Hi Im new to this and dont know what to believe!


New Member
Hi Im Neil from Brighton, UK.

Ive wanted a chameleon for years but I decided to start off with Leopard Gecko to get used to looking after a reptile. Im a loving pet owner and will always do whats right for the pet regardless of time and money.

However Ive been reading up on Chameleons for a while now and theres so much conflicting opinions on these wonderful reptiles.

I wanted to buy a veiled chameleon and have a few questions answered.

Are they show pets? So many people say they like being handled and so many people say you should never handle them!

Verticle or horizontal tank? (I thought verticle tank)

I really wanna be able to hold the lizard whislt watching tv etc!
Chameleons are definitely "show" animals. Though many will tolerate handling, most are (veileds in particular, in my experience) are stressed by the handling. I am not saying that you should never handle them, but it is best to keep it to a minimum. Veileds are pretty aggresive chameleons and will lunge and hiss at you (and yes, try to bite you!) letting you know that they obviously do not want to be messed with.

For my adult chameleons, I keep them in cages that are 5 feet high and 3 1/2 feet wide. My veileds seem to enjoy the horizontal space just as much as they enjoy the vertical space.
I only handle my veiled when I am transfering it to the outside cage, shower, vet trip,etc. I try not to bother him too much. I handle him once every two weeks and thats for only a couple of seconds when I'm taking him to his outside enclosure.
Regarding handling of my Veil

I personally feel that Veils or Panthers should be handled on a daily basis so that they will learn to feel comfortable having a hand come toward them and be taken out of their cage with minimal stress.
Initially, when my young Male Veil started to hiss and butt his head at my hand when I reached inside the cage towards him, I would allow him to butt his head on the back of my hand so that he realizes that I won't back away when he does this. Once he realized that all the hissing and butting wasn't going to make my hand go away, I quickly got him out of the cage and placed him on a fake 5 ft. ficus tree in our house where he could just relax and hang out and it became a positive experience for him. If you make a routine out of this, they learn that you will not harm them and that they can positive rewards like being out of their cage. If you are still scared of using the back of your hand when reaching for him, you can also you a little kitchen hand towel and you can hide your hand behind the towel when he a Veil butts you.
My 9 month old Veil has become so extremely comfortable with me getting him out of his cage and being handled that there is never an issue of him hissing or butting when my hands come towards him. In fact, he just expects that whenever he sees my hands, it will be a positive experience like being able to get out of his cage so that he can hang out on my shoulder or on another ficus tree!

Hope it helps new/or soon to be Veil owners there that even though they are extremely territorial and hostile in nature, they can adapt to handling when exposed to it on a daily basis with mimial stress if done properly.


Hopes this help
the cage should be vertical, but not a tank.

veileds need airflow, so screen is better. Plus, seeing their reflection in glass will stress them out.

I NEVER handle mine unless I HAVE to. Even when I'm cleaning his cage, if I can just move the branch he is on I will do that.

I do, however, feed him out of my hand a lot. Every time he sees my hand go in there, he knows he's getting a snack and crawls right over to it.


If you want a pet that you can tote around with you, get a mammal!
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I handle my veileds everytime I clean the cage. I was only bit one time when I took my Daddy to a reptile show and he was a little stressed out. You have to be able to handle them to take them out to clean the cage. My panthers will get right on my arm just put the back of your hand against them and they hop on. If you do not handle them a little bit they can become mean. I never do it for more than 20 minutes at a time though.
New Jackson owner

I'm really new at owning a Chameleon I'm not even exactly sure what type of a Chameleon I have yet though I beleive it to be a Jackson at least thats what I'm calling it for right now. I have been trying to handle Wally at least once a day and I can tell by watching him that he is getting quite used to it and perhaps may even grow to like it. This guy or gal don't know that either yet surprised me this afternoon. He was asleep in his tank and I wasn't used to seeing him sleep during the day so I wanted to make sure he was okay. I reached in and woke him and let crawl onto my hand which he will do quite readily he then curled his tail up on my hand and went right back to sleep. If that doesn't tell me he feels safe then I'm not sure does. Just thought I would share that with you. I think it may depend on your chameleon and you. All animals can be trained. I learned that from an animal trainer at Point Defiance Zoo. Thanks for posting
Finding out the exact species of your chameleon is extremely important. Different species have different temperature and humidity requirements that must be met for optimal health. Try posting a picture here if at all possible.

Sleeping during the day, with the lights still on, is not at all normal for a chameleon and often signals illness or stress. Can you post about your husbandry? Feeding, water, supplementation, lighting, cage size and type?
...He was asleep in his tank...he then curled his tail up on my hand and went right back to sleep...

Daytime sleeping (eye closure) is one of the classic symptoms of a stress/health issue with chameleons. This symptom often leads to "permanent eye closure", if you know what I mean :(. Photos of your critter and his/her setup would be helpful. Temps and hydration are among the many things that can set this response in motion. Use the: https://www.chameleonforums.com/how-ask-help-66/ as a guide to what info to post. Post your response in the Health section of this site. This could be a serious situation with not much time to turn things around. (Sorry if I don't get a chance to respond to your posts since I'll be away from access to my PC for a week :eek:).
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