overly stressing a chameleon?

chloe924

Member
Hello all

So I’ve had my 7/8 month old Panther chameleon for over 2 months now. Here is a link regarding his general set up.

Basically I hate him being cooped up in a cage and so whenever I am around to watch him, I like to ‘free range’ him around a jungle gym set up I have . I live in rented accommodation ,so there is limits to what I can do, but I’ve tried to create a good place for him to exercise with 2 fake ficus plants and real ficus, plants and rope. I basically leave him to his own devices unless he tries to escape ( he adores my betta tropical fish tank for some reason) or goes dark from coldness or stress IDk. Where I pop him back in his cage and he basks for bit before exploring again. But my main concern is if I am stressing him out too much? As whenever he tries to escape or turns dark ,I have t0 pick him up by making him crawl onto my hand. I do put him back an hour before each misting and bed time, but am I over stimulating him?As Im pretty sure he is associating my hand with only negativity at this point and will no longer hand feed.

He is also having issues sleeping. As he will stay in his sleeping spot hours after lights turn on (awake and alert mind) before moving for the day, which concerns me. Am I letting him associate areas within his territory he cant reach regularly thereby introducing stress? Am I handling too much? Ideally I like him to explore for at least 20mins days I'm working and longer when I'm off.
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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hello all

So I’ve had my 7/8 month old Panther chameleon for over 2 months now. Here is a link regarding his general set up.

Basically I hate him being cooped up in a cage and so whenever I am around to watch him, I like to ‘free range’ him around a jungle gym set up I have . I live in rented accommodation ,so there is limits to what I can do, but I’ve tried to create a good place for him to exercise with 2 fake ficus plants and real ficus, plants and rope. I basically leave him to his own devices unless he tries to escape ( he adores my betta tropical fish tank for some reason) or goes dark from coldness or stress IDk. Where I pop him back in his cage and he basks for bit before exploring again. But my main concern is if I am stressing him out too much? As whenever he tries to escape or turns dark ,I have t0 pick him up by making him crawl onto my hand. I do put him back an hour before each misting and bed time, but am I over stimulating him?As Im pretty sure he is associating my hand with only negativity at this point and will no longer hand feed.

He is also having issues sleeping. As he will stay in his sleeping spot hours after lights turn on (awake and alert mind) before moving for the day, which concerns me. Am I letting him associate areas within his territory he cant reach regularly thereby introducing stress? Am I handling too much? Ideally I like him to explore for at least 20mins days I'm working and longer when I'm off.
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Staying in his sleeping spot during the day is fine as long as he’s awake. Make sure he can get back into the enclosure to bask and get uvb (uvb can’t transfer through windows, therefore his only uvb source is the uvb light or actually being outside). Could you clarify about when he gets dark or what you feel is stressing him out, please?
 

chloe924

Member
Hey.
Super late reply, sorry!

Thanks for the reassurance. :) Honestly everyone that knows me thinks I’ve gone loony and I can’t say I blame them haha.
I’ve changed things around since my last post and brought most of his ropes up higher on the walls using a great deal of no nails hooks. He now tries to escape a lot less and so I don’t have to stress him out as much by wrangling him back into his cage as often.

Staying in his sleeping spot during the day is fine as long as he’s awake. Make sure he can get back into the enclosure to bask and get uvb (uvb can’t transfer through windows, therefore his only uvb source is the uvb light or actually being outside). Could you clarify about when he gets dark or what you feel is stressing him out, please?
It's hard to get a picture as he just flares up if I get close with my phone, but essentially he got what I consider his stress bars underneath his chin and his colours went dark. Though since I have raised up his exploration area I’ve not seen it, so hopefully the extra height has helped! There was nothing specific that seemed to bother him, I just worry as so much of what I research paints chameleons as being super fragile and I’d hate to cause damage through daily small stresses. I also keep the rope tied to his cage with the door open but honestly, he's never crawled back of his own volition..

You have spoiled a chameleon. I'm thinking a future of hand feeding and holding a dripper over a favorite leaf is in your future... :D
I actually took the drip idea into account :D and hooked a small cup for calci worms up. I could even pop a heat bulb in my standing lamp but unfortunately, there is nothing I can do about UVB. So I guess really I’m wondering how much time is safe for him to be away from a source of uvb? I hate seeing him cooped up, so on days I’m off in the house, he easily gets a few hours inter-spaced throughout the day. Most days this will be fine as feeding days/when I’m out he gets half an hour outside if that. I am off for a while next month however and will be letting him out more, so would hate to be depriving him by accident.
 

Kaden

Member
Definitely no expert here, but make sure you don’t take him out to soon after feeding so he’ll be able to heat up and digest the meal.
 
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