Can Ball Pythons Live Together?

Have you ever wondered if it’s safe for two ball pythons to live together? Could living together present any risks for these snakes? Learn everything you need to know about housing two or more Ball Pythons in this guide.

ball python close up in tank

Most animals that live in the wild thrive when they have companions of the same species, allowing them to bond and build relationships. However, ball pythons are very different in this respect; they don’t enjoy company as much as other animals do. These solitary creatures tend to be shy and prefer living alone rather than with others of their own kind. In the wild, you will only come across two or more ball pythons gathered together during mating season or if there is a lack of space for them to fit into one burrow.

Unfortunately, most pet parents are unaware of the potential risks of housing multiple ball pythons together. Not only will it cause stress to the animals involved, but it also comes with its own set of dangers, such as:

  • Dominance
  • Competition for resources
  • Cannibalism
  • Spreading of disease
  • More expensive
  • Egg binding
  • Work overload

It’s essential to remember that even though your ball python was bred and raised in captivity, they still prefer the solitude of its own space.

In this article, we’ll discuss the issues of keeping two ball pythons together and how to house two ball pythons safely.

Is It Safe To Keep Two Ball Pythons Together?

It is not safe to keep two ball pythons together. Ball pythons are solitary animals, and they do not typically appreciate the company of another one of their kind. Even if two ball pythons, whether males or females, appear to be getting along in a shared enclosure, there’s always a chance for aggression to arise.

This could mean stress-related illnesses or physical injury for either snake.

Can You Have Male and Female Ball Pythons Together?

You must never keep male and female ball pythons together, as they can become fiercely competitive in their attempt to establish dominance. This could result in serious physical harm to both snakes.

Put Males & Females Together Only for Copulation

The only exception is when the two are placed together during the mating season (typically from September until November), exclusively for breeding purposes. I suggest keeping a male and female in the same tank for three days.

During this period, the male will attempt to persuade her to mate with him; if she is ready and receptive, they will commence mating. Once they have paired off, the two should be parted so the female can lay her eggs without interruption.

ball python separeted

What Are the Issues of Having Two Ball Pythons Living Together?

It is not possible for two ball pythons to cohabitate peacefully; there are certain risks that come with housing two or more snakes in the same enclosure.

The Danger of Asserting Dominance Over Other

The ball python is not a social animal and typically marks its territory by asserting dominance over another snake when housed together. Unfortunately, this practice can be damaging for the weaker of the two snakes as they are often subject to suppression from their stronger counterparts.

For instance, if you witness your ball pythons resting together on the basking rock in their designated area, it might seem as though they’re enjoying one another’s presence and soaking up the warmth. In reality, however, what is taking place is that the dominant python has chosen to lay atop its submissive counterpart while claiming resources and asserting territory.

Competition for Food

An additional issue to be aware of is that the more assertive ball python will likely take away food from the less confident one. Ultimately, this can lead to malnutrition and poor health for your gentler snake.

In extreme cases, they may even refuse to eat altogether if their environment has become too hostile due to tank-sharing – something not a lot of us want for our pet reptiles!

Stress Issue

Stress and anorexia can become a real problem when two pythons are housed together in the same cage. Not only do these issues affect their physical health, but it also diminishes their immunity to infections, particularly respiratory illnesses. Poor hygiene or extended periods of high stress can further worsen this situation leading to even more serious complications for your snake’s health.

If you opt for housing two ball pythons together, I urge you to be on the lookout for any signs of stress in your pets. These include:

  • Become overly active
  • Refuse to eat
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Hissing, & rubbing its nose against the tank
  • Aggressive behavior

The Potential Risk of Cannibalism

While cases of ball pythons cannibalizing each other are exceptionally rare, it’s a phenomenon that must not be overlooked. This is more likely to happen when one python is significantly larger than the other or if an adult snake cohabitates with hatchlings in the same enclosure.

Therefore, as a precautionary measure, ensure that your ball pythons are of equal size before putting them in the same tank!

Increased Chances of Illness

When two snakes live in the same cage, it is much easier for illnesses to spread between them. To make sure that your snake remains healthy, you should be regularly checking its stool – which can become problematic when there’s more than one ball python per enclosure as you won’t know which droppings belong to who.

Diseases tend to spread rapidly in confined spaces, so if an illness is serious enough, it could end up killing both of your snakes at once.

The Danger of Egg Binding

Egg binding is a debilitating condition that can occur in ball pythons when a male and female snake is kept together in one enclosure. Egg binding occurs when eggs become stuck inside the female’s body, preventing her from laying them naturally.

Various factors, including overcrowding, improper diet, an inadequate nest box or container, dehydration, and an inadequate temperature gradient can cause this condition. If left untreated, egg binding can be fatal to the female ball python.

More Work To Do

Keeping two ball pythons in the same tank definitely increases the workload. You’ll need to provide twice as much food and do more frequent cleaning to ensure both snakes are comfortable.

You may need to feed the more submissive snake away from its dominant counterpart to prevent dominance problems during feeding time. This is an extra step that requires additional cleaning when caring for your snakes.

More Expensive

Keeping two ball pythons in the same tank is more expensive because it requires a larger enclosure. The enclosure must be ample for both snakes to have enough room to move around and explore their environment.

Furthermore, you’ll need to change substrates more frequently and purchase additional insulation and multiple heat sources, such as lamps and heating pads, to regulate the temperature in the enclosure.

To feed two pythons simultaneously, you may need to purchase additional water dishes or food bowls. These variables to provide basic care to both pets contribute to the heightened expenditure of keeping two ball pythons.

ball python balled up

Is There a Safe Way or Option To Have Two Ball Pythons in the Same Tank?

Many experts advise against housing two ball pythons in the same cage, yet some pet owners have succeeded. If you’re determined to keep your reptiles together, I recommend following the given few tips for providing the ideal habitat:

  • Initially, you must obtain an enclosure with sufficient room for your ball pythons; the ideal size being 24 square feet for each ball python.
  • Ensure to provide multiple basking spots for your snakes so their territories don’t overlap.
  • Additionally, fill the tank with plenty of branches and foliage to keep them active and engaged. This will help ensure that there aren’t any unsightly empty spaces in their habitat.
  • Lastly, ensure that your snakes live in a sanitized habitat.

There may be additional monetary and temporal costs to maintain this setup for your two ball pythons. Despite all of these efforts, there is still no assurance that they can live peacefully in the same tank.

Final Thoughts

Keeping two ball pythons in the same tank is not recommended due to potential illness and aggression risks. If you decide to move forward, ensure both snakes have plenty of space and resources to thrive without overcrowding each other. Even after taking all the necessary precautions, there is no assurance that they will live harmoniously together. Thus, it is essential to research and weighs the pros and cons before deciding on whether or not to house your ball pythons together.

Have you cohobated ball pythons together? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!

Picture of Dr. Mohsin Iqbal

Dr. Mohsin Iqbal

Dr. Mohsin is a licensed Veterinarian who is passionate about pets. He has been practicing in Veterinary Medicine for about five years. He hopes to help reptile owners improve their husbandry (environment, nutrition, and overall pet care). He has also been an active member of the Animal Rescue Organization, rescuing animals in need and providing them free medical treatment. In his free time, He enjoys spending time with his own pets, exploring hiking trails, and researching new and interesting reptile species.


  1. We rescued 2 x balls almost 8 years ago, they were approx 2 and 3 years old then. The rescue only dealt with reptiles and extremely experienced in what they do and told us to keep them together, being a bit nieve we have and still do. Never had any problems with aggression, eating, shedding etc. Their viv is approx 5ft in length x 4 ft high x 4 ft deep so bigger than most, its handmade. It has lots of hides, foliage, basking areas etc. They are constantly together, always curled up with each other despite having a lot of other options. We have the option to divide the viv is completely nessasary but we keep a very close eye on them. They are male and female and very docile, healthy and happy.

    1. Hi Nikki,

      I’m so glad to hear you’ve created such a wonderful environment for your two ball pythons! It’s true that the general rule is to house ball pythons separately. They’re naturally solitary creatures, and cohabitation can often lead to stress, competition for resources, and even aggression.

      However, your situation sounds like a happy exception. Sometimes, with the right circumstances, certain ball pythons can learn to tolerate each other and even form a peaceful bond.

      Most importantly, if you haven’t seen any aggression or stress between them, and they genuinely like each other’s company. The fact that they’re thriving – eating, shedding, and being docile – is fantastic.

      Remember, every snake is an individual. With the right setup and careful monitoring, it seems some ball pythons can be the exception to the rule and live together harmoniously.

  2. I recently purchased a 10 yr old male pied ball python from a friend.. and about 6-7 weeks later he asked if I could also purchase his female too. He had 4 snakes all in the same enclosure. And had been for years . His female is about 9 yrs old. And he said since I had purchased the other , she would not eat and he felt as though she was looking for the male I had purchased. I have known these snakes since he purchased them 9-10 years ago. The male I purchased I’ve since registered as an ESA. For myself and for my 9 yr old son. So he typically travels with me. I tried to keep them in separate tanks. But every time I would take one out , I felt as though it was trying to get into the others tank. So I got a larger tank so there c9uld be enough room for both. And yes they do coil up. Together but it’s not one or the other on top. They literally coil together like Side by side. . I have multiple places for them for warming. And they have both used different locations and done it alone. But every am. I find them coiled together. So I made a hide large enough for both of them . And they have been doing great. Again they both wander about their enclosure and do their own things. But every am they are together.

    1. Hi Sunny,

      It seems you’ve developed a bond between your ball pythons. Typically, these snakes are solitary by nature. However, some instances, like your experience, show they can coexist without distress. As long as they are not showing any signs of stress or aggression, they are good to keep them together.

      It’s heartwarming to hear that they coil together every morning. This could be a sign of comfort or a way to share warmth. As you’ve observed, as long as they have the freedom to move about and choose their own spots when they wish, this cohabitation might be working for them.

      Your effort in providing multiple warm spots and adequate hiding places is commendable. Still, regular checks on their health and behavior are crucial. If any negative signs emerge, reconsider their shared space.

      Best wishes to your snakes!

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Picture of Dr. Mohsin Iqbal
Dr. Mohsin Iqbal
Dr. Mohsin is a licensed Veterinarian who is passionate about pets. He has been practicing in Veterinary Medicine for about five years. He hopes to help reptile owners improve their husbandry (environment, nutrition, and overall pet care). He has also been an active member of the Animal Rescue Organization, rescuing animals in need and providing them free medical treatment. In his free time, He enjoys spending time with his own pets, exploring hiking trails, and researching new and interesting reptile species.