Chameleon Care Sheet
Correct cage size is a very important part of caring for your Chameleon. Chameleons MUST be housed in fully screened fresh air cages. These types of cages allow for proper ventilation and humidity. Glass cages do not work well because of lack of air movement. Chameleon's are arboreal, which means they spend their whole lives in trees and they love to climb. Therefore they need more vertical space than horizontal space. You will need a small cage for a young Chameleon, a medium cage for a juvenile Chameleon and a large cage for an adult Chameleon. It is highly recommended that you change the cage size as your Chameleon grows. Chameleon's are solitary creatures so we recommend only keeping one adult Chameleon per cage. The bigger the cage you can supply for an adult the better. Avoid using substrate in your Chameleons cage. Since Chameleon's like to climb remember to provide lots of branches and vines for them to climb on. You can use live plants but be sure they are safe to use. Live plants offer many more benefits than fake plants. You can see our safe plant list to find proper plants to use.
A UVB bulb is crucial because Chameleons need this to help break down calcium. A basking branch should be placed around 6 inches from the UVB bulb. We recommend UVB 5.0 for young Chameleon's up to 8 months and a UVB 10.0 for Chameleon's over 8 months of age. The lighting needs to be on a 12 hour cycle, 12 hours on, 12 hours off. We recommend changing your light bulb every 6 months because after time the UVB bulb may still come on but the proper amount of UVB isn't being emitted. This can lead to your Chameleon developing MBD or Metabolic Bone Disease. UVB light cannot penetrate glass or plastic so remember to remove the cover if using a light housing with a cover, otherwise your UVB is useless.
For younger Chameleon's under 5 months of age a basking spot in the upper 80's is recommended. Adult Chameleon's can tolerate 95 degrees under their basking light. Room temperature should be around 75F during the day and 70F during the night. Do not allow room temperature's at night to drop below 65F. Chameleon's are Ectotherms, which means they seek outside heat sources to raise their body temperature. This helps properly digest and metabolize their food.
The average household humidity is around 45%. Chameleon's should be kept around 30% to 70% humidity. Humidity levels will rise after misting. Chameleon's do not recognize standing water so we don't recommend putting a water dish in their cage. Instead they drink the water droplets from the leafs of the plants. When misting their cages make sure to mist all the plants. You should mist at least 3 times a day. Allow the cage to get completely dry before misting again.
Chameleon's are Omnivores. Their main diet will be insects but occasionally they will consume leaves, blossoms, and fruits of various kinds. Insects can range from crickets, roaches, and silkworms as a staple diet and superworms and hornworms as a treat. All of these feeders should be feed a healthy staple diet and gut loaded before feeding to your Chameleon. Gut loading is crucial because it provides the nutritional needs for your Chameleon. Many feeders should also be dusted with vitamins and minerals according to their age and size.