Sleeping spots


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My Cham seems to pick different sleeping spots every night. I've had her for a week now. Could she just be getting used to the cage or do they always do that? Tonight she is sleeping on the side of the cage. I don't know why she picked that spot, since I provided her with plenty of branches and vines.
This may just be her getting used to a brand new enviorment. Or You may need to make the amont of foliage even higher, but more likley she is just getting used to her new home!
It took Shiver about a week to settle with her sleeping - her first night she slept on the floor ( heat mat underneath cage ) with her front legs on the glass.

I've since put in lots more plants ( plastic for now :( ) and a few vines, she now sleeps in the very top plant - same spot every night.

Edited to add - plants are soft plastic with fabric leaves.
I'm in coooollllddd England lol, it's only under a quarter of the cage so she can warm herself up on it if she needs to. It'll be turned off when it gets a bit warmer over here.
Oh, that's good to know - thanx :)

It's been pretty cold here at night, just warming up to about 4 degrees not sure what that is in farrenheit?
Chameleons have not evolved to receive heat from geothermal sources. They will not walk over to it and sit on it- and if per chance they did, they would risk thermal burns. If the chameleon is spending much time at all on the ground, you should reconsider the setup.

If your house is staying about about ~13.5 degrees celsius at night, you'll be fine as long as the cage heats up again during the day time.
That's great info, thanx guys - i'll turn her mat off at night.

She doesn't spend much time on the ground but she does sit over the mat sometimes.

The mat isn't in the cage at all, the cage sits on top of it ( i was told to do this by the pet store i bought her from ) i have a glass cage with about half an inch of substrate - could there still be a risk of burning?

Any advise is VERY much appreciated :)
Drop the pet store, and re-learn everything they told you.

Here are some cage photos you can model your cage around:

Because of your location you may want to consider thiw article:

This site should enlighten you on many applicable topics:
Make a list of the articles you think you should read in the "Article reference" section, and tackle them a few a day.

And lastly, as you are doing now, don't hesitate to post questions on the forum.
There are some pet stores that know what they're talking about and there alot that are just trying to sell you a whole bunch of stuff that you don't need. Just today I went to PETCO and they were selling 1 month old veilds and I knew more about them than the guy trying to sell me them. The cage setup was all wrong too. They had no climbing branches and were drinking out of a very large bowl of water. It was large enough for the chams to drown in! When I went to PETSMART when I was first looking for a cham, the store worker told me that I would need all kinds of things. Then after doing some research on the web, I found out that the store owner knew nothing about veilds. If a pet store is going to sell you a pet, they should at least learn the basics.
Regarding random sleeping spots...

How are you switching off your cham's lights? Are they on a timer, or do you switch them off manually?

I have my lights on a timer, but initially, both the heat lamps and the UV light switched off at the same time. That seemed to catch my cham off-guard and quite often and I would find him sleeping in odd places (like on the sidewalls of the cage).

Thanks to advice from some of the members here, I changed the set up so that the heat lamp switches off 30mins before the UV light.
This seems to cue the cham that nightfall is coming. Ever since then, he always sleeps in a regular spot.
As soon as the heat lamp goes off, he starts making his way to his sleeping perch, and then waits there until the UV light goes off, and then he proceeds to sleep.
I'm switching lamp off manually at the moment but that sounds like a really logical idea - think i'll invest in a timer :)

I got Shiver from a very reputable local store, the guy who served me gave me loads of info but i'd rather learn off the "real experts" - ie, you guys.
This is why i joined the forum, i want to make sure everything is right and that Shiver has the best life possible ;)

Should i get rid of the heat mat altogether? I only have one lamp and it has a D3 bulb in, should i buy another lamp?

Really sorry to bother you with all of these questions - if anyone needs any advise on horses thats my area of expertise lol :cool:

This is the cheapest and easiest way to provide useful heat to a chameleon. To a chameleon light=heat. Something like a dome reflector can take a normal household light and project the heat over a wider area then what the bulb would normally produce around it. Now what species will dictate what temperatures you are trying to achieve. When you flip through these threads you will hear two things commonly talked about in regards to temperature the basking area and the ambient temperature. The basking area is set up under this dome reflector (caution has to be take with some of these species because of their physical build and temperatures required so it may not be right under the bulb). This should be the highest temperature in the cage. Everything else outside of the hot basking area is the ambient temperature. Now by adding a dome reflector on top of a screen cage you are creating a convection air flow effect. This is optimal for trying to keep a chameleon healthy and stabilizing their cage temperatures. As you probably know hot air rises. This is what is happening at the top of the cage. As the hot air escapes from the top top it is also creating a differance in pressure. This is know as a pressure differential and is the basic principle for how cars work. This makes more air come into the cage. Now normally the air will enter through the lower portions of the cage. The new fresher colder air will slowly move up through the cage become heated by the rest of the warmer air and the light until it finally escapes the top too. Now with this in mind you want to also create little micro climates. Areas that are warm, dry, cool, moist and variations of all of them in different forms. Sounds complex but you will do this without even think about it most of the time. I would suggest placing the basking bulb at one of the front corners. Under the basking bulb will normally be warm and drier then the rest of the cage. Plants under and around this area will create warm moist spots. On the other side of the cage to top portion will be cooler and moist. The bottom part on the opposite side of the cage will be drier and cooler. So unintentially you have created many little nooks and crannies for your chameleon to get comfortable. In the wild some species would have to travel pretty big distances to find these types of spots. Paying attention to them with the set-up will ensure that your chameleon is happy with it's enviroment.

I would honestly get rid of heat mat. Chameleons bodies are made to take heat from the side. This is why their bodies are laterally compressed. When they puff up they are actually creating more surface area for light to hit them and warm them up.

What species of chameleon do you have? With this you can know what temperatures you are trying to achieve. To me exact numbers are not that important but be being in the ball park is.


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I got Shiver from a very reputable local store, the guy who served me gave me loads of info but i'd rather learn off the "real experts" - ie, you guys.
You mean he gave you loads of bull... Anyone that sells a heat mat for a chameleon is sure to say something else wrong. He might get them to maybe survive his "way" but never to thrive I'd think.
It certainly seems like a load of bull now Will, i'm soooooo glad i found this forum ( i bet Shiver is too lol ).

Jordan, great info - thanx :)
I've already ditched the heat mat and i'm going to buy a whole load of new stuff today ( it's now 5.30am here in England :( ).
Oh, Shiver is a veiled - she's about 8 weeks old now.
I would say at the age he is now you just want to try to keep the cage in the 80-90*F range. Sorry I never use celcius, I live in the US.

Maybe at like three, four or so months you can set it up a little different. Getting the basking area in the 90-100*F range. The rest of the cage in the 80's. Humidity in the 50-75% range. Veileds do have some thing to watch out for when setting up their basking area and that is their casque (or head). They can not feel it well and temperatures are high. It is better not to have branches that go directly under the bulb or at least not until there is enough distance (from light to branch) so it is cooler. They can still get their heat with branches running near the light.
speaking of temperature, I live in central California and during this time of year it's been cold lately. I've been having problems with keeping a consistant temperature because some days are sunny and the next will rain. (The weather is killing me right now) My veiled is still a juvenile and the basking spot won't get hotter than 84-85 degrees. I even switched the basking bulb out with a 100w. There is also a uva/uvb florescent fixture with full spectrum lighting. That doesn't give off much heat at all. So is the temp that I got now still good for a 5 or 6 month cham? When will be a good age or size to upgrade to a higher temp? Also during the winter, what is the best way to increase the heat?
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