Can Ball Pythons Live Together? The Domestic Wild

The reptile owner community has always had a question about reptiles: “Can these reptiles cohabitate?”. It’s a question we always ask because as pet ownership was becoming more normalized over time, and as humans raised more companion animals, reptiles were exotic animals that stayed in their native habitats, which didn’t allow us to observe them as much as other animals in domestication. 

To add to that, reptiles, especially, are unique animals in their variety, their originality, and their behavior. This gives birth to many questions as we try to befriend them. One of those is what we’ll answer today, the question of cohabitation in Ball Pythons. So, can Ball Pythons live together?

Unfortunately, there is no generally correct answer to this, as in this species of cold–blood, cohabitation is different between two males, two females, or a mix of the two. However, each of these settings has its share of positives and negatives. In this article, we’ll explore how our Python friends react to each cohabitation and how we can make them feel as comfortable as possible with us.

Cohabitation and Wild Ball Pythons

can ball pythons live together

To view each of the settings in which we see the behavior of cohabitating ball pythons, we must first understand how ball pythons generally live in their natural habitats and if they are species that usually instead live together at all. 

Ball pythons are naturally solitary creatures. That means they are a species that doesn’t try to find a loving partner in a natural environment. However, solitary creatures don’t necessarily ‘hate’ cohabitation, but they don’t prefer it, or in other words, aren’t used to it. 

Take the example of another type of pet, our loyal companions, dogs, and cats. It’s rare to find a cat and a dog living peacefully together outside a domestic space, as they aren’t used to it in their natural environment. Still, the case of interspecies bonds between them is seen in many of today’s mostly American or European households. 

The problem that we can’t face here, however, that isn’t present in our case of ball pythons, is, in fact, the fact that ball pythons living together would consist of an intra-species bond. This entertains the questions of breeding, conflict, and authority between the reptiles.

Pro Tip
An intra-species bond isn’t something to expect by default. In other words, two animals of the same species don’t have a bond of friendship by default. In the case of Ball pythons, their life in the wild is a significant factor in their behavior in cohabitation.

The Risks of Ball Python Cohabitation

ball python cohabitation

Ball pythons are known as predatory reptiles. They are a species that preys on rodents, depending on the size of the reptile itself and its capability of eating. That said, ball pythons are seen in some corners of the world as invasive because of their wide distribution and hunting range

The reason for this distribution among land and the width of ‘expedition areas’ for this species is generally the sense of competition ball pythons have, especially males. Also, ball pythons naturally find many burrows to hide in during the day and have more of an arboreal behavior at nighttime

This requires them to search more for prey at night and expand their territory for hiding spots. All these factors put into perspective the risks of putting ball pythons together in the same living space. 

Conflict over Dominance

Alongside their competitive trait, ball pythons are anti-social creatures. That means it’s hard to imagine two ball pythons will get along under the same roof, or in this case, in the same cage. A conflict over dominance between the two snakes will quickly arise, with the more dominant snake trying to constantly bother the less dominant one by taking its resources and territory.

The war over Food and Looting

ball python eating

Aside from the psychological threat and constant fear in the less dominant snake, two ball pythons living together could potentially lead to health issues in the submissive ball python, caused by the inability to feed because of the presence of a more dominant snake or because of looting. 

Looting is when the dominant snake takes control of the submissive snake, sometimes stealing its food and scaring it away from feeding at others. Also, as reptile owners, we don’t want to cause more problems for our pets. Therefore, we can’t ignore that a Ball Python can starve itself to death when unable to acquire food.

Disease Carrying

It’s not uncommon for ball pythons to get sick. Usually, you know whether your snake is sick by checking its stool periodically or watching its posture. In the case of two ball pythons living in the same cage, it’s almost impossible to tell what stool belongs to which snake, making it hard to spot a sickness and, therefore, unable to prevent the spreading of the disease in the cage.

Cannibalism in Ball Pythons

Although extremely rare, it sadly happens. Usually, it’s more probable when a snake is remarkably more significant than the other and when the smaller snake has hatchlings. 

Pro Tip
These aren’t guaranteed consequences of Ball Pythons living together. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Also, Ball pythons can fast for up to 6 months before starving to death.

Ball Pythons in Cohabitation: The different settings

Keeping two males together: The Race to dominance

In housing ball pythons, keeping two males together is possibly the worst choice. Not only will they not get along, but knowing the male ball python has an extreme sense of competition and a potential want for dominance and authority, it’s safe to assume that a war for control will arise between them. 

In the case of snakes of different sizes, the more prominent one will be more dominant, aggressing the smaller one, causing immense stress, health issues, and possible cannibalism. In the case of 2 similarly sized pythons, this war is expected to be two-sided, meaning the stress will be on both snakes, as they’ll keep fighting. As size doesn’t determine who the more dominant is, the conflict between them will be an ongoing situation.

Keeping a male and female together: the rainy season all-year-round

It’s commonly known that males and females of this species mate during the rainy season only. For people with a goal of breeding ball pythons, that might be fine. The case might differ for people who want to raise ball pythons as pets. 

However, returning to the male’s dominant trait, the male may show aggressive behavior towards the female. In this case, the problem wouldn’t be the two breeding but the aggression that the female python has to go through, leaving her distressed, vulnerable, and possibly hurt. 

Keeping two females together

While the female ball python doesn’t have a lot of violent tendencies, except when protecting hatchlings, that doesn’t prevent two females from being very uncomfortable during cohabitation. For female ball pythons, being around others of the same species might be easily seen as a threat to hatchlings or the female python herself. 

This will cause not one but the two snakes an incredible amount of distress by the constant threat of another snake and because of the ball python’s natural anti-social trait.

When is it safe to keep two ball pythons together?

Generally speaking, keeping two ball pythons in the same tank in a few scenarios is safe. As long as there’s enough food for both, divided in a way that won’t make the snakes come too close to each other, it should be safe enough for the ball pythons to live together

Similarly, ample space should be a significant factor in their peaceful cohabitation, as it eliminates thoughts of inferiority, tendencies of violence or dominance, and the sense of captivity

Finally, if you’re a reptile owner who doesn’t mind, or wants to breed ball pythons, the rainy season for a male and a female wouldn’t be too bad for them to live together, as it’s their usual mating season, and in which they both wouldn’t mind being with the opposite gender.

How can I keep two ball pythons safely together? 

ball python big tank

With all that in mind, there are still ways to help ball pythons adapt to cohabitation safely and make it feel a bit better for them if it’s unavoidable. Here are some tips for pet owners who must house ball pythons in the same tank. 

First, to avoid conflict between the reptiles, buying a big tank that easily fits both snakes while giving each a remarkable amount of freedom is best. Consider the Zilla Basic Tropical Reptile Starter Kit or Tetra Aquatic Turtle Deluxe Kit. These cages allow effortless movement, maximum exposure to warmth, and feeding territory left unthreatened by other ball pythons. 

It’s also essential to give the tank more effort and time for clean-ups, arrangements, and other chores to not stress the snakes until they become violent.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will female ball pythons also be as violent to each other?

Not necessarily, female pythons get distressed more than they get violent, so it’s fairly improbable they will break fights in the tank.

Is there any possibility the ball pythons will get along?

No, usually, ball pythons find it very hard to interact with other ball pythons. It’s hard to imagine them getting along unless you’re lucky.

How can I tell if my ball pythons are uncomfortable?

It’s pretty easy to tell. Observe their appetite, energy, and movement. Try to notice if there’s a hierarchy taking place in the tank. If any of those criteria are shaky, your ball python(s) is/are probably uncomfortable.


Housing two ball pythons in the same tank is a decision reptile owners should consider thoughtfully not impulsively. Two ball pythons can live in peace under very peaceful circumstances, but even then, it wouldn’t be guaranteed

Generally speaking, too many things could go wrong with housing two ball pythons together, which is why it’s not recommended. If you still have to try it, don’t forget to abide by the advice we gave you, and hopefully, your scaly companions won’t have a hard time!

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