Veiled chameleon runs and hides please help


New Member
My young veiled Cham turns dark and bolts immediately when I open his setup sometimes even when I get close to the cage I don't chase or grab him I just let him do his thing obviously he's scared but I can't hand feed him I can't even get the cricket or my hand close to him to even see it. Is this normal? Will he calm down? Is there anything I can do or am I doing something wrong?


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Social Media Manager
Staff member
Hi there. Welcome to the forum. This is very normal. They typically are shy and do not like being disturbed. It can take weeks or even months to build up trust using feeders and moving very slowly around them. Some will warm up and tolerate their human keepers and some may always be grumpy and just want to be left alone.

I do see some issues with the enclosure and lighting. We would be happy to make sure you were given all the right info when you got the baby. If you want to fill out this form with as much detail as possible and include more pics. :)

Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon - The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
  • Handling - How often do you handle your chameleon?
  • Feeding - What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
  • Supplements - What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
  • Watering - What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
  • Fecal Description - Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
  • History - Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
Cage Info:
  • Cage Type - Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
  • Lighting - What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
  • Temperature - What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
  • Humidity - What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
  • Plants - Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
  • Placement - Where is your cage located? Is it near any fans, air vents, or high traffic areas? At what height is the top of the cage relative to your room floor?
  • Location - Where are you geographically located?
Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.


Please Note:
  1. The more details you provide the better and more accurate help you will receive.
  2. Photos can be very helpful.


Chameleon Enthusiast
If you just got the cham then this is normal. You'll need to build a trust between you and the cham. Best thing to do at this time is ignore the chameleon when you are in the cage. Spend time in the room with the enclosure doing calm activities where you are not making a lot of sudden movements. After a few weeks the chameleon will get used to you being there and will react less to you.

There are a ton of thread on trust building so I am not going to type it all out now. Just remember to not rush anything. This takes a lot of time.

Also, as mentioned above, fill out the form posted.

I would remove the green pad in the bottom since it will get moldy and dirty very quick with the multiple mistings each day. Also, you'll need to upgrade your UVB lighting to a T5HO or T8 linear fixture since the coil compact UVB bulbs do not benefit the chameleon at all in the long term. The compact bulbs will focus the UVB in a small area which the cham would need to spend a lot of time under to get the necessary UVB exposure.
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