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Qs About Snake's Psychology

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by angrykitten, May 15, 2009.

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  1. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    angrykitten, I`m not sure how much love and affection your cats would show you if you weren`t feeding/sheltering etc. and giving them a life of luxury, in every sense of the word.....And you are also presuming they "love" you, when actually they are only doing the most profitable thing for themselves....being close to you guarantees an "easy" existence I think?
  2. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Gerbils are rodents, and I have an inherent distrust of them. Besides, they are food items, and I don't want to get attached, not have gerbil smell on my lips, when I go to kiss a snake... could be disastrous

    The fish would not appreciate, nor would the turtle. nor would I like having fish tank water on my lips...

    When the kids at the zoo tell me an animal looks funny, my response is "well it thinks you look funny too"
  3. Chris1974

    Chris1974 Elite Member

    Haha! I was gonna say the same thing! Where's the love for the poor turtles?? (just be sure to sterilize your lips when you're done!) haha

    haha! Well, have a good point there!
  4. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    ok, another story/comment on this topic concerning the taming down of very aggressive snakes.

    We recently got a new Fl. Kingsnake at work, and all through his quarantine, even the keepers were afraid to go into his cage, and when they did, they usually used a shield (spare dish) to ward off the many bites he attempted. He was downright vicious, and would even strike at the glass when you were 3 feet away. If you managed to get close to his cage (a neodesha), the moment you touched it, he came flying out of his hide, fangs bared.

    They asked me if I wanted to start handling him (knowing my passion for reptiles) to help tame him down for the education dept, I gladly agreed. When I watched someone else get the snake out, my first impression was that they were intimidated by it, because they were wearing gloves, and hot-holding it, and you could just tell they were not comfortable with it at all (jumpy). I think this was creating a vicious cycle - the snake is mad because of the abuse, and comes to associate people with pain. So he reacts accordingly, and thus, they continue to handle him roughly.

    I think approach is much of what determines how an animal is going to react to human presence. When you come into it's cage, and you loom over it with a big glove, and then grab it roughly, it's not going to be happy.

    Instead of that approach, I simply opened the cage, and let the snake come out on it's own. 5 minutes later, I had a 6 foot kingsnake coiled happily on my lap (I say happily, because I happened to be sitting in a sunny patch on the floor, wearing black corduroys, which no doubt made me a very pleasantly warm place to bask) You could hardly tell it was the same demon everyone else was so intimidated by. Once I explained this to the handlers, he tamed down practically overnight.
  5. Chris1974

    Chris1974 Elite Member

    yeah...I think you are right when you say that it is the approach that determines how an animal will react to humans. Good post!
  6. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    well, if someone came and started looming over me and restraining me, I'd fight for all I was worth!
  7. Kendalle

    Kendalle Elite Member

    I hope my iguana likes me, i love her to bits and I will claim she does too!

    I don't think she finds me funny at all though :( but that's ok.
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Kendalle, iguanas are well known for their lack of a sense of humour!! :D
    And Dragoness, that was a great story and it applies to most animals I think...they seem to be able to pick up on someone who`s nervous, similar to dogs.....And wearing heavy gloves, ( unless absolutely necessary) doesn`t allow the animal to get used to your own smell/feel.
  9. angrykitten

    angrykitten Elite Member

    Well, I just wanted to say: "Dragoness, you are my hero!"(for the way you behaved with the kingsnake)!

    Stefan, correct me if I misunderstood you: I think you are saying that animals (any, also mammals of high intelligence like dogs and cats) don't feel love, but merely comfort as we provide food and protection to them.

    I very much disagree as, in 10 years of keeping cats, reading books about their behaviour and exchanging stories with others cat lovers, I am convinced they do feel love and affections for their owners. I think cats tend to take less abuse then dogs (giving the opportunity they will exchange you with another owner if you don't treat them well), but I very much respect them for that too.
    Cats are not pack animals like dogs, so, a cat tends to view its owner as a "mother" rather than the "pack leader".

    To me, one of the greatest misconception is that cats are opportunistic animals and the ones who come up with that are always people who never had a cat in their lives!

    I know this is a reptile forum and the thread is about snake's behaviour, so I would drop the subject now!
  10. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Yes angryKitten, you did understand me correctly, I am saying that animals see our species as providers (most animals, that is), rather than "love" us, it`s perfectly o.k. to discuss these other animals on this forum, I, like you, was only trying to compare the behaviour of different creatures... But I also agree the cat, unlike the snake, will show it`s owner/keeper some sign that it`s "pleased" ( for want of a better word) to be around you.....But still not "love"... But definitely "attached". (But it would be soooo nice if I`m wrong!!) My monitor behaves with me in quite a different way than with people he doesn`t know: But it`s only because he doesn`t see me as a threat or a rival, but I think I would be able to handle Sibilla as easily as you do, but the cats, like the monitor, are much more aware of the differences....
  11. Chris1974

    Chris1974 Elite Member

    So murrindindi, you are saying that a cat feels "pleased" and "definitely attached" with/to their owner, but doesn't feel love?? Have you ever owned a cat? And how do you explain how a cat will nurse, protect, clean, and care for her kittens? That's not love?
  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Technically no, its simple maternal instinct. The drive to protect one's young and therefore continue the species.
    Thats not to say that a cat doesn't exhibit something similar to love. As do dogs.
  13. angrykitten

    angrykitten Elite Member

    Well, all we are discussing here are theories...they are still people out there who believe that animals don't feel pain as much as we do (this is specially related to farm animals as it gives some peace of mind when somebody is ready to eat his/her burger or sausage). I believe animals feel emotions as much as we do...not just fear, or security, comfort, but actually love. Nobody is going to change my mind about it.
    I have seen my cats behaving like there are jealous of one is not about who gets more food or the best spot to sleep on, but who is the one getting more cuddles. One of my cats would follow me around the house just to get a kiss or a caress...I can put food down, but she would come to my lap if I called her. I am not saying she would jump into the fire to save my life, but she needs to feel that closeness, to get coddled, stroked, kissed. It doesn't matter if it is instinctual behaviour, also babies act out of instinct and they need that closeness. Then I feel we could safely say that animals like cats or dogs love us as much as a child can love their parents. Also a child doesn't have any other option than "loving" the person providing the food, the shelter, the comfort. Still any parent would swear that their child loves him/her...
  14. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    My theory is that that's a complete load of ****. They have nerves, and a nervous system, and a brain to process, and if you stab an animal, or hurt it in any other way, it reacts the same way a human does - usually writhing in agony, an vocalizing loudly, not to mention bleeding, and trying to avoid the source of the pain.

    (done with my soapbox rant)

    There are people with rare disorders who do not feel pain. If you pinch them, they do not react. I cannot remember the word for this. They end up being a hazard to themselves, because where you or I would notice a dangerous injury, they don't. They could break bones, and not know it, or step on glass/rusty nails, etc.

    Off topic, I know....
  15. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

  16. Gracelikerain18

    Gracelikerain18 Elite Member

    Well, we as humans can observe and conclude all we want, but no one can provide factual evidence to prove that animals do or don't feel love. I like to think that mammals can feel love. Dogs, cats, horses, pigs, etc have been known to be especially protective of their owners. They have rescued them from dangerous situations, fires and so forth. If that ain't love....
  17. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    As I said, it depends on one`s definition of "love", I don`t understand the "We as humans", we are animals just the same as every other creature! But yes, there is so much more to learn about ALL animals, maybe one day someone will find evidence of "love" in many other species!! ( As others have said before: "If only they could talk"!!) ;) (I mean actually talk, I know they communicate!!) :)
  18. Gracelikerain18

    Gracelikerain18 Elite Member

    I agree Murrindindi. I wish they could talk, too. But we are humans. We're mammals, but not part of the animal kingdom.
  19. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Are you joking?? (Quote) "not part of the animal kingdom"?? Which kingdom are we part of??
  20. Gracelikerain18

    Gracelikerain18 Elite Member

    Sorry, wrote that in a hurry and didn't pay attention! lol I meant to say "not in that part of the animal kingdom." We're homo sapiens, completely different species (as you know, lol). My point is, we're mammals, that were created with the ability to love. I don't think all animals are any different. My opinion.
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