How do the animals in your “reptile rooms” react to each other?

I’ve seen many beautiful reptile rooms with stacked vivs and side-by-side enclosures. That’s what I’m ultimately hoping to build, when I start getting more animals. One thing that really mystifies me, though… How do the animals not get freaked out by each-other’s scents/sounds, or even by seeing vivs on the opposite side of the room?

As an example… Let’s say I had a kingsnake in one viv, but also have garter snakes in a viv on the next shelf, and a rosy boa housed adjacent to it, on the other side of the room. Would the kingsnake be frustrated and constantly trying to find a way to “catch” the nearby “prey”? Would the rosy and garters live in constant fear, from smelling the king? This is what I worry about, whenever I’m trying to plan out what to get, and where to house it…

Outside of that, would mammals or birds be okay sharing the same room (it’s a large room), or would they be constantly worried about predatory reptiles? Obviously they would all have separate, locked enclosures, but would something like a sugar glider or chinchilla feel constantly stressed because there were (potentially predatory) reptiles around?

I appreciate any insight—I really don’t want to unwittingly stress any animal out. :cry:


Usually once they get used to each others’ scent, then they will just see it as part of the room and not as anything else.

Also it is great to see you back! I think you are bit over due for an update…


I do know that it may unwise to keep prey mammals in the same room as predatory reptiles, as it can cue the reptile into feeding mode. I’ve seen a snake strike video that happened because the woman kept her feeder rats in the same room as her large snake, so the snake was always in feeding mode and struck at the movement of her hand as she opened the enclosure.

I’m not sure how a sugar glider or chinchi would feel with snake smells around, but the prey smells could cause the snakes to be more riled up and strikey, especially when they get hungry before feeding day. This might lessen over time as @logar said, but in my mind there could be issues especially early on


I completely forgot about that part of the post :man_facepalming: I would say no to small mammals and birds in the same room.


We keep our hedgehog in the reptile room. She doesn’t seem concerned. We have in the past kept a Brazilian Short-Tailed Opposum and three degus in the reptile room. None seemed to me to be concerned at all with them.


When I had my pet mice and a hamster my vet told me not to keep them in the same room with my snakes. She compared it to working at a McDonalds all day smelling hamburgers so that’s the last thing you would want to eat when you got home. Snakes kept in the same room with rodents 24/7 they would normally eat may lose their appetite for the rodents……

But I really have no idea because I think there are breeders who keep their feeders right across from their snake racks.

I don’t think seeing other furred. feathered, scaled or finned creatures in the same room would have any impact. I think the scents might make the difference……:face_with_monocle:


I keep both my snakes in my bedroom, and it’s never caused any issues (as far as I can tell). Neither is a species known for eating other snakes, though.

I had to quarantine my blood python in the same room as my chinchilla (it was a large room and they were on opposite sides), and I never had any issues with that, either. Initially I was concerned that being able to always smell a rodent might make the blood python in constant food mode, or that being able to smell the snake might freak out the chinchilla, but neither of those things ever seemed to happen.


I used to have pet mice (actual pets, not feeders), fish, corn snakes, and a rabbit in my classroom. None of them ever really seemed bothered by one another. The mice and snakes were on opposite sides of the room, but students were allowed to handle them, including
at their desks. I didn’t allow snakes and mice out at the same time, but they were nearer one another when the students had them out.

At home, things varied. I no longer have the mice or rabbit (deceased from old age) but there are snakes in almost every room. The cats and dogs wander in and out and around. Mostly everybody ignores each other. Hatchlings are kept in a separate room when they’re small to keep them from being potentially distressed by cats/dogs until they’re solidly established with feeding, and calm with handling.

Curiously, there have been a few, specific, individual snakes in whom one of the cats has been highly interested. It doesn’t seem to related to any trait or anything which I’ve been able to figure out, but those few snakes have had to be placed where the cat couldn’t possibly get on top of their enclosure. Nobody wants a (relatively) giant predatory monster staring down at them from above.


None of my boas or pythons seem to mine the others around. They don’t even care about my dogs.

I have a friend who keeps all his snakes (boas, pythons, and kingsnakes) in the same room as his rats and mice. He gets bit all the time from all of his snakes.


Tom these pictures crack me up! I love it! :heart::pray::sunglasses:


Haha, yes—it has been a while! :sweat_smile: My skink baby (Nova) has tripled in size, so I’ll get some update photos when I have a chance. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

I did wonder about whether it would put the reptiles in “prey mode”… I’ll consider my options on where to keep non-herps, but I think they still might end up sharing space temporarily during the quarantine period. I’m always amazed at what some animals can come to think of as “normal” (like a cat or dog losing interest in a “prey” species like a rat or bird, despite walking by their cage daily), but it seems like reptiles operate in more distinctive “modes” than most mammals… Is that more or less correct?

The scenario that I’m most confused by is with larger/smaller reptiles, though. For instance, many lizards and snakes eat smaller lizards and snakes… so would a tank of anoles or mourning geckos nearby send something like a tegu or monitor into constant “prey mode”? Even if the larger animals had never fed on those (or other reptile species)? I can easily see how a snake that’s been fed mice would be overstimulated by smelling a cage full of mice all day, every day… but is that more because of instinct or because of learned behavior? If another snake of the same species had always been fed birds/frogs, would it also be “triggered” by smelling the mice?

Thanks for your insights, everyone—I really appreciate it! :smiley:

Those photos are priceless. XD The dogs look like they’re thinking hard, trying to decide whether this is normal or not. :rofl: The snakes look like they’re happy to have found more warm, tall creatures they can hang out with,


I will say that due to space constraints we have kept snakes in the same room as our hamsters before (which take up far more space, funnily enough). We’ve never had any issues with aggression or misplaced feeding responses in those cases. The enclosures are always on separate walls, I can’t say if it’d be the same with them side by side, or if it was a prey type they actually get given. Fairly certain none of our hamster species have any habitat overlap with our snakes as well.

Our kingsnakes don’t particularly seem to care about being able to see/smell the others, but again, we also don’t actively feed them snake. At least in our experience and with our specific individuals it seems to be more of a learned association with smells—everybody’s face pops out when they notice mice and rats are being heated on feeding day—but I’m not about to start feeding pets to other pets to test further.


That’s really interesting… So in their case, it doesn’t sound like they associate the hamsters or other snakes with food, since they’ve been consistently fed mice/rats? Do the hamsters seem to be interested whatsoever in the reptiles, or just indifferent? I’m wondering if sugar gliders would be nervous if they saw “potential predators” from across the room, or whether (being captive bred) they wouldn’t necessarily perceive snakes/lizards as a danger… :thinking:


My mum’s rabbits have never been in the same room as my snakes, but her new one definitely smells snake on me and doesn’t like it. He’s getting better, but he’ll run up, sniff my hand a bit, then sprint off and stamp his foot. Her older bunny and previous ones have never cared, so I expect sugar gliders would get used to it quite quickly if kept in the same room / around the smell a lot.


I definitely saw some skittish reactions after handling snakes initially, even though we are washing hands between, they were some hours apart, and such other mitigating factors. However, 1. it was about the same as the reactions to the dogs’ scent, and 2. all faded over time as they came to associate the smell(s) as part of us, whether technically accurate or not.

So at this point the tame ones don’t react at all as long as we identify ourselves with other cues, usually vocal and/or specific lights. Based on the behavior I think their reaction was more “nervous about something new” than intrinsic fear of a recognized natural predator—with hamsters it’s generally recommended to do things like use the same soaps and such prior to handling for recognition as well, so it lines up with that.


Oh, and visually, the enclosures are spaced too far apart for them to be able to recognize a snake for sure. Hamster eyesight is very poor compared to their hearing and smell. Unless I start putting a snake directly on/in an enclosure, which seems unlikely, scent will really be all they have to operate off of. Not sure how sugar gliders will fare comparatively, but considering snakes tend to hide and avoid being visible, it may not be enough stimulus to trigger significant flight responses especially from across the room.


That’s all really good to know—thank you all! I feel a lot better/clearer on how I can set up the enclosures. This is a topic I have never actually seen addressed, oddly… which I hope is because the animals tend to be indifferent to their “neighbors”, thus making it a non-issue. :sweat_smile: