Unhappy with cage? Or just extremely friendly/social Chameleon?

Han0915

Member
Hey guys,
I have a bit of a confusing question regarding my 6-7 month old Panther Chameleon that I've been wondering about for a while now. I bought Felix back in August when he was almost 3 months old, and I was really determined to socialize him from the very start. Even as a baby, he was noticeably more calm/docile than his siblings, which is why I chose him. He started off nervous with people, always running away from my hand in the beginning so I went slow with him. I'd feed him from my palm, and then from my fingers... eventually luring him onto my hand daily. He eventually learned that hands and people = good!

So here's where I grow confused; as a baby, he loved his cage and I really went all out decorating it, giving him lots of plants and hiding spaces. He's got a mix of live plants/fake plants, vines, sticks, +proper uvb and heat lighting in a 18x18x36 screen cage (will be upgraded soon to two stacked 18x18x36 cages). But as he grew more social, the more he kept wanting to come out of his cage. He'd race to the front of the cage and would immediately run onto my hand, wanting to be held. I eventually got him a little tree and started taking him out daily for "tree play time", but he'd even want to grab onto me from his tree if I went nearby. It's like, he almost always wants to be with me or somebody, and actually seems to enjoy people. He never shows his darker, scared colors nor his extremely bright colors; he's always just his constant, content colors even when out. He gets a tad bit more bright when he's on his tree but I'm fairly certain that's from excitement, otherwise he's just kinda chill with everyone. If you offer your hand to him, almost 90% of the time he will climb aboard. If he doesn't climb up, then I don't force him and let him be. I basically let him make all the choices.

My question and concern comes with what I've seen online regarding this. Many say if they want to come out, it's because they're unhappy with their cage, which makes no sense since he grew up preferring to be inside his cage. I can post some pictures once I'm home to see what you guys think of his setup and if you spot any problems with it, but it makes me wonder if I'm doing anything wrong with his enclosure, or if he's really just a super friendly chameleon. I mean, I've literally worked with him everyday to socialize him so I want to believe it's really just his friendliness, but I'm not sure now after reading the whole "Chameleons who want out of their cages aren't happy at all"' kind of posts lol. Anyone got any ideas?
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
Nothing with chams are that cut and dry. Post a pic of the viv.

Wasting time and money stacking vivs, they never use the bottom one.
 

Han0915

Member
I'll post tonight once home the old viv setup and his current one. I tried changing a few things out to see if that helped but he still behaves the same.

Also, goal was to stack the vivs so he'd have more upwards climbing space, so I could put a tall tree in there. I know they sell the next size up which is like 24x24x48 or something, but I figured stacking the cages just saves me on cost + gives him few extra inches of climbing. I'm all about trying to give him as much space as possible since he's getting big enough for it.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
I understood what you meant about stacking the first time.

Couldn’t tell you how many keepers have tried it, 80% of the time the cham never uses the bottom half. You’d get the same result by just elevating the viv in the room by 36”.


Don’t let me stop you, go for it if that’s what you want. Just know that eventually your going to need that bigger viv so no, not a money saver.
 

Han0915

Member
I'd like to customize a cage myself down the road but will have to be once I graduate in the Spring, so I have room to place this giant cage. For now I'll be making him an out of cage playground/ free range area for him once I'm back in Cali from Winter break, and it will connect to his cage, so he can come out freely if he wants. Planning on using his tree and hanging some fake vines to the wall, then gating off the area, so he has like an entire corner of the room to himself. I'm still trying to get him to accept the outdoors since all the times I've tried taking him out, he hid under my hand and was so scared of the outside world LOL. Long-term goal is to have two enclosures for him, one inside one outside. :) He reallyyyyy is a softy though, not once has he puffed, hissed, or anything at me and goes full on scaredy cat mode once outdoors. I gotta let him just get used to it ofc which in time, he will lol. I'll post all his setups so far just to show you kinda what I've tried so far.

1st setup; went a little nuts with the plants and vines but he was a tiny baby, so I wanted to make sure he had plenty of hiding opportunities.
IMG_20190820_153709.jpg


2nd setup; changed his cage around and took away some plants since he had grown a lot and I felt like it was too crowded for him. This is what his main set up looks like in California, though I took out the log when it started growing mold and replaced it with twigs and sticks that I tied to give different climbing levels.
IMG_20191022_200656.jpg


3rd set up; This is his current, temporary set up for one month while at home during the break. He's grown quite a bit so I haven't packed his cage nearly as densely before, and it's also not nearly as set up as I'd like. I'd like to get a taller plant in there + some more twigs or branches, but I'm trying to not overkill it and cause him to feel overcrowded lol.
IMG_20200101_011142.jpg

Also extra info, he began wanting out of his cage since the 3rd week or so of being in his 1st set up. I hadn't even bought him a tree then so why he wanted to come out was kinda a mystery lol. As for lighting, he's got a T5 UVB tube and basking spots between 82-90F (tends to like it warmer in the 87F zone). Ambient temps are upper 70s. MistKing comes on 3 times daily, 2 min intervals.

I can provide any other info if needed too, happy to!
 

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Han0915

Member
Also wanna clarify just in case it sounded wrongly worded; he isn't wanting out of his cage like, ALL the time 24/7. It's normally if I get up from my bed, and he sees me moving, or if someone comes near his cage and he sees he's getting attention. His cage is literally by my bed so he acts like this a lot only because he's looking at my face all day LOL but he definitely is content having his own free time too. I only let him out when he wants to freely come out, so sometimes he'll give me the eye almost telling me to "shoo fly" letting me know he wants to just chill inside. I just notice that a lot of the times when I even look at him or walk past his cage, he runs up to the front and wants out. Hope that makes more sense now lol.
 

SeeJay

Member
Our nosy be doesn’t want to go back in his cage sometimes. Sometimes he’d rather sit on my shoulder and watch tv.
 

Han0915

Member
Its possible there is not enough thick horizontal branches to feel safe. Most of the branches are not even at a 45 degree angle. And mine would always hang out on the horizontal branches more than the angled ones. For all you know he considers vertical branches "stairs".
Ohhh okay that makes sense for sure! I actually have some mossy branches that I ordered yesterday so that should help out with that issue! Do you think I should add anymore plants or anything too? I have these fake vines I could add if you guys think he needs anymore hiding spaces too? I guess I don't know when is too much when it comes to decorating his cage haha.
 

Kristen Wilkins

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'd like to customize a cage myself down the road but will have to be once I graduate in the Spring, so I have room to place this giant cage. For now I'll be making him an out of cage playground/ free range area for him once I'm back in Cali from Winter break, and it will connect to his cage, so he can come out freely if he wants. Planning on using his tree and hanging some fake vines to the wall, then gating off the area, so he has like an entire corner of the room to himself. I'm still trying to get him to accept the outdoors since all the times I've tried taking him out, he hid under my hand and was so scared of the outside world LOL. Long-term goal is to have two enclosures for him, one inside one outside. :) He reallyyyyy is a softy though, not once has he puffed, hissed, or anything at me and goes full on scaredy cat mode once outdoors. I gotta let him just get used to it ofc which in time, he will lol. I'll post all his setups so far just to show you kinda what I've tried so far.

1st setup; went a little nuts with the plants and vines but he was a tiny baby, so I wanted to make sure he had plenty of hiding opportunities.
View attachment 254940

2nd setup; changed his cage around and took away some plants since he had grown a lot and I felt like it was too crowded for him. This is what his main set up looks like in California, though I took out the log when it started growing mold and replaced it with twigs and sticks that I tied to give different climbing levels.
View attachment 254941

3rd set up; This is his current, temporary set up for one month while at home during the break. He's grown quite a bit so I haven't packed his cage nearly as densely before, and it's also not nearly as set up as I'd like. I'd like to get a taller plant in there + some more twigs or branches, but I'm trying to not overkill it and cause him to feel overcrowded lol.
View attachment 254942
Also extra info, he began wanting out of his cage since the 3rd week or so of being in his 1st set up. I hadn't even bought him a tree then so why he wanted to come out was kinda a mystery lol. As for lighting, he's got a T5 UVB tube and basking spots between 82-90F (tends to like it warmer in the 87F zone). Ambient temps are upper 70s. MistKing comes on 3 times daily, 2 min intervals.

I can provide any other info if needed too, happy to!
Here and there you get a chameleon whom comes out willingly . I have 2 of these chameleon’s . One will be 4 he’s healthy as a horse . When he was smaller I adding more horizontal cruising space and plants , meant nothing to him . After about a year and a half we excepted there’s nothing wrong with his space or him . The slavery still continues ;) .
 

SeeJay

Member
Ohhh okay that makes sense for sure! I actually have some mossy branches that I ordered yesterday so that should help out with that issue! Do you think I should add anymore plants or anything too? I have these fake vines I could add if you guys think he needs anymore hiding spaces too? I guess I don't know when is too much when it comes to decorating his cage haha.
When mine is basking he prefers to be on the perfectly horizontal dowel rods we installed at various levels. It’s not the most aesthetically pleasing thing there is, but it’s effective.
 

Han0915

Member
Here and there you get a chameleon whom comes out willingly . I have 2 of these chameleon’s . One will be 4 he’s healthy as a horse . When he was smaller I adding more horizontal cruising space and plants , meant nothing to him . After about a year and a half we excepted there’s nothing wrong with his space or him . The slavery still continues ;) .
Yeah I truly think he's just one of those chams, because from what I've observed and can see, he's a very healthy little guy and he seems to enjoy his cage when he's not wanting to come out to hang around with us. He's never stressed or dark colors inside so that's why I was so confused over this!

Just for safe measures, I'm hoping to get him into my exotic vet for just an annual checkup kinda thing and to make sure he's growing well and all! I can definitely ask if they see anything weird that could explain this behavior but I honestly just think he's sweet. I did change his vines tonight and made them horizontal, just until his new branches get in! Hope he likes those much more!

For down the road...

Building your own viv is a rewarding experience most keepers miss out on. Don’t hesitate to ask questions...

https://www.chameleonforums.com/threads/bioactive-mentor.167174/
Thank you so much for referring me to that!! I'm very eager to get his cage built, definitely cannot wait to give the little guy all the space he deserves. :) My college has an entire workshop so I got all the tools ready to use, plus they can help me there as well to build the cage! Still deciding on the cage dimensions but thinking minimum of 2ft x 2ft x 5ft. Who knows, maybe I'll go even bigger!
 

Kristen Wilkins

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yeah I truly think he's just one of those chams, because from what I've observed and can see, he's a very healthy little guy and he seems to enjoy his cage when he's not wanting to come out to hang around with us. He's never stressed or dark colors inside so that's why I was so confused over this!

Just for safe measures, I'm hoping to get him into my exotic vet for just an annual checkup kinda thing and to make sure he's growing well and all! I can definitely ask if they see anything weird that could explain this behavior but I honestly just think he's sweet. I did change his vines tonight and made them horizontal, just until his new branches get in! Hope he likes those much more!



Thank you so much for referring me to that!! I'm very eager to get his cage built, definitely cannot wait to give the little guy all the space he deserves. :) My college has an entire workshop so I got all the tools ready to use, plus they can help me there as well to build the cage! Still deciding on the cage dimensions but thinking minimum of 2ft x 2ft x 5ft. Who knows, maybe I'll go even bigger!
Great plan always be safe then Sorry .
 

Han0915

Member
So I took a little video of him today during one of his fits to get out of his cage. Before this, he was running up and down his cage looking at me the whole time while throwing his temper tantrum LOL. Until I gave in of course haha.

He's got his little routine now where he runs up the front, runs to the edge and almost immediately wants onto my hand lol. Early today, he literally was throwing his little hands to me desperately wanting out, even though I was leaving the house for a bit. Always breaks my heart to say no to him.... though he wins half the time lol.

 

Kristen Wilkins

Chameleon Enthusiast
So I took a little video of him today during one of his fits to get out of his cage. Before this, he was running up and down his cage looking at me the whole time while throwing his temper tantrum LOL. Until I gave in of course haha.

He's got his little routine now where he runs up the front, runs to the edge and almost immediately wants onto my hand lol. Early today, he literally was throwing his little hands to me desperately wanting out, even though I was leaving the house for a bit. Always breaks my heart to say no to him.... though he wins half the time lol.

My septiseye is theatrical , Always has been . As I said before I was sure it was his enclosure. Year and a 1/2 of changes for him not to change at all . We do okay can to the conclusion he likes SPACE !!.
 

Han0915

Member
My septiseye is theatrical , Always has been . As I said before I was sure it was his enclosure. Year and a 1/2 of changes for him not to change at all . We do okay can to the conclusion he likes SPACE !!.
Oh yes, he sure does love his space that's for sure! I think he just is lookin' for love and a little more time to stretch his legs at this point LOL!

He’s nearing sexual maturity. Lots of hormone changes driving him to patrol his territory and find some booty!
Ohhhhh my well that sure explains his obsession with my mirror lately LOL. He likes to run down the bed, across my room, climb up the dog crate while then climbing my dresser, and we call it, "Uh oh, he's starting shit with himself again". He turns into a puffy pancake and is just completely in love/full on hatred with himself. Got to the point where every-time I let him loose for even a second, he hauled his booty over to that dresser. He stays his normal colors, but he just goes bonkers over it. Not sure if he's in love, or completely wants to murder himself. The dresser has now been blocked off from his um, love-seeking little butt.

My poor, single little guy is just looking for a nice date.... :eek:
 

Beman

Chameleon Enthusiast
My boy was like a puppy in personality until he hit 13 months old. Then he became a full on chameleon in temperament. I do believe that working with him when he was younger keeps me from getting bit now but his personality is nothing like what it was. He has his moments here and there otherwise it is a look and don't disturb attitude at all times.

As far as the cage... Don't stack. Go with a wider format. You will find that he enjoys the space much more and it is much easier to build or buy wider then having a sky scrapper that he avoids the bottom 3 feet of.
 

Han0915

Member
My boy was like a puppy in personality until he hit 13 months old. Then he became a full on chameleon in temperament. I do believe that working with him when he was younger keeps me from getting bit now but his personality is nothing like what it was. He has his moments here and there otherwise it is a look and don't disturb attitude at all times.

As far as the cage... Don't stack. Go with a wider format. You will find that he enjoys the space much more and it is much easier to build or buy wider then having a sky scrapper that he avoids the bottom 3 feet of.
I've definitely always been prepared for him to possibly turn full Cham and become a grump, and I still am! Though I'll still love him to bits if that's the case, just from a distance. :p I picked him out from the other baby chams since he was the only one that wasn't showing dark colors, was biting/hissing, etc. He was very docile, and was just his content green color even at that age. Definitely could have been him trying to act tough, but he's never shown aggressive towards people... not yet at least. *crossing fingers*

Yeah I'm definitely scraping that idea and will just build him his brand new cage all together once I'm back in Cali. I've got amazing plans in mind so I'm really excited. Hoping I can get him moved into his cage within a month from now!

I guess the spare cages I have now will just FORCE me to get more chams.... Oh bummer. :p
 
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