Chameleon Cage Set Up

The veiled chameleon is by far the most popular chameleon to keep as a pet, followed closely by the panther chameleon and the Jackson’s chameleon. The popularity of veiled chameleons has led to their widespread availability at large chain pet retailers like Petco and Petsmart.

It’s crucial to understand how to correctly set up a veiled chameleon’s cage before purchasing one. In the long run, doing this right from the start will save you time, money, and worry while giving your veiled chameleon a great chance to live a long and healthy life.

You may learn all you need to know about setting up a veiled chameleon cage by reading this article.

Veiled Chameleon Cage

Choosing a cage for your veiled chameleon should be your first priority. There are a few things you should take into account:

Size: Do you have room for a cage containing a veiled chameleon? The optimal size is 24x24x48 inches, however most people use smaller ones. Your chameleon would feel quite uncomfortable if the enclosure were any smaller. Height is crucial because chameleons are arboreal, which means they spend almost their entire lives in trees.

There is constant discussion regarding which is better: glass or screen. The claim is that although glass retains heat and humidity, screens are the finest for ventilation. I advise using a screen for a veiled chameleon since the humidity levels in typical rooms satisfy their needs.

I heartily suggest purchasing this hybrid cage from Amazon. It includes a glass front to make it easier to see your veiled chameleon and screen sides to increase humidity and circulation. My veiled chameleon spent his entire life in this cage, where he enjoyed a long and happy existence.

Additionally, you may construct your own DIY cage; some individuals use these materials in incredibly inventive ways.

I won’t do this since I’m not very good at DIY, but you should be careful of the materials used before beginning such projects because wooden cages may deteriorate and get rotted, glass can be challenging to work with and expensive, and any mistakes could harm your veiled chameleon.

What type of cage should I get for my chameleon?

All chameleons (with the exception of the pygmy chameleon) should have a mesh or screen cage, unlike many kinds of reptiles that may flourish in glass aquariums.

Although there are cages with a mix of glass and mesh walls, we advise against using one to maintain the best possible health for your pet chameleon.

Are you unsure about the need for a mesh cage for your chameleon? Really, the solution is as easy as ventilation. The chameleon’s home’s glass cage restricts sufficient air circulation and produces a stagnant atmosphere.

Your chameleon may get a respiratory illness if the air isn’t moving freely because it is stagnant and humid. They are difficult to get rid of once an infection has taken hold.

You may get the exact custom chameleon cages we use so effectively online on our website if you’re wondering where to locate them. You may find a supply section by scrolling down a little bit on each chameleon page.

There are many different types and brands of chameleon cages, but we often choose those that provide the animal free access with reliable latches and front-swinging doors. Although we prefer the front access variety, some will also feature sliding screen tops.

The majority of the time, we also choose mesh cages with two distinct swinging front doors: a bigger top entrance for getting to your chameleon directly and a smaller bottom door. You take out your cage liner and open the lower door to clean off any insects that have died and any excrement that may have accumulated.

When you acquire your pet chameleon from Backwater Reptiles, you can choose from a small variety of cages and cage necessities. Just a little farther down on any of our chameleon pages, as specified.

Where to put a veiled chameleon cage?

In general, veiled chameleons are somewhat timid animals that are sensitive to stress. How much underlying low-level stress your chameleon experiences over time may be significantly influenced by the location of their cage.

I advise keeping your chameleon in an area of your home with less foot activity in order to prevent this scenario from becoming serious.

This won’t be an issue if you live alone or with simply your mate because you may keep your veiled chameleon in whichever room you desire.

However, if you have a large family, young children, and other pets, such dogs, who spend a lot of time in the living room, your chameleon can feel uneasy.

It just makes things simpler if you can keep things somewhat quiet. That is not to suggest that you can’t place them in a room with a lot of activity going on.

Make sure your veiled chameleon’s cage is high on a table and that it can perch over your head wherever you place it. In the natural, veiled chameleons are frequently pursued by birds from above, so being able to examine the space and remain above all the bustle would undoubtedly make them more at ease.

What do chameleons need in their cage?

The capacity of chameleons to change colors and patterns is well recognized. To achieve this, they require a lot of light and a little amount of cage area. The cage should offer them the essential services they require, such as regular nutrition, humidity and temperature management, safety, and security.

They require a tall environment with capacity to grow leaves and branches, as well as space to walk about comfortably. The majority of specialists advise building chameleon enclosures that are at least 30 inches tall so that the animals may climb up on top and avoid being caught between shelves or bars.

Providing Water For Your Veiled Chameleon

I’ve published a more in-depth essay about providing water to chameleons and how to do it here, but in brief, veiled chameleons require water for both hydration and humidity.

Like other chameleon species, veiled chameleons require a lot of water to survive as house pets. For the majority of pets, you merely need to provide them a water dish or a water bottle that is linked to the side of the cage, but this won’t work for a veiled chameleon.

This is due to the fact that veiled chameleons seldom if ever perceive standing water as being water, let alone drink it. Instead, veiled chameleons drink water that condenses on leaves during morning dew or rain to keep themselves hydrated.

You must mimic this in captivity, much like the sun’s light, otherwise your chameleon risks catastrophic illness from dehydration. There are a few options for doing this, and which one is best for you will depend on your schedule and financial situation.

What kind of accessories are safe to put inside my chameleon’s enclosure?

We believe that natural beauty is best when it comes to your chameleon’s cage’s accessories and décor. In other words, adding adorable small cage accents won’t hurt your chameleon but won’t bring any benefits either.

Plants and vines are our go-to accessories since we aim for our setups to closely resemble the circumstances of the chameleon’s native environment.

We advise using either artificial or real plants as the primary cage decoration. This is beautiful and useful at the same time. Since chameleons are arboreal lizards, they require a lot of foliage to climb on, thus placing plants within the cage will meet this demand.

The artificial vines and greenery that come with many cage arrangements are totally fine alternatives.

Please make sure you do not purchase a hazardous plant if you decide to go with real plants. A few species that we at Backwater Reptiles have successfully employed in our setups are listed below:

Hibiscus is a tropical plant with quite big, emerald-green leaves and, when in bloom, absolutely stunning blossoms.

Weeping fig, Benjamin fig, or, to put it even more simply, the Ficus tree are all names for the fig species known as Ficus benjamina. Although you may buy a small one at a hardware shop and use it for many years within your chameleon’s habitat, this “plant” will ultimately develop into a tree.

The pothos plant is incredibly simple to maintain and is regarded by many as a classic home plant. However, unless you give it something to hold onto, it will grow swiftly and “outward,” therefore we advise using a solid stick or branch to encourage it to grow upward inside your chameleon’s cage.

If you want live plants in your chameleon cage, we highly recommend Schefflera arboricola. This plant thrives without a lot of care and handles stress quite well.

Conclusion: Although real plants are more aesthetically beautiful in our opinion, they might also require additional maintenance for your chameleon setup. In addition to taking care of a chameleon, you’ll also need to water and provide sunlight for a plant.

Plastic foliage is easy to spot clean for excrement and dead insects and requires no further maintenance.

What temperature should a chameleon cage be?

Since chameleons live in the desert, their ideal temperature is 65 degrees Fahrenheit. You may accomplish this by maintaining their cage in a hot space (like a terrarium). The cage’s ambient temperature should be kept at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit in order to keep the animals safe and comfortable.

To maintain a steady temperature within the cage, some owners insert a heating pad. Making sure the heating pad is not overly hot or cold is important since doing so might hurt your chameleon.

What size enclosure should my chameleon have?

Except for a few species like the Meller’s and Oustalets chameleons (Calumma parsonii) and Parson’s chameleons (Furcifer oustaleti), the majority of chameleons are tiny reptiles (Chamaeleo melleri). This implies that small to medium-sized cages can accommodate the majority of species.

Obviously, infants and young children require less room than their adult counterparts. In fact, because it might be challenging for newborns to locate their food source—namely, to capture the tiny crickets and fruit flies that they eat—in such a huge cage, we advise smaller cages for them.

One size cages can, however, be purchased and kept for the duration of your chameleon’s life in some circumstances.

The majority of adult chameleon species maintained as pets, including Veiled chameleons (Chamaeleo calyptratus), Panther chameleons (Furcifer pardalis), and Jackson’s chameleons (Chamaeleo jacksonii), perform well in a medium-sized cage.

For sub-adults and adults, we advise an enclosure that measures 18 inches deep by 18 inches wide and 36 inches tall. Smaller cages, nevertheless, can be utilized well.

Have you noticed that the cage we advised is taller than it is wide? This is due to the fact that chameleons are arboreal animals and will spend the most of their time up on the branches and vegetation you offer for them. Your chameleon won’t frequently, if ever, be found lying on the cage floor.

This means that, when considering a chameleon’s way of life, height is significantly more significant than floor area. The chameleon has more space to regulate its body temperature when it is taller.

It has the option of basking up top near the heat source and UV lamps or descending deeper into the cage to cool down.

Veiled Chameleon Misting System

By far, and for a variety of reasons, my preferred option. They are the quickest, simplest way to offer water for your veiled chameleon, and they provide you piece of mind knowing your pet is getting adequate water. I won’t go through why you would prefer one and which one to acquire because I wrote an article about it here.

They aren’t outrageously costly, but they’re also not the cheapest choice either. Nevertheless, I think they are well worth the cost because of how simple they are to use and how much time they can save.

What type of lighting and temperatures will my chameleon need?

Make sure your chameleon has access to a UVB lamp. It has to be on top of the cage. Additionally, you must check that the enclosure’s climbing surfaces and vegetation allow the chameleon to be within six inches of the UV lamp.

This separation is crucial because if you let the chameleon approach the light too closely, it might accidently burn itself. On the other hand, your chameleon won’t be able to adequately absorb the light’s rays and manufacture the vitamins that enable it to grow strong bones if it can’t get near enough to it.

Zoo Med Reptisun 5.0 bulbs are what we choose to use at Backwater Reptiles. When others inquire, we always give them our highest recommendation because we’ve had wonderful luck with these bulbs. The ones we use are available for purchase directly on our website.

One brief note: UV lamps should always be updated every nine to twelve months, whether they are used for chameleon cage setups or for other reptiles. If they aren’t replaced, they stop working effectively. If you ever have any uncertainties, we suggest making the change sooner rather than later.

When it comes to temperature, we’ve discovered that most species of chameleons do just fine at room temperature—as long as it doesn’t fall below or rise over eighty-five degrees Fahrenheit.

You can offer a UV light in addition to a basking heat lamp. The region surrounding the basking area should have an ambient temperature of between 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit. To keep track of the temperatures in both your ambient cage and your basking place, you need get a reptile heat gun.

How do you keep the humidity up in a chameleon cage?

In a chameleon cage, maintaining a high humidity level is crucial. The humidity should be adjusted to meet your chameleon’s demands while also maintaining the health of your pet reptile.

You may do this by furnishing the area where your chameleons will reside with plants and water containers. They must be fed a food high in moisture and housed in a terrarium that also contains terrarium substrate.


The best method to guarantee your chameleon has a long and healthy life is to set up a chameleon cage properly from the start.

Remember that veiled chameleons live in beautiful green woods, so it’s important to attempt to replicate it as much as you can in the cage. The cage may be as basic or as complex as you desire. When you get it perfect, it really does look wonderful, and your pet will adore it.