Food items can be bought in a pet shop. Consider the size of your chameleon when deciding on the size of the food. Crickets, mealworms, king mealworms (use mealworms sparingly due to high chitin content), waxworms, cockroaches, silkworms, hornworms, wild caught insects from a pesticide-free area, mealworm beatles and flightless fruit flies can be tried. Variety is very important with chameleons. When feeding, reptile vitamins should be dusted on the food. Juveniles need to be fed twice a day. Adult chameleons should be offered food every other day.
It can help to place crickets in a securely fastened container close to your chameleons. You can also hand feed or throw crickets into the cage to roam around. Some chameleons will not come down to the ground to hunt.
All species should be housed in a well ventilated open cage. Chameleons prefer height over width. Ask a reptile room employee for help in choosing an appropriate cage size. There should be enough of an area to allow the chameleon to self-regulate their body temperature and find suitable areas which provide them the necessary comforts of survival. Three dimensional habits with rocks, bushes, trees and artificial plants are highly recommended. Ground medium can be soil, cypress mulch or ReptiBark. Position your decorations in a way that allows your chameleon to get out of view when it feels necessary. Freshwater should not be placed in a shallow dish because most chameleons will always drink from the drops of water on the leaves of plants. This effect is achieved by using a drip system, a bottle with a spout that drops water periodically into the cage, causing water to fall onto the plants, see one of our chameleon cages for an example. A regular misting with water several times a day is beneficial and suggested. We suggest using a fountain for water. Whenever possible, chameleons benefit greatly from natural sunlight. Allowing your pet a some time in the sun will greatly benefit its health.
Heating & Lighting Requirements
Ambient heat in the cage should range from 72-88 degrees. Warmer basking spots may approach 88 degrees. Providing a variety of temperatures allows your chameleon to choose the temperature it needs. We suggest the use of special reptile full spectrum bulbs (5.0 UVB), and the use of incandescent or ceramic heat bulbs. Monitor your temperature, some people use a "warm the whole room system" for their pets who are enclosed in a special room in the house. At night, the temperature should drop from 70-75 degrees. This can be done with the help of a reptile night light which emits heat but no light, thus allowing the reptile to experience a natural light and dark cycle. We also have special light fixtures with two switches. You can turn on one side for daylight and the other side for nightlight. Be sure to provide shaded areas for your pet. Please refer to a book concerning the particular chameleon you choose: many suffer, some fatally, if kept too warm.
These creatures are VERY sensitive and should NOT be handled - handling will causes stress and could lead to death for the chameleon. These animals should be kept in a very stress free environment. These delicate reptiles have several features which attract people to them, and these include their s-l-o-w deliberate movement, their eyes which can move independently, specialized limbs and digits, and a remarkable tongue which they use to catch prey. Successful keeping of these lizards requires daily care, and they are not recommended for people who are too busy - perhaps a more common lizard might be a better choice for anyone who cannot be dedicated to their special care needs. If you have a strong desire to keep these animals, the rewards of your time and effort will be repaid in years of watching these fascinating creatures! Their unique ability to change color is related to their body temperature, and their state of mind (stress or no stress).
Chameleons are very sensitive animals and will require quite a bit of special care in order for them to live a long healthy life. Be sure your pet is kept in a quiet place and not disturbed.
When feeding your pet you want to only feed enough to keep the base of the tail plump. You do not want food items crawling around in the cage. The chameleons will only kill what they intend to eat and will allow the other insects to chew on them.
We strive to help our customers keep their pets healthy. We recommend purchasing a book about your lizard and taking the chameleon for regular vet visits. If you do notice any signs of illness you need to seek treatment as soon as possible as most animal will hide their illness until it is in an advanced stage.
If you notice any external parasites it is important to get treatment to get rid of them. We suggest a routine worming program and working with an experienced vet.
Providing your chameleons with plenty of climbing areas and a correct temperature zone will allow them to acclimate to being in your new environment. Knowing your enclosure is hot is not enough! Overheating can cause death in a matter of minutes! Keeping an animal too cool will result in a weakened immune system, trouble in digesting food and difficulty with normal body functions.