Angry Chameleon


New Member
I have had my Cham about 2 weeks now. Yesterday I removed his 2 plants to clean them off and wipe out the bottom of his cage. The plants were out of the cage for at most 10 minutes, but he still had his twigs and vines. I knew he would be unhappy about my hands being in the cage for the cleaning, and he was. But today he was still mad come feeding time. Every day I offer him a cricket from my hand, which he looks at but wont take. When I opened his door this morning to offer him a cricket he puffed up and hissed(?) at me. Immediately I released the cricket and dumped the rest of his crickets in the cage and left him be. For quite awhile after this he had some angry black striping going on. I know the taming process takes time, hand I haven't done any handling of him yet, I don't want to force him. I know he knows I am his feeder and has been used to my hand holding a cricket out for him, up until today he'd watch the cricket move a little closer to it then retreat, and at that point I just let the cricket go. Am I just seeing a little residual stress in him today from cleaning his home yesterday or could he be trying to protect his area? I did the cage cleaning mid afternoon when my husband was there to be on lizard patrol to make sure he didn't try to make a run for it (which he did, and we were face to face for a few seconds, it scared us both I think.) Is there a better time of day to be cleaning and making changes in the enclosure, or is this just a part of the getting to know each other? Poor little man, I don't want him to be scared of me. Thanks for your thoughts.

Chameleons are VERY territorial, and when you clean his cage you are invading his territory. I wouldn't worry about it too much. I try to clean my chams cage at night so when I finish he can go to sleep. He sometimes stays mad the next day because I typically rearrange some of his plants/vines. In time he will get more used to you and become less angry. I probably wouldn't try to hand feed him every single day since you haven't had him but 2 weeks, and the little guy is still adjusting to you. Be patient and he will warm up to you before ya know it! :)
mine gets stressed out and wont stay in the cage for days after cleaning unless all the plants and branches are in the exact same spot.

As for feeding. Try food long tongs. Many will accept tongs in their domain, but will be "cage dominant" if a hand enters their territory.
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