Why is My Ball Python Hiding: 5 Reasons WHY

So, you recently brought a ball python home and despite all your friendly efforts, you hardly see your pet come out of hiding. 

Ball python parents often have this concern about their pets that they remain hidden throughout the day. Well, in this article, we will resolve all your doubts regarding ball python hiding. 

In general, it is in the very nature of ball pythons, just like most other snakes, to hide in burrows and anywhere where they feel completely out of sight and safe. They do this to escape their predators. But moreover, hiding is also very beneficial for the ball pythons as it is the best way for them to fight illnesses and release stress. 

But there can be several reasons behind a ball python hiding. Even though mostly it is not a cause of concern but sometimes, there can be an underlying issue that needs handling. 

Does Ball Python Hide in the Wild Too? 

ball python in the wild

If a pet’s behavior ever startles you, then the first thing you should look into is what it does in the wild. Mostly, an animal tries to emulate the same behavior in an enclosure as that in the wild. You can call it an effect of the genetic blueprint. 

This will answer a lot of your untimely queries. 

To speak of ball pythons, they love to hide even in the wild! It is more important for them to hide in the wild than in an enclosure where they are relatively much safer. 

One of the most prominent behaviors of ball pythons and other snakes is their hiding mechanism. In the wild, ball python loves to hide in burrows abandoned by other animals, or underneath rocks. They will hide in one place comfortably and can remain hidden there for long periods, specifically during the day. 

Editor’s Note
They just want to be completely out of sight from their predators. Being extremely slow terrestrial creatures, ball pythons easily become prey to hyenas and leopards. Therefore, it is not safe for them to roam around during the day without a care in the world. 

Provide Hides in the Enclosure 

ball python in enclosure hiding

In the wild, ball pythons spend most of their time hiding in some inapproachable corner. This has several benefits apart from protection from predators. 

Even though ball pythons don’t need to hide in an enclosure for protection, they will still hide because of the numerous benefits it offers them. 

Therefore, it is important to make a provision of hiding for your ball python where it can comfortably hide. It is important to install a hiding cave in both the cold and hot areas of the enclosure.

This is a must if you want your snakes to thrive and not just survive. As hiding is essential for their health and well-being. 

Watch this video if you want to make a snake hide on your own:

Reasons Why Your Ball Python is Hiding 

Normal Behavior

The most common reason for your ball python hiding is that it is their normal behavior! If a ball python doesn’t spend time in hiding, perhaps then it should be an actual cause of concern. Not when it does.

This is because hiding from ball pythons is crucial to carry out various bodily activities. Hiding improves the ball python’s digestion and makes it more immune to various illnesses. 

Nocturnal Instincts

ball python nocturnal instincts

Another reason why ball pythons love to hide during the day is their nocturnal instincts. You won’t find a ball python roaming around throughout the day because they are generally dull when the sun’s out. 

Ball pythons become active soon after sunset and that’s when their digestion is the strongest. 

Therefore, if you find your ball python hiding most of the time during the day, then do not be surprised! 

To Escape Predators 

Escapism is one of the most crucial survival instincts of ball pythons. Being extremely slow, they cannot escape from their predators easily. 

Therefore they prevent going out during the day altogether. By being completely out of sight, they protect themselves from becoming prey. 

Editor’s Note
This survival instinct is present in them even in enclosures. You might be wondering why your ball python is so scared to come out of hiding even when there’s no danger. This is because of the genetic blueprint. 

Moreover, a ball python might take some time to get used to the new environment, and to do this, hiding is crucial!

To Release Stress

ball python hiding in log

Hiding also helps ball pythons release all kinds of stress. Stress can come in the form of bodily disturbances or environmental disruptions. 

Hiding is extremely important for ball pythons to heal from diseases. It acts as a form of recharge for them that no other activity can compensate for. 

Changes in the environment can become stressful for these creatures. In these times as well a ball python will seek solace in hiding. 

Aids Digestion

It is indeed true that hiding is healthy for snakes! And ball python is no exception.

A healthy body is a result of healthy digestion. And it might come as a surprise to some ball python parents but hiding aids your pet’s digestion. 

For proper digestion and assimilation of the food, ball pythons like to spend time in hiding. The food they eat during the night, slowly gets digested during the day.

During this time, your ball python may refuse to eat any further and it is not a good idea to overfeed a snake.

What if Your Ball Python is Hiding More Than Usual

It is important to note that even though your ball python loves to hide and hiding is a completely normal and healthy activity, hiding for abnormally long durations can be a sign that something is awry. 

If your snake remains hidden for more than a few days, is hardly active even during the night, and is generally lethargic, it can imply several things. 

In this case, your snake might be in a state of brumation. Extremely cold weather can be a cause of this.

Other than this, it can also imply a parasite infection. If your snake remains hidden for long, is sluggish, and has a poor appetite, there might be an underlying illness such as a parasite infection. 

If this is the case, then you shouldn’t delay taking your ball python to the pet. If you are unsure about the condition,  even then it is important to seek medical supervision to rule out diseases. 

Otherwise, if your snake is hiding for an unusually long duration, it can simply be a case of shedding. A ball python may hide for as long as two weeks if it is about to shed. 


How Long Does A Ball Python Hide?

A ball python can hide throughout the day. And sometimes, it may not come out of hiding for days. This can happen when the snake is about to shed. But generally, your snake might hide throughout the day and come out during the night. 

Is A Hiding Ball Python Happy?

Yes. That is quite true because hiding helps the snakes in a lot of bodily mechanisms such as digestion, stress regulation, thermoregulation, brumation, shedding, etc. 

Final Thoughts

If you come across a ball python that is just not coming out of hiding, you should know it is a completely normal ball python behavior. 

Hiding helps them carry out various bodily mechanisms and is crucial for them to be able to thrive. 

However, a ball python that hides for unusually long might be going through something. It is best to keep an eye on your snake in this case and take appropriate steps to ensure it is alright. 

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