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Chameleon Care Guide for Beginners

Chameleons are really difficult reptiles to keep as pets until they recognize their owners. However, they can be good pets, even for a new chameleon owner.

All your chameleon pet requires is the proper care, maintenance, and natural environment on a level that every chameleon requires.

Is a chameleon a good pet for beginners?

No, chameleons are not really a good pet for beginners. They are rather difficult to take care of. But it does not mean that beginners should not have chameleons!

All you need is patience and knowledge about chameleon behavior. As time goes on, you will get to know how to care for your pet.

Which type of chameleon is easiest for beginners?

The chameleon species which can be held easily are:

  • The veiled chameleon
  • The panther chameleon
  • The Jackson’s chameleon

They are the most common kinds of chameleons for new chameleon owners.

Is it hard to take care of a chameleon?

Yes! It is really hard to take care of pet chameleons, and they are difficult to maintain. But it is not always a big deal to take care of chameleons.

Where can I buy a chameleon?

Nowadays, people are frequently interested in having a chameleon as a pet, so there are many pet stores with chameleons for sale. You can buy them in a pet store and choose whichever one you want!

Is it good to buy a baby chameleon?

Yes! The better option is to a baby chameleon because they are born captive and adjusted to that kind of environment. When you bring them home, they will get adjust to their new environment soon. This may make them easier to grow as a captive reptile.

When you buy your chameleon as a baby, they will easily develop an attachment to you since they will see you from early on.

Which chameleon is better for beginners: males or females?

Well, the female chameleon consumes a more complex diet than the male chameleon, and during its pregnancy period, you need to take extra care of her and feed extra supplements. But male chameleons are stronger and more resilient when compared to female chameleons. So for beginners, buying a male chameleon is the better option.

Which chameleon is cheaper to buy: male and female?

The female chameleons are cheaper than the male chameleons because they lay eggs for their entire lives. They need a lot of care while laying their eggs.

What kind of cage is needed for a chameleon?

A chameleon’s cage should be a well-ventilated or screened cage. They need at least 16 inches in length, 16 inches in width, and 30 inches in height. They need fresh plants to climb on. More importantly, a chameleon needs to be alone in its cage.

Read more : Best Size for Chameleon Terrarium

What kind of plants should be placed inside my chameleon’s cage?

Chameleons love to climb trees. Without plants and trees, they do not feel safe. You need to place some plants and trees which are non-toxic, such as:

  • Devil’s Ivy Chameleon
  • Ficus Benjamina
  • Dwarf Umbrella Tree
  • Croton
  • Madagascar Dragon Tree
  • Hibiscus and others

You can also place some artificial plants in between, but not for the entire enclosure.

Read more : Trees and Plants for Chameleons

How to mist a chameleon cage

Chameleons need to be misted at least three times a day. They eagerly drink water droplets off the plants, so you will need to mist the chameleon’s cage often. This keeps your chameleon pet happy and healthy. There are different methods of misting for chameleons. They are:

  • misting
  • sprayer
  • water dripper

Providing UVB light for your chameleons

Providing chameleons with UVB light inside the cage is critically important for them to be able to process calcium. The UVB spectrum of light is used to provide light for your chameleon pets. The special light bulbs range from 290nm to 320nm. This should be provided for about 12 hours a day to keep your pet healthy.

If your chameleon pets are kept outdoors, then natural UVB light is available from the sunlight.

Cleaning your chameleon’s cage

A good cage cleaning routine is the most important thing that you will need to do. If you do not clean your chameleon pet’s cage, they may get angry or sad. Clean the cage at least once every three days.

Read more : Cleaning Chameleon’s Cage

Feeding the chameleon pets for the beginners

Chameleon feeding for beginners

A good, balanced diet is important for chameleons. They are omnivores.

You can feed insects like:

  • Crickets
  • Roaches
  • Mealworms
  • Waxworms

You can feed plants like:

  • Mustard greens
  • Dandelion leaves
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Kale

Baby chameleons like turnip greens!

Read more : Feeding food for chameleons

How to relieve a chameleon’s stress

Chameleons will get stressed because of improper ventilation, when they feel they are threatened, or when they are housed with two or more chameleons. To overcome your chameleon pet’s stress, you need to comfort them in some way:

  • When you find your chameleon is stressed because of improper ventilation, provide them a properly ventilated cage.
  • When you find your chameleon is stressed because they feel threatened, provide them more plants in the middle of the cage so that they can hide when they are feeling threatened.
  • Chameleons are non-social animals. You should not keep more than one chameleon in a cage, so if you have any idea of keeping two or more chameleons in a single cage, please take it out of your mind! Your chameleons will be unhappy and stressed.

4 things you need to know about chameleons

4 things you need to know about chameleons

As a beginner, the main things you need to know about pet chameleons are:

  • Do not hold them in your arms to cuddle too much. Chameleons are NOT cuddly pets.
  • They change their skin color according to their mood.
  • It is difficult to create a bond between you and your chameleon. You have to work a lot on that.
  • You have to care for your chameleon pet very kindly and thoughtfully to create a bond with it.

Do chameleons bite their owners at the beginning?

Yes, they often do bite their owners at the beginning. A chameleon bite is painful, but it is not dangerous. Chameleons are non-poisonous; hence, they could not transmit any poison to your body.

Also, there is no need to worry, because there are no diseases that can be transferred to you through your chameleon’s bite. Usually, their bite will not even draw blood.

When your chameleon bites you, just let your chameleon pet hold onto you as long as they want. Never pull your pet away from the bite and throw it. This is quite a common thing that beginners do.

Sometimes chameleons bite only for a fraction of a second, and the bite will just be a nip. They hold on longer sometimes, but very rarely.

Read more : Chameleon Bite

Final thoughts

Chameleons are not easy to handle. This does not mean that the person who does not have any experience in having a chameleon pet should not get a chameleon. Even if you are new to getting a chameleon and have never had one before, you can still get a chameleon as your own pet.

If a person has confidence that he or she can make a good bond between the chameleon pet and himself or herself, even while knowing all the possible negative behaviors of the chameleon, anyone in the world can have a chameleon as their own pet!

All you need is to give them the space that they desire and treat them with respect and care.