Close up photograph of a chameleon's face

Over recent years, chameleons have become increasingly popular to have as pets. They are among the most weird and wonderful creatures of the animal kingdom, and are definitely fascinating. There are many different species of chameleon, but we are going to discuss them in a broad term throughout this article.

Although chameleons are popular reptiles to have as a pet, there are things you should be aware of before deciding to bring one into your home.

Chameleons are solitary creatures

Chameleons are extremely anti-social. They are solitary animals, and that includes hating human interaction. Both in the wild, and in captivity, they are highly territorial. Both males and females will fight each other. Sometimes pairs may possibly get along if they are housed in a large enclosure that is heavily planted, but this is rare.

These solitary creatures hate being handled – so if you are wanting a pet that you can handle often, think again about getting a chameleon. However, they exhibit some fascinating behaviours if you leave them undisturbed, and observe them only.

Chameleons become easily stressed

Many chameleon owners, especially inexperienced, are unaware of how easily these creatures can become stressed and struggle to spot the signs that their chameleon is stressed.

Person holding a chameleon

Because of their placid and laid back nature, the signs that they are stressed or scared are harder to spot than most animals. The warning signs include freezing or dropping to the floor (if they feel threatened), changing colour to match their surroundings and having their mouths gaping open. Being stressed and feeling threatened long term, can have a significant impact on your chameleon’s health and immune system.

Chameleons need a varied diet

Chameleons need a highly varied diet in order to thrive. The majority of their diet consists of a wide range of live insects, but some species also eat dark leafy greens. Below are examples of some of the insects they can eat on a regular basis:

  • Moths
  • Butterflies
  • Grasshoppers
  • Beetles
  • earwigs
  • Smooth Caterpillars
  • Mealworms
  • Silkworms
  • Locusts

Do you have room for their large enclosure?

One of the most important things to consider before you decide to get a chameleon as a pet, is whether you have space in your home. The correct enclosure size for a chameleon can often take up a whole room. Ample climbing space and ventilation is also critical to their well-being.

Custom-made cages, commercial screen terrariums and modified bird aviaries, stocked with branches, vines and live plants, are among the best options for pet chameleons. Heavy plant cover will put your chameleon at ease.

Rachel Smith
Rachel Smith is a huge animal lover and has always been passionate about the wellbeing of pets. She currently has a rescue dog, Stewie and a corn snake, Samson, but has experience of looking after various different pets over the years.

Similar Articles