I want a snake, but my mom doesn't?

I have been a reptile lover for a long time. In the past I have kept various species of field-caught lizards, and some captive bred animals from that stock (I lived in Georgia, US when I was in middle school and keeping and breeding these animals became my passion). When I moved from Georgia, I had to rehome all of my animals, as it is illegal to transport native animals across state lines, even if they are captive bred.
Long story short, I haven’t had reptiles in about three years and I’m starting to go a little crazy. I’ve gotten hooked on the idea of keeping (not breeding) a Honduran milksnake, but my mom is not a fan of snakes. I’ve done all of my research into keeping them, but she still doesn’t want reptiles living in the house, particularly snakes. How do I convince her that snakes are no different than lizards, and that they can live in the house??


Good luck lol. Have a friend in the same predicament. He is trying his best.

At the end of the day moms rules…rule. Until you move out :slight_smile:

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First things first, how old are you? When I got my first snake I was 13. My mom hates snakes, but she knew that working with em made me happy so she let me get one after my lizard I had died. I bought everything with my own money and just kept my snake and everything in my room. I am more of the type to say “get the snake, she won’t go near it even if you have one”. :joy: Most people with severe Ophidiophobia can’t really be convinced tbh, exposure therapy seems to be the only thing that had any effect on my mother.

Try and get mom invested in snakes that are pets by showing them YT videos of people handling and talking about snakes (even if you don’t agree with the practices) maybe the exposure will help her see? Kinda how I got my gf into the idea of not only owning a bunch of snakes but also breeding. Of course she didn’t have a fear of snakes so it wasn’t a hard sell.

I agree. Try to show your mom vids of snakes and try to find out what your mom has against snakes or reptiles in general if shes against all reptiles. If you cannot convince her to let you get the snake then maybe since you already have lizard experience try to convince her to let you get something (might have better luck with smaller species that are herbivores) in the lizard dept. What are some of the species you have prior experience with? Maybe your mom doesnt like snakes because of the rodents they need for food or something…good luck with the convincing.

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Are there any local reptile expos? Those are great places to just look around, really talk to breeders about their animals, and even get to handle a few. I have one aunt who was absolutely against snakes and never wanted to see them, but letting her see them up close and that they were less of a threat to her than a cat got her to relax around them a bit. She went from being the type of person to kill a snake to taking a picture of a snake that had gotten into her house before she let it go. It can take some time, but the more a person understands past misconceptions, the less there is to fear.

The bottom line as long as you live under your parents roof, it’s their rules, yes it might not be fair, you might not like it but it it what it is and one day you will look at it as a good thing.

I grew up in a household where no snake were allowed (I could have a dog, a cat, a bird or an hamster)

What have I learn from it? First is that if you are truly passionate now you will be in 10, 20 or even 30 years from now. I went from no snakes to becoming a breeder when I finally settled down in life.

Second thing I learned it was for the best if I had been allowed to have a snake at the time, that animal at some point would have had to be surrendered or I would have not travelled and lived in 4 different countries like I did, a snake is a LONG term commitment and you are young and there are a lot of thing to do and discover at your age (college, travel…), leave and enjoy what you have now and one day when you settle down and are financially stable revisit the idea of owning a snake if by than it is still something you want.


Deb is right. If you live under your parents roof then it’s their rules.

You could always ask your mom what her issue is with snakes; is she scared, does she not want to see them feed, etc. It could be something that can easily be overcome. If she doesn’t want a snake, but will allow a lizard - get a lizard. Show her that lizards aren’t bad and that you are responsible as well. After a while bring up the snake again. If she says no, then I wouldn’t push it. Wait until your out on your own.

I have actually brought her to a few local expos. It swayed her a little, but she always went into them verbally asserting that no matter what she was not coming home with ANY animal. I tried convincing her for a created gecko, seeing as I already have all of the supplies, but she wasn’t even convinced on them. I figured if I was going to push for an animal, I’d push for what I REALLY want :joy:

When I ask her what the issues with snakes are (more politely than that wording lol), she always just says she doesn’t like them. Currently I just have my dog, and I haven’t had less than two animals in a long time. When my fish and lizard passed, it was kind of hard on me. I understand the long term commitment, but do plan on taking both of my animals to college. My dog is my ESA, and I plan on trying to find an apartment to keep my reptile or a campus that allows them (starting applications now).


I was 18 when I got my first ball python. I still lived at home. My gf at the time and I went to the pet store and bought it. I brought it inside and held it behind my back and told her that I had a surprise lol. When she saw it she told me to get that f…g thing out of my house. I said, ok, I’ll just move out then. She liked the idea of me staying home with a new snake more than her oldest son moving out lol. The snake got loose somehow and disappeared for a while. My mom ended up being the one who found it…well, she found the snake skin hanging in the closet first while she was putting away laundry. She was home alone and had to pick it up and put it in it’s cage. That cured her of her fears lol. I don’t recommend doing any of that, though! I was in my rebellious phase.


That’s a funny story lol I can just imagine it :joy::joy:

I also do not recommend this haha

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Most dorms and especially apartments have a rule stating that so long as it is in a cage, you can have it. That said, once you head to college, get a snake then. If you really need to, it is also easy to hide caged animals…so yeah :joy:.

As a person that lives in an apartment I can attest. Got about a dozen snakes and the only thing they don’t want is live rodents. Sometimes dorms and such overlook a random tub in your room as well even if there are rules. If it doesn’t look like a snake “tank” most won’t even acknowledge it.

This exactly is the reason why i got my first snake only half a year ago. No snakes in parents place. No pets in dorms (obviously). No pets in rented places. It took me waaaay too long to get my own flat and now, out of 3 rooms it has, one is my hobby room where i keep my beasts :smile:
So basicaly, whoever pays the bills has the final word i’m affraid, especialy since my dad has a panick fear of snakes.

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I was in your same predicament years ago. I actually ended up convincing her and here’s what I did and what i think you should do if you want the best chance at convincing her.

Explain the cost to start off such as the cage, bedding, hides, etc, ect. Tell her how you will feed it and afford money for the care of the animal, do your best to show that she will not be needed in the care of the animal because that will help your chances. Show how big they get and how long they live as well as explain that the snake is harmless. And lastly, tell her you will get a cage that the snake will not get out of. This is what I did and it helped me get my first snake at 8 years old and that was 14 years ago and I’m still keeping them with no plans to stop.


Not recommending this at all, but tbh my parents just had a snake living in their kids room and there wasn’t much they could do about it (thanks shitty home life). Don’t do that. Just stick it out, do more research, keep talking it out with your mom, see if you can come up with a compromise or a new plan.

My mom is terrified–still after 30+years of convincing–and having on on the house was not an option. I thought outside the box (I moved into the garage so it wasn’t ‘in the house’), showed her I was prepared and financially able and willing to provide all of the care, and she finally let me buy a ball python when I was 17. However, if you aren’t as lucky don’t sweat it. Make sure your stuff is in order and be patient :+1:


Wow I’m really starting to want a BRB. So gorgeous


@thecrawdfather that, my friend, is because they are Awesome!
They’re absolutely my favorite intermediate-care snake species out there.


I already have all of the supplies required. I have a tank, hides, water and food dishes, a lamp, and decorations. The only things I don’t have are a bulb, food, and the snake. I’ve kept many reptiles in the past, but once we moved she decided I had to rehome them (all were wild-caught rescues that couldn’t be releases), and I haven’t been able to convince her since.