Loss of appetite, how long till I panic?


Established Member
Chameleon Info:
◦ Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?

Female veiled chameleon, estimated about a year old, in my care for 2 months
(the place I got her from said they had her about 8 months, and I assume she was a few months old before they got her, plus the 2 months I’ve had her in my care)

◦ Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?

I try to respect her boundaries, but since she’s become receptive she’s been trying to escape the enclosure whenever I open it to clean, add feeders, etc. if I put my hand to stop her she just climbs up on the hand. So long answer short, a month ago I didn’t handle her if I didn’t have to, this last week it’s been every day.

◦ Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?

Staple feeder is Dubia roaches (was doing ~12 medium (1/2”-3/4”) every other day), but I also throw in some superworms and hornworms as treats, and occasionally a cricket if I’m running low on other stuff.

Gut loading using oranges, carrots, potatoes, apples and nature zone roach bites in roach enclosure. I try to separate the feeders I plan to give her the next day with their own set of veggies/fruits so I can ensure they eat. Superworms have also gotten collard greens as it has been rejected both by the cham and the roaches.

She loves blueberries, and I’ve also fed her melon and banana.

◦ Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?

Initially: everyday repticalcium without D3, zoomed reptivite every other week
Starting 8/31/19: Switched to Repashy calcium plus lowD everyday

◦ Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?

I have a little dripper hooked up to an IV that passes through the top of the encolsure so I can better control the speed. It drips down onto some leaves, and the bottom of the enclosure there is a water dish to act as a drip tray, I empty it out every morning and evening, and occasionally in the early afternoon so that it isn’t full of standing water.
I’ve seen her shoot her tongue at the IV tube where the water drops comes out multiple times in the past.

Misting, I hand mist morning and evening for about 2 mins each time, I also do it in the early afternoons if I am around.

◦ Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?

Last poop was morning of 9/8/19 (two days ago). Urate looked healthy, white-ish (not paper white, a little off white, but not yellow). The poop was brown, kind of came out as two segments, firm, but not hard, when I picked it up with a tissue it deformed, did not smell.

◦ History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.

I took her to the vet July 29th about a week and a half after I had gotten her. I was told she seemed healthy, strong, no signs of MDB, and that she could stand to gain a little weight (not underweight, just on the light side).
I’ve only had her two months, so I’m still in the stages of freaking out about every little thing.

Cage Info:
◦ Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?

Mesh screen, 32in x 16in x 30in, back and right side are covered with shower curtain to retain humidity and prevent misting sessions from wetting the wall. Its actually two enclosures I modified into one.

◦ Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Zoomed T8 10.0 UVB Reptisun linear bulb
  • 60W daylight blue reptile bulb (heat, it came with the kit, will replace when burns out)
  • Reptisun 5.0 UVB compact [I do NOT use this as a uvb source, its basically just extra lighting since I already wasted my money on the kit]
  • Sansi 15W LED grow light for the plants
12 hours on, 12 hours off

◦ Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?

Basking spot is about 89-90 F. The bottom of the enclosure has been 76-80F depending on the weather. Overnight it drops to low 70’s high 60’s, haven’t seen it drop below 67F. I have 3 temp sensors, one in basking spot, one on enclosure floor, one that I move around place to place.

◦ Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?

Humidity level is constantly between 40-60% during the day, usually hovers around 53%. At night before bed its usually upper 60’s, by the morning it’s down to 50’s. Using 3 sensors placed in different locations throughout the enclosure. Misting paired with live plants, paired with two sides of the enclosure covered keep the humidity levels.

◦ Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?

Currently only have two small live plants in the enclosure, I plan on getting more once I can prove to myself they are staying healthy and alive. They are a golden pothos and a schefflera.

◦ Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?

Light traffic area, basically just me walking by. Base is located on a shelf 32 inches from the ground. Not near any vents, but there is a ceiling fan in the room.

◦ Location - Where are you geographically located?

SF Bay Area California

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

She hasn’t eaten these last 3 days. She was eating fine up until this past Thursday where she started to slow down I think she only ate 5-6 roaches on 9/5/19. She then ate 2 roaches on 9/6/19 and another two roaches on 9/7/19 after a lot of coaxing, but has had nothing since then despite me leaving a spread of roaches, superworms, and hornworms in feeding cups throughout the enclosure.

She has had her receptive colors since about 9/1/19, and I’ve read that the appetite might slow down before laying eggs, but I’m wondering how long before I really start to worry about the lack of appetite and book another vet appointment.

She’s been super active going around the top of her enclosure trying to claw her way out of the sides and top, as well as trying to escape. There is a laybin with moist playsand from home depot in the left side of her enclosure (which is currently wrapped with brown paper to provide privacy), but she has shown no interest in it up to this point.


Left photo 9/7/19, middle photo (sleeping) today 9/10/19, Right photo her earlier today 9/10/19


Chameleon Enthusiast
Does she have a place she can dig a hole in the cage to lay eggs? She may be ready. If she has no,suitable place to dig she will become eggbound.


Established Member
Does she have a place she can dig a hole in the cage to lay eggs? She may be ready. If she has no,suitable place to dig she will become eggbound.

Yes, I have a laybin set up in the left hand side of the enclosure filled with moist play sand from Home Depot. I did a pilot hole just to make sure it wouldn't collapse and left it there as a sample. I've also covered the left hand side of the enclosure with brown paper to provide some privacy (not shown in post photo). I placed her in the laybin a few times but she's shown no interest so far.


Established Member
I can't say for sure that's why she's not eating...but it's a possibility.

Thanks, that's my current thought, just based on reading other forums, I think my main concern is how long is too long for her to go without eating (as it's been 3 days now) and at what point do I book a vet appointment over concerns of egg-binding?


Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks, that's my current thought, just based on reading other forums, I think my main concern is how long is too long for her to go without eating (as it's been 3 days now) and at what point do I book a vet appointment over concerns of egg-binding?

I wouldn't be terribly concerned about 3 days without food. It's not unusual for them to drastically ramp down food consumption prior to laying, and from the behavior you're describing she's just about ready! Is the lay bin only on one side? You might want to consider a duplicate on the other side too, just in case - take up as mush real estate as possible! Might not be a good idea to shake things up right now, though. Dont want to spook her!

Keep a close eye on her, and give her lots of privacy over the next couple days.


Established Member
Is she drinking more than normal lately?
Roaming the cage is also a sign that she might have eggs.

I have not seen her drink the last few days, but I'm pretty sure she is getting water, this morning I found some fresh urate that was white, did not see any poop but I was in a rush out of the house so I'll double check when I get home


Established Member
does she have climbing sticks to her bin? she needs a few going to her bin.

There is a very low hanging vine over the laybin (about 2 inches from the top of the sand), and I have some plants surrounding the bin where the stem almost touches the rim/ top edge of the bin, and these extend to the upper area of the enclosure, so she does have access to it, but I can add some climbing sticks directly into the bin when I get home this afternoon if you think that would help.


Chameleon Enthusiast
Chameleons can go a lot longer than we think without food. Obvisouly not a recommendation to go a long time, and worry should kick if theyve gone near week without food. My little firey tree dragon has gone a week before when he was protesting all other foods other than crickets.


Our Zilla is doing the exact same things.. we have her laying bin ready and all..
She has me anxious everyday but I think now it’s just a waiting game.. no signs of digging at all and appetite has slowed down. She loves coming out of her home any chance she gets too.. wonder if these are just common signs, but I too wonder how long is too long to wait
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