Do Snakes Have Feelings and Other Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you’re a novice or a veteran snake owner, there’s always something to learn about your pet. And this doesn’t necessarily have to be a care-related topic. 

Today, we’ll answer question from “do snakes have feelings?” to “how do snakes reproduce?” Keep reading below to find out the answers to some of the most frequently asked snake questions! 

Do snakes have feelings?

Snakes are cold-blooded, not cold-hearted. While snakes may not demonstrate complicated or complex emotions like humans do, they do have basic feelings. 

For instance, while they may not feel companionship or bonding like we do, they show feelings of content with people they know.

Likewise, they may also demonstrate more signs of discomfort around people they don’t know. Signs of discomfort can include tenseness or hissing. 

Ball pythons, for instance, show a semi-complex range of emotions that they convey with their body language

Do snakes sleep?

balled up banana ball python

Snakes sleep for an average of 16 to 20 hours a day, depending on the species and the time of year. The reason we must question whether they sleep or not is because we never see them asleep. 

My 5-year-old was amazed when I told him snakes don’t have eyelids. It’s probably because we never really think about it. 

Since snakes don’t have eyelids it can be difficult to tell whether or not they’re sleeping. However, this doesn’t mean they never sleep. Instead of closing their eyes, it’s the brain that initiates the sleep cycle for snakes. 

One of the best ways to tell whether your pet snake is sleeping is to see whether or not is interacting with its environment. A sleeping snake won’t change position or react to you, and you may notice that they slow down their tongue flick. 

How do snakes reproduce?

Snakes reproduce like other animals where a male will fertilize a female through copulation.

All snakes come from eggs, although not all hatch from eggs outside of the mother. You’re probably more familiar with a mother snake laying eggs and then baby snakes, called hatchlings, later emerging.

Boa constrictors and garter snakes produce live births. This is called ovoviviparous which means that the eggs hatch within the mother’s body. This form of live birth isn’t the same as humans though.

Instead, these snakes still have eggs, only they don’t lay them. The eggs incubate inside the mother snake before hatching, and then she gives birth to live hatchlings.

Other snakes are oviparous, meaning they lay their eggs and incubate them until they hatch

Do snakes like other snakes?

One of the other basic feelings that snakes can feel is companionship. In fact, some studies have found that a snake may prefer specific snake over others, demonstrating a serpentine friendship. 

However, snakes may feel companionship to a different degree than humans, and while some snakes are fond of other snakes, we don’t recommend that you house multiple snakes together.

Don’t worry – your snake doesn’t get lonely either. In fact, most are asocial and won’t be found mingling with other snakes unless it comes to mating. 

Ball pythons, for example, can cohabitate successfully if the enclosure were large enough, however it can cause stress to either snake.

This isn’t a definitive rule, however, and some snakes, like the garter snake, may be more likely to form bonds. 

Do snakes recognize their owners?

If you’ve owned a snake, you’ve probably wondered at least once if they recognize you during feedings or handling. While snakes are known for their poor eyesight, they have exceptional smell and hearing. As a result, while they may not be able to see you, they’ll come to recognize your smell and voice over time and may even demonstrate forms of affection. 

Can snakes kill you? 

While most snakes pack a mean bite, most snakes are harmless. 

There are over 3,000 snake species we’ve discovered on this planet. Only about 600 of snake species are venomous and of those, only 200 can significantly harm or kill a human. 

The CDC reports only 5 deaths from snake bites per year. The reason this number is as low as it is is because of the miracles of anti-venom and quick responses for medical treatment.

Are snakes good pets? 

close up photo of person holding yellow and white snake
Photo by Kamil Zubrzycki on

While most snake species are not ideal to have as a pet, the commonly domesticated snakes make great pets. 

Ball pythons, corn snakes, rosy boas, and hog nose snakes are easy to take care of and take up significantly less time than taking care of a dog or cat. 

Snakes bred for pets are usually docile, but it all depends on the species and the specific snake.   Just like dogs each have their own personalities, snakes do too

They don’t require much attention if any attention at all. The most attention they need is keeping their enclosure clean. 

All they need is clean water every day, spraying their enclosure, feeding once a week, spot cleaning once in a while, and deep cleanings every month. 

Find out if ball pythons are right for you.

For more information on snakes especially ball pythons, be sure to check out more from Infinite Scales Info