Can You Keep Pet Snakes With Cats and Dogs?
Yes, many hobbyists keep cats and dogs in the same house as snakes. There are still some points to keep in mind. Cats and dogs may stress them out. Keep them away from the snake and its enclosure if trouble occurs.
Like snakes, cats and dogs vary in personality. Over the years, I’ve always had cats and dogs in the same house as snakes. It was never a problem. That’s not to say there could never be a problem. I’ve heard some horror stories I wouldn’t want happening to my animals.
Curiosity killed the cat – Cats and snakes under the same roof
Cats vary greatly in personality. Some are extremely lazy while others are more apt to hunt. I’ve always had lazy cats who were never interested in the snakes or any other of my reptiles for that matter.
The cat I have now is even afraid of bugs. We have a large pond off the patio in the backyard. Many kinds of frogs live in the vicinity and sometimes extremely small ones find their way into the house. Our cat is afraid of frogs too. The good thing is, she alerts us to when something is moving around in the house. She’ll find it, but that’s about all. We take it from there.
Not all cats are as gentle around reptiles and amphibians
While I’ve never had such a feline myself, some cats are true hunters bringing anything they can catch home. This includes birds, rodents and sometimes even reptiles.
These are the kind of cats you must be careful with around your reptile collection. A cat getting to your new, $150 is an extremely unfortunate event. In such a situation, be sure your snakes are always properly secured.
Different dog breeds and snakes
Different dog breeds are known for their own unique personality traits. Take a dog like a terrier as an example. The Yorkshire terrier is a small dog produced originally in England. Their purpose was to hunt rodents and basically keep them away.
A dog like this is an extremely curious hunter who throws caution to the wind. We have one that insists on picking up toads. Even though when he does, his mouth becomes irritated and begins to foam.
He never learns his lesson. If he sees a toad outside, you can bet he’ll chase it down and pick it up. He goes after anything that moves including the brown anoles he comes across. This dog is trouble from a reptile lovers point of view. He’s not allowed in the “snake room” because he barks at anything that moves.
While I trained him to stay out of the room, I cannot change the fact that he’s going to chase anything that moves, including reptiles. It’s always a tense situation when an extremely small snake escapes its enclosure. I’ve had more instances with this than I can remember.
Snakes loose in the house
Over the years, I’ve had many snakes escape their enclosures. Luckily, none of them were venomous and all snakes were eventually found unharmed. I keep five Arizona mountain kingsnakes, each one of them managed to escape at some point when they were hatchlings. You’re probably wondering how.
Plastic tubs and snakes racks don’t work well together when it comes to hatchling kingsnakes. I also had a hatchling Thayer’s kingsnake escape. The only way around this is to place cardboard underneath the tub, raising it to the ceiling of the enclosure.
That or, don’t keep hatchling kingsnakes in rack systems. They’re able to squeeze through extremely small openings. Once they grow big enough, this is no longer an issue. Just be extra careful with these snakes, they’re true escape artists.
Hatchling kingsnakes and snake rack systems
All five kingsnakes escaped and found their way completely to the other side of the house. We came across all of them in the evening, when it started getting dark. Neither the cat or dog found any of them. I don’t know if that’s good or bad.
On the one hand, it’s great because none of the snakes were harmed. On the other hand, what use would the cat or dog be if something else was lurking around the house while we slept? Something unwanted. I’m glad it all worked out and I no longer keep baby kingsnakes in racks.
Bullsnake vs tomcat?
In the ’90s, I had a large bullsnake who managed to escape. I can’t remember how I just remember waking up to the sound of his huffing and puffing. I rolled over in bed and there he was, looking back up at me. He made it across the entire house without the tomcat I talked about earlier finding him. Maybe the cat did see him and just didn’t care. That’s definitely a possibility.
Any time I’ve had a pet snake escape, I’ve never found it by looking for it. Eventually, they found me. The funny thing is, I’ve never had any individual Arizona mountain kingsnake escape twice. Once they were out of food and water for several weeks, they figured life on the run wasn’t fun and the tub wasn’t so bad. If you’re snake escapes, look in dark places, especially closets.
Check under beds and under large pieces of furniture if possible. They’re going to look for a place to hide that’s dark and where they can feel secure. The worst-case scenario is they find their way into a wall void or down a drain. Of all my experiences with escapees, none of them disappeared never to be seen again.
Conclusion – can dogs and cats live peacefully with snakes?
In my experience, yes. I’ve yet to have such a disaster. Still, always keep a close eye on the situation. Sometimes, they won’t get along and I don’t allow either my dog or cat access to the snake room.
I was always lucky that my animals lived together without problems, even when snakes were on the loose in the house for weeks on end. I recommend against placing snakes near or on top of dogs or cats for the sake of a funny picture or video. That’s causing stress on both animals and an easy way for a mistake to happen.
Do you have a story about cats or dogs living with reptiles? Tell us about it in the comments section below!