Handling your Cham minuscule

Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks to a fellow member, I had a revealing read yesterday. It explains everything about hydration and fog-drinking regarding chameleons. An absolute must read!


[IMG alt="PetNcs"]https://www.chameleonforums.com/data/avatars/s/7/7374.jpg?1583801609[/IMG] PetNcs Jan 18, 2021
This article answers a lot of the questions

https://archaius.eu/_files/200000207-7672376725/Archaius 1 4 2020 Fog-Drinking 8-28.pdf

However another thing came to light! And I will citaat it from the article.

Chameleons vigorously hate anything touching their bodies, and, even if they crawl through vegetation, they tend to do it in a way that their skin does not even touch a leaf, and it never touches a branch either.

3. They are afraid of being touched.
The Chameleons touch the environment proactively, only with the soles of their feet and underside of the tail. There are only two occasions when under normal

circumstances, their body gets touched naturally passive way (by something):
a. The second in importance occasion applies only for
females while mating, when the female is hormonally conditioned to allow the male to climb its body and pass the necessary time to fertilize its eggs.
b. The first in importance occasion is, when chameleon body is touched is when they get predated and eaten - and this is what they vigorously try to avoid. By the way, this is also why the manipulation with chameleons is also so problematic from the side of human and only letting them crawl on the hand is tolerated under normal circumstances, considering you not a predator but a “strange tree”.


Reading this made me thinking. And just assuming this is correct with the note; ‘better safe then sorry’ in behave of our beloved chameleons.

How many keepers are exposing their chameleon(s) to extreme unnecessary stress, just for their own good.
Seeing all those instagram pictures and movies from keepers petting and stroking their chameleon gives me mixed feelings. It already did, however now it’s a bit founded.

It really makes me think twice about handling her, and in general touching her. Except letting her touch me, when she’s comfortable with it. So far I’ve noticed a change in mood for 1-2 days (other pattern / color) when she has been out of her enclosure.

What are your thoughts and experience regarding this subject?
 
Last edited:

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I think they are all very different in temperament. What one likes or allows another may not. I have that situation with my 3 boys. I do not handle them everyday. I do however give them the option if they want to step up on me to come out.
I think a lot of people do over handle their chams. They humanize them too much to the point where health issues do arise. But I do believe there are times when handling becomes important. I also believe it is really important to learn your chams signals to know when you need to back off. Pay attention to body language. I know with my boys I can tell instantly if they are not ok with something. They show me and I respect the boundaries they set rather then do whatever I want to.

My oldest Beman from the beginning has been much different with touch. He likes his cheeks gently stroked. He will actually lean into my fingers for it. Don't get me wrong he has his do not mess with me days as well. but for the most part he has no issue with any part of his body being touched with the exception of his spine. And will vibrate if I touch a spot he is not ok with. He has no issue with me walking with him outside or really much of anything. Very content to even sit outside in the sun on me basking.

Bentley really only likes touch if it is initiated by him. As in he climbs up freely on my hand. He does not mind me touching his feet or tail but does not like casque, face or spine messed with. He will vibrate to tell me no. He also hates when I walk with him. I have to be standing still when he is out on me or he gets very anxious.

Bane hates all forms of touch and interaction... He will hand feed but that is about all the interaction he wants from me. I do not handle him at all with the exception of weight checks and deep cleaning the cage. He lives a very content and spoiled chameleon life in an DS Atrium.
 

Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for sharing your experience (already read your blog😉, which is great 👍🏻)

He likes his cheeks gently stroked. He will actually lean into my fingers for it.
Yesterday morning I had the exact same interaction with Bella. She even starts to nibble my finger...... Really enjoyed that moment. However in the evening I read the article, and that made me thinking. I just will take her out Sunday’s for some fresh sun rays, when the weathers alouds it. And that will be the only for now, I think.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks for sharing your experience (already read your blog😉, which is great 👍🏻)


Yesterday morning I had the exact same interaction with Bella. She even starts to nibble my finger...... Really enjoyed that moment. However in the evening I read the article, and that made me thinking. I just will take her out Sunday’s for some fresh sun rays, when the weathers alouds it. And that will be the only for now, I think.
In the beginning when your new it is hard to know what they do or don't like. I will say you will know if they don't like something between gaping, karate hand, to puffing up, and of course color changes. It is really nuts in the beginning trying to figure it all out. I say take your time and see how she responds. Always be patient, kind, and gentle. If she gets mad or does not like something you will be able to tell.

This is Beman... He has only shown this pattern and colors literally 2 times with me. I had him on the free range above my bed. I brought in my laundry basket and set it on the bed, he instantly went into his get the hell away from me colors. Took him 10 minutes to calm down before he would come back on to my hand. He does not even fire up like this when he sees the other two boys. But show him a laundry basking and he wants to go to war.

I find with all three of my boys learning their language has been most helpful in having a trusting bond with each of them. But the important thing is when they are telling you no to pay attention. I never push their limits of what they will allow.



7-26-20_2.jpg
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I feel veileds and Panthers are good for beginners because you can quickly learn when they're upset in most cases. Many montanes can be stressed the F out and very subtly show it just by a slightly different pattern. No idea why they're not more expressive with it, but it becomes a skill reading their signals.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh and yes, most people on social media are over handling their animals. Best case your chameleon thinks you're a chill tree that is safe.

I don't know what's happening when people say their chams like being petted, it doesn't make much sense to me. Even dogs don't like being touched on top of their heads(they tolerate it because they usually love people). For a reptile, I feel they have nothing to gain through touch like that, that's something mammals do. That said, I'm not saying I don't believe people when they say their animal likes it, just that I don't get why they would. It could be a weird experience that they're just giving in to, or maybe they associate it with the person that gives them food? All guesses...
 

Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
In the beginning when your new it is hard to know what they do or don't like. I will say you will know if they don't like something between gaping, karate hand, to puffing up, and of course color changes. It is really nuts in the beginning trying to figure it all out. I say take your time and see how she responds. Always be patient, kind, and gentle. If she gets mad or does not like something you will be able to tell.

This is Beman... He has only shown this pattern and colors literally 2 times with me. I had him on the free range above my bed. I brought in my laundry basket and set it on the bed, he instantly went into his get the hell away from me colors. Took him 10 minutes to calm down before he would come back on to my hand. He does not even fire up like this when he sees the other two boys. But show him a laundry basking and he wants to go to war.

I find with all three of my boys learning their language has been most helpful in having a trusting bond with each of them. But the important thing is when they are telling you no to pay attention. I never push their limits of what they will allow.



View attachment 295811
Wow, what a boy 🤩

That’s absolutely the most difficult thing in the beginning, I guess, reading your cham. Where’re now in that stage that she recognizes me, more for delivery food and eyeballing to each other. When I get her out, just when, she normally doesn’t change color or pattern that much.

The picture from Sunday where she’s all fired up, was because I upset her with a stick. She pooped on a leave far back in her enclosure, where couldn’t reached it, so I used a stick to drop it on the bottom of the enclosure. Afterwards I tried to get her out with the stick, not so clever 🙈.

However it’s fascinating, keeping this beautiful creatures.
 

Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
I feel veileds and Panthers are good for beginners because you can quickly learn when they're upset in most cases. Many montanes can be stressed the F out and very subtly show it just by a slightly different pattern. No idea why they're not more expressive with it, but it becomes a skill reading their signals.
That part of good beginners cham I didn’t know and makes perfectly sense. Love that it’s not just buying one, putting it in their enclosure and that’s it! It’s a complete journey during their lifespan 👌🏻
 

Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
Oh and yes, most people on social media are over handling their animals. Best case your chameleon thinks you're a chill tree that is safe.

I don't know what's happening when people say their chams like being petted, it doesn't make much sense to me. Even dogs don't like being touched on top of their heads(they tolerate it because they usually love people). For a reptile, I feel they have nothing to gain through touch like that, that's something mammals do. That said, I'm not saying I don't believe people when they say their animal likes it, just that I don't get why they would. It could be a weird experience that they're just giving in to, or maybe they associate it with the person that gives them food? All guesses...
These are exactly my same thoughts. Dogs tolerate it and aren’t that sensitive for stress. Also a dog is solidair and chameleons aren’t. Maybe they get more social after many generations of captive breeding. You read this phenomenon also with other animals that have been bred in captivity.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Wow, what a boy 🤩

That’s absolutely the most difficult thing in the beginning, I guess, reading your cham. Where’re now in that stage that she recognizes me, more for delivery food and eyeballing to each other. When I get her out, just when, she normally doesn’t change color or pattern that much.

The picture from Sunday where she’s all fired up, was because I upset her with a stick. She pooped on a leave far back in her enclosure, where couldn’t reached it, so I used a stick to drop it on the bottom of the enclosure. Afterwards I tried to get her out with the stick, not so clever 🙈.

However it’s fascinating, keeping this beautiful creatures.
Yeah but you will figure it out. Do not let what you read steer you away from trust building though. It really is important that they understand you are safe and a hand being there to get them out is safe. It drastically reduces stress for them when it comes to things that may happen such as going to a vet or just removing them to clean the cage. Beman had to get blood work done last year. While the actual blood draw was stressful having multiple people in the room and being handled did not fire him up. He did not try to go after the doctor or her assistant. He stayed very calm for them to do a full exam.

If you find that she really does not want anything to do with you then that is different. And I fully understand that. But time is everything and continued patience is important. Just because Bane does not like being handled does not mean that I do not take him out when needed. We just do it when needed and at his pace. He has gotten much calmer with me since the day I brought him home. I do wear gloves after being bitten by him but now he does not strike at the gloves either. It has been 7 months to get him to that point. But in the end it is worth it if I have to get him out I can.
 

Sonny13

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah but you will figure it out. Do not let what you read steer you away from trust building though. It really is important that they understand you are safe and a hand being there to get them out is safe. It drastically reduces stress for them when it comes to things that may happen such as going to a vet or just removing them to clean the cage. Beman had to get blood work done last year. While the actual blood draw was stressful having multiple people in the room and being handled did not fire him up. He did not try to go after the doctor or her assistant. He stayed very calm for them to do a full exam.

If you find that she really does not want anything to do with you then that is different. And I fully understand that. But time is everything and continued patience is important. Just because Bane does not like being handled does not mean that I do not take him out when needed. We just do it when needed and at his pace. He has gotten much calmer with me since the day I brought him home. I do wear gloves after being bitten by him but now he does not strike at the gloves either. It has been 7 months to get him to that point. But in the end it is worth it if I have to get him out I can.
Ooo definitely, will go for her all the way and trust my instincts. Building it up slowly, and I am now at the stage that she eats silkworms from my hand. I’ll give it time, it needs to be on her own. If not, so be it. And it needs to be on her own, because the enclosure sooo dense, I can’t reach her. Thats probably only a good thing.

Lets see where we end up in a few months 😊
 
Top Bottom