Are Chameleons Hard to Take Care of? Yes! But…

Chameleons are colorful fun pets and make a great choice for experienced reptile owners. They are full of wonder and entertainment. They need big cages and large enclosures to climb, hunt and hide. Sometimes, due to their tricky and mysterious nature, it becomes a little hard to take care of them. 

Chameleons are hard to take care of, but once you set up a good cage for them and understand what they need, it becomes easier than ever. They crave for more attention and vigilance than most other pets to live a healthy and happy life. They are fragile and make it difficult for you to handle them. Their needs are very unique and time-taking.

Reasons why Chameleons are hard to take care of

Chameleons are fragile 

Are Chameleons Hard to Take Care of

Chameleons may look easy to handle, but they are a lot tougher than we think. They are fragile and do not like manhandling. While baby chameleons are more difficult and their care is a whole new ballgame. They have special requirements that must be met. They are not forgiving. 

By fragile nature, it means that they are very weak, touchy, and fall sick easily.

Chameleons get sick easily

sick chameleon

Due to their fragile nature, if they are not given proper care and food, they fall sick very quickly. They have unique dietary requirements. They need gut-loaded bugs. Feeding time is hunting time for them! If you think you are not ready for regular showdowns at the store to get live insects, this pet might not be the one for you. A chameleon loves to hunt with its long tongue and capture prey with accurate precision. It is a sight worth watching. 

They are also very good at hiding the fact that they are sick. Any illness might be there for a while before you start noticing it. Because of these reasons, it is difficult to keep a chameleon as a pet. They need a lot of care and attention. 

Chameleons require vigilance

They do not need constant attention but you need to check up on them regularly for any changes in their behavior or body. Observe every activity properly such as eating, drinking, and shedding.  Check on what their poop is like. Anything unusual might affect the health of your chameleon. 

All these changes would be very subtle, so you need to know about your chameleon well, to observe the changes. When you get familiar with the behavior of your chameleon then it becomes easy for you to understand him. 

Editor’s Note
While it might seem a little too difficult to you, with time and attention you can excel in this. It takes effort but if you love your chameleon, it is going to be much easier for you. 

Chameleons require specific cages and care

Chameleon Enclosure Setup

Chameleons are excellent pets for experienced reptile owners. Even a beginner owner can take care of them but there are some things that need to be taken care of! Chameleons have a nature of regulating their body temperatures on their own. They move to cooler areas from warmer areas in their enclosures. Therefore, you need to provide a cage big enough to allow for the temperature changes.

Chameleons are arboreal, so they require more foliage to have a sense of security. You‘ll have to invest in buying plants whether real or artificial to cover the enclosure. It might be a little tough on your pocket. 

You will have to buy a thermometer to keep a check on the temperature at the top and bottom of the enclosure. A Hygrometer is also required to gauge the humidity level in the enclosure. Chameleons lick up water from their surroundings, you will need to install a drip system in the enclosure. Chameleons also need a heat lamp with a UVA/UVB bulb and a spot to bask in the rays from the lamp that should not be 8 inches from the heat source. 

It is fair to say that chameleons require an advanced setup and very special care as compared to other reptile species. All this would cost a fortune to the owner and might be heavy on your budget.  

Chameleons are not very social

chameleon on plant leaf

Chameleons are not one for socializing. They like to be alone and not be disturbed by human beings. After all the efforts a chameleon needs, it is frustrating to not enjoy the presence of the pet. Chameleons do not enjoy living with other chameleons as well. 

Editor’s Note
When Chameleons are babies they enjoy the company of other chameleons. Once they are a year old they should be separated. They sometimes start fighting with each other. 

You are going to do a lot for the chameleon but you would not find companionship. They like to live in solitary. They are not wired for social interaction, especially with humans. They do not like to be held, in fact, handling them too often can stress them out.  

This might be a hurtful thing for you. After you put in so much effort and care for your chameleon, it would be difficult to not have a friend with your pet.

A quick guide on taking care of your Chameleon

Quick Guide on Taking Care of Your Chameleon

By accumulating the following things in your daily routine, you can take good care of your chameleon:

  • Purchase a big cage for your chameleon, so it has enough space to move around and hunt. 
  • Put plants and climbing limbs in the cage. (whether natural or artificial) 
  • Provide water by misting the cage using a drip system, at least two times a day. The Chameleon drinks water from the surroundings. It is necessary to keep it moist. 
  • Provide heat with a UV bulb for 10-12 hours a day. 
  • Keep the temperature between 77 to 87 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 65-75 degrees during the night. 
  • Keep the humidity of the enclosure between 50-70%. Measure the humidity of the cage daily and regulate it with a Hygrometer. 
  • Cover the bottom of the cage with newspapers or paper towels. This helps in absorbing the waste. 
  • Feed the insects first, before feeding them to your chameleon. A nutrient-loaded cricket in turn gives needed nutrients to the chameleon. 
  • Feed your chameleon a cricket or two everyday. Crickets are a very healthy and most loved diet for chameleons.


Is It Necessary To Install A Dripping System In The Cage? 

Yes, they really need to have water in their environment. It is their inherent nature to drink water from the moisture of the surrounding. As difficult as it may sound, it is hard to take care of a chameleon. 

Can A Chameleon Be Kept With Another Chameleon? 

No, chameleons do not enjoy the company of other chameleons. They might fight with each other. They are not one for socializing. They can live together while they are babies, but once they grow up in a year or so, you should separate them. 


Chameleons are sensitive animals that need to be handled carefully. There are many things on the checklist you have to follow to keep your chameleon happy and healthy. It is difficult for beginners to give so much care and attention. Those who get familiar with the process can handle it for sure. You just need to have proper information about them. That’s it! 

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