Cage and Enclosure Tips for a Ball Python

Selecting the right cage or enclosure for your ball python is an important task, and some thought must go into that choice. You want the right kind of setup for both your needs and your snake's. Many different things must be considered when looking at a potential home for your future pet, some of which include the security of the cage, its size, and its insulation potential. Also, you must ask yourself if you'll be housing a single ball python or several.

Security First

Not too long ago, the only choice available for housing reptiles were glass aquariums with homemade tops, usually weighted down with books or bricks or even secured with duct tape. This is not a secure cage. All snakes are escape artists, and ball pythons are no exception. They will find and exploit any small opening or poorly closed cage. This makes it extremely important to purchase secure housing for your snake from the very beginning.

A secure cage provides a safe environment for your snake. You want to keep the ball python in and children, guests, and household pets out. Ball pythons that are lost in a home can turn up almost anywhere. There have even been instances of home owners moving into a new home only to find that the previous occupants have left something behind—an escaped snake! Proper caging will also prevent your snake from escaping out into the neigh­borhood, where panic may ensue. Too many times, a loose snake has caused chaos in a neighborhood, leading to legislation unfavorable to the keeping of snakes and other reptiles.

Size Issues

Ball pythons do not get very large compared to other python species. Even so, they will require housing that is large enough to accommodate them and all of their furnishings. The number of furnishings that are placed in the cage will depend upon the type of "look" you want to achieve with your python's home. A cage the size of a 30-gallon (113.6 L) terrari­um measuring 36 x 12 x 18 inches (91.4 x 30.5 x 45.7 cm) is large enough to house an adult ball python for its entire life. Be careful not to place a hatchling ball python in a very large cage. Many times, a ball python placed in an enclosure that is too large will stop feeding. If this happens, you may need to purchase a smaller cage until your python gets bigger, or else provide enough hide spots in the larger cage to help the snake feel secure.

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