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Snake Won’t Eat: Causes and Solutions

Snake Won't Eat

Snake Won’t Eat: Causes and Solutions – If you’re a snake keeper, one of the big challenges you face is feeding, right? In this article, we will provide a solution so that snakes want to be fed again.

Food contains many essential nutrients for the health and survival of animals, including snakes. So, as a keeper you should not rule this out. Although snakes are not daily eaters like most animals, you still have to prioritize this issue.

First, you should know that snakes are animals that don’t eat much like poultry or mammals. Snakes usually eat once, but because the digestive process takes a long time, when you keep a snake you should not feed it daily.

But, before we discuss how to deal with a snake that won’t eat, you should first find out what causes it. Are they sick, in heat, or maybe because the snake is in a period of adaptation to the new cage. It might also be due to the difference in temperature from where they lived before.

Causes and Solutions for Snakes Won’t Eat

Let’s find out the causes and solutions for snakes that won’t eat!

1. Snake is Sick

Sick snakes usually won’t eat, it’s just like humans!

You can know this condition from checking their condition directly. For example, do they have a cold, canker sores or their mouth is injured, or there are other medical causes.


We do not recommend you to do self-treatment, you should take it to the vet for further diagnosis.

Usually after the snake recovers, its appetite will improve. Try feeding them small amounts in the first week after they heal. If you notice that they are more aggressive than before, then you can continue to feed normally.

If you keep forcing them to eat while they’re still sick, they won’t eat anything you give them.

2. Adaptation to the New Cage

When snakes are healthy but won’t eat, the next possibility is that they are still adapting to the new cage conditions.

Snakes will adapt to new conditions, such as temperature, humidity, and explore their new cage.

It’s the same as humans who live in a new home, or a new environment. Surely we are still exploring while learning new things around, as well as adapting to new temperatures.

At this time, snakes generally won’t eat. They are still busy with learning a new atmosphere instead of eating their food.


Try to arrange the cage in such a way, so that it resembles the wild where they come from (if from the wild). If they come from captivity or another cage, try to keep the new snake’s cage exactly the same as the previous cage.

The main focus that you need to pay attention to is the similarity of temperature and humidity of the cage. Try to create conditions as close as possible to their old cage, where they are comfortable there.

You need to know, high temperatures and too humid make snakes won’t eat. It can also cause slow digestion of snakes, so they feel full and refuse the food you give them.

3. Stress

Next, the cause of snakes won’t eat because of stress. Stress can be caused by many things, such as bad handling, or stress during the trip.

While in the wild, they have never been touched by human hands or traveled anywhere (locked up in cages). It is only natural that they are not prepared for this condition and cause stress.

Even when they are in new conditions, they may not want to eat because it could be that the food you give them is different from what they usually eat.


It is difficult to keep snakes that come from the wild than from breeding or captivity. You need patience, time, let this wild snake adapt to new conditions, and the presence of humans. Likewise with their new food.

Usually this type of stress will go away with time. The important thing is that you need to make a smooth transition, between when they are in the wild, and when they are kept by humans. For example, you don’t often touch snakes.

Just a suggestion, you should buy snakes from captivity, pet shops, or breeders who are clearly healthy and accustomed to the presence of humans, rather than catching them from the wild. In addition, you don’t have to worry about them being stressed because of human handling or dietary adjustments.

If they’re stressed from moving cages or during travel, you can just give them some time, and it will get better (This is for snakes that you buy from captivity, pet shops or breeders).

Related: Albino Reticulated Python Care Guide

4. Wrong Time to Eat

Normally, snakes in the wild will eat once to three times a week. It depends on their prey size.

In some cases, snakes such as the reticulated python and some other big snakes can eat bigger prey. It makes them eat less often, because the digestion process will take longer.

In the case of big snakes, they can eat once a month, even up to six months they will eat again.


Feed the snake at the right time! For that, you need to know the diet of the snake you keep.

You need to find out more information about the snake you are keeping. Easier, make sure you ask the seller before making sure the snake is in your hands. Don’t keep snakes that you don’t know for sure what they eat, and how many times they should be fed. This is the basis of all pet care!

When you buy a snake from a pet shop, ask them when was the last time the snake ate. That way, you will know when the next time you feed again.

Once you’ve identified your snake’s feeding times, for example once a week, do it again and again so that the snake gets used to the pattern.

Related: Reticulated Python Feeding

5. Ovulating or In Heat

Snakes that are ovulating or in heat also won’t to eat.

You can tell whether your snake is in heat or not from several characteristics. For example, the male snake’s tail end will “stand up”, then the female will release a white discharge in the cloaca area.


For this one problem is very easy to solve, you just give your snake a mate.

After that, let the snake do the mating process naturally. At this time, you still need to check whether one of the snakes is not in heat. If there is one who is not in heat, usually they will fight.

6. Wrong Food

If your snake won’t eat, it could be because you’re feeding the wrong type of food. For example, snakes in the wild are not used to eating eggs, then you give them. Of course they would refuse.

Or when you give them vegetables, of course it doesn’t make sense!

Some of the most well-known egg-eating snakes are the African egg-eating snake, and the Indian egg-eating snake.

This is why it is important to get as much information as possible about the snake you are keeping. You will know exactly what food is right for him.


Provide the right food, by finding out what food is good for the type of snake you keep.

Some common foods for snakes (suitable for most snakes) include:

  • Chicks
  • Fish
  • Insect
  • Mice
  • Amphibian
  • Earthworms
  • Rabbit
  • Lizard

Conclusion Why Snakes Won’t Eat

In keeping snakes, don’t panic if they won’t eat. Know the causes first, then you will know what you need to do.

Food is a source of nutrition for snakes to keep them healthy and prolong their life. It is dangerous if the snake refuses to eat for an unreasonable period of time.

Don’t hesitate to ask the experts, or if you have trouble dealing with this problem, you can take it to a trusted vet.