Chameleons are not the easiest pet to take care of, and are more for the advanced reptile enthusiast. That said, they are beautiful creatures and they can thrive if well looked after.
Our pet care advice below will help you decide whether a chameleon is right for you:
Different types of chameleon
There are a few different chameleons suitable to be kept as pets: The Veiled or Yemen Chameleon is one of the easier species to keep. They can grow to two feet, so make sure you consider that when buying a cage.
Panther Chameleons are active during the day, and require a similar environment to the veiled chameleon. They grow up to about 20 inches.
Jackson’s chameleons are the smallest of these three breeds, and grow to around 10 inches. Some species of Jackson’s chameleons also have a horn.
All chameleons prefer not to be handled, and need to be housed on their own. If you want to breed your chameleons, make sure you look into this carefully.
Getting the environment right
A chameleon’s natural habitat is the humid rainforests and arid deserts, so they need a humid environment with enough space to allow for their tree climbing – the minimum size is three feet by three feet by four feet tall.
You’ll need to include lots of tree branches and foliage within the cage. The chameleon likes to bask, and you’ll need different basking spots, in a range of different temperatures, depending on your type of chameleon.
You’ll also need UV lighting that’s designed for reptiles as well as a misting system if you’re not going to be there to ensure humidity is at the right level. Misting needs to take place twice a day.
Feeding your chameleon
Chameleons are insectivores, and so a mixed diet of crickets, roaches, and worms is their preferred menu. Some also like vegetation such as fruits and vegetables.
Chameleons don’t drink from a bowl, preferring to take droplets of water from the leaves, so it’s important you’re misting twice a day, or providing a water system that drips.
With the right pet care, chameleons are a fascinating pet to keep, but are probably not for you if you want a reptile to handle. You’ll also need to put time into making sure their environment is right, as they can easily get sick if not.