Chameleons are advanced reptiles that take a long time to adjust to their owners. They are very delicate and this is why you should cater to their needs as precisely as possible if you want them to live with you.
However, we don’t recommend keeping them as pets if this is your first interaction with reptiles or you haven’t owned previous animals of the same category. Under these circumstances, we suggest you first start with a bearded dragon, a reptile that resembles the chameleon but it’s easier to look after and more sociable.
If you do want to adopt a chameleon, here are some aspects you need to take into account.
They’re not very sociable
Although some reptile breeders mentioned they have bonded with their pets, the truth is that chameleons aren’t very social. They don’t particularly enjoy being handled or pet, so the best thing you could do is simply observe them from a distance.
They are not companion animals like rodents or dogs and won’t seek your attention often. Some chameleons can be tamed but they will never enjoy your companionship fully. Therefore, they aren’t suitable pets for children either, so don’t try to force it by bringing one home to your child.
They require special accommodation conditions
Unlike other pets that only require a comfortable bed to sleep in and enough food and water for a healthy diet, chameleons are more demanding. You’ll have to look for a large glass terrarium to keep them and make sure the environment is suitable for them.
They live exclusively in trees so you’ll have to provide enough natural decors like tree branches and leaves for them to climb and sit on. Make sure the foliage and all other cage decorations are made of nontoxic or natural materials as your pet may chew on them.
As a general rule, they’ll also need hotter temperatures, and this is why you’ll have to constantly keep a heating source, enough light, and a thermometer inside the cage.
They need constant visits to the vet
As we previously mentioned, chameleons are sensitive, so they might develop a series of life-threatening conditions. Most of them suffer from vitamin A and calcium deficiencies, so pay close attention to their diets.
Mood and color swings
Chameleons are easily stressed and this shows in the colors they display. However, changing colors also represents a mechanism for regulating their body temperature, camouflaging or even communicating with other chameleons.
Generally, brighter colors show excitement, happiness, and other positive emotions, while darker tones like grey, brown or black may indicate stress, anger or disease. Learn to read your chameleon’s mood and make sure it has everything it needs to be a happy pet.