I don't hold my cham

MerCham

New Member
Hi folks, I see all the pictures here of people holding their cham. I've had Sivad now for over a year and I have never really tried to hold him except for once when he was younger. He just seems happier and I've noticed that he has gotten used to me and will come to the front of his home when I feed him. He gets really close but I don't want to ever stress him out or scare him by trying to pick him up. He never hisses or snaps or anything, he just seems curious about getting his crickets and hangs out while I get them ready. I leave the cage door open while I feed him but then I close it while he hunts & it pretty much stays closed afterwards. I've offered my hand/arm to him on occasion but he's never wanted to come out of his cage. I also talk to him a lot while I feed him and other times, I'll just stop by to say hello. He's always very polite and looks interested but seems so happy in his cage, I don't want to disturb him by trying to take him out.

Anyhoo, no real point except that I was curious if anyone else here does not hold their cham?
 

Solid Snake

Avid Member
I think this is an excellent post.

Im not really against people holding them per say. Moving them around, and giving health inspections is one thing, but playing with them is another.

Heres this from awhile back...

 

Ashleigh

New Member
I'm not against people who don't handle their cham, but I have been one that has handled mine since he was little. I NEVER made him do anything that he didn't do on his own. I did it very slowly and in very small incriments of time. I started with putting a plant near the front of his open cage and let him come out on his own, and then I would hang out in the room with him by reading a book or something so he would get used to me and know I'm not going to eat him :p I would very slowly put my fingers under his chin and let him crawl onto my hand. If he didn't want to, he would turn around and climb away, and if that happend, I would leave the room for a while and come back and try again so I wouldn't stress him out. Now he comes out onto my hand all the time! I have a free range for him to come out on, so he knows that coming out of the cage onto me either means free range or going outside for some sun. I also made a travel cage that I bring him in the car (with no stress that I can see) with us to my mother in law's place and he hangs out by the pool with us. The great thing about handling in my oppinion is that less stuff stresses them out once they start wanting to come out and it lets them experience more things without stress. (which comes in handy if you have to go to the vet and be handled by someone else). Again, this is all my oppinion! hope this helps! Oh, and I DO NOT "play" with my cham ever. I only become a moving tree for him :)
 

MerCham

New Member
Haha! I haven't seen that before. Thanks! I wouldn't have a problem holding him, only he seems content for us to have a 'love at a distance' relationship! lol And I just like looking in on him to make sure he is ok.
 

MerCham

New Member
I'm not against people who don't handle their cham, but I have been one that has handled mine since he was little. I NEVER made him do anything that he didn't do on his own. I did it very slowly and in very small incriments of time. I started with putting a plant near the front of his open cage and let him come out on his own, and then I would hang out in the room with him by reading a book or something so he would get used to me and know I'm not going to eat him :p I would very slowly put my fingers under his chin and let him crawl onto my hand. If he didn't want to, he would turn around and climb away, and if that happend, I would leave the room for a while and come back and try again so I wouldn't stress him out. Now he comes out onto my hand all the time! I have a free range for him to come out on, so he knows that coming out of the cage onto me either means free range or going outside for some sun. I also made a travel cage that I bring him in the car (with no stress that I can see) with us to my mother in law's place and he hangs out by the pool with us. ... I only become a moving tree for him :)

That's really interesting! I wouldn't mind trying to see if he would like to come out onto another plant. I sometimes worry he might get bored, so that would help, I think. I've also thought about making him an extra tall cage for the same reason. I figure he might enjoy climbing up a bit more. Thanks for the input.
 

MatthewTran

New Member
I don't hold my chameleon either... He seems happy in his cage and I'm actually a little bit scared to even try lol.
 

pigglett79

Avid Member
Our panther runs out on to us when we open the cage. When he is in his free range trees and we walk by he will reach out and grab us. For whatever reason he always wants to be on us. We tend to just put him back when he runs on us, but he constantly reaches out and at times almost falls when he try's to get to us as we walk by.

He has a huge custom cage w tons of plants and an entire room to free range in the evening and on weekends, so the running to us isn't about a small cage or inadequate accommodations.

Handling is per individual personality in my opinion.

Our Jackson does not enjoy handling so we let him do his own thing and provide a vine to climb from his cage to his free range as he would rather go out on his own.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
Unlike many people say I truly believe that chameleons are very social animals when allowed to be. I have always free ranged all my chameleons and they love to be with people. They will reach and grab at anybody or anything that walks by. A human is way better than a tree. :) I've even had a female veiled try to get off of her tree onto my dog. Even when we went to Madagascar I found more of the wild chameleons fairly friendly. They would get right on my hand when I put it up under them. We place many on a stick for photos and then returned them to the exact same spot that we found them.
 

MerCham

New Member
Sivad actually did this for the first time the other day; he ran to me when I opened the cage. I just thought he was especially hungry! He didn't try to get out but hung out at the front of the cage with the door open. I would *love* to give him a whole room that would be his. Great idea!
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
Sivad actually did this for the first time the other day; he ran to me when I opened the cage. I just thought he was especially hungry! He didn't try to get out but hung out at the front of the cage with the door open. I would *love* to give him a whole room that would be his. Great idea!

If you have a safe area free from other pets and Cham proof, chameleons love to free range. Even if you can't free range 24/7 maybe you can just get a large plant or tree for him to hang out in while you watch him.
 

DanSB

Avid Member
Where do I sign up? :)

I second that, is there an application process?

I think if someone is in tune with their animals and fully respecting their moods like Jann handling is okay. But it is important for people to understand these aren't puppies, or bearded dragons. You aren't going to play with them, they aren't a toy, they are delicate beautiful creatures that break very easily.

I would nearly bet Jann has never held her cham up to a mirror just so all her friends could see one of her chams fire up. This is the type of stuff people do that make me just say to not handle them.
 

Bunke

New Member
Just offer you hand every now and then and at one point he/she will go out on it. Sheldon likes to come out of the came every now and then. Sometimes he even ignore the food I'm giving him and just climbing over it and onto my arm cause he wants to come out.

And one good thing about being able to pick them out is when you need to get to the vet ASAP or you'r moving out to another household.
 

ChamAllen

New Member
Each cham has their own personality

It's what makes the hobby so interesting.

Take Ziggy (pictures attached).

He's a free ranger in my apartment.

His daily routine is to get up, have a few crickets for breakfast, go on his perimeter patrol to his favorite water fountain, have a drink, socialize or antagonize with the other chams then come into my office, supervise my work for awhile and then crawl down to my desk and often on to me.
 

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Jelloman

New Member
If i can't hold my Cham how do I get him in and out of a free range? I have a veiled that will hid every time he sees me. He will eat one superworm if I stick it to the screen but then he turns tail and makes for cover. I would love to free range but if I take him out on a branch how will I get him back into the cage?
 
Our carpet cham was not a fan of being handled so we kept that to a minimum. Our Panther cham is another story! I guess I'm just lucky we got such a social guy, it's hard to get in his enclosure to do anything without him running up an arm or onto my head if I don't keep one eye on him. He has always loved taking his worms out of our hands too. That feeding action up close is pretty cool. Haven't tried any free ranging, too afraid of the dog getting interested.
 

jannb

Chameleon Enthusiast
I second that, is there an application process?

I think if someone is in tune with their animals and fully respecting their moods like Jann handling is okay. But it is important for people to understand these aren't puppies, or bearded dragons. You aren't going to play with them, they aren't a toy, they are delicate beautiful creatures that break very easily.

I would nearly bet Jann has never held her cham up to a mirror just so all her friends could see one of her chams fire up. This is the type of stuff people do that make me just say to not handle them.

Dan, you are right. I would never hold my Cham up to a mirror to get it fired up for any reason. I try to keep my chams from getting stressed. I also don't feed to get to see the tongue shoot. I prefer cup feeding because I am afraid they could hurt their tongue by it getting wrap around a branch or something.

If i can't hold my Cham how do I get him in and out of a free range? I have a veiled that will hid every time he sees me. He will eat one superworm if I stick it to the screen but then he turns tail and makes for cover. I would love to free range but if I take him out on a branch how will I get him back into the cage?

You could set a large plant or tree in front of your chams cage with the door open and watch from a distance to see if he will walk out onto the plant on his own.
 

MerCham

New Member
Wow, I've loved reading everyone's replies!! I'm getting that it just depends really, on the individual cham whether he wants to ride around on my hand/shoulder. I have a room that I could convert to a free-range room. You are all giving me wonderful ideas! thanks a bunch!
 
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