Can Pet Snakes Be Affectionate? Owners & Experts Tell The Truth

Snakes can be a strange pet to get. Snakes are generally solitary creatures. Snakes can not keep your house safe as your dog would, nor are they going to cuddle you at the end of the day as your cat would.

However, owning a snake is still a unique experience that many people will love and enjoy, which is why many people if snakes are even capable of showing any affection towards their owners.

So, can pet snakes be affectionate? Pet Snakes can not be affectionate to you in the way other pets can, but snakes are affectionate in their own way, but snakes can not feel affection the same way humans or other pets do, instead, they can be accepting of your presence and your touch and may even like your presence and your body’s warmth.  

So while your pet snake can not be affectionate to you in the same way a dog or a cat would, they will still appreciate you in their own way.

To understand how your snake may show affection to you and what you can do to bond with your snake, keep reading.

Can Pet Snakes be affectionate?

man with pet snake to answer can pet snakes be affectionate

Snakes are not your typical house pet. Dogs and cats can express a wide range of emotions, including love. Someone who wants attention all the time is not the ideal match for a snake.

Snakes have a smaller frontal lobe in their brains than dogs and cats, indicating that they are less intelligent.

To summarize, they can’t exhibit or even feel affection in the way we think of it. This isn’t always a popular belief among snake owners, who believe their pet knows and cares for them even if they can’t show it as other animals can.

The real meaning of what snakes display is an acceptance of you as its owner, which is accompanied by calmness in the snake. While it can’t show affection in the same way dogs or cats can, snakes can feel love and care for their owners in ways that are unique to them.

Snakes are kind of… basic

Snakes are basic creatures and are motivated by basic biological needs such as drinking, eating, breeding, and simply surviving, and the desire or affection for those things does not play a role.

Snakes don’t feel affection for one another in the way that other animals do. Mating doesn’t even need affection for snakes because it is not about love, but rather about procreation and most snake moms don’t even stay with their young.

In many cases, people appear to connect a lack of fear or the lack of actions snakes exhibit when threatened with the idea that a snake may have affection.

This is a very contentious topic among snake owners, and many people think their snake has some type of affection for them.

Can Snakes be friendly?

Snakes are natural mimics, and thus may appear friendly to humans who they do not consider as a threat or food. So if you think of a non-angry snake’s playful nature as friendly, then sure, snakes can be friendly.

Some snakes are, of course more likely than others to be friendly. If you’re planning on getting a snake, check out this guide to the smallest pet snakes first as most of these are friendly snakes.

Snakes are unlikely to establish any sort of connection with you as their owner, and they are unlikely to show affection towards you or anyone else in the way you think of as affectionate or loving.

If those are the characteristics you desire in a pet, a snake will not meet them.

Overall, keep in mind that snakes are simple animals who enjoy being alone and doing things like being warm or cold.

Don’t irritate your snake, or else they will become aggressive, but if you respect your snake and the limits of those boundaries, you may have a mutual back-and-forth relationship.

Do pet snakes like to be handled?

How your snake reacts is going to be different based on what species of snakes you have as well as the snake’s personality and how long has it been around you.

If you handle a snake right after its feeding time, it is more likely to be aggressive with you. If your snake seems to be irritated, you should keep your hands out of its sight and reach, as they often mistake hands for prey.

The best way to tell whether your snake is enjoying being handled by you is if it becomes calm and starts to explore its surroundings. If your snake hisses or coils around you, it means that it isn’t comfortable and should be put down immediately.

If you want to handle your pet snake, you should only do it after it’s used to you and your scent. Instead of picking it up right away, you should pick up the cage and let it be used to you from behind the glass first.

Snakes should be handled with care. When you are handling your pet snake, remember to always keep the tails restrained so that they don’t try to bite you.

You can learn more about handling your pet snake here.

Are snakes smart?

There is no definitive answer to this question as snakes are not commonly studied in the wild or in captivity. However, some experts believe that they can be intelligent creatures. For example, some snakes can learn how to open cage locks and can recognize their owners.

Others claim that snakes have a low level of intelligence and can only remember things for a short period of time.

The jury is still out on this one, but there’s no harm in providing your pet snake with plenty of enrichment activities to keep its mind active.

Related Questions

Do Snakes like to cuddle?

Snakes do not like to cuddle because they are solitary creatures that do not interact with other species or even members of their own species, and so they have no desire for physical contact or need for it.

What snake is the most affectionate?

Corns snakes are the most affectionate and friendly snakes you can get, which is probably why they are so common.

Corn Snakes are quite docile and easy to care for as well, so they are great snakes for beginners.

Do Snakes like us petting them?

Snakes don’t generally like being touched or petted, as they can feel threatened. However, some snakes will tolerate being petted if they know and trust you.

Pet Snakes can feel your touch, but they do not find it as pleasant to them as it is to your other pets like dogs or cats.

Helpful Resources

Secrets of Snakes: The Science Beyond the Myths by David A. Steen

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