Do Snakes Have Feelings?

Do Snakes Have Feelings?

Snakes are reptiles that are believed to have strong feelings and emotions towards human beings and other animals. Could be you have seen varying behavioral snake reactions in your place or cage. Do they feel or react out of emotions like human beings do?

Well, the question here is, Do Snakes Have Feelings? The direct answer is YES! Snakes have feelings (just like other reptiles) that generate varying emotional reaction.

Snake can feel hungry, it can get angered (sad), it can generate fear, it can be happy or respond to touch. The response to these feelings may be more aggressive or calm according to the type snake you are dealing with.

Related: Do Snakes Have Bones?

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Details: Do Snakes Have Feelings?

Various scientific researchers have proven that snake have feelings. The can show hunger, anger, happiness, fear or respond to touch. However, most snakes show varying emotional reactions towards some of these feelings.

1. Anger feelings

Often, most snakes when angered, they react by biting. They would rebel their enemies by threatening to bite them or spiting their poisonous/venomous saliva.  This defensive reaction is brought by sadness feelings that has materialized/accumulated in them.

Snakes generate anger because of life stresses, hunger and reproduction occurrences. When each of these causes of anger materializes, they make snakes to respond with mixed negative reactions that may harm other snakes, pets or humans.

Importantly, the snake that has anger feelings usually shows calmness, does not seem to move about, frequently , turn its eyes from its hideout, raises it head and back (python) or pushes its tongue back and forth severally.

Angered snake will suddenly attack you on approach and retreat or escape.

2. Hunger Feelings.

Snakes shows the hunger feelings by flicking out their tongues regularly. They will keep moving about in their cage (possibly looking for food). Normally, snakes will tend to be rebellious and angry when hungry. When hungry, snakes will tend to resist their owner and even attack any visitor in the vicinity.

Contrary, snakes that are fully fed remain calm. They do not move about in their cage a lot (though some may move to stretch their bodies and bask under the sun). Snakes in full stomach tend to be friendlier to the owner and visitors too.

3. Fear

Snakes often generate fear. Mostly, fear glows when snakes detect attack from its assailant. The reaction may be by attacking the enemy (using its venom) or escaping by lateral undulation.

The snake is believed to have senses that enables them to detect any attack (this is pronounced in the black mamba species). It will often notice you before reach to kill it.

Snakes use their thermal vision, color and smell to located their enemies and prey.

4. Touch Feeling Response.

Most Snake negatively if you try to reach and pick them by hands. Some snake like anaconda or python will bite you on touch.

All snake species respond immediately to touch. These cold-blooded reptiles will detect your touch instantly using thermal receptors in their skin.

Though snakes can be held by hands after training/bonding, most of them are not comfortable (they tend to coil out of your hands once held).

Can Snakes Feel Love?

No! Unlike human beings, snakes do not have any intellectual capacity and capability to feel love or get affectionate. Snakes can get friendly with the owner, but they may not generate any love feelings towards him/her.

Normally, the snake feels the connective care of a creature (owner) that is not threatening and that which will offer care. Snake owners tend to think that snakes are affectionate when they coil around them – this is usually not the truth, snakes have no capability. The love instinct, which is emotionally connected, does not exists in snakes at all.

Moreover, snakes do not show love to other pets either. The relationship between snakes and their mates doesn’t last for long after reproduction activity is done – this tells why snake can mate anywhere it meets the female.

Can Snake be Petted?

You can pet a snake. This may not be that easy at first. However, snakes will get free when they realize that you are not a threat or source of food. As the owner, you must maintain a continuous care for your snakes to create that close bond with them.

Importantly, you must involve a vet for regular check on it emotional reactions, the venomous content and level of human-pet freedom gained.

Though you can pet snakes, it is not always assured that petted snakes will respond positively to you (owners) or other humans. You therefore need to check on the feelings and emotional conditions of your snakes before interacting with them.

Do Snakes Have A Personality?

Scientific researches shows that snakes have a certain level of personalities that can be assigned to them. They are able to associate with human beings and shows clearly their preference. When a snake is not comfortable with a given condition or feed, it react differently.

You will find that various species of snakes live differently in their cage or nest – it is not possible for different snake species to live in the same cage (they may fight).

Snakes such as anaconda, black mamba and python are associated with strong personalities as compared to green snakes.

Can Snakes be Friendly?

Normally, snakes are known to be dangerous and venomous reptiles. Naturally, snakes are friendly to human – only that they feel threated in presence of humans who tend to kill them.

Snakes love to stay in homes than in forest or bushes. Research shows that many snakes have been found in bed sleeping next to human without harming them.

This shows that most snake are friendly if assured of their life security. The idea of training the snakes has even made snakes become friendlier with humans and pets without negative reactions.

King snake and ball pythons are the friendliest snakes for any beginners. Make sure you do not annoy the snake as it may turn aggressive.

Can Snake Be Tamed

Unlike Dogs and cat, snakes cannot be tamed or domesticated to serve various activities in their cage. Even though they are partially friendly, they will remain and die as wild reptiles full of reactive feelings and emotions.

You cannot leave your kid with wild snakes such as boa, anaconda, python or black mamba – they may get violent kill the child.

There is no single successful snake taming that has been carried out in the universe – most attempt have only made snakes friendlier to human beings than before.


Snakes, like human beings, have feelings of anger/sadness, hunger, happiness, pain, fear and can response to touch. Snakes are not friendly to human at first and will react by defending themselves or escaping in case they spot you.

However, continuous bonding through feeding of snakes make them friendlier. It is important to note that snakes cannot be tamed and will remain wild throughout their life. You should therefore asses their feelings before attending them.


  1. Reptile Emotions – News & Publications

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