Types of Enclosure

There are several options when providing your chameleon with suitable accommodation. You really have to consider where you are going to put the enclosure and the ambient temperature of that position/room in summer, winter and at night. Don't guess temperatures. Measure them. Buy a digital laser thermometer and a Max/Min thermometer and test everywhere. You will be surprised by the results.

If you have a hot room to start with you will probably be better with a mesh cage or free range set up as you will only need minimal heat to create a basking spot and the chameleons will benefit from the ventilation. Hot rooms however are usually dry rooms so you must also consider whether you can provide adequate hydration every day.
Chameleons in general require at least 5 minutes of continuous spraying several times a day. You need to ask if your enclosure can or will withstand exposure to this much water. If not your chameleon, particularly if it's one of the large species such as Panthers or Veileds, could be more likely to suffer from kidney problems later in life due to dehydration.


If your room is cold you might find a wooden or plastic vivarium is better for keeping in the heat and making the whole interior usable. A montain species such as a Jacksons or Fischers could be more suitable.

If its cold at night you can keep Montain or Veiled Chameleons but true tropical species such as the Panther will not thrive with night time temperatures below the low 60's F. Bear in mind additional heating during the night will reduce humidity at a time when its naturally at its highest. A good spray just before lights out might be needed to counteract this.


A few additional points to consider when positioning your enclosure

Chameleons stress (see STRESS)if they can see one another. If you keep several house them singly and place the enclosures along one wall rather than facing one another.

Keep caging and chameleons out of draughts. This is a common cause of repiratory infection.

Avoid low positions, especially if cats and dogs or young children are about.

Avoid a busy throughway if possible.

Sites near doors and windows can change temperatures dramatically. Mesh cages can be particularly unsuitable here.

Sunlight shining through windows and hitting the vivarium can cause fatal overheating. It might also encourage your chameleon to constantly try and get out to head towards the brighter day light.

Some chameleons like human company. This unusual trait in Chameleons is sometimes seen in male Panthers. You might have to move the vivarium from your purpose built reptile room to the lounge for your pet to thrive. We are speaking from experience!

The key to successful keeping is to research your species BEFORE you buy it. Then research your intended site for the enclosure and THEN make an educated guess as to which set up and species would best suit.

Links to types of caging

Plastic Mesh - such as Reptarium

Aluminium Mesh - black flyscreen such as the Terry Thatcher range

Plastic - vision vivariums or purpose built





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