Things to Know Before Getting a Chameleon

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 Most people if not all want a cool exotic pet for themselves. If you are among the people who would want a cool pet be it a bird, reptile, amphibian, or any other animal it will be important for you to know the exact requirements that you need to meet.  It is cool and the experience is great but you need to have the requirements since every animal has its own specific needs.  The chameleons are not an exception. They are highly popular exotic pet choices due to the fact that they are fun to play with and stare at. Most of the reptiles usually spend most of their time sitting on the rocks but the chameleon will move around a bit. You can also leave them to climb all over you or you can watch them as they move around in their enclosure for hours.

It is everyone’s right to own a pet of their choice like a chameleon but despite the freedom, there are many cases of chameleon owners failing to take good care of their pets and they end up having health problems.  Therefore, there are some things you need to know and understand before thinking about getting a chameleon;

Chameleons are cold-blooded and they need temperature regulation

Chameleons are reptiles and they’re cold-blooded.  Unlike mammals and humans, the body temperatures of the reptiles are controlled externally. The temperature around the surrounding environments greatly affects their mobility and energy.  Therefore, if you are keeping them in a cool place that is colder than the natural habitat then their bodies might run too cold to an extent, they will not be able to move around.

The reptiles more so chameleons need a warm environment that is tailored to their body chemistry. This explains why you will find the UVB light inside the chameleon enclosures since without this important warmth they will not be able to function normally. The exact specification of the light and temperatures needed can not be stated since they vary depending on the size of your chameleon, the species, and others.  It is therefore important to do thorough research about the needed temperatures before choosing a chameleon.

Chameleon is meant to live among trees

The chameleons are arboreal species which means they are supposed to live in trees.  These animals are natural climbers and their bodies are designed for that, for instance, their unique two-prong hands are meant to cling on the sticks and branches. They are naturally meant to climb around branches and trees and in case you deny them an opportunity to climb, you will be doing them a disservice.

As an owner, whenever you are preparing a living space for this pet ensure that you provide an environment where your chameleon pet will be able to climb around. Have some e branches, leaves, foliage, and any other thing that would make the environment forest-like.  If you provide an environment that does not resemble its natural habitat you are likely to stress out your pet.  It is easy to create an environment that is tree rich within the enclosure and there is however no excuse to leave your pet to be stressed.

Choose a chameleon that is bred in Captivity

There is a different trait for every animal and for the chameleon there is one natural trait that they are always prone to and that is mainly stress. Although they are kept as pets generally, they do not do well in captivity as they would in the wild. Whenever they are placed in a new environment that they are not used to and with new people the experience can be a bit overwhelming until they get used.  The ideal solution to this is to ensure that you buy the chameleon that has been brought up in captivity by pet experts. If you buy a chameleon that is already used to a life of being confined to one area, it will be easy to transition from the previous home to the new home.  If you take a chameleon from the wild and you cage her for the rest of their life, they will be stressed and it might be too much to an extent they will not survive.

Chameleons eat Bugs

You might have seen some interesting images of chameleons munching away at a leaf and they are very gorgeous but in reality thymy primarily feed on insects. As a pet owner, it might be a bit challenging to always be buying insects from pet stores.  Before getting a chameleon as a pet you need to ask yourself if you are ready to regularly be making trips to the pet stress to buy the insects? Are you ready to fill your fridge with containers containing these foods?  This might seem like an easy endeavor more so to the experienced owners but to the beginners, this will be a tiresome assignment.

 Instead of selling or surrendering the chameleons, some people opt to feed them with a vegetarian diet and this led to some health complications which will end up in the vet. Looking at it the work of maintaining an insect’s diet is not as easy as it seems but it needs some commitment and punctuality sconce that is not the same as leaving some dry food outside for the dogs to eat. Before deciding on keeping a pet chameleon ensure you are ready for such commitment so as to raise a healthy chameleon.

Chameleons are Loners

Generally, the chameleons are solitary reptiles and they will not do good in a room that has other animals.  If you decide to keep a chameleon as a pet you should be able to provide them with a place they can live alone. Unlike the humans who are very social and will get bored living alone, the chameleons are anti-social and they will get aggressive and become stressed when they have to share their space with other animals.  If you must have two chameleons in the same enclosure they should be in a very spacious enclosure. This should however not happen unless when there is no choice.

Chameleon Drink Water from the Leaves

Water is a very important need for every creature and therefore every living thing must have its own way of obtaining water and consuming it. Different animals have different preferences when it comes to water. For instance, cats are very picky to drinking water nest to a fresh kill because a predator within knows very well that water next to a fresh kill is usually contaminated. Similarly, the chameleons have a unique way of getting their water and this is by sipping up little droplets on leaves.

If you want your chameleons to be always hydrated and healthy you will need to regularly sprinkle water in the cage or provide a fine mist once in a while. If there is no option the chameleon might finally drink from a puddle but the animal will generally not be comfortable feeding in a different manner from the natural way.  If they drink from a pebble they will not drink enough as they should have and they will end up getting dehydrated and eventually have health problems.

Chameleons require a good cage cleaning routine

Every animal that lives in a cage needs proper cleaning of its cage for it to live comfortably.  To enable your pet chameleon to live healthily and happily you need to need to have a simple cleaning routine that can be done daily and a deep cleaning and that can be done on weekly basis.  For daily cleaning, you can do simple spot cleaning by disposing all the poop, dead insects and wipe down every areas.  Weekly you can wipe out the cage more compared to daily and this should include a quick wipe down of plants and branches.

Then three is yearly general cleaning where you can move your chameleon to a safer place and take the cage completely apart. This gives you the room to soak any branches or accessories, thoroughly wipe the plants and wash the inside of the cage.

Chameleons need a Specialized Housing

To be able to stay happy and healthy most reptiles need specific conditions and therefore providing a good cage that has all these conditions might be an uphill task. The cage must look like a forest which is their natural habitat, it should also be positioned higher up like it is on a table rather than on the floor and this will allow your pet chameleon to have a preferred more elevated vantage point.  The chameleons as need an extra supply of UVB lighting, thermometers to record temperatures and humidity gauges, and misters of drip system.  These extra needs can make the whole process costly and it is, therefore, vital to ensure you calculate and establish the whole cost of setting up.

Not all chameleons change color

It is public knowledge that chameleons change their color to match the surrounding environment. However, not all chameleons change color drastically. Some can change between the vibrant hues of pink, orange, blue while others stay between the shades of brown and green. The chameleons contain a guanine crystal in their skin cell and they can be able to shift the space between crystals which changes the reflection of light from the skin.  The females are generally less color-changing compared to their male counterparts.

Chameleons Come in Many Varieties

Whenever you want to buy a pet chameleon you will never have a shortage of choices and they come in different intriguing patterns. As you pick your chameleon you should always remember that; Chameleons vary in appearance, and size depending on the type. Some are more vibrant than others while others are less flashy. Some are easy to take care of while others need complex care and it makes it difficult. It is therefore important to do proper research on the specific variety that you want to buy so that as you prepare you will be able to create an environment that is perfect for them.

Chameleons Benefit from pet veterinary Visits

You should be aware of how beneficial the vet checkups are to your chameleon. Chameleons are mysterious and whenever they have some health issues will rarely make it unless they are treated immediately.  They are easily stressed and this makes it difficult to tell whether they are stressed or they have another underlying health problem and this is the reason why visiting the vet regularly is important to the general well-being of your chameleons.

The best age to get a Chameleon

The baby chameleon is known as a hatchling and they are hatched from eggs although there are some species that are birthed alive. Among other factors that are considered when buying a chameleon, age is also an important factor.

 The majority prefer baby chameleons because;

  • The hatchlings are younger than the adults and therefore they are less aggressive and territorial. A chameleon that grows from a young age to adulthood with its owner will be more friendly to the owner and will never be aggressive even at old age.
  • Since the hatchlings are less territorial and aggressive you can put more than one of them together and train them to be less aggressive whenever they are put together with others especially the females. This will be helpful during the mating season.
  • Also, the younger the pet you are buying the longer you will enjoy the relationship together. If you want to live with your pet chameleon for long it is important to consider a young one.

Some other people prefer the adult chameleons because;

  • The young chameleons are less colorful compared to the adults and therefore the fringed and kids will not enjoy and admire them until they are 4 to 6 months.
  • Compared to the adults the hatchlings need a lot of feeding, misting, and more attention when taking care of them and this is something some owners may not be willing to offer.

How to determine whether to buy a male or female Chameleon

Care and Health issues

The female chameleons are prone to health issues compare to the males and this is because they start laying eggs at around 6 months and they continue doing so every month. They will lay them even when they do not have a male to mate with and this means they suffer more stress which affects their health while the males do not lay many eggs and this means less stress and fewer trips to the vet. Females, therefore, need more care and are generally difficult compared to the male chameleons.

Aggression and Territorialism

The chameleons are too territorial within natural habitat and they can be aggressive to any intruder. Generally, it is the males that are more aggressive and territorial compared to females and that means if you are looking for a less territorial pet you need to consider maybe a female over a male.

Color and Beauty

Among the most species of chameleons, the males are more colorful and beautiful compared to females. This is something most owners more so beginners are not aware of and they end up getting disappointed.  If you are looking for a chameleon you and your friend can enjoy staring at all day long then the ideal gender is the male.


Generally, the female chameleon is smaller than the male and they are about two-thirds of a male. This means they feed less and they will need less space. If you are l living in a place where the space is not enough but you want a chameleon pet then you should consider a female chameleon.


The female chameleons are generally cheaper compared to the males due to the fact that they are smaller, less colorful and they are short-lived. If you are a buyer and you have a small budget then the female chameleon is ideal for you.

How much it will cost to care for a chameleon

As a chameleon owner, you will spend at least 250 dollars in preparation to welcome your new pet.  The average cost of maintaining a chameleon per year will be between 950 to 1000 dollars and this includes the 300 dollars that will be spent on vet visits but that may not be used. Additionally, you need to have a budget of about 30 to 200 dollars for buying the chameleons but this will depend on the species.


The care requirements of a chameleon are more detailed compared to other pets and this means that the decision to bring one into your home should be evaluated carefully and with a lot of sobriety. It is however enjoyable when you have the right knowledge and setup and they will offer an endless amount of wonder and joy in your life.

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