Why Did My Ball Python Strike and Bite Me After I Fed Him?

Ball Python Strike

A pet acting aggressively is typically a clue that something is going on. Aggression shouldn’t be ignored, regardless of whether your pet is behaving out of stress or disease. But why did my ball python strike and bite me after I fed him? Without a doubt, you should try to find the reason. Stay with us to learn what led your pet python to strike and eventually bite you just after you fed him and what you could do to make your pet feel safer and more secure.

What Is A Ball Python Strike?

If the neck and head of a ball python resemble an “S“, this is a warning that it could strike. This posture should make it clear to you that it wants to be left alone and returned to its habitat. The most probable sites for a ball python to bite you are your hands and arms.

Ball Python Strike Speed

A ball python strikes with lightning-fast speed. According to research, an average strike spans between 44 to 70 milliseconds, thus in the time it requires you to blink your eyes, your pet may hit you four times. Or you might say that ball pythons have the capability to accelerate very quickly, reaching a peak velocity of 2.52 m/sec across a very short striking distance.

Reasons – Why Did My Ball Python Strike and Bite Me After I Fed Him?

There are three possible reasons behind this behavior:

  • Your ball python feels your heat and smells like its prey 
  • It doesn’t like handling before or after feeding
  • It’s still hungry

Your Ball Python Feels Your Heat and Smells Like its Prey:

Hands should be washed and hand sanitizer used before you try to take your ball python from its cage. Your hands have a distinctly inedible smell as a result. Ball pythons use their sense of smell and heat to locate prey. Your pet could mistake your (warm) hands for food if they smell like rodents, an animal, or anything else that even closely resembles food.

It’s Still Hungry:

Snakes frequently have a feeding response even after they have consumed food. The presence of one prey animal in the wild might be associated with the presence of others. Because snakes in the wild won’t receive new food every week, every two weeks, or whenever, they occasionally keep eating even if there is more food available. If you just fed your ball python and the feeding reflex was still active, your snake likely believed it was about to be fed once again. As mentioned above, the strike would be considerably more probable if your hand smelled of rodents.

Once they’ve eaten, snakes may feel more vulnerable. They move slowly because of the large meal they just ate. To digest food, their bodies undergo significant changes. The snake may bite in defense more frequently if it feels threatened.

It Doesn’t Like Handling Before or After Feeding:

Neither before nor after feeding your ball python is the best time to handle it. Your ball python looks forward to feeding time. It will get ready to strike if it believes that you are preparing to give it food.

A “feed-response bite” is the name given to this kind of striking and biting. Your ball python just believes you are attempting to handle it rather than feed it; it isn’t trying to be hostile or hurt you.

It’s also not a good idea to handle your ball python shortly after it eats food. After a meal, your pet snake requires time to digest it; handling it right away may actually induce it to regurgitate. As a result, if your ball python is approached or handled when it’s primarily focused on digesting the meal it just ate, it’s likely to be defensive and strikes at you in response.

How Long Should I Wait to Hold Your Ball Python After Feeding?

After feeding, you need to wait before handling your ball python. As a general rule, don’t handle your snake for approximately 24 to 72 hours after feeding. Avoid handling your pet snake, though, if it still has a noticeable food bulge after 3 days or if it has grown larger after being eaten. After another 48 hours, evaluate his condition.

What Should I Do When My Ball Python Strikes?

Keep calm! Ball pythons usually release their hold promptly after biting. Your snake’s teeth and jaw might get hurt if you try to force it to release. Because ball pythons lack fangs and aren’t venomous, their bites are not particularly painful. Even though there could be a few bloody drops and some soreness, you shouldn’t need to go to the doctor. But be careful to thoroughly clean and disinfect the wound.


Ball pythons that strike are under a lot of fear and stress. But, why did my ball python strike and bite me after I fed him? This could be triggered by feeding rush, handling before and after feeding, and it feels your heat and smells like its prey. While striking is undoubtedly not ideal behavior. When feeding your ball python, always be patient and take your time. Don’t panic if your ball python bites you! It should not be able to do much damage because it will release you quickly. If you are careful when handling and feeding your pet snake, it will eventually become accustomed to being around you.

Can I handle my ball python while feeding it?

It is also best to avoid handling them on the day you were going to feed them. They are more likely to avoid meals that day if you do. Ball pythons have an elevated feeding response according to the time of year.

Does the ball python bite humans?

Ball pythons may bite, however they do not generally attack humans.

Why did my ball snake strike at me?

Although ball pythons don’t often have a bad reputation as violent pets and are reasonably simple to tame and care for, your snake may become stressed out at times and might strike. Overhandling, a change in habitat, placing the cage in a high-traffic area, and other factors can all lead to stress.

Can you handle a ball python on its eating day?

Never handle a ball python on the day of feeding or for at least 48 hours afterward. This is because a stressed-out snake won’t eat food. After eating, it could regurgitate the food if handled. This is so that the snake can move more quickly to avoid predators.

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