My cham is acting weird!

Hello, all! I have a Veiled Chameleon who I believe is about 6-8 months old.. I have had him for about coming up to 5 months now. Everything seems to be okay in terms of his health but his attitude made a huge turn out of nowhere. I have been working with him patiently ever since I got him, we learned together and he was extremely slowly but surely gaining my trust. We even got to the point to where it took him a while but he would come onto my hand to get a worm. I did this every day for a long while. Just some background, he eats mainly dubia roaches, I used to give him crickets but they are stinky, annoying, and he sometimes had trouble with them escaping his food bowl which worried me. Anyway I found a good source of dubia roaches not too far from me so that's what we settled with. From the start he was a very very grumpy guy, but I knew what I was getting myself into so I just did my best. Like I said, this was going all so well and then all of the sudden he started getting uncomfortable with me. No change in environment, nothing really at all. He slowly stopped eating food off of my hand and even now sometimes hisses at me extremely aggressively if I even try to offer him some. When this happens I try to give him some space and just move on to the next day. Another thing I am concerned about but also not sure of is his lack of appetite. He went through the common veiled cham phase of eating a really large amount every day. I mean he was eating like 25 of the dubia roaches a day at some point and could even probably take more. As of recently he barely touches them. It used to be, right as I place the food bowl he rushes to it and starts goin to town! Now not so much. I did upgrade in size to larger ones... they are a tiny bit larger than they should be but he eats them perfectly fine. My assumptions are either maybe he is getting full too fast because of the size maybe, or maybe it is too big for him? I am really not sure. I also started to place the roaches in his cage so he can go hunt for them, just for some bonding time and also how I made sure he ate if he didn't eat from the bowl. Now he barely budges for those. Any help would be awesome :)

Just to be clear too, his cage is a good size for him. I think It is something along the likes of 36"x24"x18"? I was told this would be fine for him for a good year but I am upgrading soon because I want him to live comfortably and luxuriously! He doesn't seem to be upset about the environment at all (at least from what I think). But yeah, I want to continue building toward trust with him, and more importantly make sure nothing is wrong with him! His tongue goes the full length, he does not move abnormally slow, he moves around a lot and when is left alone seems just fine. Even if I just sit by him, but interacting even for food becomes a stressful situation for him sometimes.
 
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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
This is typical veiled behavior
Please be careful giving feedback hun. People do not know that you are newer.

@Lincolntowncar This is not necessarily due to normal Veiled behavior. Cage size and his age can be contributing here a great deal in that case it is more stress related. The reduced eating may very well be due to normal age and change in appetite. They will curb down on their own about 6-7 months old. However if he is showing anything else like weird stools or total loss of desire to eat then get a fecal done to rule out parasites. I think you have a combo of stress from cage size and a maturing Male. But I never like to say yes totally normal when it comes to eating issues. Also I tend to shy away from free feeding just because if there are parasite issues and he is used to feeders being free in his cage your going to have a harder time getting rid of the parasites with meds if he is reinfecting himself via feeder walking through his poop.

Look into these but get the large size for him. They feel like they are hunting but there is no way for fecal matter to get into the feeder and the feeders are contained. https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/chameleon-shooting-gallery-screened-cage-feeder.169011/
 
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Please be careful giving feedback hun. People do not know that you are newer.

@Lincolntowncar This is not necessarily due to normal Veiled behavior. Cage size and his age can be contributing here a great deal in that case it is more stress related. The reduced eating may very well be due to normal age and change in appetite. They will curb down on their own about 6-7 months old. However if he is showing anything else like weird stools or total loss of desire to eat then get a fecal done to rule out parasites. I think you have a combo of stress from cage size and a maturing Male. But I never like to say yes totally normal when it comes to eating issues. Also I tend to shy away from free feeding just because if there are parasite issues and he is used to feeders being free in his cage your going to have a harder time getting rid of the parasites with meds if he is reinfecting himself via feeder walking through his poop.

Look into these but get the large size for him. They feel like they are hunting but there is no way for fecal matter to get into the feeder and the feeders are contained. https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/chameleon-shooting-gallery-screened-cage-feeder.169011/
So he isn’t totally at a loss of appetite, I fed him today but he only ate about one roach... he also eats from the bowl just not as frequently as before. Also, I ordered that feeder a couple of days ago but I got the medium! I’ll try to see if I can refund it but it might be too late /: and yea anyway I’ll be grabbing him a whole new cage and making it bioactive by this upcoming Tuesday. I think you linked me a good place to get the cage in another one of my posts.
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
So he isn’t totally at a loss of appetite, I fed him today but he only ate about one roach... he also eats from the bowl just not as frequently as before. Also, I ordered that feeder a couple of days ago but I got the medium! I’ll try to see if I can refund it but it might be too late /: and yea anyway I’ll be grabbing him a whole new cage and making it bioactive by this upcoming Tuesday. I think you linked me a good place to get the cage in another one of my posts.
Stools still look normal though, yes? Down to 1 is a drastic reduction... you did not have a hatch date on him though right? So if we are guessing at age he could be older then suspected as well. Post pics of the stubborn eater lol
 
Stools still look normal though, yes? Down to 1 is a drastic reduction... you did not have a hatch date on him though right? So if we are guessing at age he could be older then suspected as well. Post pics of the stubborn eater lol
Yes down to one, but remember, I now am feeding him large Dubias... regardless he was eating much more but just thought it’d be important to mention.

Here are pics, just of what I had saved for now.
 

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Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yes down to one, but remember, I now am feeding him large Dubias... regardless he was eating much more but just thought it’d be important to mention.

Here are pics, just of what I had saved for now.
Gosh he looks more like Beman at 9 months old. I think he is good. He is quite beautiful now!!! Your on an every other day feeding now too right?
 
Gosh he looks more like Beman at 9 months old. I think he is good. He is quite beautiful now!!! Your on an every other day feeding now too right?
Yes, I usually don’t need to refill his bowl for 1-2 days. He doesn’t completely leave them but I was just worried because he went through a phase where he was eating 15-25+ even when I upgraded the size! Anyway, maybe he’s older than I originally anticipated. And thank you, he especially glows when he’s sleeping :)
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yes, I usually don’t need to refill his bowl for 1-2 days. He doesn’t completely leave them but I was just worried because he went through a phase where he was eating 15-25+ even when I upgraded the size! Anyway, maybe he’s older than I originally anticipated. And thank you, he especially glows when he’s sleeping :)
Yeah the but back is normal. Beman went from about 18 to 9 all the sudden and then dropped back to about 4 feeders every other day. Now he hates me because I have him on a diet because he is a chunky monkey lol.
 
Yeah the but back is normal. Beman went from about 18 to 9 all the sudden and then dropped back to about 4 feeders every other day. Now he hates me because I have him on a diet because he is a chunky monkey lol.
Yeah they can be quick to give attitude lol... in reference to one of the parts of my initial question, do you know why he could be starting to get aggressive with me? It was ever since he started going through that drop in eating he also started to not comply with our bonding time where I’d hand feed him and get him to crawl on to my hand briefly.. now he doesn’t even take it out my hand which used to be a guarantee! I’m assuming it’s because he is stressed about the cage size which is why I’m upgrading but could it be something else? We built so well and were making so much progress then it just stopped! ):
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah they can be quick to give attitude lol... in reference to one of the parts of my initial question, do you know why he could be starting to get aggressive with me? It was ever since he started going through that drop in eating he also started to not comply with our bonding time where I’d hand feed him and get him to crawl on to my hand briefly.. now he doesn’t even take it out my hand which used to be a guarantee! I’m assuming it’s because he is stressed about the cage size which is why I’m upgrading but could it be something else? We built so well and were making so much progress then it just stopped! ):
Ok so this is based on my experience with Beman... he became extremely stressed with me having to remove most of his plants for parasite treatment. His whole personality shifted and he started getting aggressive with me never biting but showing he was the boss. I finally was able to add plants back in to his cage the last week. His stress level has come down and he is not showing the same aggression with me. Now the flip side of this could also be maturity. And well Veileds are known for their nasty attitudes lol.
I am still learning as well and with him being my only Cham this would be my feedback based on what your saying. So I would say stress and maturity are the causes here :( and I pout every time he puffs at me still. I get it! It’s a big personality shift when they go from friendly to hi I wanna eat you lol.
 
Ok so this is based on my experience with Beman... he became extremely stressed with me having to remove most of his plants for parasite treatment. His whole personality shifted and he started getting aggressive with me never biting but showing he was the boss. I finally was able to add plants back in to his cage the last week. His stress level has come down and he is not showing the same aggression with me. Now the flip side of this could also be maturity. And well Veileds are known for their nasty attitudes lol.
I am still learning as well and with him being my only Cham this would be my feedback based on what your saying. So I would say stress and maturity are the causes here :( and I pout every time he puffs at me still. I get it! It’s a big personality shift when they go from friendly to hi I wanna eat you lol.
Totally, I know these guys are known for this that’s why I’m not upset about it I’m just sad because I wish I had one of those super friendly ones! I love jimothy regardless but it’d still be nice haha. Once he hits a year or so and I get more room Im thinking of either getting a panther because I’ve heard they’re much more friendly, a bearded dragon or a created gecko. Still deciding! But yeah, back to jimbo, I try to just let him be whenever he gets stressed because I don’t want him to get over stressed or anything. I guess I’ll just keep trying or wait until he’s settled in a new enclosure!
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Enthusiast
The aggressive behavior and the slowing down on the feeding could both be due to him reaching sexual maturity. Do you feed him every day or two or three times a week? At this age he should be down to two or three times a week IMHO.

If he's truly not eating enough then it's a problem but if he's eating several (maybe 6 to 8) insects every two days he's likely fine.
 
The aggressive behavior and the slowing down on the feeding could both be due to him reaching sexual maturity. Do you feed him every day or two or three times a week? At this age he should be down to two or three times a week IMHO.

If he's truly not eating enough then it's a problem but if he's eating several (maybe 6 to 8) insects every two days he's likely fine.
Thanks for the feedback :) I’ll take note.. he’s eating around that amount, I just bought a new feeder mechanism that kinda makes it as if he’s hunting which he seems to prefer over the normal bowl I’ve been using for him so we’ll see how that goes!
 
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