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If you are ready to take care of this unique lizard, and want to get the best chameleon cage possible, then this article might be a good place to start your journey. We are here to help you out so that you can get a better
understanding of chameleon cage setup.
Here we’ll talk about how to build an ideal chameleon habitat, and you’ll find the best chameleon terrarium for your new pet. So, let’s walk into the world of Chameleons.
Why does a Chameleon need a chameleon cage?
Well, as you probably already know these reptiles come from Madagascar, southern Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East – which is quite a diverse list of climates and locations. Therefore, a Chameleon requires special treatment (meaning you have to get chameleon cage kit) in order to be a healthy and happy pet. But, having one of these reptiles at home is definitely not for everyone.
Let’s be real here, taking proper care of a Chameleon requires dedication – in terms of both your time and your money. However, these lizards are breathtakingly beautiful and unique, which is why they are kept as pets in numerous homes all over the world.
These reptiles are arboreal, meaning they spend their lives in trees. In addition, they aren’t very fond of company, because they are solitary creatures. So, if you want to have a Chameleon pet, keep only one in a cage.
Also, they dislike handling and won’t tolerate you constantly pestering them. This is something to keep in mind when considering getting a Chameleon as a pet. Don’t expect it to sit on your shoulder, or cuddle with you.
These are just some of the reasons why your Chameleon needs to live in an adequate reptile cage, whether you have a veiled, panther or any other type of Chameleon. An ideal habitat for your Chameleon means that your pet should feel safe and comfortable. More importantly, the habitat should provide just the right amount of light and humidity so that your pet won’t become ill.
The types of cages
As already mentioned, these reptiles live in trees, which is why they need vertical screen cages that will give them privacy and fun (climbing) they would have in their natural habitat.
Forget about buying a fish tank and horizontal cages, as these aren’t recommended for Chameleons.
In areas of dry climate, a glass cage may be a good choice for your pet, as long as it is vertical and features ventilation at the bottom. However, these are pricey and heavy, plus they don’t provide enough space. That’s why glass cages aren’t very popular.
The size of the cage
Another thing to consider for your chameleon setup is the size of a cage. Logically, if you have a large Chameleon you will want to get a larger cage. Some people buy smaller cages, which we would not recommend, as your pet should have as much freedom as possible. This means, if you have a larger Chameleon, you should buy a cage that is minimum 3 feet tall, 3 feet wide and 4 feet tall.
Other things to keep in mind for a chameleon cage setup:
- Don’t put waterfalls or water bowls in a cage, because Chameleons should not (under any circumstance) drink from standing water sources. Rather create raindrops that are accumulated on the leaves of plants (use an automated misting system or a dripper). You should do this twice a day.
- Your chameleon doesn’t need a warm rock to bask on (like ground dwelling lizards do). They look for the heat from above (sunlight) so you need to place an appropriate wattage basking bulb above AND outside the cage.
The most common type of a Chameleon that people keep as pets is a Veiled Chameleon. This reptile comes from the Middle East and is one of the largest chameleons seen in captivity. Therefore, this type needs a somewhat different type of habitat – a veiled chameleon habitat. When it comes to veiled chameleon cage setup, here’s what you should pay attention to.
A veiled chameleon needs a screen-sided Chameleon enclosure since these provide better airflow (glass aquariums don’t provide airflow which eventually leads to upper-respiratory infections). The perfect cage for an adult male should be about 2 feet long, 2 feet wide and 4 feet tall. For adult females, the ideal cage is 18 inches wide, 18 inches long and 3 feet wide. If you want to get a baby veiled chameleon, start with small reptile enclosures and buy a larger one when your pet gets older.
Best Chameleon Cage Reviews
If you are completely new to the world of Chameleons, don’t worry, because you can always buy the best chameleon starter kit and make an ideal habitat for your new pet. If, on the other hand, you have been a Chameleon owner for years, and need to replace the old cage with a new one, getting the best reptile cage has never been easier! That said, we made this list of five best chameleon cages on the market right now. Let’s see what these products have to offer your favorite pet.
1. Exo Terra Allglass Terrarium
Last but not least. Here we have another glass terrarium, only this one is mini tall. This model is a good choice for young Chameleon, and it comes at a reasonable price.
Made of glass, this model is durable and is escape-proof.
A raised bottom frame is great if you want to place a substrate heater. Also, the bottom is waterproof.
A special patented front window ventilation will give your Chameleon the fresh air and light it needs so it can develop properly, and be happy.
Thanks to the dual door, you will feed your pet with ease. Moreover, you will be able to clean the terrarium without any difficulty, since the doors can be wide open whenever you want, giving you a lot of room and space.
The closable inlets are great to keep wires organized.
As for the downside, the background is poorly made and is not functional at all. Apparently, crickets and other bugs that you feed your lizard with will crawl behind the Styrofoam background, which means that your pet could have troubles with eating them. Also, the background will wear out quickly. Like the previous glass model, this one is quite heavy.
- Simple to clean
- Waterproof bottom
- Escape-proof doors
- Very heavy – difficult to move
- Background is of poorly quality
- Feeder bugs crawl behind the background
2. Zoo Med Reptibreeze Screen Cage
If you’re looking to buy a well-built chameleon tank this is the way to go. This model is an open-air aluminum screen cage, providing enough space, air and light for your little pet. Best of all, assembling is a breeze, and won’t take up a lot of time.
Measuring 24x24x48 inches this model offers plenty of space for your Chameleon. No doubt that your pet will feel at home in this cage, especially when you add all kinds of live plants. As you already know, live plants will grasp humidity better and will provide improved cover and great drinking surfaces. Thanks to the cage’s size, you can set several lights on the top, giving your Chameleon as much UVB rays, as it needs.
Another great thing about this cage is airflow. Since it is open-air screen cage, the air will circulate perfectly.
While a large front door allows for easy and quick access, a clever bottom door will come in handy for substrate removal. In addition, you will clean the cage easily and swiftly.
No need to worry about corrosion, since the cage is made of corrosion-resistant anodized aluminum. In addition, the cage will look beautiful at your home, leaving your friends green with envy.
On the downside, a cage is lightweight so you probably want to weigh it down, to ensure it stays in place.
- Easy to put together
- Easy to clean
- Provides quick access
- Very light
- Not very stable
3. Exo Terra Rainforest Habitat Kit
In case you prefer glass cages and don’t mind spending a few extra bucks, this terrarium might be the best one for your Chameleon. It comes with all the bells and whistles (water dish, jungle vines, substrate, jungle rope and care guide), so it’s perfect for any new Chameleon owner. With this amazing habitat kit, your pet will be safe and sound.
Made of glass, this cage is very durable and looks stylish. It will certainly add a nice touch to your living room.
You might be worried about humidity, but there is no reason for that. This cage features unique front window ventilation. This means that the top of the cage is made of full metal screen providing fresh airflow and an optimal level of humidity. In addition, this window ensures great amount of light that your pet needs in order to be healthy and digest food properly.
Dual front doors provide easy access. Better yet, they make sure your pet will stay in its habitat. So, you won’t have to worry about your pet escaping.
Even though the cage comes with everything a basic starter kit should have, the quality of the decoration items is sub-par. Another thing to keep in mind is that the cage is very heavy, so it takes two people to move it.
- Provides good ventilation and light
- Heavy – stable
- Comes with all essential decoration items
- Ideal for new Chameleon owners
- Decorations items could have been of a better quality
- Very heavy – difficult to move
4. Exo Terra Screen Terrarium
If you’re looking to buy a quality terrarium for your growing Chameleon, this might be just the thing you need. This terrarium looks great, is easy to clean and comes at a reasonable price. Plus, setup is easy.
Measuring 24″ x 18″ x 36″ this model is spacious enough for placing all the essential items for your growing Chameleon. Furthermore, a large hinged door gives you full and easy access to the interior, so that you can make this terrarium feels like home for your little pet.
The terrarium features a swiveling bottom door so that you can easily remove substrate tray, providing a clean and safe environment for your Chameleon. Thanks to these features, the terrarium is a breeze to clean.
Made of quality, corrosion resistant anodized aluminum, the screen enclosure is easy to clean and provides great airflow and a great amount of light. It also offers protection from crickets.
As for the downside, the terrarium is not as durable as some other models are, but you get what you pay for, right? So, this model definitely provides great value for the money you invested.
- Ideal for younger Chameleons
- A large door provides full access to the interior
- Easy to clean
- Easy to assemble
- Ensures enough light and great airflow
- Not very durable
5. Zoo Med ReptiBreeze LED Deluxe
If you are a new Chameleon owner and want to provide an ideal habitat for your pet, this might be a great starter kit for you. Thanks to its design, this cage is suitable for Panther Chameleons, Veiled Chameleons, Parson’s Chameleons, Jackson Chameleons, as well as for other types of Old World Chameleons.
Thanks to this starter kit, you won’t have to worry about getting all those things for your sweet Chameleon. This chameleon kit includes almost everything your pet will need. It comes with vine, plants, and carpet, LED stripes, so the only thing left for you is to place your pet and watch how happy it is.
The cage also provides just the right amount of light, at the top. Also, the LEDs are placed at a safe distance from your pet.
Another great thing about this cage is humidity. Just a couple of spray mist per day and you won’t have to worry about humidity since it will be at an optimal level for your Chameleon.
However, a slight concern is the manual. It’s poorly explained, so you might want to look for directions online in order to set up the cage correctly. Moreover, the cage doesn’t come with a dripper or misting system, so you’ll have to get that by yourself.
- Ideal for all Old World Chameleons
- Keeps humidity at an optimal level
- Great for beginners
- Provides enough light
- Touch activated LED lights
- Poorly explained instructions
- Doesn’t come with a dripper
Chameleon Cage Setup
Now, the next thing you should keep in mind is how to actually set up your chameleon cage. There are a couple of things you need to keep in mind when setting up a chameleon habitat: plants and & décor, lights, heat, food and water, humidity and substrate. Each of these chameleon cage accessories needs to be placed properly in order to give your chameleon the best care that it needs.
First of all, the plants and the décor. Obviously, you will choose the plants based on what looks best for you, but we have some general tips. The plants you put in a cage need water and enough light. Pothos plants (not philodendron, as they can be toxic to a chameleon!). They are the most popular, as they don’t need a lot of light and are very hardy – they don’t need a lot of water, and yet, they can also withstand being overwatered. Ficus plants are beautiful, but need a lot of light – however, they mustn’t be too close to the heat lamp, or else they can burn! Hibiscus grows very fast and needs constant trimming. As far as the soil is concerned, try to watch out for any chemicals or pesticides, as this can be toxic. Also, cover the soil with rocks, as you want to avoid the chameleon ingesting it.
As far as heating is concerned, you have a number of options for buying a heat bulb. Our recommendation is a ceramic heat emitter, as these don’t emit much light, but provide enough heat, and also last for a long time. Be very careful that the chameleon does not come into contact with the heat source – this can burn them! It’s best if you place the heat source outside of the chameleon terrarium. It’s also a good idea to get a thermometer, so you can easily track the temperature levels inside the cage.
Light is also very important. When in the wild, a chameleon needs the full spectrum of light that comes from the sun rays. That’s why you need to have the appropriate bulbs and chameleon cage accessories if you want it to stay healthy and happy. Whichever type you choose (and there are too many to list here), you need to remember that the bulbs you choose have the UVB range of light. This is important because of this light when it hits the chameleon’s skin, helps it produce vitamin D3.
You obviously need to feed your chameleon, not just give him stuff found in a regular (proper) chameleon habitat kit. It’s interesting to note that chameleons in captivity get bored of their food quite fast. This means that you can’t only feed those crickets, but other bugs (and the occasional baby mouse) as well.
As far as watering them is concerned, people often make the mistake of giving them a bowl of water. However, chameleons only drink condensation and water droplets of leaves and foliage. You can either use a spray and mist the terrarium by hand, or you can get an automatic mister for a chameleon.
Humidity is important and, as we’ve mentioned, a good idea would be to get a good automatic mister. Most people think that the terrarium should be constantly humid, but that’s not the case. It’s enough to have the mister spray the tank 2-3 times per day (or you can simply do it by hand).
Finally, the substrate, or bedding, of your chameleon. We have already mentioned that it’s important to watch out for fertilizers and chemicals found in the soil you buy at your local shop. However, some advocate that no bedding is also a good option, since it minimizes the chance of bacteria growing in the tank, and the chameleon ingesting soil.
So, there you have it. All that you need to know about chameleon cages. Now that you’ve gone through this article, you can easily choose the best cage for your favorite Chameleon. Keep in mind all the things we mentioned about cage setup and your Chameleon will surely enjoy its habitat. We hope that you and your little pet will have a great time together. Learn to respect your Chameleon’s personality and you won’t have any problem ,with your “pet”. In fact, you’ll be happy to have one of these breath-taking little tree dragons at your home!