Chameleon handling


Hi im pretty upset right now, i know chameleons are really aggressive and so when being handled at times and espically dont like it, i had gotten my chameleon since and im just a high schooler who lives with my brother and i put a lot of money into this normally myself and my brother split it but its always more 2/3 me paying because i make more and my chameleon had seemed to like everyone in fact, but about a week ago hes changed he is now about 2-3 months old i feed him everyday always clean up his enclosure and everything and i hold him like once every week or two only normally when i have family over or something and he hissed at me, everytime i try to pick him up im hissed at, now the average chameleon keeper would think hes just picky and dosent want to be held well think again, everytime my brother goes to pick him up nothing he dosent care or anything. Its quite upsetting espically whenni confirmed it my brother picked him up today and i was like let me hold him to see if its just a personal thing getting him out of the enclosure and he hisses at me, so long story short my chameleon isnt mine anymore... ive associated myself in every way possible with him feeding cleaning his enclosure and everything but the only reason i could think of why he adapted to my brother more who has done absolutely nothing is there were 2 seperate occasions which occurred within the past month or two where he has had to care for him for about an hour or two while i modified his enclosure (once was to add a humidifier, the other was because i found mushrooms and i had to clean the entire thing out). Let me know your thoughts, ways to fix this/avoid this. Thanks.


Chameleon Enthusiast
At his age, he's starting to go into his teenage angst stage. It's not uncommon for them to start acting differently during this time. It could be something as simple as the color of clothing you were wearing or a recent, significant change to your appearance, like going from long hair to short hair. It could also be the way you pick him up.


My female has never liked being plucked out of her cage. But, once you settle her in your hands, she becomes happy. Try to ignore the hisses and pick him up anyway. Let him settle into your hands. Do this daily and he will become accustomed to your touch and will not resist you any longer. You have to do this with young chams if you want to handle them as adults.
Hey @Jc555 , sorry to hear that dude, id be pretty hurt if my chameleon chose my brother over me! I personally don’t know what it’s like because I’ve had physical contact with my chameleon everyday since the very first day I got him, yes you’re not supposed to pick them up, handle them etc. butttttt...I have, ONLY BECAUSE he lets me sometimes? I think? He hasn’t hissed or tried to bite me, run away or anything but of course if I reach in and offer him my hand In the cage and doesn’t want to climb on or if he tried to move away then I just leave him be but he’s always pretty much chill about it and will interact with me. He waits on the front of the cage, lets me pet him etc. My boyfriend got him for me because he was always away from work and needed company so I’m always in the same room he’s in, he knows exactly who I am, who my boyfriend and family are but occasionally will flair up a little if someone he doesn’t recognize is all up in his inclosure watching him, just the other day my boyfriends little sister was wearing his bright neon yellow t shirt and he didn’t like it, he hated her that whole day even if just the day before she held him.


Chameleon Enthusiast
If its a veiled chameleon, get used to it... Mine used to come running to me when I would open the cage. Now he comes running to me to bite me but loves being picked up by my girlfriend. They go through temperament changes as they grow.

All in all, chameleons are solitary animals and will only come together for two things, mating and fighting for territory. So any type of handling is strange and sometimes stressful. Chameleons arent exactly the most social reptiles like bearded dragons and tegus can be.

I would suggest not just grabbing him off his branch. You'll need to build and maintain trust between you two. There are plenty of threads on this forum regarding building trust and handling, so I'm not getting into that right now. Just remember, go slow, never put your hand above or over them since that is threatening and can resemble a predator. Let him come to you.
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