Info for new keepers with young veiled or panther chameleons

When I had baby veileds this was the info that I provided to the new owners. Hopefully it will help you with your new veiled or panther. I have some additional information at the bottom for the female chameleon which should be handled differently.

You will need a starter cage to begin with. I'd get a cage no bigger than 36 high at the max to start with. Too big he will not be able to find his food. Even a little smaller would be good. Dyi Cages has about the best cage for the money and get something small enough that it will fit in your car so you can use it for visits and so forth when he moves up to a big boy cage (48 inches high) or a free range tree.

You need a Reptisun 5.0 tube light. You can see a pic of it here: It's the best UV bulb in my opinion.

You probably will not need a basking light right at first if he's young.....under 3 months old. He'll be so young he'll only need to bask at about 82 to 84 until 4 months old. Then you can start bumping up the temps about a degree each month until you reach 89 degrees. Luie (my adult male veiled) bask at 88 or 89 for an adult panther 85 or 86. You can use a household bulb and you'll have to keep testing the temps. (25 to 40 watt or so). You will need a way to check your temps. This is the temp gun like I use and it works great.|cksum:3023501469410b78fe7577c240e89703a32681113bb8|ampid:pL_CLK|clp:2334524

Your lights need to be hanging across the top of the cage and you need allot of vines and branches 8 inches or so down from the top.....under the lights. Veileds love to bask and you don't want him to get a burn or rub his casque on the screen or he'll wear the top off.

You can buy the Little Dripper or you can make a homemade dripper. Take a plastic cup or bowl and poke a very small holes in the bottom. As adults you can use a plastic milk jug. Fill it with warm water and make sure it drips very slowly over a vine with leaves so your little guy can drink from the leaves. Also mist for a pretty long time. It takes awhile for them to start drinking. I would mist 3 times a day for 3 minutes or so at first. Just make sure the cage dries out real good between each misting. As adults I mist twice a day for about 5 minutes and mine also drink water from a dropper. You will need drainage for your cage. Maybe some holes in the bottom with a bucket or pan sitting under it to catch the water.

Branches from outside are ok from most trees. Clean them well and some member bake them in the oven. Cut the branch the size you need and thumb tacks can be use on each end to hold the branches up. You can also get vines and branches here:

You will need live plants for your cage to help keep up the humidity. I really like the Pothos it seems to hold the water for a long time and also does quite well inside. The Ficus and Schefflera also do great indoors. The Hibiscus is a favorite of the veileds but needs allot of light so your need to use hibiscus outside or have a couple to rotate from inside to outside for sun. Your plants will need to be washed and rinsed well and replanted before you use them. Use organic soil and buy large river rocks to cover the soil so your cham will not be able to eat the soil. Make sure the rocks are very large so the cham cannot eat the rocks.

You really need the 5.0 UVB bulb like the one in the link above. Proper lighting and supplements are a must to keep you guy from having MBD. If it's fairly warm in your house at 2 to 3 months old you will not need a basking bulb, when older or if your house is cold you might need one. Measuring the heat is very important. I highly recommend a temp. gun. Very important to know their temps. They can fry in a very short time in the heat. If to cold they will not be able to digest their food. At night he needs to be dark, no light, and cool so he can rest. He should be 10 degrees cooler at night than in the daytime but not below 65........70 as a baby.

The feeders have to be "lightly" dusted with 2 kinds of supplements. When your chameleon is young you will use plain calcium (no d3) at just about every feeding...... if you skip one or two days a month that's ok. You will also need Reptivite with d3 twice a month. You can see pictures and buy these supplements here:

An adult male chameleon will not need nearly as much supplements. If your Cham gets allot of outside time and you feed a large variety of well gutloaded feeders, he may not need any calcium or D3 at all, just a multivitamin without D3.

You need to gut load the feeders with greens they are excellent. You can use collard greens, kale, bell pepper, carrots, butternut squash apple and orange. You can also buy a premixed dry gut load. My vet makes one that I use and one of the Forums members sales it.

The Raising Kitty link on keeping veileds is excellent. I still refer to it from time to time. http://raisingkittytheveiledchamele...-max=2008-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=11

A female will probably never need a basking light. I use a double fixture with one UVB bulb and one regular fluorescent bulb and that works perfect. As a baby her basking temps should be at 80 to 82. Being female basking should be in the low 80's her entire life unless you breed then you could up it a bit...84 or still want a small clutch. If your house is cold you might need a 15 or 25 watt basking bulb for a female. I sometimes use 15 just to give my girl a tad warmer spot to hangout under to bask.

This blog is VERY IMPORTANT for keeping a female:

I also highly recommend that you set up a cham savings account BEFORE you buy a chameleon. Chameleons are expensive to keep between feeders, supplies and vet bills. I also highly recommend that you find a good chameleon vet for regular checkups and emergencies BEFORE you buy a chameleon.View attachment 198317
About author
I have been keeping chameleons since 2004. At present our family consist of my pet chameleons, my Tokay Gecko, a red foot tortoise a box turtle, my green Iguana and two ball pythons.


yeah Jann.. this is great information for those new to the hobby!!!! it seems to have all of the pertinent information for successful cham keeping!!!!
i just now seen this and i was still giving everyone the raisingkitty link...great job jann!! il start sending this link out instead :)
this has been the biggest help I have ever read.Thanks so much for your time and effort as it really has helped me!!
Holy crap! I get Rango now!! Yeah me.. I read your article. Spent tons of time reading the same things..and bought a fair amount of supplies.. including old and new books on amazon. A looked places like the sponsors page and watched videos of Herp People..
Maybe you should write a Chameleons for Dummies book !!!
Did I tell you that I saw something of yours where you were giving someone applesauce. I nuked some diced apples and gave them to Cammie also.. After she sat in the hot sun all day long. It was the best advice ever! Thank You!
Is the tube UVB light an absolute MUST? I have a dome now and have been told it will work just fine.
What are your thoughts on using for heat a 6500 kelvin lightbulb from Home Depot? I use 4 foot fixture for the UVB lights which is reptisun 5.0 but I don't think that this heat bulb is hot enough???
I agree with everyon great job simple enough and very helpful thank you.
So many helpful links!!! Thank you so much. You know how to take care of chameleons very well!!!
This is great information! Question? When you say “rinse” the plants you purchase, do you mean the whole plant or just the leaves or roots?

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