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How Do I Choose the Best Ball Python Cages?

Larry Ray Palmer
Larry Ray Palmer

For someone seeking to bring Ball Pythons into his home, finding appropriate cages for these exotic pet reptiles is an important consideration. Ball Pythons, also known by their proper names as Royal Pythons or Pythons Regius, are a wonderful way to get started in the hobby of keeping pet snakes but many first time snake owners are unaware of the needs of their new exotic pets for housing and care. Careful thought should be given to the size of the cage, necessary accessories and equipment, as well as the various options for making your Ball Python cage escape-proof.

One of the primary considerations when choosing the best Ball Python cages for your pet is the size of the cage. Pet shops often send first time snake owners home with a ten gallon (37.85 liters) fish tank and a locking screen lid. While this is an excellent starter cage for a young Ball Python, it is important to realize that a well cared for snake will grow quite quickly and the confines of the ten gallon tank will no longer be large enough to accommodate a full grown Ball Python. Rather than making repeated purchases of successively larger Ball Python cages, or worse, keeping your snake in a cage that is too small, consider investing a little extra money in buying a larger cage when you first purchase the snake. In some cases, this may even save you money in the long run as pet shop owners will often offer discounts or package deals to those buying animals in their shop.

Ball pythons are popular pets for snake and reptile lovers.
Ball pythons are popular pets for snake and reptile lovers.

One should also consider the accessories and equipment that your Ball Python will require for proper care when choosing Ball Python cages. Ball Pythons, like other reptiles, require sunlight or light from a special bulb to utilize the vitamins in their food. The best Ball Python cages are equipped with these light sources or built to accept the equipment without a great deal of modification. These snakes are arboreal creatures, spending much of their life-cycle in the trees of their native rain forests. Ball Python cages should be large enough to incorporate climbing structures, such as tree limbs, as well as large, shallow water dishes and heat sources.

All pythons are generally easy to maintain and are not venomous.
All pythons are generally easy to maintain and are not venomous.

Being excellent climbers and unparalleled escape artists, Ball Pythons have earned a bit of notoriety in the pet snake keeping sector. To ensure that your pet snakes do not become wild snakes, it is important to consider how you will make the cage escape-proof. Ball Python cages, such as fish tanks, often feature locking lids with mesh or screen panels. Other types of Ball Python cages may utilize different locking measures to prevent the escape of your pet snake. When shopping for Ball Python cages, pay close attention to the locking and security measures in place on the available products to ensure that you are getting a cage that will adequately protect your exotic pet.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size cage is best for a ball python?

For a comfortable habitat, a ball python requires a cage that allows it to fully stretch out. A general rule is that the length plus width of the enclosure should be equal to or greater than the length of the snake. For an adult ball python, which can reach up to 5 feet, a 40-gallon breeder tank is often recommended as a minimum size.

What type of enclosure material is most suitable for ball pythons?

Glass terrariums are popular due to their visibility, but they can lack insulation. PVC cages offer better heat retention and are lightweight. Wooden vivariums, with a sealed interior to protect from humidity, provide excellent insulation. According to reptile experts, PVC and wooden enclosures are often preferred for maintaining consistent temperature and humidity levels.

How important is humidity in a ball python's cage, and how do I maintain it?

Humidity is crucial for ball pythons, as it aids in shedding and overall health. The ideal humidity level is between 50-60%. To maintain this, use a substrate that retains moisture, such as coconut fiber or cypress mulch, and include a water bowl large enough for the snake to soak in. Regular misting can also help maintain proper humidity levels.

What features should I look for in a ball python cage for proper heating?

Ball pythons require a thermal gradient with a warm side around 88-92°F and a cool side around 78-80°F. Look for cages that can accommodate under-tank heaters and have space for a basking spot with an overhead heat source. Ensure there's room for a reliable thermostat to monitor and regulate temperatures within the enclosure.

How often should I clean my ball python's cage, and what's involved?

Spot cleaning should be done daily to remove waste and uneaten food. A more thorough cleaning, including changing the substrate and disinfecting the enclosure, should be done monthly. Use reptile-safe disinfectants and rinse the enclosure thoroughly to prevent any chemical residue that could harm your ball python.

Can I house multiple ball pythons in one cage?

It is generally not recommended to house multiple ball pythons together, as they are solitary creatures and can become stressed or aggressive towards each other. Co-habitation increases the risk of disease transmission and can lead to competition for resources like heat and hiding spots, potentially causing health issues.

Discussion Comments


I know that owners need to keep a cool spot in their cages, and should make sure the warm spot isn't too warm. Snakes can get burns, just like humans!

Also, ball pythons need to have a couple of hide boxes in their cages. They're a little shy, and the hide boxes make them feel much more secure. Most experts recommend hide boxes at the cool end and warm end of the cage.

Don't put too much light in the ball python's cage. They're crepuscular, which means they're most active at dawn and dusk. A lot of experts recommend a big plastic storage container that's semi-transparent, which apparently makes the snake feel calmer about its surroundings and helps keep the humidity level appropriate.


I've been told by friends who have kept snakes that if a hole in a cage is big enough for a snake to get its snout through, it's gone.

The first thing then, I would think, is to make sure the cage has a lid that locks, but also that won't open or gap under pressure if the snake bumps up against it.

Some keepers say a very large cage can freak out a small snake, so it might be best to keep the 10-gallon aquarium until the snake is a little larger and won't be so intimidated by a larger enclosure. By the time the snake outgrows the 10-gallon tank, it should be accustomed to the owner and the environment.

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    • Ball pythons are popular pets for snake and reptile lovers.
      By: mikemoore88
      Ball pythons are popular pets for snake and reptile lovers.
    • All pythons are generally easy to maintain and are not venomous.
      All pythons are generally easy to maintain and are not venomous.