Choosing a Perfect Enclosure for your Chameleon
Chameleons are living mostly in plants or trees. But when you plan to adopt a chameleon, ensure that they will have a healthy and happy life. First, you have to make sure you can provide a lot of o things most especially; you need to provide them an enclosure.
Here are some tips when choosing the perfect enclosure for chameleons:
- You can use either of the screen or glass enclosure, but chameleons do best in screen chameleons and can have minimal cost than the glass enclosure.
- The enclosure should have a huge size for at least four feet tall that can accommodate your pet to move around with proper ventilation because they need fresh air passage to avoid respiratory infections; that is why it’s a screen enclosure. And it is stressful for them in case they might see themselves in a reflection, so avoid using glasses for your enclosure.
- You need to have a combination of fake plants, and living plants that are high in humidity is what you need to have a lot of water droppings that a chameleon can drink. Also, a lot of branches and veins because chameleons love to climb. You choose also what kind of bottom you want for their enclosure, make sure you can easily pull it out for draining purposes.
- It is best when you choose soil to be at the bottom of your cage so that the water droplets can be easily absorbed by the soil and will help the plant to grow. They also need an exposure of sunlight, or you can provide a heat lamp or UVB lamp with full-spectrum light so put them on top of the screen enclosure
Many types of enclosures are available at the market that a chameleon can live on. But a lot of chameleon owners suggest building your enclosure. If you want them to live with you in your room or if there’s an available room, it would be pleasurable to both of you.
In that case, your chameleon’s level of exercise and mental stimulation will be improved than when living in a usual cage. The owner will have a chance to interact with their chameleon more and will be able to observe the chameleon’s natural behaviors. Chameleons have remarkable behaviors that can be seen if they are in their cage.
The room should be specified for your chameleon only. You need to have some large windows or a row of windows on the different sides of the room, so when morning, the sunlight will stream through it. And to meet the morning sunlight for the chameleon to enjoy the warmth of the morning sun, the room should be east-facing.
You will meet the afternoon sun on the other side of the row windows, which is when it faces the east side. The chameleon will feel hotter when it comes to experiencing the afternoon sun, so the owner must give extra care to the chameleon and give a place to stay on when the afternoon sun comes.
Make sure to make the room cool and cozy at the same time by having a plant area where the chameleon can hideaway anytime whenever they feel the sun. The room should a temperature within a chameleon’s comfort level. Either you have a heater or cooler or just a vent where you can adjust its system.
If you have a two-story house, it is much better to let them stay there than downstairs. Because there could have different animals or pets like cats and dogs, a lot of people and cars, and once the chameleon has been agitated, they can be anxious, and they could feel in danger. The room should be away from other pets and must be restricted to children.
The room should be appropriate for a chameleon to use, or you can use a storage room that can be cleaned to have a vacant room for your pet. It cannot be surrounded by any machinery or appliances that a chameleon can be in danger. It can even be a small room where a chameleon can wander around freely. Make it a room organized for a chameleon to meet its needs and remove all the unnecessary machines or any equipment that can threaten a chameleon.
Even though a chameleon’s waste is not a problem, at least make all surfaces is covered by a newspaper and soil, and the other things are covered with materials that can be clean with no difficulty. Such as using a sofa that is padded with a stain-resistant fabric and the pillow’s covers can be removed to be able to wash, tables should be smooth or covered with hard bamboo. Cabinets should be plastic and better to use metal blinds rather than curtains for your windows.
It is important to surround the room of the chameleon to generate a humid and garden-fresh ambiance. Live plants are necessary because it holds humidity better; it also helps freshen up the air as what a chameleon needs because plants release oxygen. And sometimes, chameleons eat them. So make sure to pick the right and safe plants because other plants can be toxic for the chameleons, and it would be better if you search first before buying plants.
Here are other tips and tricks when placing plants on your chameleon’s habitat:
- You can have different kinds of plants and trees around where your chameleon usually be spotted. Like weeping fig, bamboo palms, begonia, hibiscus, heartleaf philodendrons, or umbrella tree, nasturtiums, lily, jade plants, pothos, spider plant, rubber trees, yucca, bromeliads, dracaena compacta, and moth orchid.
- So that a chameleon can have a spot where to stay when they are going to sunbathe, have extra branches, and to make some acrobatic moves, somewhere to sleep and a place to hide and serve as a sanctuary. Consider having many branches and veins for a chameleon to climb on whatever they choose.
Aside from the natural sunlight, chameleon needs other forms of light. Because they need them 12 hours a day. It will help them regulate their body temperature.
Here are some good-to-know facts about lighting a chameleon’s habitat:
- A chameleon can also need a UVB light to survive wherein a UVB light can help them digest their food properly. It also guarantees the appropriate absorption of vitamin D, and it helps to avoid having the condition of Calcium Deficiency.
- Put it 6 to 8 inches above the closest branches inside the enclosure because it can affect the plant and place it with full-spectrum light on the top of the screen top of your enclosure because UVB rays are filtered out by glass
- Their room during the day must be between 72 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and 85 to 95 degrees of basking spot must be achieved. It results in the warmest temperature that a chameleon needs so they can find a location for themselves to their most comfortable position.
A source of dripping water for chameleons drinking products are available at the market. But aside from that, having a small weeping fig in your bathroom can help them have their rain for themselves. In every 2 days, but the chameleon on the weeping fig and switch on the shower s that the chameleon and the plant.
Both are benefited, whereas the plant sprinkled with water, and the chameleon gets a little and barely warm rain. During that 30 to 45 minutes of shower, they also drink, and almost all the time, they eliminate their wastes. Remember that chameleons are prone to bacterial and viral infections, so proper cleaning is important. Observe cleanliness at all times to prevent the risks of infection.
You need to feed your chameleon with a different variation of insect preys. They are also in need of calcium and multivitamin supplements. It is important to feed these insects before a chameleon eats them. Increase their gut loading by giving them nutritional value.
Here are some tips and tricks when feeding your chameleon:
- Either commercial insects that have been sprinkled with vitamin-mineral supplements such as silkworms, crickets, mealworms, and cockroaches, or collected insects like butterflies, caterpillars, grasshoppers, and moths.
- You can put them in different places, generally in the plants, to see and observe how they stalk and capture for their food.
- You can also supplement them with some fruits and vegetables such as oranges, squash, carrots, lettuce, and potatoes. A powder of multivitamin works best for the rest of the chameleon’s lives.
- They usually drink water from rain or morning dew. You can also expose them when it is raining or just have them drink water on a container or during the shower. However, if they are in an enclosure, you must have a drip system to mist their cage. It will pour water slowly to their water container in time, also spraying on the leaves underneath.
Keep in mind that a chameleon is destructive and so territorial. So if you plan to have two or more chameleons, make sure to have their enclosure because even when they are in one large enclosure, surely there would be a conflict and tension. That is why it is better to have a separate enclosure for both of them to also avoid the hassle.