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There are no better beginner snakes to exist, except when they are California kingsnake. These snakes are excellent for a beginner pet snake owner or those who want to finally tune in to being a snake enthusiast.

California kingsnakes are labeled to be generally harmless for us humans, they are non-venomous; they are submissive, they have a nice calm temperament, moreover, they are very friendly, low maintenance, and are considered to be generally healthy. These great attributes, together with their fascinating physical appearance, with their great color pattern, make them stand out and claim their title as the most popular beginner-friendly snakes in the U.S.

If you are an absolute beginner or planning to raise them and wondering how to effectively do so, then you have made the right choice by clicking this article. Let’s start and discuss the effective care-taking of these wonderful snakes.

What to expect on California kingsnakes? 

You, as an owner, would have to worry about nothing. Their calm docile demeanor would make them easy to care for, handle, feed, spend time with, clean, and generally maintain. They are friendly and can be handled by your friends and families if you want them to, still of course with supervision. 

To sum up, just manifesting the attributes of a responsible pet owner, and doing the care needs consistently will be on your way to a successful raising. Let’s begin.


Young or baby California kingsnakes can thrive in a cage that is the size of a shoebox. Older or adult California kingsnakes will have to have a 20-gallon reptile cage or bigger. This is to ensure comfortability. The cage should be secure and escape-proof, to ensure its safety and for them to not plan on roaming around outside their shelter, it’s inconvenient and can harm both you and your snake.

As for the temperature, do not place the cage near where the sunlight strikes since too much hot sun exposure can cause harm, even fatality to your snake. It should have a warm end and a cold end. One end should be 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and the other should be 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This can be achieved by purchasing affordable heat pads, cables, and tapes. They strive well in this kind of environment. 


As for their food choices. Here is the comprehensive list of foods/preys they usually eat:

  • Lizards
  • Snakes
  • Mice
  • Birds
  • Frogs
  • Small rabbits
  • Worms
  • Fish

There also exist foods that they cannot eat, which might bring them harm and even fatality. Here is the comprehensive list: 

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Foods that do not resemblance nature 
  • Foods that typically do not exist in their wild habitat
  • Foods that are not seen on a typical snake diet
  • Unnecessary unnatural foods
  • Processed foods

They only need to be fed once a week to maintain their weight and to overall thrive. However, if you want your California kingsnake to grow faster, if they are still young, feeding them twice a week will aid that. When they reach adult size, you can gradually decrease the feeding quantity.

Facts About Cali Kingsnakes

Provide them drinking water to hydrate themselves.

Provide them with cleaning water, to soak and clean themselves in. When you are holding them, make sure that you are providing support to their body. This will make them feel safe and secure in your presence therefore aid for the two of you being close to each other. 

They do not like to be touched when they are about to shed, or are shedding 

Keep their cages clean, spot clean it every week and do a full cage deep cleaning every month. This aids in proper hygiene, for them to not be prone to germs and bacterias that might cause them harm, or distress because of bad odor. 

Spend time with your California kingsnake

Spend quality time, by spending quiet moments with them, by observing them, by effectively and caring handling, by gentle petting. This will give your snake assurance that they trust you, moreover it is mutually beneficial and relaxing for the both of you. 

Do a regular consultation with a veterinarian that specializes in handling snakes at least once a year if your California kingsnake is healthy. This is to ensure its optimum health. If you suspect that your snake is not doing well, or is sick. These are the warning signs to is to arise to:

  • Lethargic
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sunken eyes
  • Sticky saliva due to dehydration
  • Weight loss
  • Stargazing (stiff, unusual postures)
  • Mouth breathing
  • Discharges from their eyes, nose, mouth
  • Scale problems

Seeing one or some of them should immediately call for medical attention to aid proper medical treatment. 

Keep in Mind

Keep in mind that to really be a great pet owner, and to treat snake pet ownership as something that is serious, because it is. California kingsnake can be a snake that will make you love snakes, and I really encourage you to give them a chance to be your beginner pet, considering its safety, and their low maintenance caring need. It will benefit you tremendously and will really hone your essential and beginner must-have skills as to being a snake pet owner and effectively raising them. 

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