I don't know what I'm doing wrong, please help :((

Dizzle098

New Member
I'm a new chameleon owner, and I have a juvenile veiled male. I see all these photos of people holding their chameleons, and being around them, and I've done everything I can for my chameleon to get used to me. I've had him for almost a month now, and still every time I walk into the room, he scurries away as fast as he can to go hide. I've provided a bunch of hides for him (that he utilizes a lot), I have a bunch of live plants and sticks to walk on, I give him a ton of space and try not to bother him. This morning, I had to attempt to handle him for the first time because I needed to remove some plants to clean the bottom of his enclosure, and it didn't go well. He gaped at me and tried to bite me because he was scared, fell down to the bottom of the enclosure, and ran to hide in the corner. I was terrified to try to handle him again because he was so stressed out, so I had one of my family members watch him as I slowly removed the plants and did the maintenance necessary for the screen enclosure. It really upsets me that I've done everything I can to have him get used to me, and it was really sad seeing him be so afraid of me :( I can't even get a picture of him for you guys to see because he runs away from me and I don't want to try and invade his privacy when he's scared... is there anything else I can do to make him be comfortable around me? :(
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
First of all, a month is not long at all. It can take a very long time. Secondly, many chameleons(especially when they're healthy) will hate your guts and at best tolerate your presence with displeasure lol. Some, usually panther, do warm up to people enough that they aren't bothered by you and like coming out, but I wouldn't go into chameleon keeping expecting that. I'd expect to keep a look, but don't touch animal... that may not even want you to look... anything from there is just a bonus.
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Here’s my 2 pesos worth: go to the food! Start by tong feeding, then hand feeding. Eventually (fingers crossed) he’ll associate you with snacks. That being said, who cares if your Cham won’t let you handle him? I have chams that would eagerly walk on to my arm if I let them (I don’t), and others that would love nothing more than to choke me in my sleep.
 

Dizzle098

New Member
First of all, a month is not long at all. It can take a very long time. Secondly, many chameleons(especially when they're healthy) will hate your guts and at best tolerate your presence with displeasure lol. Some, usually panther, do warm up to people enough that they aren't bothered by you and like coming out, but I wouldn't go into chameleon keeping expecting that. I'd expect to keep a look, but don't touch animal... that may not even want you to look... anything from there is just a bonus.
Okay, thank you!! That makes me feel better haha, I'll keep away from handling him, and continue to give him space :)
 

Dizzle098

New Member
Here’s my 2 pesos worth: go to the food! Start by tong feeding, then hand feeding. Eventually (fingers crossed) he’ll associate you with snacks. That being said, who cares if your Cham won’t let you handle him? I have chams that would eagerly walk on to my arm if I let them (I don’t), and others that would love nothing more than to choke me in my sleep.
Ahhh so I probably just have a chameleon with a less social personality! I guess I wouldn't really like it if a giant lady tried to come and pick me up in my own house lol. I've tried tong feeding him before, and he hasn't taken the bugs yet.... should I still keep trying?
 

Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ahhh so I probably just have a chameleon with a less social personality! I guess I wouldn't really like it if a giant lady tried to come and pick me up in my own house lol. I've tried tong feeding him before, and he hasn't taken the bugs yet.... should I still keep trying?
Honestly, you are at the start of a relationship that could last a decade. Try a feeding cup bad feed him at the same time every feeding. In a year he’ll be waiting at the cage door with a sour look on his face if you’re late.
 

Dizzle098

New Member
Honestly, you are at the start of a relationship that could last a decade. Try a feeding cup bad feed him at the same time every feeding. In a year he’ll be waiting at the cage door with a sour look on his face if you’re late.
Sounds good!! I made a bug feeder run cup for him thats been really successful with him :)
 

Spookies

New Member
For my experience, I don't handle my chameleon at all, it took me around 2 years for both my panther and veiled to decided to come out of their cages on their own when I clean their cages or feed them food, sometimes they just climb up my arms to my shoulder on their own. I think you just give them time and let them come out on their own.
 

Rhea’s mum

Established Member
Give him time like other people have said. Nothing beats bribery and cup/hand feeding but there are a few other things you can do to help him get used to you and see you as less of a threat.

You could also sit on the floor for a little bit each day (if that is possible) so he gets used to you being around. Sit with the door to the Viv open. Don’t do anything or go into his home. It’s just to get him used to you.

You are currently a big scary animal that will try and eat him, in his eyes. You need to allow him time to understand that you are not a threat.

Also another trick that you can use if you do need to get him out for cleaning or vet visits is use a stick so your arm isn’t actually going into his home and then wait or slowly use your other hand to encourage him from behind on to the stick.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Agreed with all the others. I think in time you'll see much improvement, even if he does hate you forever it won't be so bad that he hides constantly. Just takes time. Mine always warmed up to me when they learned to associate me with going outside for sun. Could give that a try.
 
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