Do Corn Snakes Like To Climb? (In Detail)


Since corn snakes rarely bite, don’t grow too large, live an average of 15 to 20 years, and inflict little harm even when they bite, they are one of the best options for snake enthusiasts, and most especially for beginners. As a snake enthusiast, apart from knowing that corn snakes rarely bite and are non-venomous, it would help to know whether they like to climb. From understanding this, you can adjust your snake’s enclosure accordingly to suit its needs.

So, do corn snakes like to climb? Corn snakes are primarily terrestrial, meaning they prefer spending most of their time on the ground, but some are semi-arboreal and like to climb. Climbing is a good exercise for climbing corn snakes, and since these snakes are generally lightweight and fast-moving, they can be particularly excellent at climbing. However, a corn snake’s ability to climb some surfaces highly depends on what the surfaces are made of.

Semi-arboreal corn snakes enjoy climbing, but can they climb trees, walls, or their cages? Read on to get the answers to these and other crucial questions.

Can Corn Snakes Climb Trees?

Corn snakes like going into abandoned buildings to hunt prey. But can these snakes climb trees to chase prey?

Semi-arboreal corn snakes can readily climb trees and have even been singled out as particularly brilliant tree-climbers. Usually, when corn snakes climb trees, they do so to catch prey or when they feel they are in danger. Since corn snakes don’t have legs or arms, one might wonder how they slither up trees. Well, to climb trees, snakes’ bodies get creative.

According to research, corn snakes essentially use their scales and muscles to climb trees. When climbing a tree, a corn snake’s body muscles and scales work together to push the snake against a tree’s bark. When pressed against a tree’s bark, a corn snake inches upward, thus moving up the tree. This motion is called “concertina locomotion.”

The muscular force that corn snakes use to climb trees is created when a snake wraps its body around a tree’s trunk or branch. Such pressure is what prevents snakes from falling once they start climbing. As the muscular force works to keep a corn snake from falling, other muscles in the snake’s body push the snake upwards the tree.

The way corn snakes climb trees can be compared to the way people climb ropes. Such movement can be tedious. Nonetheless, if a corn snake’s prey is going up the tree or they feel they are in danger, they will not mind using their energy to climb.

Do Corn Snakes Climb Walls?

Some snake species are excellent wall climbers. The lightweight and fast-moving snakes are most especially good at climbing walls.

Since corn snakes are lightweight and fast-moving, they can climb walls. However, corn snakes can easily climb brick and stone walls but have a hard time climbing wallpapered, plastered, or concrete walls. Generally, smooth walls pose a challenge to corn snakes. To easily climb a smooth wall, a corn snake would need to have something to hang on to.

Perhaps it would help for you to know that corn snakes can get inside walls. As long as there is enough space for a corn snake to fit through, it can get inside a wall. Interestingly, a corn snake can get inside a wall through that small crack on your wall you think is too small. Snakes’ bodies are quite stretchy, and because of that flexibility, they can pass through holes people assume to be too small.

Corn snakes can also fit through drains/pipes, open windows, and holes in fences. Apart from corn snakes, other snakes that can be particularly good at climbing walls include:

  • Garter snakes
  • Other rat snakes
  • Hognose snakes

Why Do Corn Snakes Climb Walls?

Many reasons can explain why a corn snake would climb a wall. However, corn snakes usually climb walls for four significant reasons.

A corn snake can climb a wall if it perceives heat on the other side of the wall. Corn snakes usually go into brumation, which is generally the equivalent of hibernation. During brumation, snakes look for places to rest. Usually, they seek out warm places. A wall can provide such an environment for a corn snake.

A corn snake can also climb a wall if it smells prey. For example, if a corn snake smells rats in the attic, it will climb up to the attic to find them. It is not rare for individuals to find corn snakes living in their attics. Attics are often infested with rats and other prey animals. Additionally, a corn snake might climb a wall to follow a potential mate’s scent or flee from a predator.

If you are concerned about a corn snake climbing your walls, keep in mind that snakes are often motivated by food. Therefore, to reduce the chances of a corn snake climbing your walls to chase after prey, it would be best for you to keep your home pest-free. Don’t forget to clean that attic.

How Do Corn Snakes Climb Walls?

Because a corn snake’s body is not sticky, it cannot climb a wall the way some lizards do. If a corn snake tries to climb a wall the way some sticky lizards do, it might fall.

So, to climb walls, corn snakes wedge themselves into crevices and gaps using their scales as support. After wedging themselves, corn snakes use their muscles to push themselves along walls. Generally, corn snakes climb walls using the same method they use when climbing trees.

However, when climbing walls, corn snakes take time to follow patterns. They follow the grouting between bricks. Snakes usually do this to avoid falling, and even the fastest snakes can be spotted following grooves to prevent themselves from falling.

Also, you have probably heard some people say that corn snakes can’t climb stairs. Well, is that true? Yes, it is. Corn snakes can climb stairs, but longer corn snakes can climb stairs better than shorter corn snakes.

That is because, for a snake to climb stairs, it needs to lift a part of its front body and then push itself forward onto a step. Snakes with body lengths at least twice the length of the stairs they want to overcome easily climb such stairs.

Do Corn Snakes Like Climbing in Their Cages?

Corn snakes like to hide because hiding makes them feel safe. If your corn snake feels over-exposed, it might become stressed. You also need to know whether corn snakes like climbing in their cages. That way, you can see whether you need to provide your corn snake with climbing accessories.

If your corn snake is semi-arboreal, it will enjoy climbing around the cage and exploring if given the opportunity. If such a corn snake is not given a chance to explore, there might not be much for it to do in the cage. Therefore, if your corn snake is semi-arboreal, it would be best for you to include climbing accessories in its cage.

If your corn snake is not climbing in its cage, you most likely have nothing to worry about. It probably just doesn’t enjoy climbing. As much as not all corn snakes like climbing, they are renowned escape artists.

Hence, when setting up your corn snake’s enclosure, ensure the doors and lids are tightly fitted. Additionally, even though corn snakes don’t require large enclosures, you should house your corn snake in a tank that can hold at least 20 gallons. As your corn snake grows, you should provide it with more space.

You must understand what your pet corn snake likes and does not like so you can provide him or her with a comfortable enclosure. For example, corn snakes love to hide. Therefore, it is vital to include hiding places in any corn snake’s enclosure.

If your corn snake enjoys climbing in its cage, you should provide it with the best climbing accessories. When looking for climbing equipment, you’ll find a lot of options for you to choose from. So, what crucial factors should you think about when selecting a climbing accessory for your corn snake?

One crucial factor you must keep in mind when selecting climbing accessories for a corn snake is safety. Also, think about how a climbing toy looks and feels. Generally, the right climbing accessory should be safe for your corn snake and also look and feel like something your pet would encounter in its natural habitat.

Most Corn Snakes Like To Climb

Corn snakes might primarily prefer to spend their time on the ground or the floor, but any semi-arboreal corn snake enjoys climbing occasionally. It is incredible to think about how corn snakes climb using their muscles and scales. The ability to climb without legs or arms shows how unique and special these pets are.

If you have a semi-arboreal corn snake that likes to climb, provide them with climbing equipment. That way, your snake can explore its new environment and exercise. Remember to get your pet a safe climbing object and one that looks and feels like something it would encounter in its natural habitat.

Additionally, ensure your snake’s enclosure is escape-proof since corn snakes are known for being escape artists. To make sure your snake does not escape, tightly fit its enclosure’s lids and doors.

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