Handling a Panther Cham

I have been researching day and night to find out about these Ambilobe Panthers, and they are just stunning animals. What I’m reading on their handling seems to vary from place to place though.

It’s my understanding that excessive handling can be stressful for the chameleon and so it’s typically warned not to handle them every day or for long periods of time. Some sites say that if you handle them frequently though, they become used to handling and it stresses them less and less. Some places even saying that chameleons can begin to enjoy time outside the cage with their owner. Obviously each have their own personality and you cater to them, but this is just generally speaking.

If you have any advice or insight as to handling, how often, for how long, etc. that would help me a lot. I am okay owning a “look don’t touch” type of animal but I would like to handle my chameleon from time to time. That being said I just want to limit how often/long I do it so I don’t stress my little guy out too much.
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
My experience:

Pretty much every animal is different, from humans to lizards. That being said they all have their own preferences. I handle my guys and gals daily, some multiple times a day. Some days my female gets a little "weird" (don't they all?)[joke] and when shes that way she prefers the comfort of her cage. One of my males when come to the door of his enclosure when he sees me cause he knows I'll take him out.

In a nutshell there's no right or wrong way to handle your cham. Do what you would like... but respect the boundaries of your cham and never force them to do anything. Take it slow and easy... move and their speed. Relax, enjoy and be safe.

There's a "gaining trust with your cham" article by Beman.. I'll add the link if I can find it.

Edited for link: https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/building-trust-with-your-chameleon.2396/
 

coastal_chameleon

Avid Member
I have been researching day and night to find out about these Ambilobe Panthers, and they are just stunning animals. What I’m reading on their handling seems to vary from place to place though.

It’s my understanding that excessive handling can be stressful for the chameleon and so it’s typically warned not to handle them every day or for long periods of time. Some sites say that if you handle them frequently though, they become used to handling and it stresses them less and less. Some places even saying that chameleons can begin to enjoy time outside the cage with their owner. Obviously each have their own personality and you cater to them, but this is just generally speaking.

If you have any advice or insight as to handling, how often, for how long, etc. that would help me a lot. I am okay owning a “look don’t touch” type of animal but I would like to handle my chameleon from time to time. That being said I just want to limit how often/long I do it so I don’t stress my little guy out too much.
All chames have different personalities , my oldest male skittles loves hanging out with me and comes straight to me when I open the cage and will eat right out of my hand so I know im not stressing him out , on the other hand my female does not like being held and shys away when she see's me , so I leave her alone in fear I may be stressing her out . once a week ill try to offer her food from my hand so she can get used to me but again I only do every so often so I wont stress her out ! I never had to do this with skittles !! since day one he loved being held and will always come to me when he sees me :)
 

coastal_chameleon

Avid Member
My experience:

Pretty much every animal is different, from humans to lizards. That being said they all have their own preferences. I handle my guys and gals daily, some multiple times a day. Some days my female gets a little "weird" (don't they all?)[joke] and when shes that way she prefers the comfort of her cage. One of my males when come to the door of his enclosure when he sees me cause he knows I'll take him out.

In a nutshell there's no right or wrong way to handle your cham. Do what you would like... but respect the boundaries of your cham and never force them to do anything. Take it slow and easy... move and their speed. Relax, enjoy and be safe.

There's a "gaining trust with your cham" article by Beman.. I'll add the link if I can find it.

Edited for link: https://www.chameleonforums.com/blogs/building-trust-with-your-chameleon.2396/
I hear if they really like their enclosure they get territorial ! this seems to be true as I have a huge cage for my 5 month old panther , when I first bought him he was chill !!! I let him settle in for a couple weeks and now he wont even let me reach in the cage to add feeders or to clean !!! he jumps and runs away and puffs up now ! I don't know what to do at this point ! I don't wanna stress him out !!
 
I hear if they really like their enclosure they get territorial ! this seems to be true as I have a huge cage for my 5 month old panther , when I first bought him he was chill !!! I let him settle in for a couple weeks and now he wont even let me reach in the cage to add feeders or to clean !!! he jumps and runs away and puffs up now ! I don't know what to do at this point ! I don't wanna stress him out !!
That’s unfortunate to hear. I do want to be able to hold my chameleon but the last thing I would want is to make his cage less enticing for my own selfish gain. That’s why I ask how often you can realistically hold them without causing issues. They are magnificent animals but if I’m forced to look and not touch that’s something I’ve come to terms with and I think it’s okay. Just to be able to watch and observe a chameleon is fun in itself for me. I hope your little guy calms down over time for you.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
It is totally dependent on the chameleon. Some are totally trusting and some are territorial. They have their moments. My boy was an absolute love the first 9 months then I moved and his entire environment changed. Even the brightness in the room effects how he sees it. It has taken weeks to get him to come to me again just so I can clean his cage. He hisses now and puffs up at me. This does not make me adore him less. This is just a reminder that this is not a dog I have. It is a tree dwelling reptile with specific needs. It will take him a while to adjust and settle into his new environment. And I will wait calmly for him to do so.

If you are looking for one that you will for sure be able to handle everyday then this may not be the animal for you. They are not an animal you can tame. The only thing you can do is earn their trust. Even then things can change as they mature.
 
It is totally dependent on the chameleon. Some are totally trusting and some are territorial. They have their moments. My boy was an absolute love the first 9 months then I moved and his entire environment changed. Even the brightness in the room effects how he sees it. It has taken weeks to get him to come to me again just so I can clean his cage. He hisses now and puffs up at me. This does not make me adore him less. This is just a reminder that this is not a dog I have. It is a tree dwelling reptile with specific needs. It will take him a while to adjust and settle into his new environment. And I will wait calmly for him to do so.

If you are looking for one that you will for sure be able to handle everyday then this may not be the animal for you. They are not an animal you can tame. The only thing you can do is earn their trust. Even then things can change as they mature.
I have a bearded dragon and a leopard gecko already who both love to be out of the cage and handled. Both fantastic lizards if that’s what you like to do. I don’t expect the same when getting a chameleon but I do hope to spend time with him and earn his trust enough to hold him occasionally. I just think they are too amazing and I love their enclosures. So holding him or not I found chameleons to be awesome pets.
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
I hear if they really like their enclosure they get territorial ! this seems to be true as I have a huge cage for my 5 month old panther , when I first bought him he was chill !!! I let him settle in for a couple weeks and now he wont even let me reach in the cage to add feeders or to clean !!! he jumps and runs away and puffs up now ! I don't know what to do at this point ! I don't wanna stress him out !!
This was pretty much what happened with my female. Even after moving them I still handled her daily, she was the more docile of the two. A month later and she doesn't want to leave and he comes right out no problem. Shes still tame and docile, just less inclined to leave her cage.

My male sees it as an adventure, sometimes a walk around the neighborhood and sometimes just sitting on the couch.

As to OPs question of time out of the cage:
Totally depends on too many factors to list - ambient humidity, temps, environmental conditions, amount of sun, etc.

I have a small zoo including traditional house pets... so that's a whole subset of issues. The single best tip I can offer anyone is pay attention. Chameleon aren't capable of speech... but if you watch they'll let you know what they need.
 
Top Bottom