish, earthworms, insects, and meat.

They are easily known as the most commonly traded reptile that you can keep as a pet. You can quickly get it at a relatively low price, small size, and you can easily care for them.

If you are new to keeping turtle, they are the best bet for you. They risk salmonella infection, and you can reduce and avoid this by changing their water once per two weeks or use the aquarium water filter system.

If you cared for them correctly, they could live more than 20 years in captivity.

Reeve’s Turtle (Mauremys reevesii)

Reeve's Turtle
Reeve’s Turtle

The Reeve’s Turtle is also called the Chinese Pond Turtle. It is a popular breed among pet keepers because of its mind-blowing personality, which makes it a perfect choice for beginners that wants to keep a turtle as a pet.

Its carapace color varies from black to tan; you will find some species that have a stunning combination of several shades. There are marks with broken yellow lines on its head and neck. They usually grow to about 5 inches in length, but some grow to about 12 inches length.

In the wild, you will find this breed of turtle in eastern and central China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and North Korea.

They usually inhabit still water or slow-moving water like small streams, lakes, and ponds with numerous aquatic plants and basking areas.

You may also find them in marshes, flooded rice paddies, and swamps. They are semiaquatic, which means they love basking in the sun on logs or rocks.

They feed on a wide variety of food like crayfishes, fishes, insects, frogs, fallen fruits, and plants.

They are a fascinating and excellent turtle to keep as pets because they breed well in captivity. They also grow to a manageable size of about 9 inches.

They are also active and responsive and will quickly learn to beg for food once they see their owner.

They can live for about 10-15 years in captivity. It is best to keep them in a container with a water depth that is less than 1.5 times the length of their shell to avoid drowning. You should also provide a basking area for them close to their container.

Caspian Pond Turtle (Mauremys capsica)

Cute pet: Caspian Pond Turtles
Caspian Pond Turtles

The Caspian Pond Turtle is known as Caspian Turtle; its carapace is usually from tan to olive or black with yellow or cream patterning on its head, shells, and arms. This lovely species is on the decline in the wild because of their interactions with vultures, storks, and humans.

You will find them in numerous countries like Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Israel, Cypress, Yugoslavia, Crete, Eastern Europe, and so on. They can quite adaptable, and you will easily find them in numerous fresh and brackish water bodies in the wild.

They prefer living in a permanent body of water, but you will find them dormant in mud during the summer in areas where water is temporary. Those that are living in the northern regions hibernate during the winter.

They are usually carnivorous when young but become omnivores when they reach adulthood while the bigger turtles feed more on plants.

Bonus: Cost of having a turtle & tortoise as pet

Cost Of Having A Turtle & Tortoise As Pet
Cost Of Having A Turtle & Tortoise As Pet

Having a cute pet is easy. But before getting any new pet, not just tortoise/turtle. You need to know the cost of having them as pet. Usually, they will include the cost at the shop for a pet. Cost for housing, equipments and food. Sometime, another extra dollars will need for a vet.

A pet tortoise will cost around $50 to over a thousand USD. It depends on the breed of that pet. The other cost would be around $100. The most expensive one is the tank for your turtle, you can use the tanks for pufferfish for your pet turtle if you already had it.

Final thought about keeping these cute pet turtles

These lovely turtles are available as a pet in limited numbers all because of few breeders in the United States. If you want to keep them as a pet, you will need to provide a spacious enclosure since they need a lot of space.

7 cutest pet turtles

It is advisable to look for other turtle breeds on this list if you do not have a lot of room or you are too busy for them. You will surely love them because they are very personable turtle, and they usually recognize their keepers.

You can feed them fish, insects, roaches, meat, earthworms, prawn, shrimp, greens, and crickets. You should also note that they can bite when frightened and they do not like being handled. You can also rear them with other turtles in the same tank.

2 thoughts on “Cutest Pet Turtles (Photos + Exclusive Video included)”

Leave a Comment

About UniquePetsWiki

UniquePetsWiki is the preferred educational source on pets favored by experienced herptologists and new owners alike. With hundreds of articles on everything pertaining to pets including reptiles, squirrels, and other pets, our experienced team provides reliable and accurate content you can trust.

From proper husbandry and habitat guidance, to articles on health concerns, diet, and extensive care guides, UniquePetsWiki is here to educate everyone on all pets concerns.


UniquePetsWiki is not a veterinary website, nor should any of the reptile health information on our site replace the advice of a certified veterinary professional. If your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, contact an experienced veterinarian immediately.

UniquePetsWiki is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.