Sleeping early??

Hydro's Mom

New Member
Hello everyone.

I have a panther cham, and he is 4 months old, I purchased him from Screamleons 1 month ago, I was told not to handle him for 2 weeks, I think I lost my chance to hold him and now when I open the door to his cage he hides, I tried to feed him a silk worm and he opened his mouth and I thought he was going to bite, so I put the silkie on a branch, I've noticed that he's been turning in early anytime between 7-8 pm. I turn his lights on around 6-6:30 am. Is this normal? He's eats anywhere from 10-20 crickets a day, sometimes he may leave 1 or 2 crickets, his temp is fine and the humity is good too. I spray his cage 2 to 3 times a day, but he still hides from me when I clean his cage. I want him to trust me, will it take much longer? I hope not, I know he's not a dog or cat that I can hold for long periods of time, but just once I would like to see what he feels like. Will he change when he gets a little older? Any advise will be greatly appreciated. Please don't tell me to hold a cricket in my hand :eek: I really get the chills just thinking I might have to do this in order for my cham to trust me.
During the winter, (Many chameleons can sense seasons even though many try to keep temps contact throughout the year...) many chamleeons will turn in for sleep sooner than others. During our winter, they are in their dryer, shorter-day, down season. If hes waking at 6 and sleeping at 8, that means hes been up 14 hours. During the winter, turn your lights to 10 maybe, during the spring 11. During summer, 12, fall, 11... or something along those lines.

Trust takes time. :) in they wild, they trust no one!

It just takes time...:)

As they age, most panther's go through stages of flight to bite to eventually something closer to tolerance. You'll hear about some that seem to like being held but don't put more into that other than he's just tolerating you to get what he wants which might just be getting out on the chance that the next stop is his favorite outdoor enclosure :). My panther went through the stages and now he often approaches his screen door in anticipation of getting out. He stopped running away and trying to bite me somewhere around 1 year old. Coming to the door started at about 1.5 to 2 years old.

Many panther keepers aim for 10-12 hours of awake time. Mine goes to his sleeping spot in anticipation of the first lights turning off at 6pm and then second set of lights turning off at 6:15pm. The morning reverse sequence starts at 6am.

Some keepers think that handling more often makes them less sensitive to handling. Other keepers feel that handling beyond what is needed to transport, medicate, inspect, etc. is stress inducing and not worth the risk. If your critter gets visibly upset then minimize your interaction. He'll eventually change as he ages, usually for the better.
Thanks Will & Dave, at least I still have some hope of holding my baby someday. I'm new at owning a chameleon, and I want to make sure that I'm doing everything right to give Hydro a good life. Thanks for your help.
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