College & Chameleon Advice

tecornell2

New Member
Alright! I'm a new member, and I had an epiphany last Sunday - I've always wanted a chameleon (since my third grade animal report). My cousin has raised reptiles and I've owned numerous pets before (leopard gecko, cats, dogs, fish, rabbits). So, the last few days I've jam packed every podcast, video, and this forum's threads to prepare myself for a future male Panther chameleon.

Only issue is, I'm an undergrad in college stuck in the dorms (no pets allowed). So I've come here for possible advice - let's say I move into a pet-friendly condo/house with roommates by August 2020, with room to set up my dream cham enclosure (Dragon Strand Medium Atrium, DIY pond foam background, a Mist King, all live plants; the whole nine yards).

Has anyone had experience moving with chameleons (ie. moving apartments/houses)? Or being a college student with a cham? Has anyone traveled to take their chameleon "home" over breaks (5/6 hour drive for me)? Can chameleons be transported if I were to take a 45 min flight? Would it be better to find long term chameleon sitters during these time periods - and has one had success with that?

With so many variables I need to consider, I'm hoping to find someone who's been in this position/thought about this possibility. I do not want to own a cham for a year, and then be in a position where I have to get rid of him. The beauty is that I have plenty of time to decide and save money. Of course though, I'm anxious for answers now.

If anyone can give me advice, it would be greatly appreciated!
 
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Fenway

Member
I'm also an undergrad student with chameleons. This summer I moved my chameleons from the house I was staying in to an apartment, but its only a ten minute drive so it wasn't too big of an ordeal. Previously one of the chameleons I had bought at a reptile show while I was home for spring break. So, I set up the cage at home for a few days and then drove it down to school with me when I went back to school. This was still only an hour and a half drive. I also wouldn't want to move a chameleon frequently. I have no idea about trying to get a chameleon on a plane. Long-term sitters would probably be better than moving. The longest I've been away from mine was if I went home on a Friday after class and came back Sunday. With automated lights this wasn't a problem. Being that I have an apartment with my girlfriend, no longer have a room of my own back "home," and we don't live too far from home I'm not planning on being away from my apartment and the chameleons for any extended period of time.
 

JacksJill

Moderator
Staff member
Getting and training a reliable chameleon sitter is far better than repeatedly moving a chameleon. If you are moving to a new house many people on this forum have done that. It unsettles them a little but they will get over it in a few days. They can be shipped over night if necessary. They sleep through it in a dark well packed container with proper temperatures.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I've moved twice with several chameleons and leave for a week a few times a year, a good sitter and a good set up, you should be fine. Assuming you don't have people stressing the cham out 24/7. I actually had my chams living on free ranges and in the shower for like almost 2 weeks while I set up their enclosures and moved houses. They did just fine
 

Tony_S

Chameleon Enthusiast
You say "with roommates" Will the chameleon enclosure be located in the shared roommate section? IE in a common living room? Or be in your bedroom that only you stay in that will be locked?

The reason I'm asking. Is that I had a friend who had a chameleon during my junior year of college. There were 5 people staying in the house he lived in. His roommates and friends/random people of his roommates would try to poke and do things to his chameleon when he wasn't around. He didn't had a car so was unable to take it back home right away. The cham was so sick by the time Christmas break came around it didn't make the trip back home.

I say leave it at home, but since you won't be there to enjoy the chameleon, it probably is better to wait until you can have him/her full time.
 

tecornell2

New Member
Getting and training a reliable chameleon sitter is far better than repeatedly moving a chameleon. If you are moving to a new house many people on this forum have done that. It unsettles them a little but they will get over it in a few days. They can be shipped over night if necessary. They sleep through it in a dark well packed container with proper temperatures.

Thanks for the info on overnight shipping! But you're right, a sitter is probably ideal. It might be difficult to find someone willing to though (I haven't met people who like reptiles yet lol)

You say "with roommates" Will the chameleon enclosure be located in the shared roommate section? IE in a common living room? Or be in your bedroom that only you stay in that will be locked?

The reason I'm asking. Is that I had a friend who had a chameleon during my junior year of college. There were 5 people staying in the house he lived in. His roommates and friends/random people of his roommates would try to poke and do things to his chameleon when he wasn't around. He didn't had a car so was unable to take it back home right away. The cham was so sick by the time Christmas break came around it didn't make the trip back home.

I say leave it at home, but since you won't be there to enjoy the chameleon, it probably is better to wait until you can have him/her full time.

That's a good point, but a really sad story. I would be rooming with people I know and would be sharing a room with one other person (five people total though). I trust them - and for the most part I believe they would be too scared/grossed out/whatever to mess around with a cham. But, I have a feeling they will want to throw a few parties. I suppose I could lock the cage (if possible?) and the room itself. Regardless, noise could be a strain on him. Maybe you're right about this - thank you for bringing it up.

And to everyone else, thank you for the tips and experiences. It's nice to see its possible.
 
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janjan20

Chameleon Enthusiast
Not trying to discourage you but I would also like to add the expenses and time. Chameleons aren’t cheap to keep and maintain. I have seen more than one person on this forum (in college) have to rehome due to lack of time and money to maintain the care. Just some things to keep in mind. :)
 
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