- Never house two chameleons
together. Even if they appear to be agreeable initially, they will
become stressed and can injure or possibly kill each other (they have
even been known to eat each other!).
have your basking lamp closer than 1 foot away from your chameleon!
If placed any closer it could result in thermal burns.
have your UVA/UVB light farther than 10 inches away from your chameleon.
The closer the better!
sure you don't overdo it with plants and sticks. A chameleon needs
a place of privacy but also "space".
use "hot rocks". Many reptiles do not recognize when they
are being burned. Just as a basking light can burn a chameleon,
so can a hot rock. Unfortunately, they are not too smart when it
comes to heat! Even if they do get burned, they will not "learn
their lesson" and can keep going back hoping to get as close
to a hot surface as they can! "Thermal pads" are good
for many reptiles, but NOT chameleons, as they do not spend much
time on the ground. Remember, chameleons require both a hot zone
and a cool zone so they can adjust their body temperatures. Keeping
them hot all the time will dehydrate them and cause a fast death.
leave your chameleon outside unsupervised. Even for a second! It
will be gone in an instant. They can move quickly when they are
excited, and will be gone up a tree, or under a bush without you
knowing. By the time you start looking in one spot, they will have
moved to another in the opposite direction, and you have virtually
no hope of finding him. Is it worth leaving your pet for an instant
with this at risk? If you must leave, take you pet with you or you
may never see him again. Even though they may appear to be basking,
and relaxing, they become extremely stimulated when outside and
will bolt to the nearest tree at any moment. Remember, they live
to climb! Personally, I never let my chameleons roam freely, even
if I am supervising them, as birds are a very dangerous threat as
are pesticides and toxic plants.
chameleon does get lost (it only takes a few seconds), it will become
so camouflaged it will be like finding a needle in a haystack. Your
chameleon will either die from lack of water, food, fall prey to
a cat/bird or most likely lack of heat. Summer nights can be very
cold and don't forget fall and winter, so don't risk it.
you prevent this? Simply, put your pet on your shoulder (hold onto
its tail!) and take it for a walk! NEVER let your pet run around
on the ground a bird could scoop it up, or get hit by a car, or
could burn its feet on hot pavement.
do take your pet with you, bring water (a small container and an
eye dropper and spritz bottle). NEVER travel with your chameleon
unless you are willing to purchase a large travel container, provide
it with water and bring ALL the essential housing requirements.
sure you come home before it cools down, or your chameleon will
get cold. Remember, they should not go below 65 degrees!
way of letting your pet enjoy the summer months is to either construct
an enclosure or purchase a birdcage (at least 3 feet x 3 feet).
I find this the cheapest and easiest method. It's also transportable
and strong. Just make sure it is sitting on solid, level ground
and preferably on a table, away from cats and other critters. Remember,
chameleons like a bird's eye view and will not enjoy sitting on
the ground in the middle of the backyard. They will feel very vulnerable.
your chameleon cannot squeeze through the cage. This type of outdoor
housing is only suitable for large adults. Smaller ones know how
to angle their heads to fit through. You'd be surprised what a small
space they can squeeze out of. They will also crawl around the perimeter
of their new outdoor enclosure looking for a "way out".
Ensure there are NO tears or gaps! Observe your chameleon, it may
begin to rub his head against the metal trying to squeeze out. One
of my Boys actually rubbed the tip of his casque off by attempting
this. If the skin breaks, infections are a risk.
use real plants that have been treated with pesticides. If you purchase
a plant that has fertilizer or small white balls that look like
Styrofoam mixed in with the earth, replant it, as your chameleon
will try to eat these!
leave your chameleon in his outdoor enclosure alone. You may be
tempted, as they weather is so nice and you think your doing him
a favor, however, remember chameleons cannot regulate their body
temperatures. They take on the temperature of their surroundings.
As the sun moves through the sky, your chameleon will either get
too hot or cold. Move the cage around, but never leave it stationary
and unsupervised. It may start to rain, wind may blow the cage over,
your chameleon could die in an hour if over heated or a curious
cat may wonder by. Be responsible!!!
constructing an outdoor enclosure, you can use fresh leaves from
surrounding trees (see list of toxic plants to avoid). You can also
use non-sterile branches ONLY outside, once inspecting them for
bugs, thorns, splinters, fungus etc. NEVER bring these items inside
and be sure to change them daily, as the heat will cause all foliage
to wilt and render them useless. The heat, moisture and lack of
ventilation can cause bacteria to form inside and your pet is in
their for at least 12 hours a day! But its all right to use these
non-sterile materials for a couple of hours outside when changed
daily. Ensure your pet has a shaded area to retreat too so he may
cool down, and a basking area to warm up in. You can weave leaves
through a birdcage well, so accommodate this environment.
pull your chameleon off a branch! It can be frustrating when you
want to get your pet down from a stick or rope, as they are so slow
moving and hesitant to release their grip. However, pulling your
chameleon can cause stress and make it grip on tighter. A chameleon
is delicate, and you can break an arm or leg in a second if you
pull or twist them. To entice him down, slip your fingers under
his hands and feet one at a time. Remember, holding and pulling
his "body" will not reassure him and make him release
his grip, as he needs his feet on solid ground first!
house your chameleon in a high traffic zone. They require privacy.
Stress will shorten their lives considerably.
place your enclosure directly next to a window. They will be too
cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. A sunbeam may appear
to be a warm comfortable spot for your pet, but don't forget the
"greenhouse effect". Your aquarium will heat up and your
chameleon will have no way of cooling itself down. You can place
your chameleon in view of a window if you take care to close the
blinds when it's too sunny or cold. You should always keep the blinds
closed in the winter as your chameleon will seasonally change and
react to the shortened diurnal cycle.
see your chameleon walking around the bottom of his enclosure or
scratching the walls of his enclosure, he may simply want "out"
or there maybe something wrong. Ensure the temperature is all right.
If this action persists investigate further. There maybe something
irritating him, as this is not normal behavior. If you have a female,
it is a sure sign that she wants to deposit her eggs!
put your chameleon is view of another, near a mirror or surface
where it may see its reflection. It will cause extreme stress, as
they are very territorial.
try to get a chameleon to change his colors for you on demand. Any
type of stress is detrimental.
expose your chameleon to a group of people, or curious children.
Chameleons are solitary, shy creatures. Share your chameleon with
one individual at a time, under supervision.
of things like; fire places, hot stoves or open toilet lids. You
get the picture.
take your chameleon into the shower or steamy bathroom under your
full supervision, remember that moisture is beneficial, but steam
for to long or that is to hot will cause dehydration! Again remember,
more is not better.