Kingsnakes are found in the southwest of the United States, they are common in a variety of habitats and are frequently caught and kept as pets. With attractive patterns and the ease of care they are fast becoming a pet industry mainstay.
Size is approximately eight to ten inches long at birth, they average 3 to 4 feet in length as adults. Handling for these snakes is gently they rarely bite but may if restrained. Handle gently without pinching or squeezing allowing the snake to dangle unsupported. Caging includes any typical snake cage can be used, with a 15 to 20 gallon aquarium being adequate for adults. Hatchlings are sensitive to dehydration and do best in a small critter cage or plastic container. Substrate should be newspaper or paper towels easy to clean and is dry at all times, with reptiles do not use cedar or pine shavings they are very toxic to all animals. Food can be newborn pinkie mice and should be fed every 5 to 7 days. Increase the size of the meal as the snake grows. 1 or 2 adult mice are sufficient every 10 to 14 days to maintain even the largest adult. Humidity should be kept low, provide clean water in a small dish. If humidity is too high it will cause respiratory problems so keep it on the dry side. Due to the variance in cages and home environments some snakes may experience shedding problems particularly the tail tip. If this is noticed provide a small plastic container with a lid filled with damp sphagnum moss; this allows the animal to shed properly. Heating should be at the bottom of the tank by placing a heat pad under one end of the cage. This will allow the snake to choose from a higher to a cooler temperature, 90 to 95 for a high and 78 to 80 for the low. Provide hiding areas at both ends so the snake can feel secure, no special lighting is needed because they are nocturnal animals.