Can Tarantulas climb out of Bathtubs?

When cleaning a tarantulas enclosure or moving them to a new one, it’s best to keep them inside a catch cup, but some keepers like to try storing them inside a bathtub. While it might sometimes work, this isn’t a great idea.

Most tarantula species are excellent climbers who can easily climb out of a bathtub. Tarantula paws have tiny retractable claws that allow them to grip smooth surfaces. This includes glass, plastic, and ceramic, even on steep steep surfaces like the walls of a bathtub.

This article will cover if tarantulas can climb out of a bathtub and if it’s safe to use a bathtub to store a tarantula temporarily. They can usually climb the plastic bathtubs are traditionally made from, but this isn’t always a guarantee.

Could a Tarantula Climb Out of a Bathtub?

Tarantulas can climb the steep walls of a bathtub and escape into the room. Most species are excellent climbers due to the tiny retractable claws on their paws. These allow them to get a good grip on very smooth surfaces such as the walls of a bathtub.

Tarantula paws have tiny retractable claws on them, allowing them to climb almost any surface, including plastic or ceramic. Tarantulas can climb glass, so climbing plastic or ceramic is easy for them. They can climb dry and wet surfaces without too much trouble due to the ‘smooth’ surfaces containing minuscule rough areas.

While some species are not as good at climbing, almost all tarantulas can easily escape a bathtub by climbing up the sides. The only cases where they might have trouble escaping is if the sides are too steep and smooth for them to get a good grip.

Why a Bathtub isn’t a Safe Place to Store your Tarantula

Tarantulas can climb out a bathtub and escape into the room easily. Smaller tarantulas can even go down the drain. Bathrooms are also bright and bathtubs can vibrate a lot which are both distressing for tarantulas. Loose items on the walls or on shelves can also crush a tarantula.

There are a lot of dangers for tarantulas, and a bathtub is not a safe place for one who isn’t inside an enclosure. While escaping is the biggest threat to a tarantula, there are other things to consider. A tarantula is a vulnerable and sensitive animal. Falling from the bathtub to the floor could also rupture a tarantula’s abdomen trying to escape the bathtub.

Can Tarantulas Climb Smooth Surfaces?

Tarantulas are able to climb smooth surfaces and surfaces that many other animals would typically have trouble with. Tarantulas have tiny retractable claws on each paw and are capable of producing silk from their legs. This makes them very good climbers.

Many surfaces that appear smooth to us look very rough when we look at them underneath a microscope. Tarantula claws can grip onto these tiny rough edges to climb those surfaces and avoid slipping on them. In addition to this, tarantulas can lay down some silk from their legs which they can grip onto while climbing or walking on challenging to grip surfaces.

The smooth material of a bathtub poses a real challenge to most tarantulas. Some tarantula species are less adapted to climbing, such as fossorial tarantula. The majority of tarantulas can still climb the wall of a bathtub, even if they find it difficult. It just might take more time than other species.

Why Do People Put Tarantulas in Bathtubs?

Tarantula keepers may put their tarantulas in the bathtub when cleaning the enclosure or if they need to move their pet. Keepers may assume the bathtub is a safe temporarily place for them but most come back and find the tarantula has escaped.

Some tarantula keepers will assume that tarantulas cannot climb the walls of a bathtub, but this is false. Most tarantulas can easily climb out of a bathtub, and young tarantulas can also climb down into the drain. Bathtubs are not as safe as one might first assume for a tarantula, and placing one into a bathtub temporarily is a terrible idea.

Can a Baby Tarantula Climb Out of the Bathtub

Tarantula spiderlings or slings are also very good at climbing. They have retractable claws which are excellent at gripping smooth surfaces such as a bathtub wall. Baby tarantulas are able to climb out of bathtubs and are more likely to climb down into the drain.

Baby tarantulas are very good at climbing different types of surfaces, including plastic, ceramic and glass. This is how even young tarantulas can climb enclosure walls. However, they shouldn’t climb very much. Falls can kill a tarantula since they are soft and vulnerable animals. While tarantulas are very good at climbing, a fall can rupture their abdomen and kill them.


Bathtubs are terrible places for tarantulas to stay. When moving a tarantula, it’s best to keep them inside a safe catch cup. Putting your tarantula into the bathtub unprotected gives them a chance to climb out of the tub and fall onto the floor, fall into the drain or get crushed by anything falling from the walls. There are better options available for moving a tarantula to a safe place while doing any work inside the enclosure.

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Stuart is the editor of SpiderAdvice.