chameleon stimulation?


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Has anyone ever experimented with ways to stimulate their chameleon? I have noticed that mine has begun to pace in its cage much like you would see large animals do in the zoo. I have started opening the cage door and letting my chameleon explore on its own, leaving and returning as it pleases and he seems to enjoy the freedom. I was also wondering about adding a docile lizard to the cage with him. It would be something large enough to not be eaten but small enough to not be threatening and of course it would be similar living requirements. Has any one considered this or something similar? These thoughts are not strictly confined to chameleon keeping, but possibly along the lines of a theoretical hierarchy of needs/wants (if those can be applied to a chameleon). Any ideas are appreciated.

For those with husbandry concerns:
The cage is 48"x36"x24". I have 2 15" UVB bulbs, 1 75W basking light (~95 degrees) and a second 50W halogen for cooler days. I have a habba mist (I know some people think they suck) going every hour and I mist a couple times a day. He is, at best guess, 4.5 months old and 5.5" long (66gm).
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Chameleons are solitary animals, adding another reptile will likely just stress your cham out more. If he/she is pacing, you might want to make sure that the cage is big enough, and high enough. For instance, a cage that is 2 feet by 2 feet by 4 feet tall might not provide enough "horizontal" space for a medium to large size chameleon to move about in.

Also, be sure that there is enough room for the animal to thermoregulate.
I know chameleons are said to be solitary animals, but that is most often said in reference to its own species. I have a tough time thinking of any animal that is a truly solitary creature. I am not saying that together the two animals will continually interact, but they will form some sort of “natural” distraction or stimulation that we as people are always looking for.
Consider starting your experiment with another reptile in a seperate cage . Move it nearer your chams cage over the period of several weeks. If at any point it is too stressed, then end the experiment.

My nephews have a male Fischer and male Dermenensis side by side in seperate cages. They often spend hours together in a basking tree in their room and are not stressed . They could choose to fight or flee, but are quite happy to sit side by side even though the Ficus tree is large enough for them to be quite seperate.
Why another lizard won't work

You mentioned trying another lizard that is large enough to not be eaten, but small enough to not be threatening. The only lizard large enough to not be eaten would be a lizard nearly as large as the cham, which would most certainly be threatening/stressful for the cham. My panther once ate a 5" long wild gecko(or was it an anole?not sure)that ran into the cage when I was cleaning it.(He is kept outdoors in florida and my patio is crawling with wild lizards) It led to a bad case of indigestion, but luckily he survived. Most species of chameleons ARE solitary, just because they encounter other animals in nature does not mean they enjoy it or get positive stimulation from it. The best stimulation for chameleons is food variety. A varied diet seems to really perk up a cham. Pacing can be caused by lack of a proper thermal gradient, if he can't find a comfortable temp, he will pace. It is easier to provide a range of temps in a larger cage. Males also tend to roam around if they are not bred, this is seasonal and will pass. Hope this helps.
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