Do Tarantulas Get Bored? The Surprising Truth

Do tarantulas get bored?Any being in a state of boredom can either do something genius or really destructive. This is true when it comes to humans and common pets like dogs, cats, birds, etc. But what about our big buddy tarantula? Do tarantulas get bored?

A simple answer to it will be no. Tarantulas are simple beings with simple needs consisting of ordinary biological functions. They are the embodiment of eat, sleep, prey, repeat. Add some episodes of them mating and that is their life in a nutshell. Their ultra-simplistic lifestyle doesn’t have a room for boredom.

One of the reasons why people don’t go for pets is that they are high maintenance and would need your attention all the time. Do tarantulas need your attention and bonding time – through petting and probably exercise to keep them healthy? Let’s find out.

A Life Of No Boredom

Reading this can make you wish that you lived a life like that. There are certainly a lot of things you can get bored of.

But remember this – boredom comes from the presence of higher intellect/creativity.

Now, does saying this means that your web-spinning ‘artistic’ tarantula is not creative? Let’s look at the ‘monk lifestyle’ of a tarantula to come to any sort of conclusion. Tarantulas do not need to be regularly fed. They will neither demand nor jump for your attention.

They will also refuse to eat when they are going through ‘transformation’, a.k.a, molting. They like to live in solitude. They have a nonchalant routine that consists of not being bothered by people.

Sounds wonderful, right? Let’s lean a little closer with a microscope and biology textbook.

Tarantula’s Nervous System

Tarantulas have a simple nervous system. Their mind is pre-set on doing their daily functioning, which can be determined by what they are feeling – threat or safety.

While they are really peaceful and will not immediately retaliate with stinging you, you cannot be sure about it when they feel scared. And what are they scared of? Almost everything that is bigger than them, including you.

A threat is a threat. ‘The hand that feeds you, can kill you too’, this is their motto. But that reasoning can only come from beings with a higher and complex capacity for thinking.

For your tarantula, your hand is either a safe landscape they can crawl on or a threat they should fight or flee.

So, to come to a conclusion, there is no space for boredom. Boredom breeds creativity and we haven’t found any tarantula breaking out of their stereotype of being a simplistic creature.

The day they do, science will have something marvelous to discover about tarantulas’ tarantulas need something to do?

“But My Tarantula Is Creative And Intelligent”- Say The Tarantula Owners

Before you grab your pitchfork and torches, let us consider this example.

You have a humble and very dedicated washing machine that you had for a year or two. Would you think that your washing machine cleans clothes nicely because it loves you? If someday it starts to not clean your clothes better, would you consider that it doesn’t love you?

Or perhaps, your washing machine is sick?

No, we might not say something like that because that’s the wrong way to diagnose a problem.

When you compare and equate a function to an abstract, you can imagine reality as however, you like. While this works wonderfully for literature, it doesn’t do much for science.

So when you compare a tarantula’s daily living or functions to complex emotions such as boredom, happiness or even sadness, you can reach any kind of conclusion.

As humans, it is easy to perceive events as things happening to us rather than things existing in its pure nature (which has nothing to do with you and your conclusions).

Why You Think Your Tarantula Is Intelligent/Creative

Now, how are you coming to the conclusion that a tarantula is creative and intelligent? Do not compare the response to stimuli as intelligence. Let’s make it even simpler to understand.

Creativity would mean doing something out of the ordinary to complete the same task or achieve a totally different one.

If you find your washing machine leaving love notes by bleeding and drying out colors on your favorite T-shirt, you can consider it doing something creative and intelligent.

If you only applaud it for washing, something that it is meant to do and function, then this reasoning will not stand strong for calling it intelligent and creative.

Then How Are Dogs, Cats, Birds Intelligent As Compared To Tarantulas?

The first and foremost distinction that we want to make is that we are not calling tarantulas dumb. A dumb being would mean that they cannot even properly function with all the means they have.

But since a tarantula’s life is simplified in its sense, it is neither a dumb being nor intelligent.

Let us compare it with our other well-known pets – dogs, cats, and birds.

First of all, they have a complex nervous system that gives them the ability to feel something more than threat or safety. They have the ability to empathize, take responsibility, understand cues, and even get bored!

This shows their vivid range of intelligence that is beyond their survival. Mimicry is a form of flattery – have you ever observed a tarantula trying to do something you would?

This can be observed in cats, dogs, and birds in various forms. Some try to sing, some open doors, some try to even understand and dig up what you are after.

Now, if all they did was walk on their four paws or two claws and only think about nourishment, mating, and hiding from threats, they wouldn’t be considered intelligent.

They are high maintenance not only because of frequent nourishment and physical needs but also emotional needs.

But how about those instances where your T seems to recognize you? Does he know that you are his owner? You can find out the answer in our article. 

Petting And Exercise As A Bonding Session


Humans are tactile when it comes to affection. This same intention of affection can be directed to their pet tarantula.

Since there is no viable need for affection for a tarantula, we can satisfy our need for reciprocation by handling them with care. Tarantulas can live their life peacefully without you touching them at all. They are solitary creatures who like to be in their own space.

They do not need a companion and can get territorial and cannibalistic on sensing another tarantula. A female tarantula can also try to eat the male one after or before mating.

When you are keeping them one at a time, this behavior will not be very apparent for you. For your own sense of satisfaction and reciprocation, you might choose to handle them and maybe pet them.

You can only learn around ways to make them feel secure in your palm rather than perceiving it as a sign of them trusting you. The more you understand this, the better you will be able to manage your expectations.

Despite everything, you still want to hold your T, you can read our guide about Ts that can tolerate handling. In this way, both you and your T will be safe.


They are very fragile. A drop from 3 feet can burst open their abdomen. So there is no need for exercise. In contrast, they are known to preserve their energy by limiting their activity.

While it seems that they do like to hunt their prey, they will also be okay with not hunting at all if you provide them with dead prey.

Hunting is a mild form of exercise for them, which they may refrain from doing when they are going through the molting process. As their need for food is very limited, it is very difficult to determine if they ‘enjoy’ hunting or not in particular.

Since they are fussy eaters as well, it cannot be determined if they like hunting their prey at all or do they consider it as a necessary function to obtain food.

In any of the cases, there is no sought after bonding session that you might generally observe with other pets. If reciprocation is an absolute necessity in your pet-owning experience, do not go for a tarantula with those expectations.

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