Chameleons as Christmas presents -- Input needed!

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Well, I started out with pet store advice. I've returned as much as possible but they sold me so much wrong stuff or sub-performing products. I'm about 1000.00 in. and I have plastic plants and vines that have no use.🤣
Oh, but those plastic plants can have a great use! Attach them to the outside of your enclosure to give your chameleon more sense of privacy. ;)
 

ChamelaChameleon

Established Member
Oh, but those plastic plants can have a great use! Attach them to the outside of your enclosure to give your chameleon more sense of privacy. ;)
Great idea. Ok. I'll retrieve those plastic plants from file 13 (trash bin). I spent at least 100.00 on those things. I would have preferred to invest in a Jungle Dawn for my live plants. On a serious note, bad advice, prior to this forum, increased my initial cost and time. Yesterday, I spent 10 hours removing everything in Carmelo's enclosure and installing structural/climing/ basking branches to implement my husbandry plan, based on the review. Today, I will add ledges and live plants. Carmelo and I are both stressed with all the changes, but it's worth it.
 

ChamelaChameleon

Established Member
It's that time of the year when parents, etc. start to consider getting their kids a chameleon as a pet. At this point my YouTube channel covers all the basic husbandry videos such as what supplies a chameleon needs, cost, what cham is recommended for beginners, how to set up an enclosure, etc. But I would love to do a video tailored to parents who are looking at getting a chameleon for their kid. So I am asking for help from the parents and kids on the forums to help me pull together some advice, things to consider, etc for parents who would be watching this video. Here are some things I want to mention in the video. Just remember this isn't a video to teach someone how to care for a chameleon -- I already have videos on how to do that that go into more detail than this video could provide.
  1. They're a look-at pet
  2. What age is appropriate for a child to get a chameleon (Anyone have any thoughts on this?)
  3. The parent needs to be able to oversee the care of the cham
  4. They will need to be okay with live bugs
  5. Chameleons have advanced care requirements
  6. Buy from a good breeder
  7. Make sure the child will want the chameleon for 7+ years -- have a back up plan in case your kid loses interest
  8. Look up a good reptile vet in your area
  9. Be prepared to spend hundreds of dollars on the set up and care
  10. Reoccurring costs include food, supplements, bulbs, and plants
  11. Chameleons cannot travel between homes or travel in planes to go to college
What else would you add?
Time: consuming. I adopted Carmelo Cham as a gift for a 15 year old who previously owned a crested gecko. We are 2 months in. Due to the complex husbandry, feeding, and monitoring requirements, I have not turned over complete care to her. I am the primary care giver and will remain as such for at least 6 months. I created a husbandry journal checklist that I review with her 3 times a day. Before and after school, and before bedtime.
 

MissSkittles

Chameleon Enthusiast
Great idea. Ok. I'll retrieve those plastic plants from file 13 (trash bin). I spent at least 100.00 on those things. I would have preferred to invest in a Jungle Dawn for my live plants. On a serious note, bad advice, prior to this forum, increased my initial cost and time. Yesterday, I spent 10 hours removing everything in Carmelo's enclosure and installing structural/climing/ basking branches to implement my husbandry plan, based on the review. Today, I will add ledges and live plants. Carmelo and I are both stressed with all the changes, but it's worth it.
I think there’s a lot of us who spent a small fortune on all of the wrong stuff. And we were so darned happy about it too, thinking we were going to be giving our chameleons the best. Before I realized I could use the fake plants on the outside, I just placed them around the room on shelves as little accents.
 
I taught my kids not to run up to the nclosure or interact with my baby chameleon at all, by explaining to them first how baby rabbits will stress themselves to death. Then explained chams do sort of the same thing....but I agree....chams should NOT be used a Xmas gifts! My father in law currently wants to get my brother one...and I said "NO, DONT DO IT." And tried to explain to him how FRAGILE they are....but most adults...don't care...as long as their kid is happy -.- he even asked me if I can house the cham with mine when he gets it. I said NOOOOOO of course. One thing I noticed that the kids thought was annoying and the older teen didn't want a part of....was the task of turning on the lights at a certain time, and shutting them on, ontop of misting and feeding early in the AM...then the cost, phew that one really hit a home run with him.
My Father in law thought it was the stupidest thing, so I told him, DONT BUT TREVOR one then......hopefully this works..


I know better than to get my kids live animals as pets. Their grandparents got them hermit crabs once....and guess who takes care of them....me....3 yrs later.....


My son STILL ask for a bearded dragon, every holiday and bday. I REFUSE...everytime...because no one here at this house understands, animals live long lives, their batteries DONT wear out( How i explain it)..and when your bored you can't just "get rid " of it....

Then I write up, how much it'd cost, as well as how stinky the cage can get, and how often you'd have to clean it, usually this throws them off for a while....


For parents I'd be like "you like buying yourself something nice every now and then? Get a chameleon, and you won't have the money too. NO MORE happy hour, no more wine, all extra funds belong to the cham" Break down the cost with rough estimate....usually works....
 

dinomom

Chameleon Enthusiast
As a chameleon owner and father of four kids, I would likely recommend against buying a chameleon as a gift if a parent were to ask my advice. However, assuming the recipient of the chameleon really wanted one and had invested time studying up on care, I'd suggest they get the enclosure set up and let the kid care for the plants/environment for at least a couple weeks and make sure all the variables can be dialed in before the live lizard ever comes home.
Agree here, let the set up etc be the present. Tell child once they have it running properly you will take them to get the inhabitant.
 
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