Making a new cage. Suggestions?


New Member
I am planning on building a new cage this week. I am going to make it out of wood, and window screens like my last one. But this time, I'm gonna tile the bottom, and back side. The Laminated pegboard I have in my current cage is starting to swell :( . I am also going to be Tileing the back side of that cage as well.

Anyways, this cage is going to be for my male Veiled who is about 5-6 months old. I plan on using some 1x2s for hte framing since I cant seem to find any 1x1s around here. I want to make it around 4 feet high, Screen on all sides except the back, which will be tiled, and also the bottom will be tiled. I also want to make a drain setup aswell. I want to slope the tiles around the bottom, so all the water will run into a drain.

How would this sound? What would you do if you where building one? Any other suggestions?

I used hardware cloth or screen in my old wooden cages. I also used 1x2's, anything bigger was too heavy.

The only problem is they are hard to fasten together. I used metal brackets and braces, which made the cages expensive. HArdware cloth is easier to work with, as it is strong, and makes the whole cage sturdy and rigid. Screen doesn't do anything like that.

Just make sure you drill pilot holes before screwing the pieces together.
I am going use window screens ( The whole window screen+Frame, not just the screen itself ). Then myder the the inside of the wood to fit the screen nicely. I also used "L" brackets ( I think thats what their called lol ) where the 45 degree angles connected to each other along with wood glue, and nails using a nail gun to keep it rigid. I also put aluminum screen on top so the lights wouldn't melt regular window screen.

Basically it will look like this, but taller, with a tile backing and floor, and drainage setup.

Hope you kinda understand what I mean :D




I just put some temporary tile in my current cage now. Heres what it looks like.



And these are just some updated pics



Yea Im a pic whore :p
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Looks good drake. The tile adds a nice touch as well. I think the normal window screen may have too small of a mesh size. It could cause nail lose and related problems. I know I mentioned this in the chat room, but thought I should mention it here as well in case others were thinking of using window screen. I honestly do not have a lot of experience building cages, maybe some other people have some opinions.
You have drawbacks with every caging material.

Hardware cloth cuts feet, but doesn't rip toenails out. It's easier for
them to hold onto, so they're more likely to use it. Bugs can squeeze

Screen is great all round, but they can get nails worn off or ripped out.

Fiberglass screen is ok, but bugs can chew through.

PVC coated hardware cloth is awesome, but some bugs can squeeze
through. It;s also hard to come by, and often, too expensive.

I stopped using hardware cloth in my new cages after my CB
deremensis cut his feet to shreds on it. I had never had a toenail
problem, so I started using screen cages.

So far, only one chameleon has had nail loss - and pretty horrible nail
loss too. My little male, hatched out last year, was in a screen cage.
No problems for months. One day, I look, and1 out of 3 nails is worn
to a nub or gone! In a manner of weeks this happened.

The cages are big and well planted - they usually spend little or no time
on the screen. I had moved a ficus next to his cage - right up against it
in fact. he was trying to get into the ficus - through the screen.

I even raised a CB melleri from 3 months old to over a year in a
2'x2'x3' cage, and her nails are long and sharp. Deremensis, even this
little male's father was raised in a screen cage. Never had a problem.

As long as it's set up properly, screen is great. I personally feel it's
better than hardware cloth, especially for montane chameleons, which
seem to have softer feet.
Thanks everyone. I think tommorow or so, I'm gonna go to Home Depot and check out their Window Screens and other supplies. I'm gonna stick with window screen, since my chams very rarely climb on the screen, and I dont really want to use hardware cloth as I am afraid of what Eric said about his experiences. Thanks again!
Eric: nice summary of the different options available.

Drake: keep an eye out for the pvc coated hardware cloth. I am curious how much they are charging for it.
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