General Tips  
Chapter 2:
Environment

  • Beware of placing your enclosure near a window or near an indoor real or artificial tree. You may think your chameleon will enjoy looking outside, but it actually causes stress. At least 3 sides of your enclosure should be opaque, so your chameleon has privacy. If your chameleon can see a tree near its enclosure, it may try to get out to climb it and become extremely stressed. I house mine "near" windows, but ensure the blinds are down when it's hot out. I like to give them stimulating things to look at, without causing stress. You will have to observe how your chameleon reacts to various stimuli.

  • Leaving your chameleon near a window can be deadly! The sun will produce enough heat to cause a "greenhouse" effect especially if your chameleon is being housed in an all glass aquarium that has no circulation.

  • Your enclosure should be on a stand (or desk, table etc.) so it is off the ground. Chameleons dwell in the treetops and like height. Ensure you purchase an appropriate stand for stability. Never place your enclosure too high, as it will make it difficult for you to access.

  • Your chameleon may be able to see his reflection in the glass of the aquarium. As they are VERY territorial they can get very angry if they think there is another chameleon near by. To combat this reflection, you can purchase aquarium wallpaper (sold by the foot in the fish section!).

  • If you have other pets, beware, especially regarding cats. Cats love to watch the bugs in the enclosure and tend to jump on top of the enclosure (especially if its situated near a window, that way, they get a better look to by sitting on top!). If you have a cat, keep the door closed at all times to whatever room your chameleon is in. I would also recommend purchasing a metal top, so it could sustain a cat jumping up by accident! They are also much more durable and cost the same.

  • If you do not use substrate, you may want to place colored paper underneath the bottom of the aquarium, so your chameleon cannot see through the bottom. Mine became stressed when I stopped using substrate (they kept looking down at the glass floor trying to get out!).

  • Never attempt to lift your chameleon up by grabbing its body and pulling him/her off a branch. Instead, let your chameleon come to you or slip your fingers (one at a time) under his/her feet. Pulling can easily break an ankle or wrist!


REMEMBER: Your chameleon and its reaction to its environment is dynamic. It may notice or react to something immediately or a year later, so be observant and do not assume a particular variable is not a fault for a sudden reaction just because he has never reacted to it before!


Previous Section:
Your Chameleon's Enclosure