Decorative snake cages found at the pet store may be attractive, but such enclosures can be hard to clean. They also aren’t necessarily any better for your pet snake than a simple cage with a few homemade decorations. By giving some thought to what your snake needs and what it will take to keep his home clean, you can come up with housing for your pet that is both interesting and functional.
A snake must have certain things available to him or he will not thrive in captivity. His main needs are heat, light, a spot to hide, food and water. Often you can blend your snake’s needs with some attractive decorations to create a unique and functional environment for your pet. Get creative by making a decorative hiding place that gives your snake a safe spot to get out of sight when he feels the need. Add a spot for him to bask in the glow of a heat lamp to satisfy his need to stay warm.
The flooring of your snake’s cage should be safe and practical. One option is to simply lay down a few layers of papers towels and remove them when they’re dirty. For a more decorative solution, try pea gravel, orchard bark or aspen or pine shavings. Other choices that are both decorative and functional include artificial grass, carpet, moss or linoleum. Choose an attractive flooring or substrate to set the tone for the other decorations you will add.
Your snake’s house can be as simple or as fancy as you wish. Easiest to make is a small cardboard box with a hole cut into it so your snake can enter. You won’t be able to keep it clean for long, so the house will have to be discarded and replaced often. A house without a floor, such as an inverted flowerpot, simplifies the cleaning process and adds interest to the cage. Most snakes also enjoy decorations that allow them to climb, such as small branches that can be arranged singly or in groups.
Never decorate with anything that can hurt your snake. Smooth any sharp edges that might cut him and never use any kind of substrate that is overly fine or dusty. Don't use sand, shavings or dirt in your snake’s cage since these encourage the growth of bacteria and can harm your snake. Other decorative items to avoid include lava rock or other things with very rough or sharp surfaces.