If you are interested in bringing home a pet snake, then you will need to know a little about the different snake cages that are available. Here you will learn the basics on choosing a snake cage. It is not as easy as going to the store and buying a snake cage. There are some things you need to take into consideration.
Snake Cage Types
The type of snake cage you choose will depend on how big your snake will grow. Different styles come in different sizes. They come in horizontal and vertical styles. Here are just a few ideas:
- Glass Aquarium
- Fancy Terrarium
- Fancy Vivarium
- Plastic Cages
- Wooden Cages
- Homemade Snake Cages
The most common snake enclosures are the glass aquariums. They are the least expensive; however, they are not as ideal as some of the fancier terrariums or vivariums on the market today. The best kinds are those that are custom built. You can also build your own snake cage.
How to Choose a Snake Cage
First, you must decide on the type of snake you will be purchasing. Know what its natural habitat is and how large it will grow. This will tell you how large of a cage you will need and what style you will need. As a general rule, you should have a large cage for your snake. It needs plenty of room to roam. However, small snakes tend to feel insecure in too large of a cage.
Which Style is better – Vertical or Horizontal?
Knowing its natural habitat will help you decide the style you need. If your snake is a terrestrial species, you may need a horizontal cage. However, if your snake’s natural habitat is in trees, you will need a vertical style cage.
You will need to determine how big you need the cage to be. Snakes can generally be classified into three groups. Listed below are these three categories, along with suggestions as to the size of tank that would be suitable for that species.
- Garter Snakes and Grass Snakes – 10 to 20 gallon aquarium
- King Snakes, Rat Snakes, Milk Snakes, Gopher Snakes, and other Colubrids – 30 to 55 gallon aquarium
- Boa Constrictors and Pythons – Need custom cages
If you chose a boa constrictor or python, you must have a custom made cage or you can buy kits. These snakes can range from 18 inches to 32 feet (world record). There are some that weigh more than 500 pounds!
Other Necessities for a Snake Cage
Ensure you have a reptile proof hood for the top. These are generally made of mesh and held in place with metal hooks. It is absolutely critical that you purchase a top that fits perfectly, as snakes tend to have a way of finding a way to escape.
Aside from the top and aquarium, other critical necessities include:
- Heat source
- Tape thermometer
- Water bowl
- Hide log
Branching is important for all snakes so they can shed their skin. There are also all kinds of decorations on the market to create an actual forest inside your aquarium. The more you have, the more comfortable your snake will be.
Care and Maintenance
It is important to keep the temperature inside the cage no lower than 68 degrees and no higher than 80 degrees. If you use a heating pad, place it underneath the cage and never inside of it. Only place it underneath one side of the cage to allow for your snake to get away from the heat if it needs to.
The cage must be cleaned at least weekly. This will require you to change the substrate and wash down the inside of the cage. Cleaning the snake cage on a regular basis is essential for reducing the risk of your snake becoming ill. Improper cleaning can result in respiratory and intestinal infections.
Where to Buy
Snake cages can be found in most pet stores, pet shops, classifieds, and through online sources.
Buying snake cages video
Snakes can be amazing creatures to watch. Ensure they are safe and healthy by purchasing a snake cage that is the correct size and by maintaining and cleaning its environment regularly.