What is the best cuddly and affectionate snake pet?
There are many things to love about snakes. Their social skills, however, aren’t usually one of them. These simple-minded creatures have a limited capacity for emotion, most of which are tied to survival instincts (cold, hungry, scared). So it is not that snakes are inherently unfriendly. These cold-blooded reptiles just aren’t wired to show love and affection.
However, that’s not to say that all snakes are standoffish. Some can be downright sweet! Which, you may be wondering? Well, there is one snake species that consistently wins over the hearts of first-time snake owners and can charm experienced snake owners as well. This snake has a wonderful temperament, is relatively social, and does very well with frequent handling. We are of course talking about the super-popular ball python.
Can Snakes Make Affectionate Pets?
Before we dive into how wonderful and sweet ball pythons can be, let’s discuss why snakes have such a frosty reputation. ‘Affection’ is defined as a feeling of fondness or liking. Snakes simply do not have the intelligence to allow for such emotions. Instead, their emotional capacity is rudimentary, primarily dealing with feelings associated with survival. It is quite literally not in a snake’s nature to be affectionate. Additionally, a snakes’ basic intelligence can prevent it from developing concrete recognition of its owner, which can also play a role in a lack of affectionate behavior.
But just because snakes cannot love as we do, does not mean they’re not capable of showing love in their own way. Snakes can hold an affinity for animals and people that they interact with. The next best thing is a snake having feelings of safety and security in your presence. They may not jump up to see when you get home or beg for scratches, but they won’t act defensively towards you. This gives you, the owner, the opportunity to see their true personality as well as the opportunity to interact more often and strengthen your bond.
Why Ball Pythons Make For Affectionate Pet Snakes
So with all that being said, are ball pythons a highly unique species of snake that are more affectionate than any other? No, ball pythons have the same capacity (or incapacity, depending on how you view it), as any other snake to show love. There are two main attributes that ball pythons have which allows them to be considered one of the most affectionate snakes (in snake standards.
Loves Being Held
One is their temperament. Ball pythons are wonderfully calm and docile snakes. Having been bred in captivity for several decades now, many of these snakes sold as pets are well acquainted with humans. This benefit has made them highly tolerant of handling – something that cannot be said of all pet snake species. So if you’re looking for a snake to constantly cuddle, the ball python is easily one of the best choices. Physical contact goes a long way with establishing a bond with your pet, something that the ball python provides in spades.
Their Python Instincts
The other reason why ball pythons are considered much more affectionate than other snake species is because of how they wrap around you when held. While it might seem like your snake is trying to hug you, don’t give them too much credit. This is simply a ball python’s instinct. Ball pythons are constrictors, a type of snake that wraps their bodies around their prey. When picked up, they have strong inclinations to wrap around you.
They are known to wrap around wrists, arms, shoulders, and even necks. There’s no need to fear, however. Your ball python isn’t doing it because think you are dinner. They also engage in this behavior when held so that they don’t fall. Wrapping around the person holding them gives them better stability. This behavior technically isn’t caused by affection, but for a snake owner, this is the next best thing. A ball python’s clinginess is likely the closest behavior any snake species has to cuddling.
Find Affectionate Snakes For Sale
You can find affections snakes for sale online at specialty reptile stores like XYZReptiles. Here you’ll find ball pythons as well as other friendly snakes such as corn snakes, hognose snakes, and milk snakes.