How Long Do Corn Snakes Live in Captivity?

It is no surprise that Corn Snakes are some of the most prevalent reptile pets because of their pleasant temperament, vibrant colors and low maintenance. Thanks to these fascinating features, most pet lovers wish for a long and fulfilling relationship with their slithering friends. Unfortunately, like other pets, snakes have a much shorter lifespan compared to human beings.

Given that a pet is an animal that you form a deep connection with, it is heartbreaking when they die. It is worth noting that although death is a natural occurrence, there are several things that animal owners can do to extend their pet’s lifespan.

Most encouraging, Corn Snakes enjoy pretty long lifespans if their owners keep them in optimal conditions. All you need to do is offer nutritious meals, regular medical checkups, and a clean, secure enclosure. Keep following as we dissect major causes of shorter lifespan in Corn Snakes.

Corn Snake Lifespan

In their natural territory, Corn Snakes generally live between 6-8 years. With good care and adequate enclosure, as pets, Corn Snakes have a lifespan of 15-23 years. According to NC Wildlife, a Corn Snake lived for more than 32 years in captivity.

Make Corn Snake Live Longer

Before bringing your serpent home be ready and committed to taking care of them for a lifetime. Most heartening is that pet snake rewards the gesture with unsurpassed companionship while regularly brightening up your home. Below are some of the significant factors that affect Corn Snake’s life expectancy.

– Enclosure

Proper enclosure not only keeps your snakes happy but also enables them to live a longer life. In their early days, baby snakes thrive better in tiny plastic vivariums. Since snakes grow pretty fast, a bigger and stronger enclosure would be ideal when your pet snake hits three months.

On average, adult Corn Snakes measure four to six feet lengthwise. As a result, you should place them in a cage of not less than 20 gallons.  Remember that although snakes spend most of the time coiled up, they enjoy a spacious aquarium that allows them to slither around.

Something else, Corn Snakes excrete counted days in a week. This comes as an added advantage to pet owners because it simplifies the cleaning process. That said, regular cleaning is essential to deter infections and ailments.

In addition, observe proper humidity levels of about 60% and heat requirements at around 75 to 85 degrees. Do not forget that a couple of branches would keep your climbing friends occupied. Also, a dark hiding corner will come in handy when they want to conceal and rejuvenate. You can easily create a suitable hiding spot using old boxes or tree barks, plus a substrate made of moss that allows snakes to burrow.

It is common for more enormous snakes may end up feeding on smaller companions if placed in a similar cage. Therefore, let your pet snakes only mingle during the breeding season and separate them soon after.

– Food and Diet

Given that Corn Snakes are strict carnivores, it is prudent to feed them nutritious meals for a longer lifespan. Mostly pet Corn Snakes prefer pre-killed mice or rats after every 10 to 14 days. Ensure that you only feed them on average-sized prey to prevent absorption issues.

It should point out that younglings may not feed well on mice. Thus, prepare some baby mice and pinkie for them. As they grow older, you can introduce small-sized mice and rats. Note that rats are only ideal with giant-sized snakes for easier swallowing.

The thumb rule is to feed your snakes with meals not broader than their head.  While Corn snakes hunt for their food in the wild, it is your role to ensure that they get fresh or thawed food already dead. The main reason behind this is that live prey can harm or scratch as your pet plunge leading to infections.

Nonetheless, if you bring a snake pet directly from the wild, you can throw in live mice occasionally to calm them down. Additionally, offer clean drinking water in a shallow container.

It is not unusual to find urine and feces in the drinking basin. Consequently, replace the water if it becomes extremely filthy to prevent infections. Keep in mind that clean food and the environment significantly increase the lifespan of your pet snake.

– Health Problems

Several ailments can considerably reduce your pet’s lifespan. Some of them include respiratory conditions, stomatitis, regurgitation, fungal infections, mouth rot, and bone infections. Regrettably, bone infections are some of the leading causes of death and loss of teeth in Corn Snakes.

Moreover, your serpents may also suffer from skin conditions, internal parasites, mites, and dermatitis. If your pets contact dermatitis, the skin may develop blisters and start peeling off. Primarily most snake ailments originate from humid and dirty environments.

Even if snakes require humidity, too much of it is not healthy and dismally affects the quality of their life. It is prudent to contact a reliable veterinarian immediately you notice undesirable symptoms. It would help if you looked out for common sickness signs like stargazing, weight loss, agitation, dull scales, mouth breathing, discharges, poor appetite, etc. Similar to other pets, take your snake pets for annual routine checkups and fecal analysis to rule out parasites.

Whereas most snakes may not require supplements, it is critical to solicit their importance in older snakes from reliable sources. Even if vitamin deficiencies sometimes cause life-threatening complications, never initiate vitamin treatment without an expert’s input.


Despite their pleasing and hardy nature, taking care of Corn Snake pet is not a journey for the weak-hearted. The bottom line is to monitor the living setup of your serpents continually. Then, focus on meeting their daily needs with compassion and care.

Ultimately, your pet snake may never display emotions, but with the right approach and patience, you can create beautiful memories for a long time.

avatar William
William is a respected pet enthusiast with expertise in reptiles and birds. With extensive experience caring for these animals, he shares his knowledge through engaging and informative articles in various publications. He is an active member of pet-related organizations, volunteering regularly at shelters and promoting animal welfare and conservation. read more...

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