A few things to consider when deciding on an
Consider the size requirement of the species you are
getting. Remember most chameleons are arboreal (tree dwellers) and
prefer height over length. A good size is calculated by using the
guide (HBL = snout to vent length or base of tail)
For arboreal (height loving tree dwellers) species
short side of bottom = 3 x HBL - long side of
bottom = 4 x HBL - height = 6 x HBL
For terrestrial (ground dwellers) species i.e. Brookesia
short side of bottom = 4 x HBL - long side of
bottom = 6 x HBL - height = 4 x HBL
A good cage for chameleons will be
screen on at least three sides- they need fresh air, avoid glass and
plexi-glass - the reflection causes stress (seeing another cham) and
You should be able to maintain a
noticeable temperature gradient - depending on species some as much
as 30 degrees from basking spot to cool down. Remember they regulate
their body temp (cold blooded) thru basking.
It should allow good humidity
control, not too open and not all solid walls.
It should be able to sustain a lot of
watering without rotting or rusting.
It is best if feeder insects can not
escape, but the screening used should be open enough not to cause
injury to your cham's feet and resistant to crickets eating it.
You should be able to place a basking
light and/or a UVB light on it without melting or burning the walls.
You should be able to view your
chameleons but there should be plenty of leafy cover for them to
hide in. They do not need ground cover i.e. hollow logs.
They do not need water bowls or
bottles, they drink droplets off of misted leaves (moving water).
They need lots of various size
branches and vines to climb around on. This lets them exercise those
very strong hands and legs.
Substrates are not recommended with
chameleons. They can be ingested and cause impaction leading to
Live plants are recommended. some
species of chameleons will actually EAT the plants. If a tropical
house plant can not survive in your enclosure then it is not right
for the chameleon either. Most have very similar requirements.
You need a to use BOTH a
basking light a regular 60 to 100 watt light (depending on the size
of your cage and species of cham) works fine and florescent (ZooMed's
REPTISUN 5.0 ) UV lighting.