Will my Chameleon ever be used to me?

I just bought my chameleon from a reptilian in DFW, and he is a Panther Chameleon. They said he is about 3 months old, and he was born at their store. She said he had a big attitude and has bitten multiple members of the team and he also was bullying his siblings so he was separated. My husband and I loved him when we saw him, and were willing to take him on. We bought a good sized open enclosure for him, a long 5.0 UVB light and a 60W heating lamp. I also have a Schefflera Tree in his enclosure along with some fake leaves and lots of branches for him to crawl on. I spray around 2-3 times a day to help keep it humid and feed him 10 gutted crickets a day. I was giving him a calcium powder with D3 every feeding but read that I shouldn’t be doing it that often and only did it for 2-3 days in a row. I am going to go get calcium without D3 today to start using instead. I also have the calcium powder with LoD but haven’t given it to him yet because I’m scared of overdosing him. 😩 when he first came home, he was WILD. He moved around so much, climbing on every branch and on the enclosure walls. He was active and moving a lot more than I thought chameleons should. Disclosure, I have had to redo his enclosure almost everyday since I got him because my plant was drowning from the dripper, and water was accumulating everywhere. I ended up buying moss to put at the bottom of his enclosure and on top of the plant to prevent root rot. I know this may have stressed him out a bit, but I didn’t want my tree to die either. 😢 His enclosure is currently in my office and I work from home, so I am in here 5 days out of the week. Last week when we got him, I was off a couple of days so I wasn’t in the room much but now I am working in my office again and noticed he isn’t moving as much as before. His color is dark and I am scared he is not happy or maybe my office is too much for him with me here. However, I really don’t have anywhere else to put him as my other room is for my 3 dogs and hamster, and my bedroom is usually kept really cold vs the house. He is across from a window but we are on a corner so not much action happens outside the window, so I don’t think he is stressed from outside. Lights - we turn them on at 8 am and turn them off around 8-10 pm. The only reason being he sometimes is still moving around and active, but when I see he is finding a place to sleep, I turn them off. Latest I ever keep them on is 10 pm though. 🙂 temp under his heating lamp at 80-90, and the house usually stays at about 68-70. I made sure the vent does not go directly to his enclosure so he doesn’t get a full blast of cold air!

My questions for this forum are:
1. Will he ever get used to me working in my office, and is me being here the reason why he seems so grumpy?
2. I feel like he is healthy and he eats really well. I did notice that he seemed thirsty last night but wouldn’t drink water from the dripper or the leaves, only the water on the stems. How do I get him to stay hydrated?!
3. Should I be concerned by his color? I feel like most chameleons are so bright and he is gorgeous when he is bright, but when he is by himself, he is dark and sometimes his tail is curled up. How can I tell if he is sick and/or I need to take him to the vet?
***I tried to take a photo of him just now and he got super bright, and didn't get aggressive or anything. Just looked at me wondering what I was doing. I attached a photo from the last time I took a photo of him being dark and curled up. This was a couple days ago, but this is how he was today when I went into the office.

So sorry for the novel. I am really trying to give as much info as possible. I am attaching photos as well to help see what he and his enclosure look like! I appreciate any feedback or help anyone can provide!

**edit - so I am sitting watching him and he is climbing in the top of his cage under the UV light. He is moving really slow and not doing much. Is this normal? 😭 (added photo)
 

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ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
I just bought my chameleon from a reptilian in DFW, and he is a Panther Chameleon. They said he is about 3 months old, and he was born at their store. He looks very small for a 3 month old. Are you sure he is a he, as well? She said he had a big attitude and has bitten multiple members of the team and he also was bullying his siblings so he was separated. My husband and I loved him when we saw him, and were willing to take him on. We bought a good sized open enclosure for him He needs a way bigger enclosure. The minimum for an adult panther (which he can go into now) is 2'x2'x4' tall, but preferably 4'x2'x4' tall or bigger. You can also increase his cage size as he grows, too, a long 5.0 UVB light The bulb needs to be raised off the top of the screen by at least 4", with the total distance between the UVB bulb and the top of his back when he is on his basking branch to be 6" and a 60W heating lamp What are the temps for basking? The heat bulb needs to be raised at least the same distance as the UVB bulb, as well. I also have a Schefflera Tree in his enclosure along with some fake leaves and lots of branches for him to crawl on. His cage needs more live plants (that are chameleon safe), more branches (of multiple species and diameters, just no branches from toxic or sap-producing trees), and vines (preferably all live, but fake ones from Fluker's will work, just no moss or Exo Terra vines), as well as a drainage system outside of the cage I spray around 2-3 times a day to help keep it humid How long do you mist for each time, and what are your daytime and nighttime humidity levels? How do you measure his humidity levels? and feed him 10 gutted crickets a day. What do you gutload with? The Zilla Cricket Drink and Fluker's Orange Cubes aren't good. The Fluker's Cricket Quencher can be replaced with cheaper plain water crystals once you run out. Use as many ingredients as possible (in the correct ratios) from the gutload chart I'm attaching below. I've also added a feeder chart (as variety is key for gutload ingredients and types/species of feeders) and two plant charts, along with helpful links. Give him as much as he'll eat right now I was giving him a calcium powder with D3 every feeding but read that I shouldn’t be doing it that often and only did it for 2-3 days in a row. I am going to go get calcium without D3 today to start using instead. You need a quality phosphorus-free calcium to use every feeding (like Zoo Med ReptiCalcium Without D3 or Repashy SuperCal NoD). How many times has he been given the calcium with D3? You'll use the Repashy Calcium Plus LoD once very two weeks. Just use that and the calcium without D3.I also have the calcium powder with LoD but haven’t given it to him yet because I’m scared of overdosing him. 😩 when he first came home, he was WILD. He moved around so much, climbing on every branch and on the enclosure walls. It's because he's uncomfortable in his cage. He needs more privacy, along with addressing the other cage issues He was active and moving a lot more than I thought chameleons should. Disclosure, I have had to redo his enclosure almost everyday since I got him because my plant was drowning from the dripper, and water was accumulating everywhere. Don't do that anymore if you can help it after you fix his housing, chameleons hate their cages getting rearranged I ended up buying moss to put at the bottom of his enclosure and on top of the plant to prevent root rot. Take the moss out of the bottom of his cage, it isn't good like that I know this may have stressed him out a bit, but I didn’t want my tree to die either. 😢 His enclosure is currently in my office and I work from home, so I am in here 5 days out of the week. Is there a lot of traffic in that room? Is he near any windows, vents, drafts, etc? Last week when we got him, I was off a couple of days so I wasn’t in the room much but now I am working in my office again and noticed he isn’t moving as much as before. His color is dark and I am scared he is not happy or maybe my office is too much for him with me here. However, I really don’t have anywhere else to put him as my other room is for my 3 dogs and hamster, and my bedroom is usually kept really cold vs the house. He is across from a window but we are on a corner so not much action happens outside the window, so I don’t think he is stressed from outside. Can he see his reflection in the window? Is there something bright/colorful in the room or just outside of the window? Lights - we turn them on at 8 am and turn them off around 8-10 pm. Make it 8-8. A timer works great for that! The only reason being he sometimes is still moving around and active, but when I see he is finding a place to sleep, I turn them off. Latest I ever keep them on is 10 pm though. 🙂 temp under his heating lamp at 80-90 It should be at 80*F right now, measured with a digital thermometer with a probe, with the probe placed where the top of his back is when he's on his basking branch, and the house usually stays at about 68-70. What are his overnight temps, and how do you measure them? I made sure the vent does not go directly to his enclosure so he doesn’t get a full blast of cold air! You want it wither closed or aimed the opposite way of his enclosure

My questions for this forum are:
1. Will he ever get used to me working in my office, and is me being here the reason why he seems so grumpy? It depends on his personalty and how much privacy he has
2. I feel like he is healthy and he eats really well. I did notice that he seemed thirsty last night but wouldn’t drink water from the dripper or the leaves, only the water on the stems. How do I get him to stay hydrated?!
3. Should I be concerned by his color? I feel like most chameleons are so bright and he is gorgeous when he is bright, but when he is by himself, he is dark and sometimes his tail is curled up. How can I tell if he is sick and/or I need to take him to the vet? If he is super dark, he is stressed. It doesn't hurt to take a fresh fecal to the vet to make sure there are no parasites, though
***I tried to take a photo of him just now and he got super bright, and didn't get aggressive or anything. Just looked at me wondering what I was doing. I attached a photo from the last time I took a photo of him being dark and curled up. This was a couple days ago, but this is how he was today when I went into the office.

So sorry for the novel. I am really trying to give as much info as possible. I am attaching photos as well to help see what he and his enclosure look like! I appreciate any feedback or help anyone can provide!

**edit - so I am sitting watching him and he is climbing in the top of his cage under the UV light. He is moving really slow and not doing much. Is this normal? 😭 (added photo)

Could you fill out this form in as much detail as possible please? It'll help organize your info and ask a few more questions:

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.
 

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Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon- The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
    • Panther Chameleon, 3 Month old Male (Or I was told)... We have had him since May 20th.
  • Handling- How often do you handle your chameleon?
    • I have not handled him since I got him.
  • Feeding- What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
    • Crickets and I fed him one Waxworm to see if he would like it. I feed him about 10 crickets everyday. I usually feed him around noon every day. I was gut loading them but I see I was not doing it properly. I am going to use the resource sheet shared with me!
  • Supplements- What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
    • I attached a photo of all the supplements I have been giving him.
  • Watering- What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
    • I spray his cage for a good 2-3 minutes when I mist. I also have a Little Dripper that goes all day. I have seen him drinking from the stems of the leaves.
  • Fecal Description- Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
    • He is normally tan with black stripes, but when he is stressed, he gets really dark or he gets super light and a variation of dark colorations. I attached a photo of him for reference. Per the reptillium, he was tested and does not have parasites.
  • History- Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
    • Although the store let me know he was aggressive, he has not been aggressive at all. I have put my hand in the cage and let him come to me if he wants, and he usually just stares at me and doesn't seem scared or stressed. I feed him in his cage one cricket at a time, and I use tweezers to put the crickets on the branch. The first couple of days, he was super angry at the tweezers and would get super dark and puffy. However, today I fed him and when he saw me getting the tweezers, he got super excited and came to the front of the cage. I don't let him eat it until it is off the tweezers so he does not hurt his tongue. :)
    • This is our second chameleon. Our first we had 5 years ago and we were inexperienced. We only had him for a year and were devastated when he passed. We just moved into our new house a month ago and decided to get another because we are in love with these guys. I may be on this forum a lot because I just want my guy to have a long and happy life. Our other chameleon also was a veiled, and this guy is a panther, and they act a bit different than each other, so maybe why I am trying to ask a lot of questions!

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type- Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
    • It is a screen cage. It is 16" x 16" by 20". I will look into getting a large enclosure since the feedback is that the enclosure is too small.
  • Lighting- What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
    • His basking light is a ZooMed Repti Basking Spot Lamp, 50 W. The UV light is a 5.0 UVB Reptisun T5 HO High Output Terrarium Hood Lamp, 14" size, 15 Watt. I did not raise it from the cage but based on the feedback, I will look into trying to raise it.
  • Temperature- What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
    • I use a digital thermometer humidity gauge to determine the temp inside the cage. Based on the gauge right now, the bottom of the cage is around 72-75 degrees. The top of the cage gets anywhere from 75 to 90 under the basking light. Overnight, the temp in the cage gets down to 70 as the lowest as I read on the gauge.
  • Humidity- What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
    • I try to keep the humidity levels high, around 65-80 based on the humidity gauge. I am creating this by using moss, a bowl of water at the bottom of the cage, and spraying 3-4 times a day.
  • Plants- Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
    • I use a live Schefflera Tree. I also have a Snake Plant and Wandering Jew, but both do not fit inside the enclosure, so I am going to save them until he is upgraded. I do use fake vines and leaves in the cage as well.
  • 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?
    • It is located in my office on top of a shelf. There is an air vent close to the window, and it blow away from his cage. No fans and no high traffic. It is only me and my husband and I work from home. I am the only one in the room with him during the day. The top of his cage is the highest point in the room, about 57" from the floor. He cannot see himself out of the window, and the road is not used much since we are a corner house. I do have dogs but they stay in the next room over and they do not come into my office.
  • Location- Where are you geographically located?
    • Located in North Dallas (Frisco Area).

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.
  • How long does it take a Chameleon to acclimate to his environment and to me? Since he is in my office, I want him to eventually be comfortable with me being in the room and him being comfortable enough to move around and be himself.
  • What signs should I look out for in regards to being sick or upset?
  • Is it normal for Chameleons not to move around much?
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
You said..."Disclosure, I have had to redo his enclosure almost everyday since I got him because my plant was drowning from the dripper"...this might be why his colors are dark....you're making him feel like he's in a new territory every time you change his cage which means he has to put on his defensive colors and claim his territory all over again.

If you have time and patience you should be able to get him to become used to you....however, there are some that will never get used to their owner.
 
I just bought my chameleon from a reptilian in DFW, and he is a Panther Chameleon. They said he is about 3 months old, and he was born at their store. He looks very small for a 3 month old. Are you sure he is a he, as well? She said he had a big attitude and has bitten multiple members of the team and he also was bullying his siblings so he was separated. My husband and I loved him when we saw him, and were willing to take him on. We bought a good sized open enclosure for him He needs a way bigger enclosure. The minimum for an adult panther (which he can go into now) is 2'x2'x4' tall, but preferably 4'x2'x4' tall or bigger. You can also increase his cage size as he grows, too, a long 5.0 UVB light The bulb needs to be raised off the top of the screen by at least 4", with the total distance between the UVB bulb and the top of his back when he is on his basking branch to be 6" and a 60W heating lamp What are the temps for basking? The heat bulb needs to be raised at least the same distance as the UVB bulb, as well. I also have a Schefflera Tree in his enclosure along with some fake leaves and lots of branches for him to crawl on. His cage needs more live plants (that are chameleon safe), more branches (of multiple species and diameters, just no branches from toxic or sap-producing trees), and vines (preferably all live, but fake ones from Fluker's will work, just no moss or Exo Terra vines), as well as a drainage system outside of the cage I spray around 2-3 times a day to help keep it humid How long do you mist for each time, and what are your daytime and nighttime humidity levels? How do you measure his humidity levels? and feed him 10 gutted crickets a day. What do you gutload with? The Zilla Cricket Drink and Fluker's Orange Cubes aren't good. The Fluker's Cricket Quencher can be replaced with cheaper plain water crystals once you run out. Use as many ingredients as possible (in the correct ratios) from the gutload chart I'm attaching below. I've also added a feeder chart (as variety is key for gutload ingredients and types/species of feeders) and two plant charts, along with helpful links. Give him as much as he'll eat right now I was giving him a calcium powder with D3 every feeding but read that I shouldn’t be doing it that often and only did it for 2-3 days in a row. I am going to go get calcium without D3 today to start using instead. You need a quality phosphorus-free calcium to use every feeding (like Zoo Med ReptiCalcium Without D3 or Repashy SuperCal NoD). How many times has he been given the calcium with D3? You'll use the Repashy Calcium Plus LoD once very two weeks. Just use that and the calcium without D3.I also have the calcium powder with LoD but haven’t given it to him yet because I’m scared of overdosing him. 😩 when he first came home, he was WILD. He moved around so much, climbing on every branch and on the enclosure walls. It's because he's uncomfortable in his cage. He needs more privacy, along with addressing the other cage issues He was active and moving a lot more than I thought chameleons should. Disclosure, I have had to redo his enclosure almost everyday since I got him because my plant was drowning from the dripper, and water was accumulating everywhere. Don't do that anymore if you can help it after you fix his housing, chameleons hate their cages getting rearranged I ended up buying moss to put at the bottom of his enclosure and on top of the plant to prevent root rot. Take the moss out of the bottom of his cage, it isn't good like that I know this may have stressed him out a bit, but I didn’t want my tree to die either. 😢 His enclosure is currently in my office and I work from home, so I am in here 5 days out of the week. Is there a lot of traffic in that room? Is he near any windows, vents, drafts, etc? Last week when we got him, I was off a couple of days so I wasn’t in the room much but now I am working in my office again and noticed he isn’t moving as much as before. His color is dark and I am scared he is not happy or maybe my office is too much for him with me here. However, I really don’t have anywhere else to put him as my other room is for my 3 dogs and hamster, and my bedroom is usually kept really cold vs the house. He is across from a window but we are on a corner so not much action happens outside the window, so I don’t think he is stressed from outside. Can he see his reflection in the window? Is there something bright/colorful in the room or just outside of the window? Lights - we turn them on at 8 am and turn them off around 8-10 pm. Make it 8-8. A timer works great for that! The only reason being he sometimes is still moving around and active, but when I see he is finding a place to sleep, I turn them off. Latest I ever keep them on is 10 pm though. 🙂 temp under his heating lamp at 80-90 It should be at 80*F right now, measured with a digital thermometer with a probe, with the probe placed where the top of his back is when he's on his basking branch, and the house usually stays at about 68-70. What are his overnight temps, and how do you measure them? I made sure the vent does not go directly to his enclosure so he doesn’t get a full blast of cold air! You want it wither closed or aimed the opposite way of his enclosure

My questions for this forum are:
1. Will he ever get used to me working in my office, and is me being here the reason why he seems so grumpy? It depends on his personalty and how much privacy he has
2. I feel like he is healthy and he eats really well. I did notice that he seemed thirsty last night but wouldn’t drink water from the dripper or the leaves, only the water on the stems. How do I get him to stay hydrated?!
3. Should I be concerned by his color? I feel like most chameleons are so bright and he is gorgeous when he is bright, but when he is by himself, he is dark and sometimes his tail is curled up. How can I tell if he is sick and/or I need to take him to the vet? If he is super dark, he is stressed. It doesn't hurt to take a fresh fecal to the vet to make sure there are no parasites, though
***I tried to take a photo of him just now and he got super bright, and didn't get aggressive or anything. Just looked at me wondering what I was doing. I attached a photo from the last time I took a photo of him being dark and curled up. This was a couple days ago, but this is how he was today when I went into the office.

So sorry for the novel. I am really trying to give as much info as possible. I am attaching photos as well to help see what he and his enclosure look like! I appreciate any feedback or help anyone can provide!

**edit - so I am sitting watching him and he is climbing in the top of his cage under the UV light. He is moving really slow and not doing much. Is this normal? 😭 (added photo)

TBH, I don't know his sex or age for certain, only what the reptillium place told me. I know there is a thread about sexing chameleons, so maybe I will post on there to see if maybe he can be confirmed as a boy lol.
I will look into a bigger cage and getting the lights raised. They did not tell me it needed to be raised, so I didn't get clips or anything. :( They also misinformed me about how to gut load crickets and will definitely switch that ASAP! As for the temps and humidity, I use a digital one that has probes that measure both. The highest temp in his enclosure is 85 and the lowest is 72. The humidity is usually above 70.
I will also get a bigger cage and put more live plants inside. It was hard to fit more than one plant since the cage is smaller, so I will address this when his new enclosure comes in!
Outside we face a field of just green grass and trees, as it is a green belt. They are starting construction on new houses but it is far outside and I don't know if this would bother him or not. He is not able to see his reflection :) I will get a timer for the lights, and also raise them. Hopefully once they are raised, it won't be as warm and he won't burn himself!

My only question based on the information, which I greatly appreciate, is why is the moss bad for his cage?
It is in a pan at the bottom of the cage, and paper towels line the bottom. I do feel like it has been helping keep it humid so I am worried about taking it out. I make sure he doesn't eat it by placing all of his meals on branches so he doesn't ingest any moss or soil, if that's the concern. :)
 
You said..."Disclosure, I have had to redo his enclosure almost everyday since I got him because my plant was drowning from the dripper"...this might be why his colors are dark....you're making him feel like he's in a new territory every time you change his cage which means he has to put on his defensive colors and claim his territory all over again.

If you have time and patience you should be able to get him to become used to you....however, there are some that will never get used to their owner.
Ugh, I feel so terrible for stressing him out. :( I am not touching the inside of his enclosure unless I really need to now, but based on the feedback, I may need to get a bigger enclosure so it may stress him out again. I will definitely wait to give him some time to relax before moving him!

I definitely have lots of time and a good amount of patience! He has engulfed my life though, I just want him to be okay lol!
 

Flick boy

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi instead of tweezers you could put all your feeders in cup 🥤 hand and cup feeding are good ways to build trust whether your boy will get used to you only time will tell but time ,patience correct enclosure and just concentrate on the proper husbandry for now when your boy gets a large enough enclosure with a lot of live foliage to feel safe this would be a good step forward. Where is your probe to measure the basking temp? You said its 75 to 90. Also your humidity is a bit high imo 50 to 70 max daytime. This can go up at night to 100 % at night is your gauge digital? Also you don't want to spray your gauge to give false readings . I keep a spare digital gauge outside my enclosure so j know what the room is .v
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Ugh, I feel so terrible for stressing him out. :( I am not touching the inside of his enclosure unless I really need to now, but based on the feedback, I may need to get a bigger enclosure so it may stress him out again. I will definitely wait to give him some time to relax before moving him!

I definitely have lots of time and a good amount of patience! He has engulfed my life though, I just want him to be okay lol!
You're wanting to and doing the work and learning, so everything should be good! You're on the right track now, so don't feel too bad! If you give me some time, I can go over your husbandry form, too
 
Hi instead of tweezers you could put all your feeders in cup 🥤 hand and cup feeding are good ways to build trust whether your boy will get used to you only time will tell but time ,patience correct enclosure and just concentrate on the proper husbandry for now when your boy gets a large enough enclosure with a lot of live foliage to feel safe this would be a good step forward. Where is your probe to measure the basking temp? You said its 75 to 90. Also your humidity is a bit high imo 50 to 70 max daytime. This can go up at night to 100 % at night is your gauge digital? Also you don't want to spray your gauge to give false readings . I keep a spare digital gauge outside my enclosure so j know what the room is .v

Great idea! I will find myself a cup to use to start using, I definitely want him to trust me! :)
Our house has a humidity gauge on the thermostat and it shows it's about 60 right now because it has rained soo much in DFW! Great for chameleons, but it's too humid for me lol. I will ensure the house stays around 50 though so he is comfortable.
The thermometer humidity gauge is digital, and I do notice it is super high when I spray, so I know what you are talking about when you describe false readings. I will maybe leave it just on the outside of the enclosure and it might give a better reading tbh.
Thank you for your help!!
 
You're wanting to and doing the work and learning, so everything should be good! You're on the right track now, so don't feel too bad! If you give me some time, I can go over your husbandry form, too
Thank you so much for this and for all of your help!! I greatly appreciate it! I am okay waiting for you to go over my husbandry form, that would be awesome!! :)
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Chameleon Info:
  • Your Chameleon- The species, sex, and age of your chameleon. How long has it been in your care?
    • Panther Chameleon, 3 Month old Male (Or I was told)... We have had him since May 20th. I thought the cage he was in was smaller than that. He does still look young, though.
  • Handling- How often do you handle your chameleon?
    • I have not handled him since I got him.
  • Feeding- What are you feeding your cham? What amount? What is the schedule? How are you gut-loading your feeders?
    • Crickets and I fed him one Waxworm to see if he would like it. I feed him about 10 crickets everyday. I usually feed him around noon every day. I was gut loading them but I see I was not doing it properly. I am going to use the resource sheet shared with me! You'll want to feed him preferably around an hour after his lights come on, and feed him as much as he'll eat right now. Great!
  • Supplements- What brand and type of calcium and vitamin products are you dusting your feeders with and what is the schedule?
    • I attached a photo of all the supplements I have been giving him. You need to get a phosphorus-free calcium without D3 to use every feeding, except once every two weeks, when you'll use the Repashy Calcium Plus LoD
  • Watering- What kind of watering technique do you use? How often and how long to you mist? Do you see your chameleon drinking?
    • I spray his cage for a good 2-3 minutes when I mist. I also have a Little Dripper that goes all day. I have seen him drinking from the stems of the leaves. When do you mist?
  • Fecal Description- Briefly note colors and consistency from recent droppings. Has this chameleon ever been tested for parasites?
    • He is normally tan with black stripes, but when he is stressed, he gets really dark or he gets super light and a variation of dark colorations. I attached a photo of him for reference. Per the reptillium, he was tested and does not have parasites. Can they prove he was tested?
  • History- Any previous information about your cham that might be useful to others when trying to help you.
    • Although the store let me know he was aggressive, he has not been aggressive at all. I have put my hand in the cage and let him come to me if he wants, and he usually just stares at me and doesn't seem scared or stressed. I feed him in his cage one cricket at a time, and I use tweezers to put the crickets on the branch. The first couple of days, he was super angry at the tweezers and would get super dark and puffy. However, today I fed him and when he saw me getting the tweezers, he got super excited and came to the front of the cage. I don't let him eat it until it is off the tweezers so he does not hurt his tongue. :) The store employees probably weren't handling him right or something. Great!
    • This is our second chameleon. Our first we had 5 years ago and we were inexperienced. We only had him for a year and were devastated when he passed. We just moved into our new house a month ago and decided to get another because we are in love with these guys. I may be on this forum a lot because I just want my guy to have a long and happy life. Our other chameleon also was a veiled, and this guy is a panther, and they act a bit different than each other, so maybe why I am trying to ask a lot of questions! Great, ask away!

Cage Info:
  • Cage Type- Describe your cage (Glass, Screen, Combo?) What are the dimensions?
    • It is a screen cage. It is 16" x 16" by 20". I will look into getting a large enclosure since the feedback is that the enclosure is too small. It's fine for right now, but as he grows he'll need a bigger cage(s). His adult cage should be minimum of 2'x2'x4' tall, but preferably 4'x2'x4' tall or bigger. The last two websites I linked above are great cage set-up links!
  • Lighting- What brand, model, and types of lighting are you using? What is your daily lighting schedule?
    • His basking light is a ZooMed Repti Basking Spot Lamp, 50 W. The UV light is a 5.0 UVB Reptisun T5 HO High Output Terrarium Hood Lamp, 14" size, 15 Watt. I did not raise it from the cage but based on the feedback, I will look into trying to raise it. Definitely raise the UVB, as you don't want to deal with overexposure. Remember the UVB bulb needs to be 6" away from where the top of his back is when he's on his basking branch.
  • Temperature- What temp range have you created (cage floor to basking spot)? Lowest overnight temp? How do you measure these temps?
    • I use a digital thermometer humidity gauge to determine the temp inside the cage. Based on the gauge right now, the bottom of the cage is around 72-75 degrees. The top of the cage gets anywhere from 75 to 90 under the basking light. Overnight, the temp in the cage gets down to 70 as the lowest as I read on the gauge. You'll want to get a digital thermometer with a probe to measure his basking area. You'll place the probe where the top of his back is when he's on his basking branch.
  • Humidity- What are your humidity levels? How are you creating and maintaining these levels? What do you use to measure humidity?
    • I try to keep the humidity levels high, around 65-80 based on the humidity gauge. I am creating this by using moss, a bowl of water at the bottom of the cage, and spraying 3-4 times a day. You'll want to take out the moss and bowl of water ASAP, as they're just breeding grounds for bacteria. His cage daytime levels should be between 50-65%, going up to 100% at night if there is enough airflow and only if the temperature is 65*F or lower. Thermpro on Amazon has waterproof digital thermometer/hygrometer combos!
  • Plants- Are you using live plants? If so, what kind?
    • I use a live Schefflera Tree. I also have a Snake Plant and Wandering Jew, but both do not fit inside the enclosure, so I am going to save them until he is upgraded. I do use fake vines and leaves in the cage as well.
  • 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?
    • It is located in my office on top of a shelf. There is an air vent close to the window, and it blow away from his cage. No fans and no high traffic. It is only me and my husband and I work from home. I am the only one in the room with him during the day. The top of his cage is the highest point in the room, about 57" from the floor. He cannot see himself out of the window, and the road is not used much since we are a corner house. I do have dogs but they stay in the next room over and they do not come into my office.
  • Location- Where are you geographically located?
    • Located in North Dallas (Frisco Area).

Current Problem - The current problem you are concerned about.

  • How long does it take a Chameleon to acclimate to his environment and to me? Since he is in my office, I want him to eventually be comfortable with me being in the room and him being comfortable enough to move around and be himself. It can take some time and might not ever happen
  • What signs should I look out for in regards to being sick or upset? anything out of the normal for his usual behavior and/or normal chameleon behavior
  • Is it normal for Chameleons not to move around much? It depends if they're basking for heat, UVB, etc.
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
TBH, I don't know his sex or age for certain, only what the reptillium place told me. I know there is a thread about sexing chameleons, so maybe I will post on there to see if maybe he can be confirmed as a boy lol.
I will look into a bigger cage and getting the lights raised. They did not tell me it needed to be raised, so I didn't get clips or anything. :( They also misinformed me about how to gut load crickets and will definitely switch that ASAP! As for the temps and humidity, I use a digital one that has probes that measure both. The highest temp in his enclosure is 85 and the lowest is 72. The humidity is usually above 70.
I will also get a bigger cage and put more live plants inside. It was hard to fit more than one plant since the cage is smaller, so I will address this when his new enclosure comes in!
Outside we face a field of just green grass and trees, as it is a green belt. They are starting construction on new houses but it is far outside and I don't know if this would bother him or not. He is not able to see his reflection :) I will get a timer for the lights, and also raise them. Hopefully once they are raised, it won't be as warm and he won't burn himself!

My only question based on the information, which I greatly appreciate, is why is the moss bad for his cage?
It is in a pan at the bottom of the cage, and paper towels line the bottom. I do feel like it has been helping keep it humid so I am worried about taking it out. I make sure he doesn't eat it by placing all of his meals on branches so he doesn't ingest any moss or soil, if that's the concern. :)
The moss can cause sores on his feet because it won't dry out and can breed bacteria without something cleaning it

You're doing a great job learning and wanting to fix your husbandry, which is amazing, so be proud of yourself for that!
 

ERKleRose

Chameleon Enthusiast
Also, with the links I posted, be sure to at least check out The Chameleon Academy, including all of their modules and the panther species profile (everything in it is correct except the basking temps), as well as listening to as many podcasts as possible! It has the most up-to-date and accurate chameleon info!
 
The moss can cause sores on his feet because it won't dry out and can breed bacteria without something cleaning it

You're doing a great job learning and wanting to fix your husbandry, which is amazing, so be proud of yourself for that!
OH wow I didn't know that!! Taking it out right now so he doesn't get sick from bacteria. Also throwing out the water dish. :)

I went over the husbandry form and THANK YOU! This is all great information, especially that he should be fed in the AM! I will make sure to adjust my schedule ;) I am ordering the phosphorus-free calcium without D3 and will start to follow the new schedule when it comes to dusting! Also, I mist just throughout the day tbh. Is there a better way to mist? I mist usually 2-3 times a day, just when I notice the humidity is dropping.
I have the probe for the temperature under the basking light, but realized when I took the photos, I forgot to put it back into the enclosure after I cleaned it yesterday hah! Right now, it is at 85 degrees.
I am going to make the proper adjustments to his cage and maybe upgrade it in a couple of weeks once he gets bigger. Hopefully in the meantime, I can start to gain his trust and get him more used to me. I had a great relationship with my ball python that I had for 5 years, and hopefully I can replicate that bond with Kato. :)

Right now, he is staring at me type on the computer from his enclosure, and his tail is stretched out and wrapped around a branch. He is dark and under the UVB light. Would you consider this type of body language as relaxed and just UVB bathing?

It's funny because I have a LOT of knowledge on dog body language and psychology, as I have dog trained for many years, so when I look at him, I just try to use the same knowledge to see if I can read him, but it isn't easy! Chameleons are great at hiding their feelings lol
 
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