How important is it to have a lining of plastic fencing in the cage?


New Member
I have heard lots of mixed opinions and the most common one being that it is necessary as chameleons get older as they will get their claws stuck in the mesh of a cage and sometimes even pull out a claw or fall. Should I be putting plastic fencing in my cage before I move over my cham to his new cage?

Tanner Grisak

New Member
I have never heard of a Cham loosing a nail because of a screen cage. I've never used anything but screen for my adults and babies, besides the older they get it seems like the less and less they walk on the sides of the cage. Also the more stuff you have in your cage like plants, vines, and horizontal branches at all levels of the cage, the less they will walk on the cage.


New Member
My Jake lost a claw recently, but it's partially due to him roaming all over the screen, and he has a very mild case of mbd. So just to be safe, and because it's easier for him to traverse, I'm planning on lining the cage with plastic chicken wire. It can't hurt, it's duper cheap and you can also use it to zip tie cage furnishings to. Hope this helps :)


Established Member
You know it is Better to be safe than sorry. It can't hurt him if you do it, but there is a possibility that it can hurt him if you don't.


Avid Member
The best thing to do is make the cage so dense with foliage they don't want to walk on the screen. I only have had chameleons lose nails when the cage was not dense enough. Pack it with plenty of pothos, umbrella plants and ficus along with some more stable wood inserts and the chameleon won't want to waste its time with screen.

nick barta

Chameleon Enthusiast
Site Sponsor
You know it is Better to be safe than sorry. It can't hurt him if you do it, but there is a possibility that it can hurt him if you don't.

True, sort of...I have had a Veiled get his casque caught through the larger holed plastic netting so he was unable to get his head out. I also had a sub-adult panther manage to get a leg and head through and get stuck.

I would use the 1/4-1/2 inch plastic netting, and stay away from holes 1 inch or larger.
The OP's plastic chicken netting's holes may be too big, chicken wire typically is 1 to 1-1/4 inch holes.

In the 90's there were many documented cases of nail damage, where the nails were shaved down by climbing on the screen, which made it difficult for the chameleons to grip branches. In some cases toenails were pulled out. I remember a Chameleon Information Network (CIN) article with gruesome pictures. Most keepers were using the same aluminum screen we use today, so the material is the same.

The only real difference in husbandry that i could attribute to the lack of problems now is that today we tend to put chameleons in a bit larger screen cages, with denser foliage and more walking branches. i would guess this is why we don't see the subject come up as much today as in the 90's.
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