Handling 3 to 4 month old Panther


New Member
Whats up guys.

I have had my nosy be panther chameleon for almost a month now. I am a first time owner and so far everything has been great.

The question I have is how do I go about handling my almost 4 month old chameleon MAX :) The first two weeks he would run into the corner or climb to the top of the enclosure when i drop in his crickets, but has been a little more calm these last 2 weeks. What is the best way to take him out of his cage? I want to do a full cleaning of his cage, but he panics and gets scared and runs away when i try to get him to take him out.

What is the best way to handle him and take him out of the cage?


Every personality is different. Some can be encouraged by food. Some will try to bit you every time. The best things to move them quickly so they don't get stressed.

I have a nosy too!!


New Member
how do you remove him quickly? just reach in and grab him? As long as i dont grab him from the top cause i hear they really get freaked out that way.

How do you take yours out of the cage?


As soon as I open the door mine runs to the top of the screen which makes it easy to grab him. I just curl my fingers around him and he will release the screen and climb onto my hand eventually. Never pull the off screen though. You could rip off a nail.


Chameleon Enthusiast
I would suggest you not grab or approach him quickly. Slowly is better and do not approach him from above or behind. Put you hand in front of him and reach up underneath his chin. Wear a pair of gloves if you are afraid of getting bitten. I would recommend trying a branch or stick to get him to climb onto. If that is stressing him out too much, try putting a large plant infront of the door and see if he will venture out onto that. Then try picking him up that way. Continue to try and hand feed so he associates your hand with something positive and good.


Biologist & Ecologist
I'm just going to copy and paste this from another thread on handling. It elaborates a little on what Carol said:

I think I learned something with my last two panthers that I wish I'd known for all of them. The way I figure it now, being locked in a cage and then having a big hand come reaching in towards you, where you're cornered, and then have the hand chase after you trying to grab you or scoop you up is just plain starting everything on a super traumatic foot. It's like starting the relationship off in a way that terrifies the poor guy/gal.

So what I did was leave their cage open and put a fake tree or plant in front of their cage so that they could come out on their own. The first couple times I let them come in and out as they wished, which usually took hours of me sitting on the floor of the same room (to be lower and less scary) watching tv on my laptop. Then once they seemed comfortable enough to come out of their little "territory" I tried putting my hand in front of them to use as a bridge between branches or to climb on. Then I'd hold them for a couple seconds (seriously, only a couple seconds) and then put them back. Short enough so it's like "omg I'm on a hand! Oh, now I'm off again and I'm ok... cool." Then I started increasing this. After a couple weeks they were getting shoulder rides to outside time in the sun or stuff like that.

This, along with hand feeding, seemed to make my last two panthers very much tolerant of handling. They don't by any means love it, but at least it's not a fight to get them to the vet or out for a cage cleaning. I wish I would have tried it with all four and seen if it worked well on more chameleons. But it may be something you can try.
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