Do Ball Pythons Make Good Pets?

Are you considering getting a ball python as a pet? These fascinating creatures have become increasingly popular in recent years, but the question remains: do ball pythons make good pets?

While they may not be the right choice for everyone, ball pythons can make wonderful pets for those who are willing to provide them with the proper care and attention. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of owning a ball python and help you decide if they are the right pet for you.

Ball pythons make excellent pets for experienced keepers who understand their specific needs. They are docile and easy to handle but require specific temperature and humidity levels to thrive. They also need a proper diet, including live or frozen-thawed rodents. Before getting a ball python, it’s important to research their care requirements and ensure you can provide a suitable environment for them.

Do Ball Pythons Make Good Pets?

Do Ball Pythons Make Good Pets?

Ball pythons are one of the most popular snake species kept as pets. They are docile, easy to care for, and have a relatively small size. However, before you decide to bring one home, it’s important to understand what owning a ball python entails. Here’s everything you need to know about owning one of these fascinating reptiles.


Ball pythons are a small to medium-sized snake species, with adults reaching an average length of 4 to 5 feet. They have a stocky build and are known for their beautiful markings, which can vary from brown to black, with lighter shades forming intricate patterns. They also have a triangular-shaped head and a pointed snout.

In terms of color morphs, ball pythons are one of the most diverse snake species. There are over 5,000 different color and pattern variations, including albino, pied, and pastel. This makes them a popular choice among reptile enthusiasts who enjoy collecting unique specimens.

Care Requirements

Ball pythons are relatively easy to care for, making them a good choice for first-time snake owners. However, they do have specific requirements that need to be met to ensure they live a healthy and happy life.

Housing: Adult ball pythons can be housed in a 40-gallon tank, while babies can be kept in a 20-gallon tank. The enclosure should have a secure lid and be lined with a substrate such as coconut fiber or aspen shavings. It should also include a hide box, water dish, and a heat source such as a heat lamp or under-tank heater.

Feeding: Ball pythons are carnivorous and feed on small rodents such as mice and rats. They should be fed once a week, with the size of the prey increasing as the snake grows. Live prey is not recommended as it can injure the snake. Frozen-thawed prey is a safer and more convenient option.

Health: Ball pythons are generally healthy snakes, but they can develop health issues if their care requirements are not met. Signs of illness include refusal to eat, lethargy, and respiratory infections. Regular check-ups with a reptile veterinarian are recommended.

Behavior and Temperament

Ball pythons are known for their docile nature, making them a popular choice for handling and as pets. They are not venomous and are not known to be aggressive towards humans. However, like all snakes, they can become stressed if not handled properly. It’s important to handle your ball python gently and avoid sudden movements.

In terms of activity level, ball pythons are nocturnal and spend most of their time hiding in their enclosure. They are not a very active species and do not require a lot of space to move around.

Benefits of Owning a Ball Python

There are many benefits to owning a ball python. Here are just a few:

– They are low maintenance pets that require minimal attention.
– They are relatively small in size and do not take up a lot of space.
– They are docile and easy to handle, making them a good choice for children and first-time snake owners.
– They come in a wide variety of color morphs, making them a popular choice among reptile enthusiasts.

Ball Python vs Other Snakes

While ball pythons are a popular choice among snake owners, they are not the only species available. Here’s how they compare to some other common snake species:

Corn snakes: Corn snakes are similar in size to ball pythons and are known for their bright colors and patterns. They are also docile and easy to care for.

King snakes: King snakes are slightly larger than ball pythons and are known for their aggressive feeding behavior. They are not recommended for first-time snake owners.

Boa constrictors: Boa constrictors are larger than ball pythons and require a larger enclosure. They are also more active and require more attention.


In conclusion, ball pythons make great pets for those who are interested in owning a snake. They are easy to care for, docile, and come in a wide variety of color morphs. However, like all pets, they require a certain level of attention and care to ensure they live a happy and healthy life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are ball pythons?

Ball pythons are a species of snake that are native to Africa. They are known for their docile nature, small size, and unique coloring. Ball pythons are popular pets among reptile enthusiasts because they are easy to care for and can live for up to 30 years in captivity.

Ball pythons are also known as royal pythons, and they get their name from the way they curl up into a tight ball when they feel threatened. They are non-venomous and are constrictors, which means they wrap their bodies around their prey and suffocate them.

What do ball pythons eat?

Ball pythons are carnivores and eat a diet that consists mainly of rodents. In captivity, they can be fed frozen or live mice, rats, or chicks. It is important to feed them prey that is appropriately sized for their age and size, as feeding them prey that is too large can cause health problems.

It is also important to note that ball pythons are known for their picky eating habits. Some individuals may refuse certain types of prey or only eat when they feel comfortable in their environment.

What kind of care do ball pythons need?

Ball pythons require a habitat that is similar to their natural environment, which includes a warm basking area and a cooler area to regulate their body temperature. They also need a hide box to provide a sense of security and privacy.

In terms of diet, ball pythons should be fed appropriately sized prey once a week. They should also have a clean water source available at all times. Regular cleaning of their habitat is also necessary to maintain their health and prevent the buildup of bacteria.

Are ball pythons good pets?

Ball pythons can make good pets for the right owner. They are relatively low-maintenance and do not require much space compared to other pets. They are also generally docile and easy to handle, making them a good choice for beginners.

However, it is important to note that ball pythons are still wild animals and require a certain level of knowledge and experience to care for properly. They also have a long lifespan, which means they require a long-term commitment from their owner.

Where can I get a ball python?

Ball pythons can be purchased from pet stores, reptile shows, and online breeders. It is important to do research and choose a reputable breeder or seller to ensure that the snake is healthy and has been treated ethically.

It is also important to check local laws and regulations regarding owning a ball python, as they may be restricted in certain areas. Additionally, potential owners should consider their own ability to provide proper care and housing for the snake before making a purchase.

Ball Python, The Best Pet Reptile?

In conclusion, ball pythons can make great pets for the right person. While they may not be the most interactive animals, they are low maintenance and can be fascinating to observe. However, it’s important to remember that they are a long-term commitment and require proper care, including a suitable enclosure, a balanced diet, and regular veterinary check-ups.

If you’re considering getting a ball python as a pet, make sure to do your research and educate yourself on their needs. Talk to experienced owners, consult with a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles, and be prepared to provide a happy and healthy home for your new pet. With the right care and attention, a ball python can make a wonderful addition to your family.

In the end, whether or not a ball python makes a good pet depends on your lifestyle and preferences. If you’re looking for a low maintenance, fascinating animal to observe, a ball python may be the perfect fit for you. Just remember to give them the care and attention they need to thrive, and you’ll have a loyal and fascinating companion for years to come.