Skip to content

Is Turtle Pee Harmful to Humans?

Is Turtle Pee Harmful to Humans

Quiet, cuddly, and relatively undemanding are characteristics that make them turtles appealing options as a pet. Their lifespans are legendary, and they could even outlive you.

In recent years, turtles have become increasingly popular among pet owners. Many find them adorable with little upkeep.

However, prospective pet owners might question whether their waste is harmful. This article will answer the question: Is turtle pee harmful to humans?

About Turtles Anatomy?

Turtle anatomy differs from humans, but they still need to pee. They have a highly developed system for disposing of waste. So, how does a turtle urinate?

A turtle’s urinary system consists of a bladder, two kidneys, and a cloaca, a cavity connected to the digestive tract.

The kidneys filter blood and excrete urine, storing it in the bladder. When a turtle relieves itself, urine flows through its cloaca and leaves the body.

Turtles do not have an anus, which means their solid waste exits through their cloaca. The cloaca is located at the lower part of the tail, and contractions of the muscles expel urine through it.

There is also a theory that male turtles expel sperm from their cloaca during mating, but there is no proof.

About Turtle Pee?

Turtles excrete uric acid like all reptiles. This white, crystalline substance is relatively water-insoluble. Turtle pee has a clear yellow color and looks like lemonade.

However, turtle pee can look different depending on a few factors. Turtles’ pee is darker when they lack hydration and bright when they eat lots of veggies or fruits.

So, Is Turtle Pee Harmful to Humans?

Little scientific evidence exists regarding turtle urine’s effects on humans. However, there are some potential risks. Turtle pee contains a wide range of compounds, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, which contribute to eutrophication (the act of making water excessively rich in nutrients). This can negatively affect the health of humans and the environment.

What Makes Turtle Pee Harmful to Humans?

Turtle pee is composed of a high amount of urea, a substance formed when the turtle’s body breaks down proteins ammonia. As the ammonia is packed in the urea, it becomes toxic due to its concentration.

A turtle cannot simply drink water and pass urea through its kidneys at once. Turtles will suffer kidney failure due to the overwhelming amount of salts, making the pee poisonous or toxic. Moreover, the turtle’s urine and excreta contain a high concentration of salmonella.

Salmonella is a pathogen that can cause severe food poisoning in humans and other lethal diseases. It is also found in turtle skin and can cause severe food poisoning and other deadly diseases.

Turtle pee can harm humans in several ways:

-Turtle pee contains bacteria that may cause infections in mucous membranes or open wounds. People who come into contact with turtles’ urine can develop diarrhea or gastrointestinal problems due to bacteria in their urinary tract.

-If your immune system is weak, other health problems may arise.

-When concentrated, turtle urine can be harmful to humans and detrimental if ingested or absorbed through the skin. It can cause diarrhea and an upset stomach.

-The chemicals in turtle urine can irritate the eyes, skin, and respiratory system and cause allergic reactions.

-Studies show turtle pee can cause problems during pregnancy. So, if you come in contact with turtle pee, wash the area immediately with soap and water.

If you come into contact with urine, thoroughly wash your hands and avoid getting it in your eyes or mouth. Supervising children closely and washing their hands immediately after touching turtles is essential.

Children quickly put their hands in their mouths, which is a great way to transfer bacteria. Their immune systems are still relatively weak, making them susceptible to germs, including salmonella.

Can Turtle Pee Cause Brain Damage?

According to scientific evidence, turtle pee does not damage the brain. Turtle urine, however, may pose some risks.

Turtle urine may contain bacteria that can cause an infection. Additionally, it may contain toxins that can harm the brain when ingested.

Why Do Turtles Pee When Picked Up?

When you hold a turtle in your hand and feel a warm, wet spot, your turtle probably peed on you. Stress, excitement, or fear can cause turtles to let out a little urine. Other reasons include:

  • To mark their territory
  • A sign of Illness
  • When they feel threatened or stress
  • Not used to humans
  • Defense mechanism

As a precaution, hold your turtles for only a few minutes and not pick them up too often. Hold them gently and handle them with great care. Establish trust with them.

Does Turtle Pee Smell?

Turtle pee rarely smells. It does not have any odor at all. The reason is that turtle urine has very little nitrogen in it. Turtle urine’s distinctive smell is caused by nitrogen.

Even so, why do some people complain that their turtle’s pee smells bad? Several reasons for this could happen, such as the food they eat, infection, and dehydration.

Will Turtle’s Urine Harm The Walls Of The Bladder?

Yes, but only to a limited extent. Turtles convert urea or ammonia into uric acid, which is less toxic. A bladder can easily store this uric acid for a longer time.

Does a Turtle Urinate Through Its Mouth?

No, they do not urinate by mouth. They are only removing urea from their mouth. Turtles contain a protein that removes urea, according to scientists.

This Protein is not found in the kidneys but the mouth. In turtles, urea enters the bloodstream and is eliminated from the mouth. In other words, it is typically not urination. It is healthy.

It is efficient to pee through the mouth. The mouth removes 50 times more urea than the kidneys. To avoid kidney failure or infection, they remove urea from their bodies.

As a result, the turtle with a mouthful of bitty might ultimately be able to help humans with kidney failure. At present, mortal cases undergoing dialysis must understand the process of removing waste from the bloodstream.


Turtle’s pee can be very harmful to humans. Those with compromised immune systems, pregnant women, or young children should not handle turtles without care.

However, washing your hand and clothes after you touch a turtle can reduce the risk of contracting a disease.