How Do Snakes Pee?


How Do Snakes Pee?

Snakes are one of the most aggressive creatures of Serpentes suborder found on earth. Snakes are very unpredictable and very few people understand their habit and nature as a whole.

Snakes slither their way through various regions like terrestrial, plains, desert and aquatic too. Snakes have various undetermined habits that are different from many reptiles.

They swallow their whole food and rests for weeks to digest that food. But what about their toilet habits?

They have extraordinary toilet habits that are quite fascinating throughout the process. Let’s take a look at their toilet habits and understand many more facts related to them.

How Do They Pee?

Snakes’ toilet habits are quite unusual. Snakes have an organ that is called Cloaca that allows them to pee.

Cloaca in snakes is also used for different purposes. The snake’s digestion system has the same processes as human beings and is determined by the amount of food they eat and how often they had their meals.

They also have to frequently go to the toilet when they eat more.

Due to their diet and their way of eating food the toilet of snakes is unexpectedly surprising. The physical nature of doing the toilet for both humans and snakes is almost the same and also have the same digestion process as human beings.

Snakes eat their food with the mouth, but they don’t chew their food, instead, they dislocate their jaw so that they could swallow their whole food which can get digested later.

Snakes too have a windpipe and an esophagus for breathing and swallowing their food like human beings.

Their food is also getting digested through the acid present in their stomach. The acid present in the stomach of snakes is not as strong as the acid in the stomach of human beings so their food is slowly digested and remains longer in the stomach.

The food can stay in their stomach for a year getting digested. Their small and lower intestines extract every bit of nutrients out of their food.

Snakes also feel muscle contractions like human beings before having an urge to pee and due to this their food moves through the digestive tract and then out of the system.

The whole system is like human beings, but the process is quite slow. Snakes digest their food very slowly so that they don’t need to hunt for a long time, which also keeps them safe from their predators. 

Are you thinking of keeping a snake as a pet? Find out what’s better between Rate Snake and Corn Snake as a pet.

Where Does Snakes Pee Come Out?

Where do snakes poo?

Snakes pee through a special organ of their body present at the lower part called Cloaca.

But this part is not just for peeing, this is also used for poop, mating and eggs birth. Many different animals like turtles can even breathe through their cloaca organ.

Let’s find out some more facts on the mystery of this organ. 

Cloaca is like a small flap present at the end of the tail in snakes. Cloaca is further divided into three sections that are Coprodeum, Urodeum, and Proctodeum.

  • Coprodeum – This is the first and the largest part of the cloaca. This part of the cloaca collects the pee from the snake’s digestive system.
  • Urodium – This is the second part of the cloaca which collects pee from kidneys. This also stops and resists any contamination that can happen during mating. Urodeum is the smallest part of Cloaca.
  • Proctodeum – This is the third part of Cloaca which is smaller than Coprodeum but bigger than the Urodeum. The fascinating thing about their excretion system is that they pee and poop at the same time.

The last part of the cloaca also has a vent from where everything comes out.

Urodeum structures differ in male and female snakes concerning the mating process. In male snakes, the Urodeum connects to the testes while in females this connects to her egg ducts.

These three parts of the cloaca are behind the function of the snake digestive system.  

How Often Do They Pee?

Like human beings, snakes don’t go to the toilet as often instead they pee in a longer time than the whole animal kingdom.

Three snake biologists wrote a paper on why vipers poop and pee so infrequently. Their findings were placed in the context of quick timings of other animal’s digestion.

They find that smaller animals tend to take a shorter time to digest their food than that of big animals. They took an example of birds that digests their food quickly in an hour.

Big animals who mostly eat leaves and grass takes longer time to digest their food.

They found in their study of python behavior and habits that in captivity, a blood python can hold its food for more than a year while a green tree python holds its food only for 7 days and less.

They also studied Gaboon Viper snakes, which took 420 days before fully digesting its food.

Snakes can also hold a large mass of food without excretion means they can eat four to five more times before going for a pee and poop break. 

How Long They Can Hold Their Pee?

How long snakes can hold their pee?

The study of various species of snakes suggests that some snakes pee their way out at shorter intervals whether they are having their food or not.

If we see corn snakes or Colubrid that are normally used to keep as a pet, they pee and poop in a mere two days to seven days which is a much shorter interval for any snake. This also depends upon the fact of their feeding frequency.

Unlike human beings, snakes don’t eat frequently so they don’t need to go to the toilet frequently.

Snakes hold on to their food for a long period, which allows them to extract every bit of nutrients and proteins from their food.

Due to this advantage, they don’t have to hunt often and can rest in their den without any need of getting food for the coming few days.

Color of Their Pee

Snakes don’t just pee or poop alone like human beings.

They do both excretion parts at the same time. Snakes excrete more solid urine which is also known as urate. The color of this urate is white that looks similar to a toothpaste having the same consistency as well.

As they release urate, they don’t lose much water from their body so they don’t have to consume much amount of water rather than human beings as humans have to drink water at a frequent time interval to stay hydrated throughout the day.

The poop of the snakes is brown and is larger consider the size of snakes. Snakes pee and poop also have hairs of animals as they can’t digest the hair of their swallowed food.

Does Pee Smell?

Yes, the pee and poop of snake stink. There is no animal in the animal kingdom whose poop and pee doesn’t smell.

The smell of the pee is quite normal to any other pee and poops but this part is also depending on the snake.

Many people who keep snakes as pets say that the pee and poop of their snake smell even worse than normal pet stools while some pet owners say that it hardly stinks at all.

This also depends on the cleanliness of the place where snakes are kept.

Do Pee and Poop contain Bones?

Snakes Bones

Snake is a carnivorous animal that don’t chew their food and swallows it whole.

Snakes digestive systems are very strong and powerful which digests the bone of their food. Some parts that their stomach can’t digest are claws, hairs, and feathers. Snakes have very strong hydrochloric acid, which helps them digest their food like human beings.

The only difference between them and us is that they swallow their food and digests very slowly which is not possible for humans.  

Does Snake Pee Affect Its Prey?

Snake pee has a smell that can be detected by its prey like rats and mice.

The odor of the pee is hard and can be smelled from the far area. Snake’s prey uses this as an advantage and tries to not get near that smell or they might get eaten.

Many animals and reptiles have a fascinating organ that helps with these kinds of smell. The organ is vomeronasal and it is also called the sixth sense of animals. This organ helps animals to identify the smell of their prey and predators.

This organ also works differently in some animals which can be used to find certain types of chemicals and pheromones which is much needed for an animal to survive in wild jungle and forest.

Snakes also use this vomeronasal organ to find the trail of female snakes, which is very useful for mating.

Female snakes release pheromones which are picked up by male snakes and they follow her trail through the smell.

Their prey like rats and mice also has this vomeronasal organ and they can react to many different kinds of smells and identify them.

A paper was published which shows the result of a CD-1 mice reaction to six different sulfur-containing compounds that are segregated from mammal predators.

Some other types of mice responded to the odor of snake pee. They were trying to avoid the area from where the smell is coming

. As the odor gets harder, they feel more difficult and are trying harder to get away from that smell or from the trail of that smell.

One more paper of Physiology & behavior gives a more specific view on the response of mice to the odor of other reptiles and various species of snakes. The study also stated that the more near the odor is the faster they try to dig their way up to sniff from the way of the smell.

So, snakes pee affects their preys and they try to run faster and get out of its way which shows the sign of fear.

What Happens If They Don’t Pee and Poop?

Snakes

Snakes take longer time than human beings to digest their food.

They usually take two to three days minimum to release their pee and poop if they have eaten recently and it can also take longer than a week.

But they can also suffer from some problems which can create constipation situation for them.

This can also prevent them from being able to pee and poop. So, the thing is that a snake can also suffer from constipation problem.

The normal cause of constipation in snakes is the loss of water. If you have a pet snake and you are feeding it with the frozen food, then the snake may suffer from constipation as frozen food doesn’t have much water content, so it is advised to feed your snake with fresh food only.

Snakes that are both in the wild and captivity get their water content from the food they eat rather than drinking outside.

The less water they get the drier their digestive tract will get.

It will become difficult for the food to pass from that dried digestive tract. Another cause of constipation can be the low temperature of the surroundings.

To survive in cold conditions snakes, try to conserve their heat of the body within their core which is around their digestive system. This conservation of heat around the digestive area causes the digestive tract to lose more water and get dried.

The worst part of this problem is that snakes are not familiar with this condition. They will do their normal work and carry on eating as regular and they don’t find anything unusual.

So, if they don’t pee and poop then this will lead to a major problem for snakes in the future and you might have to see a vet.

Snakes are very rash and aggressive and they sometimes get very unpredictable, but if you will take a snake as a pet then you’ll get to find various interesting facts about them.

They are calm in their safe surroundings and don’t do much rather than lying in a corner or slithering here and there.

They can be a good pet if proper measures taken to ensure the safety of both the pet and the owner.       

Want to read more interesting facts about snakes, check out our Snakes FAQ section.

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