Things To Consider Before
Acquiring a Chameleon
Chapter 1:
Getting Started

Do you go away for weekends or are you planning any vacations? Do you have someone who will look after your pet? If so, do they mind handling insects, know what supplements they get and will they be around to turn on and shut off their lights?

In my opinion, chameleons should not be left unattended. However, some people feel comfortable leaving their chameleons for the weekend if they put the necessary lighting on timers and implement an automated watering system. I would recommend you either have someone you trust visit your chameleon every day to monitor the lighting and administer water. Remember … heating, lighting and water are crucial to your chameleons survival!

Don't forget … The Chameleon Enthusiast will care for your chameleon!

Points to ponder before purchasing a chameleon:

  • Are you planning on going to University or moving? You must always think ahead before you commit to any pet.

  • Are you prepared for vet bills? Are you willing to travel quite a distance to the nearest clinic that specializes in exotic pets? Do you know a veterinarian who treats chameleons?

  • Can you afford to pay approximately $10.00 a week (for one chameleon) for food (insects)?

  • Are you prepared to clean your bug's habitat out twice a week? If not, the food you give them will become moldy and will make your chameleon sick, not to mention become smelly and unsanitary.

  • Are you willing to provide your feeder insects with the proper nutrients? It can be quite time consuming and difficult finding certain ingredients.

  • Can you afford light fixtures that cost over $90, basking bulbs that cost at least $14 each or the very necessary UVA/UVB light bulbs that cost $45 each? (It is also important to note that UVA/UVB light bulbs should be replaced every 6 months and not just when they burn out).

  • Can you afford an outdoor structure for your chameleon, so it can enjoy the summer months outside (only when supervised, of course)? This is not necessary, but it is a nice perk for your pet! A small, secure birdcage work great!

  • Can you afford other expenses like, calcium and multivitamin supplements?

  • Are you willing to clean/sterilize you chameleon's enclosure at least one a week? If not, bacteria and infections can and will occur.

  • Are you ready to take on the responsibility to create a stimulating, safe environment for your chameleon?

  • Will you take the time to sterilize the aquarium, sticks, and only use pesticide free plants?

  • Do you have other pets? If so, they must never come in contact with your chameleon while unsupervised. The stress produced by the presence of another animal can shorten your chameleon's life significantly. Cats are particularly attracted to crickets that may be moving around the bottom of your chameleon's enclosure.

  • Does anyone in you household smoke? Your chameleon should never be exposed directly to any foreign fumes like; air freshened, smoke, perfume, paint, etc.

  • Are you looking for an interactive pet? Chameleons cannot be roughhoused, and are not suitable for children or anyone else who cannot respect their delicate nature. You can handle your chameleon and should if you want to tame it, however, remember that it requires 12 hours of light within its enclosure, so that leaves only a small portion of the day left to interact.


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What Goes Into Making a Healthy Chameleon?