TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › Cats and Other Animals › ok Question about snakes
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

ok Question about snakes

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Ok my 4 Year old son want to get a baby Snake. My husband seems to think this is a good idea, me on the other hand have some questions before i jump into that.

I was wanting to see what kind of snake would be best for a younger kid and also a snake that wont grow to be too large in size either. And is it ok to have a snake with cats in the house? If any of u have snake or ever had one please leave me some advice I really want to learn more before we jump into getting a snake. Thanks
post #2 of 22
Best snake to get in my opinion is a Ball Python. They will never grow larger than about 5 feet long, and they have nice dispositions, as long as you never forget to feed them.

Just be sure to get some diving weights to keep on top of the screen on top of the tank, and you should never have to worry about the cat. Also, ball pythons really don't get big enough to eat cats, unlike other snake varieties.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much I will look in to them THANKS
post #4 of 22
Snakes are wonderful creatures, and I am glad that you are looking into buying one. I grew up with boas, pythons, and cats and they got along just fine. Just make sure that the enclosure for the snake is done very well, and the snake won't get out. I would do some research in your area as well. Call your vet and see if he or she has had experience with snakes. The last thing in the world you'd want is a sick snake and a vet that doesn't know how to treat it. Also, how comfortable are you with having other live creatures in your house? Some snakes are carnivores and you'll have to go out and buy their food live.

As for the small snake question, I'm not too sure. All of our snakes were really big, and we liked them that way. I'd contact a local exotic pet owners association and ask about that. They should be more than helpful.

Here are some links about owning snakes, and their care.
http://exoticpets.about.com/cs/snake...akesaspets.htm

http://www.ahc.umn.edu/rar/MNAALAS/Snakes.html
post #5 of 22
I had a ball python once and loved her very much. That's why I made the recommendation. She stayed small, and was cuddly, if you can call a snake cuddly.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much yes The local Pet store here has snakes and the Vet does deal with snakes too so that is good too. I had to call them just now haha. Yeah i am fine with having a snake they dont scare me or anything i just want to make sure we get the right type of snake that will fit in with our family. Yeah they say something about them eating Crickets until they get bigger to eat mice I could handle feeding then the crickets but i think my husband would have to do the mice haha. They also said Ball Pythons would be best for a staying on the smaller size. And are good for kids as pets. I am gonna do a little more searching on them and the store owner has invited me in to look at the snakes and talk to me about them too so that will be good too. Thanks again for steering me in the right path to get started
post #7 of 22
I've never seen a ball that would bother with crickets.
Only grass/vine snake species and very young rat snake species will touch crickets.

Ball eat mice, plain and simple, baby balls eat baby mice.
If you check around though, I am certain you can find a store that has snakes already eating pre-killed frozen mice, at least that way you don't have to be around for the animal's death.
For a snake that does well on pre-killed, be sure you have them show both you, and DH the proper way to prepare and feed.
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arlyn View Post
I've never seen a ball that would bother with crickets.
Only grass/vine snake species and very young rat snake species will touch crickets.

Ball eat mice, plain and simple, baby balls eat baby mice.
If you check around though, I am certain you can find a store that has snakes already eating pre-killed frozen mice, at least that way you don't have to be around for the animal's death.
For a snake that does well on pre-killed, be sure you have them show both you, and DH the proper way to prepare and feed.
Yup, they really only want mice and baby rats. When it's a really small baby sname, you'll want to give it what are called "pinkies," baby mice that are tiny and have no fur yet.

It's hard at first, to feed cute little mice to the snake, but you get used to it really fast.

My snake preferred baby rats to mice, and I used to spray them down with water then sprinkle a little bit of reptile vitamin powder on their backs, then drop them in the cage. Rats seem to be less smart than the mice - the mice would go, "Oh no, a snake!" and run to the far corner, while the baby rats would go, "Hi, I'm a baby rat, what are you?" and walk right up to the snake's face.

My snake was named Audrey, after the plant in Little Shop of Horrors.
post #9 of 22
If you want to ensure the snake stays as small as possible, be sure to get a male.

Pretty easy to tell with pythons at almost any age.
The tails of the males are longer.
The tail starts behind the vent.
Any petstore worth their salt should be able to show you.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info Yeah i think i could do the prekilled mice not sure about he live mice but my husband says he can do that part he dont mind so that works for me.
post #11 of 22
Regaurdless of what type of snake you get (I'd recomend a ball too) make sure you do your homework. While Balls are relativly small and have a good disposition they get stressed very easily. When they are stressed they don't like to eat and force feeding a snake is not fun... trust me.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
yes that is why i am trying to learn as much as i can before we go buy a snake I want to be able to care for it well before i bring one home. I wouldnt want to do something wrong or not know what to do when i did get it home. I am looking up all the items i will need want to make sure we have everything too before we get one too. Want to have a good set up safe home for a snake that will be comfy from it. I am gonna give it a few weeks to gather up all the things and learn a bit more before we rush out and get one. Thanks so much for all the advice i so needed it
post #13 of 22
No heat pads/mats, use basking lamps intead
Never handle a snake for 24 hours at least after it's eaten, they tend to bring their food back up.
Balls aren't as bad at it as some species, but snakes will often expell the foulest smelling poo in defense as well (I've had rat snakes do this one mostly).

The very best snake boxes I've found were a clear Rubbermaid knockoff (possibly Sterlite) storage boxes that actually have lids that tightly buckle on and then just drill air holes with a smallish drill bit.
For snakes, you simply cut a section of the top out and hot glue some hardware cloth over the opening to allow for the lamps.
They hold the heat and humidity beautifully.
post #14 of 22
Dont take this the wrong way but I dont feel any child should have a reptile till at least age 10 ... or is this going to be a family pet???

What about a corn snake
post #15 of 22
I would recommend a King Snake! There is a good Care Sheet here!
post #16 of 22
I've had a snake with cats - no problem. But IMO a 4 yr old is way too young to be handling snakes. I'd not get a child a snake till a lot older - like around 10-12 yr old.

4 yr olds don't understand how to properly pick up a snake or handle one. Maybe a box turtle would be better.
post #17 of 22
There really should be no problem with a snake as robust as a Ball and a 4 year old as long as an adult is always present to guide the child in the correct way to handle a snake.

Balls are not biters and they are an extremely sturdy animal, actually a lot more sturdy than a box turtle.
I would actually be more hestitant about a young child around an herbivore like a turtle.

King snakes I really would not reccomend for children as they do tend to bite on occasion and their teeth are easily broken off and left behind under the skin if you are unfamiliar with how to handle a snake chomping on you.
Most anyone's first reaction is to pull away of course, which is bad.

Corn snakes are great, most are not biters, but they are not as sturdy as a Ball.
post #18 of 22
Hey! I've have quite a bit of experience with snakes. Generally, if the snake is in it's enclosure and can't get out, then it should be fine to have a cat around (though the cat might claim the heat pad/lamp). Also, I wouldn't handle the snake with a cat in the same room, too much potential for the cat deciding to claw the snake, and in a panic the snake may bite you or the cat, or the cat can seriously mangle the snake .

I'm a little hesitant to recommend a snake as a pet for a child. Though it's extremely rare to get sick from them (salmonella), people do get sick occasionally. Just wash your hands religiously before and after handling the snake, anything in the cage, or the snake's food, and as long as your don't kiss your snake, should be fine .

With size, basically, the more you feed them, the more they grow. Genetics has some impact, but not a whole lot.

I don't recommend a king snake, especially for someone new to snakes or young people. They can be on the skittish side, can bite and once they latch on and start coiling, it's a pain to get em off. They can also be pretty tempermental eaters, and refuse to eat mice (they'll want lizards or other snakes which will be a challenge to come by for some people).

Like other's have suggested, corn snakes and ball pythons are awesome pets. Ball pythons might be better in this case since they're pretty slow moving. They crave heat so when you handle them, they'll tend to cling to your arm, rather than trying to get away from you. They don't get very long, but they do have considerable girth and weight once they become adult size, so might be something to consider (do you want to deal with a 10lb snake in 3 years?). Baby cornsnakes can have a but of an attitude, but their teeth are so puny it's more funny than anything else. They're also pretty fragile at that age. But larger cornsnakes are pretty laid back and calm, if you can find an adult cornsnake, it might be worth a shot. Cornsnakes I've rarely seen hit over 5-6 lbs, though they get longer (~4 ft).

Space is also a consideration. Ball pythons are more aboreal and like to climb so you'll need more vertical space in the tank. They also need more heat and humidity. Cornsnakes do climb on occasion but mostly stick to the ground, so you'll need more floor space.

Join a snake forum! Faunaclassfieds is a pretty good one. I think they have both python and cornsnake discussion groups. Just look around, tons of forums out there. It's also pretty fun checking out other people's snakes and chitchatting with em.

Good luck, and I hope you have fun with a new addiction. You can't ever have just one snake! Especially cornsnakes, so many different varieties and colors, you'll want one of each!
post #19 of 22
Oh! Maybe Middle Eastern and British King snakes are more placid!

Wriggly never bit anyone or showed any signs of being tempramental and thoroughly enjoyed his defrosted mice!
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sar View Post
Oh! Maybe Middle Eastern and British King snakes are more placid!

Wriggly never bit anyone or showed any signs of being tempramental and thoroughly enjoyed his defrosted mice!
Ah, haha, maybe. I was mostly referring to grey banded and californian kings, and milksnakes. I used to have a sinaloan milk and cheesus, had the hardest time getting it to eat. But it was a very mellow snake. Could also be an individual thing, my friend's sinaloan milk ate like a pig and he got one at the same place and at the same time as I did. I was like what the dilly yo , though his was such an aggressive eater he had a tendency to bite you fingers thinking it was a mouse , silly snakes.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Maybe a box turtle would be better.
No, any reptile is not good for a four year old. And box turtles are actually rather difficult due to the humidity requirements.

The most kid friendly turtle would be a Russian Tortoise. They do well indoors on a "turtle table", just a table with sides built up on it. They also stay small, I think max size is 8 inches. I think 10 is a good starting age. Certainly no younger than 7.

What about a ribbon or garter snake? They stay nice and small, around 24 inches...
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by bab-ush-niik View Post
No, any reptile is not good for a four year old. And box turtles are actually rather difficult due to the humidity requirements.

The most kid friendly turtle would be a Russian Tortoise. They do well indoors on a "turtle table", just a table with sides built up on it. They also stay small, I think max size is 8 inches. I think 10 is a good starting age. Certainly no younger than 7.

What about a ribbon or garter snake? They stay nice and small, around 24 inches...
Ribbon and garter snakes are almost ALWAYS wild caught unless you get a special color morph (expensive), and most of them are very skittish and bite. They can move extremely quickly. I guess they're okay if you never handle them, or if you can find a Butler's gartersnake (or catch one). Butler's garters are known to be docile and they stay very small (no more than 24" long), pretty common in the midwest (though other larger and more aggressive garters are even more common).

I do think it would be better to wait just like bab-ush-niik suggested. You could get into a lot of grief with a snake and a 4 year old, especially with escapes and especially if your child is handling the snake. To be honest I'd never trust a 4 year old with any of my snakes no matter how docile the snake, and no matter how calm and controlled the child. The chance of escape and panic is too high.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cats and Other Animals
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › Cats and Other Animals › ok Question about snakes