Getting my chameleon back in his cage

Martha06

New Member
Hello! I got my chameleon, Obi about a month ago. Recently, I have been leaving his cage door open with an artificial tree next to it so he can come out and explore on his own terms. Both times I've put him on it, he doesn't want to go back into his cage and would rather stay on the fake tree. I have tried rotating the tree so that he is right next to a branch from his live tree in his cage, but he climbs away from it. He has been on this tree for almost 3 hours and I don't know how to get him off. He is still a little scared of me, so I can't handle him yet either. Let me know! Thanks!
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
So this is the issue with letting them out when you have not built trust with them. You have to know you can easily move them without them jumping. Especially if they are younger. They can leap to get away from you.

Best bet try to coax him from behind back into the cage.

I would also post pics of your entire set up to make sure there is not something missing that he wants from the cage.
 

Martha06

New Member
Oh, he's going back into his cage now. I will still send pictures. I thought that by him exploring would help him feel more comfortable around me.
 

Martha06

New Member
IMG_6997.jpeg
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
View attachment 307433
My UVB hood isn't very long, i wasn't able to find the longer hood, only the shorter T5 hood
Ok so your guy is not able to get UVB with the positioning and the ficus being so tall there.

You need it to be over a branch that is unobstructed above it. If your using a T5 with a 5.0 or 6% bulb you want 8-9 inches to branch. If your using a T5 with a 10.0 or 12% bulb you want 11-12 inches to branch.

Also you need plant lighting or they will all die off. These are really good fixtures https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/t5-uvb-light-fixture.html
They come with the plant bulbs. I would run two for plants and one for UVB. Or at least 1 for plants and one for UVB.
Get this bulb and replace one of the bulbs that come with it. In the 22 inch size for the 24 inch fixture. https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/zoo-med-reptisun-5.0-uvb-t5-ho.html

These can be run on their own timers or daisy chain together.
 

Martha06

New Member
Well the inside looks great. Ficus may be blocking UVB though. Can I see the lights on top?
Ok so your guy is not able to get UVB with the positioning and the ficus being so tall there.

You need it to be over a branch that is unobstructed above it. If your using a T5 with a 5.0 or 6% bulb you want 8-9 inches to branch. If your using a T5 with a 10.0 or 12% bulb you want 11-12 inches to branch.

Also you need plant lighting or they will all die off. These are really good fixtures https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/t5-uvb-light-fixture.html
They come with the plant bulbs. I would run two for plants and one for UVB. Or at least 1 for plants and one for UVB.
Get this bulb and replace one of the bulbs that come with it. In the 22 inch size for the 24 inch fixture. https://www.pangeareptile.com/store/zoo-med-reptisun-5.0-uvb-t5-ho.html

These can be run on their own timers or daisy chain together.
Okay great, I normally trim some branches off of the ficus so the UVB can spread to more places around the cage, but I also just bought the lights you suggested.
 

Klyde O'Scope

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello! I got my chameleon, Obi about a month ago. Recently, I have been leaving his cage door open with an artificial tree next to it so he can come out and explore on his own terms. Both times I've put him on it, he doesn't want to go back into his cage and would rather stay on the fake tree. I have tried rotating the tree so that he is right next to a branch from his live tree in his cage, but he climbs away from it. He has been on this tree for almost 3 hours and I don't know how to get him off. He is still a little scared of me, so I can't handle him yet either. Let me know! Thanks!
I know you got him back in, but for the future...

This has happened to me a couple of times—once when we let him out to work on his enclosure and once when... he got out—we don't know how.

Both times, I was able to coax him onto a stick—first my making it available as an avenue, and if that didn't work, gently sliding it under his chest so he had no choice but to grab it and climb aboard.
Once on the stick, it was a fairly simple matter to place him inside the enclosure where he could climb onto the branches & plants he was familiar with.

This may also help:


It can also work with scared/frightened chameleons. ;)
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Okay great, I normally trim some branches off of the ficus so the UVB can spread to more places around the cage, but I also just bought the lights you suggested.
If you push the ficus to the side of the cage away from the heat lamp you can then leave an area of the top basking open for the cham to get UVB without obstruction.
 

a_ariana

New Member
Hello! I got my chameleon, Obi about a month ago. Recently, I have been leaving his cage door open with an artificial tree next to it so he can come out and explore on his own terms. Both times I've put him on it, he doesn't want to go back into his cage and would rather stay on the fake tree. I have tried rotating the tree so that he is right next to a branch from his live tree in his cage, but he climbs away from it. He has been on this tree for almost 3 hours and I don't know how to get him off. He is still a little scared of me, so I can't handle him yet either. Let me know! Thanks!
I think your best bet is trying to get him over the fear of you handling him. I have a little guy that's 3 months old and didn't like me at all either. I kinda forcefully get him into my hand (without being too aggressive). Then I try to have him hangout with me while I do stuff around the house. I have only had him 2 days but he does the same thing everytime I try to pick him up. After I have him for a few minutes he's a little more chill but still kinda hesitant on if he trusts me or not. However, I feel like the more I hold him the more he will get used to me and see that I'm not going to hurt him.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I think your best bet is trying to get him over the fear of you handling him. I have a little guy that's 3 months old and didn't like me at all either. I kinda forcefully get him into my hand (without being too aggressive). Then I try to have him hangout with me while I do stuff around the house. I have only had him 2 days but he does the same thing everytime I try to pick him up. After I have him for a few minutes he's a little more chill but still kinda hesitant on if he trusts me or not. However, I feel like the more I hold him the more he will get used to me and see that I'm not going to hurt him.
This actually can cause more harm and stress then good. I would read up more on trust building. When you first get them they really need to be able to acclimate to their enclosure. Chameleons naturally are not an animal that you will hold. Veileds specifically can become very aggressive as they mature if they feel threatened. For them it is not a matter of getting over the fear... They view you as a predator. forcefully removing them just creates more fear especially if you are grabbing them around their body the way an animal that is about to kill them would do.
 

a_ariana

New Member
I actually put my and in front of him and then put my other hand behind him and kinda give him a little nudge. I guess I worded that bad. I keep doing that until he climbs onto my hand. I don't do it hard and try not to grab him unless he needs me to help him. I definitely could have worded that better.
 

Serbianchameleon

Chameleon Enthusiast
I had the same problem like you with my first chameleon. So I found that the easiest way to put him back is actually getting some stick. And really gently putting the stick under his belly or chin and then lifting it up. He sometimes grasps on the tree stronger when he realizes that hes going back but they give up after 3 seconds.
 
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