Ball pythons are a small to mid-sized snake native to west and central Africa. They also make popular pets to experienced and novel pet keepers alike. Now, if you are unfamiliar with snakes, you may be highly curious about just what makes them appealing as pets, and if they make good ones to begin with.
That’s why we’re here to educate anyone potentially curious in snake keeping about all that these animals have to offer. While the following reasons on this list certainly don’t entail everything that makes these snake’s good pets, it is what most ball python owners consider to be their main appeal.
When purchasing any pet, one of the most important factors to take into consideration is its general size. Your pet’s length and weight will determine space requirements, various care costs, and feeding needs. This will all impact the relationship you have with your snake.
Thankfully, one of the main appeals of keeping a ball python is their relatively compact size. Growing to a maximum of 5 feet and weighing in as an adult, these snakes are often considered to be the perfect size for captivity. Because of this, they are fairly easy to transport and handle, which makes emergencies and general care much more convenient.
Stunning Array of Morphs
One major reason anyone seeks out various pets is their aesthetic appeal. While that certainly should not be the only thing drawing a potential keeper to a companion animal, it is often a large deciding factor.
All reptiles – snakes in particular – are known for malleable genes that create new, unique variations of color and patterning on their skin. These are known as morphs, and ball pythons have over 4,000 different variations of them. While I personally see the classic ball python as being a beautiful addition to any home, some prefer bright and flashy variations, such as the albino morph, or contrasting and dark like the mocha ball python.
It should be noted that the flashier and rarer a certain morph is, the more expensive it is bound to be. Certain breeders will even create super new and unique lines of ball pythons for sale that they will only sell to others in the community. However, if you have the cash to spring for your dream snake, we say go for it.
While all commonly kept serpents tend to have more relaxed, non-aggressive attitudes, the ball python is known to be the chancellor of chilling out. They are notably slow moving, taking their time with everything – including feeding. When properly socialized from a young age, they are also exceptionally tolerant of handling. This – once again – makes transportation and general necessary handling very convenient.
Once your ball python gets to know you well enough, it will be as content to lay around your shoulders for hours. Ball pythons also have the charming quirk of bundling themselves into a tight “ball” on top of whatever it’s hanging on to. Many keepers of this reptile rather enjoy the experience and sensation.
(Somewhat) Easy to Care For
While there is no completely “zero effort” or “hands off” pet, snakes in general don’t normally require as much work as more traditional pets. The aspect of their care that will require the most attention are their enclosures, which will require spot cleaning as needed and more thorough sanitation around once a month.
Here are some basic steps for thoroughly cleaning your snake’s cage:
- Removing all bedding.
- Remove all decor and soak all non-organic items in a 10% bleach solution.
- Wash tank with dish soap or terrarium cleaner.
Feeding – as many have noticed – is one of the easiest aspects of snake care. Simply feed your snake an appropriately sized prey item (around the same size as the thickest part of it) approximately three times a month. If your snake is feeling picky, we would recommend defrosting your prey item in warm water to bring the temperature closer to that of a live food item.
The reasons for keeping a ball python as a pet are as varied and unique as their owners. Ball pythons are wonderful, docile, hardy, long-lived animals that can make a wonderful addition to many homes.
If you are currently looking for a ball python for sale, we would recommend seeking out a quality breeder that values the health and temperament of their animals. It will make a huge difference in the overall quality of the relationship between you and your snake.