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Do Snakes Cuddle? (Not Really)

No, snakes do not cuddle. Snakes are solitary creatures that do not develop a bond with each other, or with other animals. But there are some snakes that feel more cuddly than others (and we’ll discuss which ones they are later in this article).

On some occasions, one can see snakes performing what is normally called a snake dance. Some snakes wrap themselves with each other. However, this is not cuddling, but could either be a fight or a courtship activity.

Do Snakes Cuddle

Do Snakes Cuddle Their Owners?

A snake cannot cuddle with its owner. While snakes are cold-blooded and need warmth, there is no scientific evidence that they like to cuddle with their owners.

If anything, there are many snake owners who want to believe that their snakes love cuddling with them. This is subjective, and the idea that they like human touch is unverified.

Many pet owners try to project their emotions to their pets. As such, they give “meaning” to the actions of their pets, even if science can prove otherwise.

Some snakes may seem more “behaved” if the owner is cuddling them. The owner is therefore convinced that the snake loves to cuddle. Likely, these are snakes that are getting accustomed to human touch, but it’s not likely that they’re enjoying it per se.

Related: Can Snakes be Domesticated?

Do Snakes Cuddle When Hibernating?

While many snakes hibernate in solitude, there are some species who hibernate in groups. This is so they can preserve warmth in their dens through the winter.

Some of the largest snake pits are found in Manitoba where up to 70,000 garter snakes congregate. It’s believed the geothermal heat in caves in that area of Manitoba attracts snakes who find the warm environments perfect for hibernation.

The fact snakes can pack into dens together and press up against one another over winter is not a sign that they’re close out of affection. There is a clear reason for this, that’s got nothing to do with the need for social contact. Quite simply, they need each other to keep warm.

Why Don’t Snakes Truly Cuddle?

Snakes don’t cuddle because they do not need affection. They are solitary creatures. However, this does not mean that they are not social. They do have some social activities.

Some snakes coordinate hunts, but snakes have not evolved to be like social animals. They are not primarily living in small societies like lions do in a pride.

Snakes also evolved to see each other as potential threats, and even food! There are snakes, like the king cobra, that eat other snakes on a regular basis. They even cannibalize each other. As such, cuddling and staying in groups was never a part of a snake’s instinct.

Do Snakes get Attached to their Owners?

No, snakes do not get attached to their owners. Snakes only have two emotions: fear and aggression. Fear either makes them fight or go away, and aggression certainly puts them in fight mode.

Because of this limited range of emotions, a snake is not capable of “loving” a human being. They cannot get attached to their owners.

One mistake that snake owners often make is thinking that time allows the snake to bond with them. This is not true because snakes are rather instinctive animals. They have no bias against whoever is around. Snakes treat living things in three ways: threat, prey, or indifference.

Snakes cannot see clearly, but they can smell. What happens between pet owners and the snake is that the snake learns to associate the human’s smell to food, or that the human is not a threat.

At first, snakes may be aggressive to the owners. However, as soon as the snake realizes that the human’s smell is not a threat, it becomes a little docile.

However, they do not have the intelligence to feel any other emotion. As instinctive animals, they just want to feel safe from predators and to hunt for food.

Related: Do Snakes Live in Groups?

What Type of Snake is Most Cuddly?

Any snake that has no venom should be safer than venomous snakes as pets. However, big snakes like pythons are the best for “cuddling”.

There is a danger in hugging big snakes. There is no shortage of pythons who have killed their owners.

Anyone who wants pet snakes must begin with small ones. Below are some examples, all of which are not venomous:

  • California King – it is a popular sub-species of the king snake. Its color is black-brown with yellow bands. It has stripes and can grow to five feet long. This snake is active in the daytime.
  • Rosy Boa – this snake is beautiful and can live up to 30 years. They are rosy pink in color, and are found in the US and Mexico. They are also easy to care for and are typically docile.
  • Corn snake – it is a beautiful snake that is the most popular among beginners. Baby corn snakes are typically 12 inches long, but they can grow up to four feet. They come in a wide variety of colors from reddish-brown to orange.

Some other snakes that one can consider are ball pythons, milk snakes, gophers, and hognoses. Before anyone begins to care for these reptiles, one must do research and prepare the snakes habitat in advance.

Do Snakes Bond With Each Other?

Snakes seek out others to socialize. They are, however, picky when it comes to socializing. One must not mistake this socializing to be like that of other animals.

In a study, scientists observed 40 juvenile snakes. These are garter snakes. Thirty of them came from the wild, and ten are from a breeder.

The scientists put the snakes in walled tabletop enclosures. These snakes were marked for identification and were a mixture of males and females.

The observation was that the snakes formed groups. To validate this, the scientists cleaned the enclosure to remove any smell, and then put the snakes back again. They observed that the snakes came back to their groupings, proving that they do socialize.

The scientists who did this, Morgan Skinner and Noam Miller, also realized that there were shy snakes and bold snakes.

Shy snakes rarely got out of their enclosure, and they did not venture to socialize or mingle with the others. Bold ones, however, left their shelters and explored their new habitat.

Eventually, these personalities vanished when they were mixed in groups. They typically followed the herd, as if to keep themselves safe from predation.



Snakes do not cuddle, and they do not develop a bond with other snakes as humans do. Some snakes would work with others to coordinate a hunt. Some would “bond” by dancing before they mate.

Snakes have a limited range of emotions and are instinctive. They can recognize the smell of a human, but they do not develop a love for their owners.

The safest snakes to cuddle with are the small ones. It is ill-advised to cuddle big pythons as they can kill a human if they ever feel threatened or hungry.

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