Ball Pythons are not social reptiles. They NEVER get along with any type of animal BUT they can get along with you since according to them, you are a big animal who gives them food and take care of them instead of harming them.
Even so, Ball Pythons’ pets are not fond of human interaction and touch. They require a quiet and stress-free environment. This means that they may not be the best pet for children if your child likes to cuddle their pets.
Ball Pythons with Cats and/or Dogs
Ball Pythons won’t get along with cats or dogs and with any other living beings. Their only friend is themselves. Make sure that your Ball Python’s vivarium is far away and at a fair height so that none of your pets can reach them.
Obviously, your pet cat will reach the vivarium wherever you may keep it, so make sure the door of the vivarium or the top lid is tightly closed when you have a cat and/or dog as well. That’s why it is not advised to keep a cat as a pet when you have a chameleon. Isolate your Ball Pythons from other pets.
Cats are very determined predators, and they may go as far as to eat Ball Pythons. It feels sad when you notice one of your pets harming the other. Ball Pythons are fragile; we have to protect them from other pets as well as from themselves.
What happens if a cat or dog eats a Ball Python?
Ball Pythons are not toxic or poisonous to any of the living beings but they carry some parasites which may cause diseases for cats and dogs when consumed.
The most common diseases that cats and dogs would contract are:
- Salmonella; and
- Bacterial infections.
Symptoms of Salmonella/Bacterial infection:
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Appetite loss
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Rapid heart rate
These symptoms won’t show right away. It may take 2 or 3 days to show these symptoms.
Ball Python with Lizards
You can’t place any lizards (Chameleon, Geckos, Bearded dragons) in the same vivarium with the Ball Python. The Lizard family requires different cage parameters than that of the Ball Pythons, anyway.
If you house the Lizards with Ball Pythons, they will end up trying to eat each other. Don’t ever take chances in housing other reptiles with your Ball Python.
Ball Python with other Snakes
No, ball pythons won’t get along with their family or with other types of snakes like Boas. They will fight each other to the death, and in the worst case, both snakes end up dead from the violent encounter.
Don’t place their siblings, mother, or father in the same enclosure. The younger ones can be grouped in the same enclosure but ONLY if they are the same size (max: 1ft).
Don’t house more than 2 young snakes in the same enclosure. The vivarium should also be big enough to place them in the same enclosure so that they can escape from one another and not feel stressed with a companion.
You should place the male Ball Python and a Female Ball Python together only during the mating time. Even during this season, they will still fight and may even sustain wounds but will slowly approach each other and eventually start to mate. After which, separate them.
Can Ball Pythons get along with any other species?
Sadly, NO. They are solitary animals who love peace and the night. If you already have a cat and/or dog, I would advise you not to get any reptiles because cats love to hunt, and snakes will definitely interest them.
The only species that Ball Pythons may remotely trust is humans, but even then, you have to work hard to gain their trust.
Ball pythons with humans
It hurts to say that snakes never understand your affection. If they feel safe with you, they will crawl on you and won’t be defensive. You can’t play with Ball pythons as you play with cats and dogs. They definitely recognize their owners but you are essentially a giant predator who gives them treats.
Ball Python with Toddlers and Children
Ball pythons are not aggressive and won’t attack or cause harm to fully grown humans or young ones. There is, however, a risk when it comes to infants under 2 years of age.
These pythons won’t eat or swallow them, but they may coil tightly around the neck of infants and break their windpipe leading to the infant’s death. No such cases have been reported, but there is always a possibility.
There is also a possibility that toddlers become a great threat to your Ball Python. They may handle your pet roughly by squeezing them. In this case, your pet will bite your kids. Set some ground rules and teach your kid how to handle the ball python if you still want one as a pet.
Handling/Taming Ball Pythons
The key factor to tame your Ball Python is by gaining their trust. Only by handling your Ball python once a day would you be able to tame them. They even allow you to handle them, but limit it to once a day and DEFINITELY NOT after feeding them.
Never hold them or grab their head, as become shy and defensive when you do so. You have to pick them up from their mid-section, use your two hands to support their body movements.
Never force them to be in a specific area. Allow them to move freely while balancing giving them support when they move. Only try to pick them up when they are aware of your presence. Don’t suddenly pick them or grab them from behind.
Don’t handle them too often, especially during the shedding time. When you are handling your ball python for the first time, they may bite you but their bite is not toxic, so don’t worry too much – the important part is you build their trust in you.
You can wear gloves to protect your hands from the possibility of their bite, but if they do, the gloves may damage their teeth (for young Ball Pythons). You may handle them for 20 minutes daily so that they may spend time with you and learn not to be defensive in your presence.
Do note that wearing gloves will scare your pet. If you are handling them for the very first time, you may use gloves. When they get used to you, they will feel free and won’t bite you.
If you want a Ball Python as a pet, then don’t have cats or dogs at that same time as they may pose a threat to each other. If you still decide to house them together, be ready to rush your cats and/or dogs to the vet in the event of a bite from your Ball Python.