Do Ball Pythons Make Good Pets?

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Written By Esrat Jahan

Esrat is a well-regarded animal rescue expert and writer with nearly a decade of experience in animal advocacy. Esrat is the former editor of Tails Pet Magazine and volunteers in animal rescue, including Chicago’s Anti-Cruelty Society and Starfish Animal Rescue.

Ball pythons make good pets for beginners due to their docile nature and ease of care. They are calm, friendly reptiles that tolerate handling and can be easily acclimated to human interaction.

Unlike other constrictor snakes, ball pythons typically grow to a manageable size of up to five feet long. They are not aggressive and are known for their forgiving nature, making them suitable for children. Additionally, these snakes are relatively easy to care for, with housing requirements ranging from simple to elaborate.

Overall, ball pythons are an excellent choice for those looking to keep a pet snake for the first time.

Do Ball Pythons Make Good Pets?


Why Ball Pythons Make Good Pets

Ball pythons are calm and friendly reptiles that make great pets for people of all ages. They are docile, easy to handle, and can adapt well to being touched by their owners. Plus, they are not aggressive and are known to be good for beginners in snake ownership.

Docile And Tolerant Of Handling

Ball pythons are generally considered to be docile and tolerant of handling. They have a calm nature and typically do not show aggression towards humans. This makes them an ideal choice for individuals who are looking for a pet snake that is easy to handle and interact with. While every snake may have its own preferences and temperament, many ball pythons enjoy being held and petted by their owners.

Calm And Friendly

Are Ball Pythons friendly? Absolutely! These reptiles are known for their calm and friendly nature. They rarely show aggression and are quite content with being touched or handled by their owners. They can easily adapt to human interaction and are comfortable being held. Ball pythons are not only docile but also happy to be left alone in their enclosure when they desire some alone time.

Good For Beginners

Ball pythons are considered to be excellent pets for beginners. Their docile nature and relative ease of care make them a popular choice for first-time snake owners. They do not require extensive maintenance or specialized diets, making them a hassle-free pet option. Additionally, ball pythons are highly adaptable to various enclosures and temperature conditions, making it easier for beginners to provide suitable habitats for them.

Factors To Consider

Before deciding to bring a ball python into your home as a pet, there are several factors to consider. Understanding these factors will help you make an informed decision and ensure the well-being of your new scaled friend. Let’s take a look at some of the most important factors to consider:

Housing And Enclosure Size

The first thing you need to consider is the housing and enclosure size for your ball python. These snakes can grow up to 4-6 feet in length, so a spacious enclosure is necessary for their comfort. A minimum of a 20-gallon tank is recommended for baby ball pythons, while adult snakes will need an enclosure of at least 40 gallons. The enclosure should include hiding spots, branches, and other accessories to mimic their natural habitat.

Finicky Eating Habits

Ball pythons have a reputation for being finicky eaters. Some individuals may refuse to eat for several weeks, especially during shedding periods or when they are stressed. It’s important to offer them a proper diet of thawed rodents and monitor their eating habits closely. If your ball python consistently refuses to eat, consult with a reptile veterinarian for guidance.

Comfortable With Kids

One of the advantages of owning a ball python is their generally calm and gentle nature. They are known to be comfortable with handling and are typically tolerant of gentle interactions with kids. However, it’s essential to supervise all interactions between children and ball pythons to ensure the safety of both parties. Teach kids to handle the snake with care and respect its boundaries.

Humidity And Temperature Needs

Ball pythons are native to tropical regions of Africa, so they require specific humidity and temperature levels to thrive. The enclosure should maintain a humidity level of 50-60% and a temperature gradient between 80-85°F on the warm side and 75-80°F on the cool side. Proper heating and humidity equipment, such as under-tank heat mats and misting systems, should be used to maintain these conditions.


While ball pythons can be comfortable with handling in general, it’s crucial to approach them with caution and respect their individual preferences. Remember that every snake is unique, and some may be more receptive to handling than others. Always approach your ball python calmly and support its body properly to ensure its comfort and safety during handling sessions.

Myths And Misinformation

When it comes to keeping ball pythons as pets, there are often many myths and misinformation that can deter potential owners. However, it is important to separate fact from fiction in order to make an informed decision. Let’s explore some common misconceptions about ball pythons as pets.

Misconceptions About Humidity

One of the most common misconceptions about ball pythons is related to humidity. It is often believed that these snakes require extremely high humidity levels in their enclosures. While it is true that ball pythons do need a humid environment to aid in shedding their skin properly, the idea that they require constant high humidity is not accurate.

  • Ball pythons thrive in humidity levels between 50% to 60%.
  • Providing a humidity box within their enclosure allows them to regulate their own humidity levels.
  • Excessive humidity can lead to respiratory issues and other health problems.

Food Related Myths

There are also common misconceptions about the feeding habits of ball pythons. Some believe that these snakes are finicky eaters and require live prey to consume. However, this is not the case.

  • Ball pythons can thrive on a diet of frozen and thawed rodents, such as mice and rats.
  • Feeding live prey can pose a risk to the snake’s health and safety.
  • It is important to establish a regular feeding schedule and monitor the snake’s weight and appetite.

Time And Maintenance Commitment

Owning any pet requires a certain level of commitment, and ball pythons are no exception. Some may falsely believe that these snakes require minimal care and attention, but this is not the case.

  • Ball pythons require a properly set up enclosure with appropriate heating and lighting.
  • Regular cleaning of the enclosure is necessary to maintain a hygienic environment.
  • While they may not require constant handling, ball pythons still benefit from regular interaction and socialization.

In conclusion, ball pythons can indeed make great pets when proper care is provided. By debunking the myths and misinformation surrounding their care, potential owners can gain a better understanding of what it takes to keep these reptiles happy and healthy.

Do Ball Pythons Make Good Pets?


Do Ball Pythons Make Good Pets?


Frequently Asked Questions For Do Ball Pythons Make Good Pets?

Do Ball Pythons Like To Be Petted?

Ball pythons are generally docile and tolerant of handling, though individual preferences may vary. Some may enjoy being held or petted, while others may not be as receptive.

Are Ball Pythons Friendly?

Ball pythons are calm and friendly reptiles that can be handled and touched without issues. They are great pets for beginners and are generally not aggressive. They are easy to care for and adapt well to being handled by people.

Are Ball Pythons Good For Beginners?

Ball pythons are good for beginners as they are docile, easy to care for, and tolerant of handling. They make great pets for kids and can be easily housed in simple enclosures.

Do Ball Pythons Like To Be Handled?

Ball pythons generally tolerate handling, but each snake may have individual preferences. They can be friendly and calm, making them suitable for beginners. Some may enjoy being held and petted, while others may be less receptive.


Ball pythons make excellent pets for beginners as they are docile, easy to handle, and require minimal care. They are not aggressive and can tolerate handling by their owners. Their calm and friendly nature makes them a great choice for kids.

Additionally, ball pythons are not as large as other snake species, growing up to five feet long, which makes them easier to handle and manage. Overall, ball pythons are a fantastic option for those looking for a low-maintenance and friendly pet snake.

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