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9 Reasons Your Ball Python Is Not Moving And How To Fix Them!

Over the last three years the popularity of keeping a ball python as a pet has sky rocketed with more and more people adding a snake to their family.

Due to their ease of care and relatively docile nature, ball pythons can be an excellent beginner snake with many people starting their snake keeping hobby off with a ball python of some kind.

Due to there being so many first time ball python keepers out there right now, we often see people reaching out and asking questions about why their ball python is not moving so we wanted to publish this article to help as many of our readers as possible.

The most common reason that your ball python may not be moving is due to problems with the temperature in its enclosure that are generally easy to fix.

Other common problems that can reduce the amount of movement your ball python will make is issues with food and water, sickness, brumation, and the snake simply adjusting to a new environment.

Thankfully, the majority of the common problems that can cause a ball python not to move are generally easy to identify as well as easy to fix even if you are new to keeping snakes.

We will go over each of the common issues below to try and help any of our readers both identify the issue as well as fix it but keep in mind, in some situations, your ball python may actually be suffering from multiple problems rather than just one so be sure to check for all possible causes of a lack of movement.

Problems With Temperature

The most common reason that a ball python will not move much is due to problems with the temperature in its enclosure with a cool side temperature of 75 to 80°F and a warm side temperature of 80 to 85°F being recommended.

You are usually able to confirm this as the issue in the tank with a thermometer and then work towards fixing the issue. The heating lamps in many entry-level tanks are not very good and simply upgrading to a cheap, reliable heating lamp can often be enough to get your ball python moving again.

Issues With Water Intake

Some ball pythons can have problems with their water intake with dehydration being more common in ball pythons than many people realize and the common symptom of dehydration being lethargy and lack of movement.

You can monitor the water in your ball pythons enclosure to track its water intake but remember to account for the quicker evaporation rate of water due to the higher ambient temperature.

Simply switching to a suitable water disk for ball pythons may be enough to treat the issue but our article going over how to help a dehydrated ball python should get the job done if you already have a suitable water dish.

Health And Wellness Issues

There are a number of different health and wellness problems that can affect a ball python and cause it to stay still most of the time and although some of the common infections be it bacterial or parasitic are easy to identify, there are plenty that are hard to diagnose.

If you do suspect that your ball python is not moving due to a health issue due to none of the other potential problems on our list applying to your ball python then we would highly recommend that you book a cheap video call with a veterinarian to have them give your ball python the once over.

A Lack Of Nutrients

A lack of nutrients in your ball python due to your snake refusing to eat or due to being fed an unsuitable diet can be a common reason that your ball python will not move much.

You can usually identify this by your ball python not eating all of the food that you eat it with some ball pythons not eating at all with a total refusal of food often being a symptom of a serious health issue that you should seek veterinary assistance for.

We have a dedicated article going over how you can treat an underweight ball python though helping you overcome some common problems with a lack of nutrients in the diet of your snake.

Too Many Ball Pythons In The Enclosure

Keeping multiple ball pythons in the same enclosure can be a reason that your pet ball python will refuse to move much due to showing signs of submission to the other ball pythons in the enclosure.

Although you are able to keep multiple ball pythons in the same enclosure, they usually need to be kept in a large enclosure with a few other specific needs being met to make sure the snakes are happy.

Our article on ball pythons living together may be able to help you if you are keeping multiple ball pythons in the same enclosure and have noticed that at least one of them is not moving around much.

Resting After A Meal

It is very common for a ball python to rest after a meal and not move around much, especially after a large meal.

If you have just fed your ball python and have noticed that it is remaining stationary then there may not be anything to worry about and most of the time your ball python will start to move around again within the next day.

Depending on the exact situation, this may be an indication that you can be potentially overfeeding your ball python but there can be multiple things at play causing this behavior.

Taking A Nap

Ball pythons are mostly nocturnal and love to take naps throughout the day so this is a common and totally natural reason that your pet ball python may not be moving around much.

As ball pythons love to nap in tight, well protected areas in their tank it can be difficult to notice that your ball python is moving around during the night so try putting its food in a different location to force it to move.

Even if your ball python returns to its preferred sleeping spot before you get out of bed, you should notice that the food has been moved or eaten letting your know that your ball python has moved.

Adjusting To A New Environment

It is totally natural for a ball python to stay still for a day or two when put into a new environment, especially if it is young with this usually not being a cause for concern.

If you have just added your ball python to its enclosure and its young then it may not move until night due to being stressed and anxious but once your snake works out that it is safe, this should not be an issue anymore but this process can sometimes take weeks depending on the snake.

Brumation Periods

Ball pythons don’t hibernate but in some rare situations they may brumate and not move around much but this is usually artificially induced by breeders of ball pythons and tends not to occur to none breeding ball pythons.

If there are problems with temperature or food intake then you may accidentally trigger a brumation response in your ball python but this is so rare that we almost chose not to include it in our list.


That brings our article going over why your ball python may not be moving to an end and we hope that we have been able to help you better understand the core reasons that most ball pythons will stay still for extended periods of time. You have to realize that this is very common for people new to keeping ball pythons as the process is a learning experience and it does not mean that you are a bad snake keeping. Even experienced snake keepers can end up having some of the issues that we have covered above so remember that this is all a learning experience and be thankfully that the bulk of the potential problems covered above are very easy to fix for most people.