How Long Can a Ball Python Go Without Eating?

Snakes usually go around two months without eating, but it also depends upon the species. Snakes eat a big meal and can survive for two months without eating. But how long can a ball python go without eating? The ball python is included in the top heaviest snake species, so what about their food? Do they eat meals according to their mass? 

Ball pythons are predominantly known as pets and can become good pets. If you are also interested or thinking of keeping them as a pet at home, then it is essential to know all about their meal period after how long they eat. We will discuss all these queries in this blog, so read the blog to learn about ball pythons’ survival and how to take care of their diet. 

 How Long Can Ball Python Live Without Eating?

Ball pythons can easily live for around six months without eating food. Like other snakes, they can also lower their metabolic rate and use their stored energy. Snakes have a different and unique digestive system that no other animals have. 

Ball pythons, instead of using more energy, use less energy. That is why other snakes survive for two months, and ball pythons can survive for almost six months. But this is their characteristic. It is also about ball pythons that these snakes stop eating in the winter and then again start eating in the spring. 

How Long Can a Ball Python Go Without Eating?

How do Snakes Maintain Stored Energy?

Not only snakes all animals have the capability to maintain and save energy. But other animals like snakes can’t store and reduce the metabolic rate to 70%. Other animals only reduce their physical activity, especially in the winter season, penguins so that they maintain their energy in this way.

Snake is the only animal in the kingdom that can reduce its metabolism process, and the snakes, like ball pythons, can live six months without eating. They have unique ways of conserving energy. It is a natural process in snakes that their metabolic rate also decreases when there is a lower supply of food. So in this way, they maintain their stored energy.

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Are there any Digestive Problems in Snakes?

Snakes may get digestive problems when they eat or swallow a too-big meal. Eating too big a meal can affect a snake’s health. When a snake swallows something too big, it may have difficulty digesting it. A snake must know whether the thing it is eating do it can easily digest or not because if it eats something that cannot easily be digested, it can harm the snake’s health.

Snakes must eat those meals that they can easily digest. Because these a severe condition called distension, this condition is caused by the food decaying process in the snake’s stomach. The snake enlarges like a balloon, also known as the ballooning effect; this can be dangerous for a snake, and the snake may die due to this condition.

Digestive problems in ball pythons

Mistakes that Ball Pythons Owners Make

We’ll discuss the top mistakes that ball python owners often make. One of these mistakes could kill your ball python almost immediately. The number one mistake we want to discuss is not researching before buying your ball python. 

Just because ball pythons are highly recommended for beginner reptile owners doesn’t necessarily mean their care requirements are the easiest. Impulse buyers will often walk into reptile expos and pet stores, and they’ll see a ball python in this little cage; they think it’s cute as a baby. And then they take it home, and they have no idea what they should feed it, how they should house it, or sometimes even how big it gets.

Improper Housing

Recently, at a reptile show, we learned that a dealer was selling ten-gallon aquarium kits for use with ball pythons. A lot of customers that don’t know any better probably bought those kits from the vendor and thought, All right, I’m set up, I’ve got my ten-gallon tank, I’ve got my heat pad, I’ve got whatever other stuff that was being pushed along, and they had no idea.

But had they done their due diligence and research beforehand, they would have known that buying a ten-gallon aquarium to house a ball python in is just wasting your money. A ten-gallon aquarium will not be sufficient for a ball python at any time.

The recommendations are the forty-gallon minimal size for males and even more significant for females who grow larger than males. So do your research, do your due diligence, and you’ll save yourself some money- some wasted money-and you’ll save yourself a lot of heartache in the long run. 

Environmental Problems

The second mistake that should cover is keeping your ball python’s cage too dry. If you hold a ball python in an environment with low relative humidity, it will be too dry for your ball python to shed its skin successfully. That’s just one of several health problems associated with an environment that’s too dry. It would help if you used aspen shavings for ball pythons. Aspen is probably one of the last things recommended for any animal that needs a higher relative humidity.

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There are a lot of other substrates out there that are much, much better choices. One of those substrates is just simply cypress mulch. But one thing that the cypress mulch has the advantage of over aspen bedding is that you can spray it down, and it will raise the humidity level without getting all moldy and stuff like the aspen bedding will once it gets wet. 

It is highly recommended to stay away from aspen regardless of what the big box stores tell you to do. Stay away from pine. Indeed, stay away from cedar and go with a better substrate that will allow you to raise the relative humidity.

It is also recommended that you should check temperature and humidity with the help of a tool. A good thermometer and hygrometer are usually used for checking temperature and humidity, and they will also tell you what the relative humidity is for your ball python. And you want a relative humidity of over 50%. Anything under 50%, and you’ll end up with shedding problems in your ball python. 

Ball Python Environmental Problems

How to Know if Ball Python is Hungry?

There are some common signs from which you can know that your ball python is hungry. If you see that your python skin becomes thin, lethargic, or decreases appetite, then it is possible that your snake is hungry and wants a meal to fill its stomach. You can also examine your ball python body daily to know whether it needs food.

Examining your ball python body can determine whether it is hungry. If your python is hungry and needs food, you should feed her. But feeding too much to your ball python can cause obesity in them. It is better to provide your python every week or after two weeks if it is healthy. Giving one live mouse to your ball python is enough to feed them.

How to Know if Ball Python is Hungry?

What if the Snake Has Been Hungry for a Long Time?

If your snake is hungry or hasn’t eaten food for so long, it can lead to diseases like constipation and lack of food and protein. Their body also starts breaking down nutrients stored in the cell. If they haven’t eaten food, their skin becomes dry and dull. It is essential to know how long your ball python has been hungry lest it becomes a victim of dangerous diseases. If the situation worsens, you should take it to the veterinarian because eating no food for a long time can also affect the life expectancy of ball python

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1- How long can a baby ball python go without eating?

A baby ball python can go around 12-15 days without eating. But can live a maximum of one month.

2- How often should we feed an adult ball python?

It is better that you should feed adult ball pythons once every week or sometimes after two weeks. But it is better that when your python feels hungry, you should provide it.

3- How long a ball python can go without eating in captivity?

A ball python in captivity can go up to 6-7 months. But it is not suitable for them not to eat for so long. You can feed them once per week, so in this way, they will stay healthy.

4- Can ball pythons live without water? If yes, then how long?

Ball python can generally go for two weeks without water. You should give fresh water to them every week. 

5- What will happen if the snake is kept in a lousy environment?

If you keep your pet snake in a bad environment and the temperature is not according to them, they can’t adjust with you. They will not eat food and may run away when they get a chance. So it is essential to keep the environment natural, and you must clean their place daily. 


In the wild, ball pythons can easily live without eating food for almost six months. But this is not the case in captivity because they must keep as adequately cared for with a proper diet there. If a ball python has not eaten for so long, it can also harm its health. In this blog, we have explained all the queries you must know about, and everything is covered in detail.

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