Angry chameleon

LouieTiel32

Member
I have a veiled chameleon who I just brought home almost 2 weeks ago now. He’s a really angry little guy which I’m fine with, if he doesn’t want to come out of his cage I don’t care, but what do you guys do when you HAVE to get them out? I always think about the future and there’s going to be a time where I go on vacation for at least a week, and will need to get him out of the cage to bring him to a reptile boarding place. How can I force him out that won’t stress him out horribly?


  • Your Chameleon - I have a 4 or 5 month old veiled chameleon, he’s been in my care for 2 weeks
  • Handling - Haven’t tried to handle him at all yet
  • Feeding - I am feeding small gut loaded crickets dusted in calcium powder. 4 or 5 twice a day because he’s a baby right now. He gets super worms as a treat, and will occasionally get a little bit of fruit or veggies
  • Supplements -I’m supplementing with reptacalcium, D3 every other Saturday, calcium with a multivitamin on a Saturday without D3, and then the rest of the days I supplement with a D3 and phosphorus free calcium.
  • Watering -I mist my chameleon 3 times a day, in the morning right when he wakes up, in the middle of the day around 2 or 3 pm, and then at 7 pm an hour before he goes to bed. He also has a dripper that stays on whenever I’m not home. He gets misted for 1 minute in the morning, and 30 seconds the other times. I see him drink mainly from the dripper.
  • Fecal Description - normal chameleon poop
  • History - He came from a local reptile store, that’s all I really know about him, the store didn’t provide that much info.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - The cage is a reptibreeze open air mesh cage. It’s 16 by 16 by 30, and is fine for now, but I will be upgrading to a larger cage that is mesh and glass in the summer.
  • Lighting - For his UVB I’m using the lucky herp 15 inch, 14w light. For heating, it’s not a light but a heat emitter and it’s 75w. The lights go on at 10 am and off at 9 pm.
  • Temperature -I have one thermometer right now at the cage floor, it’s always around 70-75 degrees, I also ordered another thermometer and a hydrometer to measure the basking temps, and the humidity in his cage but they won’t be here until tomorrow. The temps at night are in the 60s but no less than that.
  • Humidity - Like I said, I’ll be getting his hydrometer tomorrow. The cage is pretty humid though when I stick my hand in. Unfortunately what helps is the moss at the bottom of his cage, but I’ll be removing that because I don’t want him to get impacted. The misting helps a lot as well.
  • Plants -Not using live plants at the moment, but when I upgrade the cage in the summer I will get love plants.
  • Placement -The cage is in my room on my nightstand. There is a fan on the ceiling but it’s never on during the day and my room stays at a good temperature. I don’t live near any high traffic areas, and the house is usually peaceful and quiet. I have 2 dogs but they don’t bother Rocky, my chameleon at all.
  • Location - Gilbert, AZ
Problem: Grumpy
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast



We have to learn to accept the fact that sometimes we're going to have to stress them for their own good. Short duration stress is fairly quickly recoverable. It's the long-term stress inducers & situations (co-habitation, interrupted sleep cycles, etc.) that can be health-threatening.

In an emergency situation, medium weight gloves (e.g. garden gloves) can protect you from bites.
 
Last edited:

bbyoda

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi welcome! some Chams are definitely grumpy. my Veiled is for sure. I put a tree by his cage and leave the door open, then he gets on it, once he's out of his territory it's easier to get him on a stick and in a box to go to the vet or give him meds, etc.

Can you share pics of him and his cage?

IMHO it's worth it to get live plants now so he doesn't munch on the fake ones. Some fake vines shed and cause eye issues.

I also want to see pics of his lights. I suspect you don't have the proper T5 UVB light and not sure about your heat emitter either.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
  • Your Chameleon - I have a 4 or 5 month old veiled chameleon, he’s been in my care for 2 weeks
  • Handling - Haven’t tried to handle him at all yet
  • Feeding - I am feeding small gut loaded crickets dusted in calcium powder. 4 or 5 twice a day because he’s a baby right now. He gets super worms as a treat, and will occasionally get a little bit of fruit or veggies
I'd forgo the fruit & veggies. Veileds are known for sampling plants in their enclosures (a primary reason for using only live plants & vines), but technically, they are strictly insectivores, and don't require any plants nutritionally.

  • Supplements -I’m supplementing with reptacalcium, D3 every other Saturday, calcium with a multivitamin on a Saturday without D3, and then the rest of the days I supplement with a D3 and phosphorus free calcium.
  • Watering -I mist my chameleon 3 times a day, in the morning right when he wakes up, in the middle of the day around 2 or 3 pm, and then at 7 pm an hour before he goes to bed. He also has a dripper that stays on whenever I’m not home. He gets misted for 1 minute in the morning, and 30 seconds the other times. I see him drink mainly from the dripper.
  • Fecal Description - normal chameleon poop
How are his urates?

  • History - He came from a local reptile store, that’s all I really know about him, the store didn’t provide that much info.

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - The cage is a reptibreeze open air mesh cage. It’s 16 by 16 by 30, and is fine for now, but I will be upgrading to a larger cage that is mesh and glass in the summer.
That's six months off. He'll likely grow faster than that. It's unfortunate (but common) that you were given bad information; there's no reason baby/juvenile chameleons can't go in a full-size enclosure from day 1.

  • Lighting - For his UVB I’m using the lucky herp 15 inch, 14w light. For heating, it’s not a light but a heat emitter and it’s 75w. The lights go on at 10 am and off at 9 pm.
First I've heard of that brand.
https://www.amazon.com/LUCKY-HERP-Fluorescent-Reptiles-Amphibian/dp/B08PKJJQ9N?th=1

Your day is a little short (most recommend 12/12) but it's not a killing thing; some do adjust daylight seasonally.

For basking lights, in order of (personal) preference:
  1. incandescent household bulb (not LED)
  2. Incandescent flood (not spot)
  3. halogen flood (not spot)
  4. CHE
One reason CHEs are not preferred is that chameleons (and other reptiles) try to bask under the brightest light they see, regardless of temperature. This is often the plant light(s), so the basking light may need to be angled to shine under the brightest light to establish a basking site. CHEs can confuse animals about where to bask unless they're aimed very carefully.

What are you using for plant lights?

  • Temperature -I have one thermometer right now at the cage floor, it’s always around 70-75 degrees, I also ordered another thermometer and a hydrometer to measure the basking temps, and the humidity in his cage but they won’t be here until tomorrow. The temps at night are in the 60s but no less than that.
  • Humidity - Like I said, I’ll be getting his hydrometer tomorrow. The cage is pretty humid though when I stick my hand in. Unfortunately what helps is the moss at the bottom of his cage, but I’ll be removing that because I don’t want him to get impacted. The misting helps a lot as well.
You may need to increase misting still. Moss is also bad as it's a medium for molds, fungus, mildew, & other nasties. You can find good target temps & RH here:
https://chameleonacademy.com/veiled-chameleon-care/

and folks here recommend everyone read the Husbandry Program on the same site.

  • Plants -Not using live plants at the moment, but when I upgrade the cage in the summer I will get love plants.
I wouldn't wait to start. Artificial plants can cause impactions as well, and any live plants you get now will grow and be easily moved to a larger enclosure.

  • Placement -The cage is in my room on my nightstand. There is a fan on the ceiling but it’s never on during the day and my room stays at a good temperature. I don’t live near any high traffic areas, and the house is usually peaceful and quiet. I have 2 dogs but they don’t bother Rocky, my chameleon at all.
  • Location - Gilbert, AZ
Problem: Grumpy
 

LouieTiel32

Member
That’s fine. I just don’t get why everyone is so interested in his setup. I’ve gotten so much advice on it already, but to assume I don’t have the proper lighting for his cage?? I’ve already shown pictures of the lighting I use in his cage and have been told by other people on this server that it’s correct. I get that I’m new and you want to help, but I’ve done a lot of research and just because I’m asking how to handle a chameleon doesn’t mean I need help with other things like the whole cage setup. As I’ve stated, he’s small right now and I just bought his whole setup which wasn’t cheap. I can’t keep upgrading it the second he gets a tiny bit bigger. He is going to get a new cage very soon but he has more than enough space for right now. Same with plants, I just setup his whole enclosure a week ago. If I add in live plants I’m going to have to get him out of the cage and rearrange the whole thing. I don’t want to scare him right now as he’s still getting used to everything. Once he gets used to the new environment and used to my house, then yes I will 100% give him live plants. He has fake plants in his cage that can’t be eaten. I watched a video on Neptune the Chameleon where she talked about the best options if you’re going to go with fake plants. He hasn’t shown any signs of even trying to eat them, in fact he eats his veggies that I give him. I forgot to change the info about the substrate but I just use paper towels. He’s getting enough water, his urates are white, his poop is brown and he poops every other day or maybe every 2 days depending on how much he eats. He’s not my first reptile just my first chameleon and I get that you guys want to stress proper care. I really do understand it. I have 3 parrots as well and I too can be like that where I will make sure anyone I know who is considering a bird understands what is needed to take care of a bird. But I asked a question about something totally different to UVB or enclosure
 

LouieTiel32

Member
That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate the advice, and also I’m not saying that I don’t want to spend money on him because that’s the opposite. I just spent $500 on the cage and the things in the cage, and $150 on the chameleon to make sure I got him from a reputable reptile store. I can’t just throw all of that away one week after I got it all because he needs it to be bigger. He’s the size of my palm right now and by summer he will have a huge cage with plenty of things to climb and play on.
 

bbyoda

Chameleon Enthusiast
That’s fine. I just don’t get why everyone is so interested in his setup. I’ve gotten so much advice on it already, but to assume I don’t have the proper lighting for his cage?? I’ve already shown pictures of the lighting I use in his cage and have been told by other people on this server that it’s correct. I get that I’m new and you want to help, but I’ve done a lot of research and just because I’m asking how to handle a chameleon doesn’t mean I need help with other things like the whole cage setup. As I’ve stated, he’s small right now and I just bought his whole setup which wasn’t cheap. I can’t keep upgrading it the second he gets a tiny bit bigger. He is going to get a new cage very soon but he has more than enough space for right now. Same with plants, I just setup his whole enclosure a week ago. If I add in live plants I’m going to have to get him out of the cage and rearrange the whole thing. I don’t want to scare him right now as he’s still getting used to everything. Once he gets used to the new environment and used to my house, then yes I will 100% give him live plants. He has fake plants in his cage that can’t be eaten. I watched a video on Neptune the Chameleon where she talked about the best options if you’re going to go with fake plants. He hasn’t shown any signs of even trying to eat them, in fact he eats his veggies that I give him. I forgot to change the info about the substrate but I just use paper towels. He’s getting enough water, his urates are white, his poop is brown and he poops every other day or maybe every 2 days depending on how much he eats. He’s not my first reptile just my first chameleon and I get that you guys want to stress proper care. I really do understand it. I have 3 parrots as well and I too can be like that where I will make sure anyone I know who is considering a bird understands what is needed to take care of a bird. But I asked a question about something totally different to UVB or enclosure
Sometimes their behavior is related to their husbandry. My Veiled chilled out immensely once I moved him from his 18x18x24 baby cage to his 24x24x48 adult cage and once he had proper foliage to hide in. So much of their husbandry is interrelated it helps to understand it all to have a holistic view of care when providing advice.

We sadly see a lot of people whose chameleons have MBD, severe eye issues, or are eggbound because people just don't know what they don't know and pet stores are notorious for giving bad information. So I always ask about these things because it might save the chameleon's life and be cheaper and better on owners as well.

I don't know what your previous posts are or who reviewed your setup or lights. I get that it can be repetitive and overwhelming. But it's definitely all in the best interest of the chameleon and owners and the community too.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Just an FYI - here is op’s previous post where husbandry was reviewed. https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/stuck-shed.185872/#post-1714410
@LouieTiel32 I think the confusion is because you posted all of your husbandry, as though wanting it reviewed…so people are going to offer you help and review it. Chameleons are expensive creatures to keep and many of us know too well the frustration of spending a lot on a set up and later learning we’ve got it all wrong and need to spend more. Keep working on whatever upgrades/changes were suggested in your previous post and you’ll be doing great. :)
 

bbyoda

Chameleon Enthusiast
Just an FYI - here is op’s previous post where husbandry was reviewed. https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/stuck-shed.185872/#post-1714410
@LouieTiel32 I think the confusion is because you posted all of your husbandry, as though wanting it reviewed…so people are going to offer you help and review it. Chameleons are expensive creatures to keep and many of us know too well the frustration of spending a lot on a set up and later learning we’ve got it all wrong and need to spend more. Keep working on whatever upgrades/changes were suggested in your previous post and you’ll be doing great. :)
Aha! Yes thank you that makes sense. The pics of the lights always help and seems like you already gave great advice. :)
 

LouieTiel32

Member
Just an FYI - here is op’s previous post where husbandry was reviewed. https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/stuck-shed.185872/#post-1714410
@LouieTiel32 I think the confusion is because you posted all of your husbandry, as though wanting it reviewed…so people are going to offer you help and review it. Chameleons are expensive creatures to keep and many of us know too well the frustration of spending a lot on a set up and later learning we’ve got it all wrong and need to spend more. Keep working on whatever upgrades/changes were suggested in your previous post and you’ll be doing great. :)
Oh, I just thought we had to state that list of care and background info every time we made a new post on here. My bad! Like I said I really do appreciate the help everyone, I was just primarily asking that one question
 

LouieTiel32

Member
Sometimes their behavior is related to their husbandry. My Veiled chilled out immensely once I moved him from his 18x18x24 baby cage to his 24x24x48 adult cage and once he had proper foliage to hide in. So much of their husbandry is interrelated it helps to understand it all to have a holistic view of care when providing advice.

We sadly see a lot of people whose chameleons have MBD, severe eye issues, or are eggbound because people just don't know what they don't know and pet stores are notorious for giving bad information. So I always ask about these things because it might save the chameleon's life and be cheaper and better on owners as well.

I don't know what your previous posts are or who reviewed your setup or lights. I get that it can be repetitive and overwhelming. But it's definitely all in the best interest of the chameleon and owners and the community too.
Right, but obviously right now I think the only reason he’s unfriendly is because I’ve only had him for a week. I am just someone who tries to think ahead and I worry about stressing him out
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh, I just thought we had to state that list of care and background info every time we made a new post on here. My bad! Like I said I really do appreciate the help everyone, I was just primarily asking that one question
No problem! Sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to get someone who is asking for help to give any husbandry info. If you want, you can say in an initial post that husbandry has already been reviewed, or not. Either is fine. :)
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
That’s fine. I just don’t get why everyone is so interested in his setup. I’ve gotten so much advice on it already, but to assume I don’t have the proper lighting for his cage?? I’ve already shown pictures of the lighting I use in his cage and have been told by other people on this server that it’s correct. I get that I’m new and you want to help, but I’ve done a lot of research and just because I’m asking how to handle a chameleon doesn’t mean I need help with other things like the whole cage setup.
Don't take it personally. A lot has been cleared up by previous answers.

The interest in the setup is because most (the vast majority of?) issues with keeping chameleons we encounter here can be traced to husbandry, so empirically, it's the first place we look.

I believe you've done some research; everyone who comes here says that, but as bbyoda put it (exactly the same way I would have)...
.... people just don't know what they don't know ....
This applies to new keepers and to us trying to help who don't know what the new keepers do or don't know. You've done some research (as everyone who come here has) but we don't know what you've learned and/or what you may have missed (as we all do).

As I’ve stated, he’s small right now and I just bought his whole setup which wasn’t cheap. I can’t keep upgrading it the second he gets a tiny bit bigger.
I'm sorry to be the one, but you're a victim like many/most new keepers. This is not your fault—it's (IMO) a hobby/industry problem discussed whinged about here often.
  • There's a lot of bad information floating around.
  • It's rare for pet purveyors (aside from dedicated breeders, but including dedicated reptile stores) to know much about chameleons—much less the different requirements of different species.
  • "Cheap" "chameleon kits" are marketed & sold as a follow-up to impulse purchases of reptiles that may not be expected to survive a year (considering the stuff they put in the kits). If sources were honest about the true costs of setting up & keeping chameleons ($500 to $1000 setup plus up to $500 per year) and other reptiles, my guess is that industry revenues would be 50% (or more) lower. JMO.
He is going to get a new cage very soon but he has more than enough space for right now. Same with plants, I just setup his whole enclosure a week ago. If I add in live plants I’m going to have to get him out of the cage and rearrange the whole thing. I don’t want to scare him right now as he’s still getting used to everything. Once he gets used to the new environment and used to my house, then yes I will 100% give him live plants.
So... next week? 😁 Kidding—sort of. My point is (and was previously) these little guys grow FAST, and relocation adjustment—in most cases—is less than a week.

Stress... I could go on for pages... IMO/E, some concerns about stress are misunderstood/overblown. Inconveniencing an animal (e.g. handling, medicating, maintenance, etc) can be stressful, sure, but it's temporary and over with quickly. The kinds of stress that concern me more are ongoing, like cohabitation, keeping chameleons within sight of each other, perpetual husbandry issues, etc.

He has fake plants in his cage that can’t be eaten. .... He hasn’t shown any signs of even trying to eat them, in fact he eats his veggies that I give him.
That's some of the bad information; you shouldn't be feeding him those. Better to gut load his feeders with that stuff.
Don't take my word for it, peruse the archives.
https://www.chameleonforums.com/search/1597764/?q=veiled+fruits+vegetables&o=relevance
and Chameleon Academy...
In captivity, there is no need to feed vegetation and, especially, do not feed fruit. This has been a common practice, but not for the right reasons. Veiled chameleons are programmed to eat anything and everything to grow up as quick as possible before the dry season comes and kills them all. Just because they eat something doesn’t mean it is good for them.
[MORE]

My dog will eat chocolate and/or any number of things I could give him that could kill him, but that doesn't mean it's natural or good for him.

I forgot to change the info about the substrate but I just use paper towels.
That's fine. Either full bioactive or nothing (PT is fine).
 

Miels

Member
That’s fine. I just don’t get why everyone is so interested in his setup. I’ve gotten so much advice on it already, but to assume I don’t have the proper lighting for his cage?? I’ve already shown pictures of the lighting I use in his cage and have been told by other people on this server that it’s correct. I get that I’m new and you want to help, but I’ve done a lot of research and just because I’m asking how to handle a chameleon doesn’t mean I need help with other things like the whole cage setup. As I’ve stated, he’s small right now and I just bought his whole setup which wasn’t cheap. I can’t keep upgrading it the second he gets a tiny bit bigger. He is going to get a new cage very soon but he has more than enough space for right now. Same with plants, I just setup his whole enclosure a week ago. If I add in live plants I’m going to have to get him out of the cage and rearrange the whole thing. I don’t want to scare him right now as he’s still getting used to everything. Once he gets used to the new environment and used to my house, then yes I will 100% give him live plants. He has fake plants in his cage that can’t be eaten. I watched a video on Neptune the Chameleon where she talked about the best options if you’re going to go with fake plants. He hasn’t shown any signs of even trying to eat them, in fact he eats his veggies that I give him. I forgot to change the info about the substrate but I just use paper towels. He’s getting enough water, his urates are white, his poop is brown and he poops every other day or maybe every 2 days depending on how much he eats. He’s not my first reptile just my first chameleon and I get that you guys want to stress proper care. I really do understand it. I have 3 parrots as well and I too can be like that where I will make sure anyone I know who is considering a bird understands what is needed to take care of a bird. But I asked a question about something totally different to UVB or enclosure
I completely know what you mean, I came on here asking why mine was digging, found out she was a female which was really helpful lol I sent photos and my husbandry and I found out a lot about how to better my care for her. I was lied to where I got her and was told to buy all the wrong things for a higher price. I was also to she was a male which is why i got her. She was also housed with males.It is frustrating at 1st though because it feels like people are calling you out.
 

Mickaa2001

New Member
Hello Im new here but I have a 1 1/2 year old Veiled Chameleon. He gets lots of free time outside of his enclosure but hates the feel of human skin. I have a Branch I call Leto's stick. He will climb on the stick when its time to get back in the enclosure and I built a canopy of vines that lead from the opening of his cage to the windows with all my live plants.
 

LouieTiel32

Member
Hello Im new here but I have a 1 1/2 year old Veiled Chameleon. He gets lots of free time outside of his enclosure but hates the feel of human skin. I have a Branch I call Leto's stick. He will climb on the stick when its time to get back in the enclosure and I built a canopy of vines that lead from the opening of his cage to the windows with all my live plants.
That’s what I’m trying to train Rocky to do! He loves food, and will eat anything that looks remotely edible. I’m trying to get him to follow a cricket onto a branch, so I can let him out of his cage and he’ll eventually get a little more used to humans so when the time comes, it might be a bit easier to get him in a travel carrier. It’s definitely going to take a while, they aren’t very progressive animals 😅
 

Mickaa2001

New Member
I have a Reptibreeze xl enclosure. he will climb up and down on the door then look at me until I let him out. Hes been getting out since he was about four months old. Originally his cage was by my sw window. I live on the 3rd floor of an appartment building and he likes looking down on the street plus he has bird friends that visit at the window. I would say to open the door and just back up and give him space to just come out thats what i did for Leto . He will do it and you dont need to coach him. The stick is to get them back in the enclosure. :)
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Welcome to the forum.
Hello Im new here but I have a 1 1/2 year old Veiled Chameleon. He gets lots of free time outside of his enclosure but hates the feel of human skin. I have a Branch I call Leto's stick. He will climb on the stick when its time to get back in the enclosure and I built a canopy of vines that lead from the opening of his cage to the windows with all my live plants.
How do you know this? :unsure:
 

Mickaa2001

New Member
He will climb on my sweater or a shirt and have no problems but as soon as he touches my skin he puffs up and gets mad. Now I have never forced myself on him or tried to hold him against his will. But it’s an observation I’ve made. He will climb on the stick. He trusts me and he will climb on my clothes, close to me, he’s even climbed on my papasan chair to watch the anime on my laptops
 
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