I use to own 2 russian torts. They were great I miss them dearly and would love to get more. You need to do ALOT of research befor getting one. Everyone alwasy goes "oh ow cute I want one". No one thinks about the future with them. Torts can live between 40-100 years , are you ready for that? We had to find someone who would give care incase they out lived us. Also even with a small breed like a Russian they require a ton of space. For the ones we had the 4 foot by 4foot enclosure was not big enough. To really be happy and healthy they would require a room about 12 feet by 12 feet. Remember these litte ones were no biger than a hamburger, about 6 inches long, bottom measure and about 8 inches ofer the caprase(top of shell). Thats a big amount of space. A larger bread like the African Sulcata would require about an acre of land plus the abillity to dig holes that could be as deep as 6 feet. I have a number of books about it. I realized that even though I loved my 2 there was no way I could provide the space and time needed to care for them. Just feeding toktime. You have to cut everything up small enough for them to eat plus do a ton of reaserch so you can give them variety. If a baby tort eats head letuce it will imprint and will not eat anything else, unfortunately it has absolutly no nutritional value so in the end could kill the tort. I got my first one with out doing reaserch because it was cute. Once I owned him and took him to a vet that knew tort I found out a lot. I waited 3 years before getting the 2 one and I still was not ready for her.
If the shell has a pyramid effect they are lacking many nutrients and it is not good. You want a smooth shell, no bumbs. They are prone to infections, a cold can kill. THe larger ones can take off a finger in one quick bit. Once a tort gets you don't expect to be let go. They grab and pull their heads in, taking you with it. I have heard to many stories about people having to kill the animal just to get their finger back.
Some torts are very hard to bread. They require the perfect conditions, obviously your freind has the perfect conditions. In the U.S. it is illegal to sell torts under 4 inches because they run the risk of disease and many die. For some torts that 5-10 years latter. A baby need VERY special care and has VERY differnt need than a young adult or an adult.
Do you know wht kind it is? I can give you all the info you will ever need. Not only did I research my Russians but I reaserch most of the others as well.
Someday I would love to own a Sulcata but will need a BIG yard plus for the fench you have to dig a trench about 12 feet doun and fill it with cement just to prevent escapes. Torts are the Houdinies of the reptile world. They don't move fast but they love to explore. I cant tell the number of times I put my boy Henry down to play and the next thing I knew he was inthe other room undre a pile of clothes or in a dresser or closet. I could never keep up with him. The girl Lilly was worse. She was like a 6 inch mac truck
. She did not care, she sould just push everything and anything out of her way, including us.
I know you love your cats and only want whats best. Its the same for Torts. Please do your reaserch and realize it is a lifetime commitment. They require a lot of work and time. They can also be very costly if injered or sick. A papre cut can kill them. They have horrable immune systems. What may be nothing to us or a cat will kill them.
Just some food for though. PM me if you have any questins. Next to cats they are my favorite animal. Its a tie between the two.