Have you ever considered adopting more than one pet of the same species? Some animals commonly kept as pets can do better when they have company from other members of their kind. So, it’s common for many owners who seek to adopt a new family member to take on two or even three at once! But what about snakes and ball pythons alike – could these highly independent creatures be able to live with another snake?
No, you should not house two or more ball pythons together. Ball pythons thrive in a solitary environment, and they should be secluded from other snakes for their safety and protection against contagious diseases and dominance over food and basking areas.
Do Ball Pythons live together in the wild?
Every pet owner needs to know that these snakes are unsociable creatures. In the wild, the ball pythons only stay together for breeding. Even in the wild, these snakes prefer to live separately. That is why it is challenging to spot a couple of ball pythons living together in the wild.
It is a well-known fact that ball pythons love to stay alone in the wild. There are rare occasions they share their burrows with another, but most of the time, it’s just for survival purposes. Whether you have bred your pet snakes or not doesn’t change this truth because even captive-bred pets prefer solitude and privacy from others.
Ball Pythons in The Same Enclosure Problems
The potential reasons below are why you should never house two or more ball pythons in the same cage.
As the ball pythons are not naturally social creatures, there is a slight chance they will establish a good relationship with another snake living in the same tank. That means the snake with dominant nature will try to control the other ball python. As a result, the other ball python will turn into a submissive snake.
For example, if you see that both the ball snakes are lying on the same basking rock, you may think they have formed a good friendship and are enjoying the heat together. Even though you may think that it is a good sign, in reality, for the less strong snake, it is not. It will suffer terribly because of the dominant snake.
In reality, the dominant natured ball python lies on the back of the submissive ball python to claim its territory and heat resources. This act of dominance is not only uncomfortable for the submissive snake but also physically harmful. As the dominant snake prevents the submissive one from getting enough heat, it can be difficult for the submissive snake to stay healthy. That can lead to various other health issues for the snake.
The dominance issue can wreak havoc in the feeding pattern of the submissive snake as well. The dominant snake will always try to gulp down the food of the submissive one. As a result, the submissive snake will become weaker over time due to a severe lack of required nutrients and develop various types of health issues.
You can, of course, feed the ball pythons in separate tanks. However, that action will create a different type of problem. First, you will have to create space for two individual tanks and maintain and clean them properly. Secondly, you have to bring the submissive snake back to its original enclosure once it has eaten. It could lead to regurgitation and other health problems.
Not only that, there are several instances where ball pythons have starved themselves to death when they are forced to live in the same tank.
Sharing their enclosure with another ball python can make the snake deal with constant low-level stress. That can create problems for the essential physical functions of the snake but also weaken its immune system. In the long run, this can create significant health issues for the snakes.
Keeping two ball pythons in the same enclosure enhances the chances of spreading illness. Any illness one snake incurs can apply to the other one residing in the same tank. The best way to make sure that your snake is healthy is to check the consistency of its stool periodically. It can not be done if you keep more than one ball python in the same enclosure. The reason is, you may not be able to tell which stool belongs to which snake.
Even though cannibalism among the ball pythons is very rare, it can take place. It generally happens if one of these snakes is bigger compared to the other. The chances of cannibalism are enhanced if you keep a ball python in the same cage.
Exceptions To House Two Ball Pythons
Ball pythons should always be placed in different cages. However, some owners have tried keeping two ball pythons in the same enclosure and surprisingly good results. So, if you are thinking about putting two ball pythons in the same cage, you should make sure that the enclosure has enough space.
For example, keeping 24 square feet of space for each snake is a good place to start. Create a couple of basking areas so that the snakes do not need to battle it out. Keep a lot of tree branches for the snakes to climb on and cover all the tank space with a lot of greenery.
A couple of ball pythons can live in the same enclosure, but it is not something that you should do. The chances of things going wrong are extremely high. Ball pythons are incredibly independent creatures. Putting two snakes together can lead to stress, diseases, cannibalism and various other feeding issues. If you put the ball pythons in the same enclosure, ensure that the snakes have enough space.
Teresa has studied canine behaviour and canine nutrition. She loves sharing her knowledge and educating through her articles. Teresa has some pets that she adores two dogs, two cats, and one hamster.