Snake Poop 101 | A Comprehensive Guide

Snakes are fascinating creatures, but as a snake owner, it’s important to understand all aspects of their care, including their poop. In our ultimate guide to snake poop, you’ll find all the answers and facts you need to know about your snake’s stool.

We’ll cover a range of topics, such as why snakes poop, what color their stool is, what to do if their poop is abnormal, if snakes pee and poop separately, and much more.

Our guide will also provide tips on how to clean snake poop, as well as how to help your snake if they haven’t pooped in a while. So keep reading, as this is the only article you’ll need to become an expert on snake poop!

What is Snake Poop?

Snake poop, also known as feces or excrement, is the waste material that snakes eliminate from their bodies. It is made up of undigested matter from the snake’s prey, as well as other bodily waste products.

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Snake poop serves an important role in a snake’s digestive system by removing waste and toxins from the body.

Understanding the appearance and frequency of snake poop can give you valuable insights into your pet snake’s health and well-being.

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How Do Snakes Poop and Pee?

Snakes have a very different way of eliminating waste compared to mammals. Instead of having a separate anus and urinary tract, snakes have a single opening called the cloaca. This means that both urine and feces are expelled from the same opening.

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When a snake needs to eliminate waste, it will position itself over a suitable surface, such as the ground or a branch. It will then contract its muscles to force the waste out of its cloaca. Because both urine and feces are expelled together, it can be difficult to distinguish between the two.

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Unlike mammals, snakes do not urinate in the traditional sense. Instead, they excrete a semi-solid urate, which is a white or yellowish substance that is mixed in with the feces. This urate serves the same purpose as urine in mammals, which is to eliminate waste products from the body.

Because the urate is mixed in with the feces, it can be difficult to see in snake poop. However, if you look closely, you may see small white or yellowish specks in the poop, which is the urate.

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What Does Snake Poop Look Like?

Snake poop has a distinct appearance that can vary depending on the species of snake and the contents of their last meal.

Generally, snake poop is long and cylindrical in shape, with a smooth and shiny surface. It can resemble small logs and is mostly long deposits instead of small pellets.

Black snake poop tends to be dark brown or black in color and can have a shiny appearance. Rat snake poop, on the other hand, is typically brown or gray and has a more granular texture.

Corn snake poop is usually brown or green and may have a slightly lumpy texture.

It’s important to note that healthy snake poop should be well-formed and not have any signs of blood, mucus, or undigested food.

A healthy snake poop should be firm and not too wet or too dry. It should also not have a particularly foul odor.

Any changes in the appearance or frequency of your snake’s poop may be a sign of an underlying health issue.

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What Does Snake Urine Look Like?

When it comes to snake urine, it’s important to note that it’s not always visible like with other animals. Snakes excrete waste in the form of urates, which look similar to poop but have a distinct white or yellow color.

The urates are often excreted alongside the feces as a liquid rather than a solid, and their appearance can vary depending on the species of snake.

It’s worth noting that because snake urine is not visible in the same way that it is with other animals, it can be difficult to detect issues with your snake’s urinary system.

What Does Snake Poop Smell Like?

The smell of snake poop can be difficult to describe, but it is generally not strong or noticeable. While snake feces may have a slight odor, it is not usually pungent like the feces of other animals.

When wet, snake droppings can have a strong, fecal smell, but as they dry out, the odor becomes less intense. However, fresh snake poop can be quite smelly, especially when it contains undigested food.

It’s worth noting that larger snakes like boas and pythons produce more feces, which can result in a stronger odor. If you are keeping a snake in captivity, it’s important to clean its enclosure regularly to prevent the buildup of waste and reduce the risk of odors.

If you notice an especially strong or unpleasant smell coming from your snake’s enclosure, it may be a sign of an underlying health issue or a need for more frequent cleanings.

How Do Snakes Digest Food?

Snakes have a unique digestive process that begins with swallowing their prey whole. Once inside the snake’s body, the prey is broken down by strong digestive juices in the stomach.

The digestive enzymes help break down the prey’s tissues, such as bones and muscles. The process can take several days, depending on the size of the prey and the snake’s metabolism.

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After digestion, the snake’s liver and pancreas release bile and enzymes to help further break down the food and absorb nutrients in the small intestine.

Unlike mammals, snakes do not have a gallbladder to store bile, so it is released directly into the small intestine.

The waste products of digestion are eliminated through the cloaca, which is a shared opening for feces, urine, and reproductive fluids.

The feces and urine are usually excreted together, forming a white and liquid substance. The leftover indigestible parts, such as fur, bones, and teeth, are regurgitated as a pellet through the mouth.

Do Snakes Poop out Bones?

Yes, snakes may poop out bones. When a snake eats its prey, it will digest the soft tissues of the animal and break down the bones using powerful enzymes. 

However, some bones may be too large or hard to be fully broken down, so they will pass through the snake’s digestive system and be excreted in the feces. It is normal for snake feces to contain small bone fragments or even whole bones.

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Where Do Snakes Poop?

Snakes can eliminate waste in a variety of places, depending on their habitat and circumstances. In the wild, snakes may poop in burrows, under rocks, in water, or in other hidden locations to avoid detection by predators.

Some snakes may even use their feces as a way to mark their territory and communicate with other snakes.

In captivity, snakes typically poop in their enclosure or habitat. This could be a terrarium, aquarium, or other types of enclosure with a suitable substrate for waste absorption and odor control.

How Often Do Snakes Poop?

According to researchers, Snakes are known to be among the least pooping animals, and some can even go without pooping for over a year.

The frequency of snake pooping depends on several factors, including their species, size, food intake, and environmental temperature.

For example, ball pythons typically poop 5-7 days after eating, while healthy adult corn snakes usually poop around once a week or 3-5 days after consuming a meal.

It’s worth noting that these timeframes can vary greatly, with some snakes eliminating waste as frequently as every three days, and others going several months without pooping.

What Does it Mean If You See Snake Droppings?

If you see snake droppings, it could indicate that there are snakes in the vicinity. Snake droppings can also provide clues about the size and type of snake that may be present.

If the droppings are larger in diameter, it could indicate a larger snake such as a python or boa. If the droppings are smaller, it could indicate a smaller snake such as a garter snake or corn snake.

Additionally, if you are finding snake droppings in or around your home, it could indicate that there are entry points or hiding places that snakes are using.

It is important to seal up any potential entry points and remove any potential hiding places to prevent snakes from entering your home.

How Do I Know If My Snake Pooped?

To know if your snake has pooped, you can check its enclosure for any droppings. Snake droppings are usually easy to spot, and they can range in size and shape depending on the size and species of your snake.

You may also notice a strong smell coming from the droppings. If you’re unsure if your snake has pooped, you can monitor their behavior and look for signs of discomfort or bloating, which may indicate constipation or other health issues.

What Can Snake Poop Tell You About Your Snake’s Health?

As a snake owner, it’s important to be aware of your pet’s health. One way to monitor their health is by keeping an eye on their poop.

While it might not be the most pleasant task, examining your snake’s droppings can provide valuable information about its digestive health.

So here we’ll discuss what abnormal snake poop colors could indicate, as well as what the presence of white stones in snake poop could mean.

  • Abnormal snake poop colors could be an indicator of an underlying health issue.
  • Red snake poop could indicate bleeding in the digestive tract, which could be a result of an injury or internal parasites.
  • White snake poop, on the other hand, could indicate that your snake is not properly digesting its food or may have a liver issue.
  • Green snake poop may indicate that your snake has an infection or is not properly digesting its food.
  • And yellow snake poop may indicate that your snake has eaten something that it cannot properly digest or is suffering from a bacterial infection.

What Are the White Stones in Snake Poop?

The white stones found in snake poop are actually urates, which are a type of waste product that snakes excrete along with their feces.

Urates are made up of uric acid and other compounds, and they help snakes conserve water by removing nitrogenous waste from their bodies in a concentrated form. In some cases, the urates can appear as distinct, solid white stones in the snake’s feces.

While seeing urates in snake poop is normal and healthy, if there is an excessive amount of urates or they appear to be discolored, it could indicate a health issue that should be addressed by a veterinarian.

Lizard Poop Vs. Snake Poop

TYPELizard PoopSnake Poop
SizeSmaller, pellet-likeLonger, cylindrical
ColorBrown or blackBrown or green
Uric acidMay contain white chalky substanceAppears white due to a mixture of feces and urine
VariationsAppearance can vary depending on species and dietAppearance can vary depending on species and diet
Related Article – What Does Lizard Poop Look Like?

Lizard poop and snake poop can look quite similar, but there are some key differences to look out for. Lizard poop is usually smaller in size and more pellet-like in shape, while snake poop tends to be longer and more cylindrical.

A House Lizard’s Poop (Urban Wilde CDO)

Additionally, lizard poop may have a white chalky substance mixed in, which is actually uric acid, whereas snake poop is a mixture of feces and urine that appears white.

It’s important to be able to tell the difference between lizard poop and snake poop because it can help you identify what type of animal has been present in a particular area.

This information can be helpful for tracking the movements of animals in the wild or for identifying potential predators or prey.

Is Snake Poop Dangerous?

Snake poop is generally not dangerous, but it can carry bacteria such as salmonella. Salmonella is a type of bacteria that can cause infections in humans if ingested.

This can happen if someone accidentally ingests contaminated soil or water that has come into contact with snake feces, or if they handle a snake and then touch their mouth or food without washing their hands properly.

It’s important to wash your hands thoroughly after handling a snake or cleaning up its feces to avoid any potential risk of infection. However, with proper hygiene and precautions, the risk of illness from snake poop is low.

What Should I Do if My Snake Hasn’t Pooped In a While?

If you have a pet snake it’s important to know what to do if your snake hasn’t pooped in a while. While it’s normal for snakes to go several weeks without pooping, a prolonged period of time without elimination can indicate a health issue.

So here we’ll go over some tips and strategies to help your snake poop, including adjustments to their diet and environment, as well as when it may be necessary to seek veterinary treatment.

Snake Poop: How to Help Your Snake Poop

Provide Enough Water

Providing enough water is essential for a snake’s overall health and regular bowel movements. Snakes need access to fresh, clean water at all times. Make sure to regularly check and refill their water dish with clean water.

You can also consider misting the enclosure to increase the humidity level, which can help with hydration and digestion.

In some cases, snakes may also benefit from soaking in a shallow water dish for 10-15 minutes to help stimulate bowel movements and promote hydration. However, be sure to monitor them during the soak to ensure their safety.

Soften the Food

If a snake hasn’t pooped in a while, it could be due to the food it ate being too hard to digest. To address this, you can try softening their food.

This can be done by soaking their prey in water before feeding it to them. This will make the prey easier to digest and may help your snake pass stool more easily.

However, be sure to not soak the prey for too long or use hot water, as this can cause the prey to lose important nutrients.

Give Smaller Prey

Giving smaller prey to your snake can be another way to help them pass stool. If you typically offer your snake larger prey items, such as mice or rats, try offering them a smaller size instead.

This can make it easier for your snake to digest and pass the food, which may help stimulate bowel movements.

It's important to note that you should not switch to smaller prey permanently unless recommended by a veterinarian or based on the specific needs of your snake's species. 

Snakes require a variety of prey sizes in their diet to receive the proper nutrition, so it’s important to ensure they are still receiving the appropriate size and type of prey for their needs.

Snake Poop : How to Help Your Snake Poop

Try a Belly Massage

If your snake still hasn’t pooped after trying to adjust their diet and providing enough water, you can try a belly massage. A belly massage can help stimulate the digestive tract and encourage bowel movements.

To perform a belly massage, gently massage your snake’s belly in a circular motion using your fingertips. Be careful not to apply too much pressure and avoid touching the snake’s spine.

It’s important to note that not all snakes will enjoy or tolerate a belly massage, so it’s important to read your snake’s body language and stop if they seem uncomfortable or agitated.

Additionally, a belly massage may not be effective for all cases of constipation and it’s important to consult with a veterinarian if your snake hasn’t pooped in an extended period of time.

Give Snake a Soak

Giving your snake a soak is another method that can help alleviate constipation and encourage bowel movements.

To give your snake a soak, fill a shallow container with lukewarm water that is deep enough to cover your snake up to its midsection. Make sure the water is not too hot, as this can be harmful to your snake.

Place your snake gently in the water and allow it to soak for 10 to 15 minutes. During this time, you can gently massage your snake’s belly to help stimulate bowel movements.

Be sure to supervise your snake during the soak to ensure its safety and avoid any accidents.

After the soak, allow your snake to rest in a warm, dry place so that it can digest and eliminate waste properly. Repeat this process if necessary until your snake has a bowel movement.

Consider Mineral Oil

Mineral oil can help lubricate your snake’s digestive system and make it easier for them to pass stool.

However, it’s important to be very careful when using mineral oil, as it can be harmful to your snake if given in excessive amounts. Only give your snake a very small amount of mineral oil, and be sure to follow the instructions of your veterinarian carefully.

It's always a good idea to consult with your vet before giving your snake any type of medication or supplement, including mineral oil.

Additionally, you should never give your snake mineral oil if they are showing signs of illness or if they have a blockage in their digestive tract. In these cases, it’s best to seek veterinary treatment immediately.

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Change the Substrate

Changing the substrate is another step that can be taken if your snake hasn’t pooped in a while. If the substrate is dirty or too dry, it can cause constipation and prevent your snake from defecating properly.

Changing the substrate to a moistened material like coconut coir or sphagnum moss can help add moisture and promote healthy bowel movements.

It’s important to monitor the humidity levels and temperature in the enclosure to ensure that the substrate stays at an appropriate level of moisture.

Maintain Propper Temperature

Maintaining proper temperature is crucial to help your snake digest their food properly, which can prevent constipation and other digestive problems that can lead to a lack of bowel movements.

Different species of snakes have different temperature requirements, so it’s important to research your snake’s specific needs. In general, snakes require a temperature gradient in their enclosure, with a warm basking spot and a cooler area to regulate their body temperature.

Use a reliable thermometer to monitor the temperature and make sure it stays within the appropriate range for your snake.

If the temperature is too low, your snake may become sluggish and less active, which can also contribute to constipation.

Seek veterinary Treatment

If none of the above methods work and your snake still hasn’t pooped, it may be time to seek veterinary treatment.

A vet can help determine the cause of the constipation and provide proper treatment. It’s important to address the issue promptly, as untreated constipation can lead to more serious health problems for your snake.

Additionally, a vet can provide advice on preventing constipation in the future and ensuring your snake’s overall health and well-being.

How to Clean Snake Poop

Cleaning snake poop is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy and hygienic environment for your pet snake.

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Here are some steps to follow when cleaning up snake poop.

  • Wear protective gear such as gloves, goggles, and a face mask to avoid contact with any potential pathogens in the poop.
  • Remove any visible poop using a paper towel or disposable cloth.
    • Be sure to dispose of the paper towel or cloth properly, as snake poop may contain salmonella and other harmful bacteria.
  • Clean the area with a disinfectant or a solution of equal parts water and vinegar. This will help to kill any remaining bacteria or viruses and eliminate any odors.
  • Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water and wipe dry with a clean cloth or paper towel.
  • If your snake has pooped on a fabric surface such as carpet or upholstery, use a specialized pet stain and odor remover to thoroughly clean the area.
    • Avoid using bleach or ammonia-based products, as these can be harmful to your snake.
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Final Thoughts

understanding your snake’s poop can provide important insights into its health and well-being. It’s important to be able to identify normal and abnormal poop colors and consistency, as well as to know what to do if your snake hasn’t pooped in a while.

Providing adequate hydration, maintaining proper temperature and humidity levels, and feeding appropriate prey can all contribute to healthy bowel movements.

And when it comes to cleaning up snake poop, using the right tools and techniques can make the process much easier and more efficient.

By being attentive to your snake’s poop habits and taking appropriate action as needed, you can help ensure that your snake stays healthy and happy for years to come.

If you have any concerns or questions about your snake’s poop or overall health, don’t hesitate to seek veterinary care.


Why is my snake pooping?

Snakes poop to eliminate waste and toxins from their bodies, just like any other animal. Regular bowel movements are a sign of a healthy snake.

What color is snake stool?

Snake stool can vary in color depending on the species and diet of the snake. Generally, it is brown or greenish-brown.

What should I do if my snake’s poop is abnormal?

If you notice anything unusual about your snake’s poop, such as a change in color, consistency, or frequency, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

Do snakes poop in the same place?

Snakes can poop in the same general area, but they do not have a specific spot for defecation like some other animals.

What does snake urine look like?

Snake urine is usually clear and odorless. Some species may have a slightly yellowish tint to their urine.

Do snakes pee and poop separately?

Snakes have a cloaca, which is a single opening that they use for both urination and defecation.

Can I tell what my snake has eaten from their poop?

It is possible to identify certain prey items in snake poop, such as fur or bones, but it can be difficult to determine the exact species of the prey.

Can snake poop be used as fertilizer?

While snake poop does contain nutrients that could potentially be used as fertilizer, it’s not recommended to use it for this purpose. Snake feces can carry harmful bacteria and parasites that could be dangerous to plants or people.

Why do some snakes hold in their poop?

Some snakes may hold in their poop due to stress or a lack of suitable hiding spots. It’s important to ensure that your snake has a comfortable and secure environment to help prevent any potential health issues.

Resources – (for further reading)

Goodreads – Biology of the Vipers by Gordon W. Schuett

ScienceDirect – Cloaca – an overview

Reptiles Magazine – Snake Anatomy

University College London – Question of the Week: How do snakes poop?

I'm Ernest M Noah, the founder of I have years of experience as an exterminator in Texas and Idaho, and I'm passionate about educating people on how to deal with pest problems effectively and safely.