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How to keep spiders as pets

Spiders can make fascinating pets. Here are a few steps to get you started keeping spiders.


Step 1: Catch a spider

Spiders are all around us, indoors and out, so they’re not hard to find. Some species can bite and a few are venomous. Learn about dangerous spiders in your area before heading out. It’s easy to safely catch a spider by using a small jar. Gently coax it into the jar using the lid. Spiders will eat each other, so keep only one per jar.

Step 2: Prepare a cage

Large spiders do well in the inexpensive plastic terrariums available from pet stores. Smaller ones can be kept in jars or plastic containers if air holes are drilled into the lid or sides. Be sure the holes are small enough to prevent escape.

Potting soil makes good cover for the cage bottom. Sticks, dead leaves or artificial plants provide structure for hiding, climbing and webbing.

Step 3: Water

Depending on the size of the spider, anything from a plastic bottle cap to a small bowl can serve as a water dish. Spiders also drink water sprayed on webbing, but you should never allow the cage to become damp.

Step 4: Feeding

Offer insect prey once or twice a week. Crickets are available from pet shops, or you can collect insects outdoors if no insecticides have been sprayed in the area.

Step 5: Observing

Watch your spider and take notes on its behavior. You won’t believe what happens in the spider’s web until you’ve visited it yourself!


Not all spiders do well in captivity. Active hunters are usually easier to keep than web builders. Here are a few that make good pets.

Tarantulas: Some species exceed 10 inches in legspan. They’re by far the most popular pet spiders and can be bought in pet stores.

Wolf Spiders: Some can be more than three inches in legspan. Large specimens do best in terrariums with lots of floor space.

Jumping Spiders: Although small and rarely exceeding half an inch, their jumping ability is amazing. Many species are brightly colored and can easily be kept in jars.

Fishing Spiders: In captivity, these large spiders appreciate vertically arranged pieces of bark for climbing. They’re very fast, so use caution when capturing them.

Grass Spiders: These spiders build funnel-shaped webs in grass, bushes and on buildings. In captivity, they will build extensive webs inside their cage.

LEARN MORE: Click here to see photos of a spider expert’s seven favorite spiders

16 Comments on How to keep spiders as pets

  1. #1StarWarsFan // October 19, 2016 at 3:05 pm // Reply

    I hate spiders. They look cool, but I never want one for a pet.

  2. Wye doesn’t my spider move along all day

  3. I have a green and orange and a whiteish silver spier in its cage and I have a big one and small one are they male and female.

  4. I caught a bold jumping spider that always stays at the top of its cage. What do I do?

  5. My classmate gave me a baby fire leg spider today is bigger more than an 3inch

  6. my grass spider // September 16, 2016 at 10:38 am // Reply

    my pet grass spider has been living with me three days now and I have a male and female together and the are mating and I found an egg sack this morning in my spider cage and they are happy and are none biting spider so I can hold them every day and I feed them by hand when their in my hand grass spiders are really good spider starter pets

  7. Would this spider be a good pet it is nonvenomous it is a yellow and black garden spider it is a female

  8. Thanks that help me so much

  9. I caught a Hobo Spider with a legspan slightly larger than a poker chip. I’m keeping him in a glass coffee jar that I have layered with sediment, a hollow peanut shell, a peice of bark that I soaked in water just, and a couple of twigs. He can’t jump, and has a hard time climbing glass. Hobo Spiders are known to be very fast, but this giant is very slow and non aggressive. I even tried to provoke him with a pencil and and he had nothing to prove. He is: Brobo.

  10. Wow that’s cool I had a tarantula but sadly she died I keep hobo spider as pets it’s awesome but I am getting a new tarantula soon I don’t know when

  11. I wish I didn’t kill that fishing spider on my bike seat.

  12. I found a flat brown spider has only 7 legs brown and white stripes what spider is it

  13. Cool i’ll try it I had a money spider that unforunatly died in sleep😥 It was a good friend its would never harm u at all it would just build webs and ate nats….
    Im going to try and get a wolf spider!

  14. Have noticed a large spider who appears once in a while from my fire….usually get rid of these creatures.. .what is keeping him alive behind there?

  15. bleh bleh bleh // June 3, 2016 at 3:49 pm // Reply

    Thanks i will try it!!!

  16. I think it is a colonus Hesperus.

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