The evolution of a cage...

My cages have gone through quite some evolution, from screen, to fabric sided enclosures, back to screen, to plastic garbage pails and finally to where I believe I have achieved success. Wood frame cages with plastic sides and bottoms.

The dimensions of each division is approximately 18x18x36". The bottom panel is plastic, and slanted towards the back for drainage. The front top horizontal panel sections are not part of the cage, however they are useful for hiding the lights from the front and writing details on the washable front, such as the resident, dates, weights, and etc... The cage does however extend into the lower panel.

If anyone is interested, I can see if I can dig up some production photos of it.

Now I need to build it a stand, and then I'll need to build 2 more units! It never ends.

Completed Photos:

Thank you.

I should add that the cages are incomplete as there is a lot more "Stuff" to be put inside them. Vines, plans, branches, etc.
Also, that these cages were intended to house female panther chameleons only, and thus this is the reason for the small size, I would expect a bit later cages for males, although I am an advocate for cages for building cages smaller than 2x2x4, as I do not feel the full cage is needed unless the bottom is planted with soil. I have gone that route, and wont go back.
2x2x3 is the minimum size I have, as I want to keep cages the same size. I will throw in two females per cage, if they don't mind, or a pair of deremensis.

1.5x1.5x3 is what I would use if I were doing individually cages females, or smaller species.

I find that most chameleons do not need more than 3 feet of vertical space, provided the temps are good, and the cage is suspended off the ground. A 3 foot cage, on the ground, will not make for a happy male chameleon.

There is one good reason to construct larger cages (2x2x4) as opposed to 3 foot tall cages - trees. It's easier to use some trees in these cages, as 3 feet is not really enough to allow for a good sized tree.

I've got my cages mounted way up in the air now, and they are fine. I've even got a newly imported MELLERI in a 2x2x3 cage, and he does not roam, or try to get out at all. He's happy. He's also 7 feet up in the air...

It's not just the size of the cage - it's how the cage is set up, located, oriented, and furnished...

Last edited:
Thank you for the reply Eric, I didn't expect the CCIC members to reply as to how they did. I'll be replying to them soon as I beleive there isa more in depth discussion developping there.

You said yourself, "1.5x1.5x3 is what I would use if I were doing individually cages females, or smaller species.", those are the dimensions of mine. These cages were designed specifically for female panther chameleons, and I feel that they are completly within boundries of being appropriately sized for their residents.

You were correct, there is no stand for them. When they are outside (I take the cages outside daily in the summer) they are about 3 feet off the ground. Maybe more. The stand I build for them inside will ste the cages right at the top of the 8' ceiling.

Air flow should not be a problem. There is a lot of air movement in the basement, by fans in the winter, and warm summer drafts in the other half of the year.

Your melleri cages are very nice. As a testament, your chameleosn always seem to be at a heightent level of health.
Nice setup Will! I will have to post some of my "inventions" soon. I have been building like crazy lately.
The folks at CCIC tend to be very picky - they don't want the forum to be misinterpreted by ANYONE!

From your post, they just thought the cages were small (only as big as the screened area), for male panthers(guess they missed that), and complete.

I think another color of plastic would have been better, but I think the cages are fine. If the chameleon is relaxed, the only problem with solid walls is lack of airflow. With a fan in the room, and frequent cleanings, this can be averted. I mean, I have screen on all SIX sides of my cages, but the back, bottom, and both sides are covered in plastic - and the tops are partially covered in light fixtures!
Top Bottom