Everything You Need to Know about Chameleon Cages
Finding or building the perfect chameleon enclosure for your pet is a big piece of the puzzle in making sure that your chameleon leads a happy, healthy, and long life.
At the same time, too many people out there believe that any “lizard cage” will work wonders with chameleons when nothing could be further from the truth. Chameleons require a handful of very specific environmental elements to really thrive and be comfortable, and you want to make sure that your chameleon enclosure is designed specifically for them.
Below we highlight a couple of key considerations you’ll want to think about before you go looking for a chameleon tank or decide to build one of your own.
Let’s dive right in!
Three Key Considerations for a Chameleon Terrarium
The decision you make for the chameleon cage you purchase is a huge one – is likely going to be the home for your pet for years and years (if not the rest of their lifetime).
This isn’t the kind of decision you want to come to likely, that’s for sure.
Instead, you’ll really want to research your options, look at all of the available choices on the market today, and maybe even consider figuring out how to DIY chameleon cages yourself so that you can build a totally custom option that surpasses anything you find on the commercial market.
At the end of the day, though, there are three main considerations that EVERY chameleon enclosure needs to revolve around.
For starters, your chameleon enclosure needs to be as safe as humanly possible with the well-being, health, and security of your pet as priority number one.
You’d like to think that all chameleon enclosure options on the market today were designed to be as safe as possible – but there are plenty of companies out there willing to cut corners to cut costs and offer less expensive options that are anything but safe or ideal for your chameleon.
If you’re going to be buying this kind of enclosure you want to make sure that you are only ever purchasing from reputable providers, manufacturers that you can trust, and companies that have a long-standing history of producing top-quality items.
You’ll also want to shop from companies that focus exclusively on chameleon enclosures whenever possible.
Secondly, you need to make sure that the enclosure you have selected is perfectly suitable for your chameleon and that it offers plenty of room for them to live, to be active, and not to feel boxed in or tucked out of the way.
Some of the best tanks and cages on the market today for chameleons are designed to be displayed pretty prominently in your home, offering beautiful aesthetics and modern lines while at the same time never compromising on the safety or the comfort of your chameleon living inside of these enclosures.
You want to get your hands on an enclosure that you can feel proud to show off, but you don’t want to sacrifice the safety and security of your chameleon just for a fancy exterior.
Lastly, it’s critical that your chameleon tank is as comfortable as can be and mimics the natural habitat of your chameleon as closely as possible.
Now, truth be told the overwhelming majority of commercial chameleon enclosures are going to come straight from the factory pretty much empty and “blank” inside – requiring you to do the heavy lifting to flesh out the interior and create an exciting, welcoming, and comfortable environment for your chameleon to live in.
This is definitely the case with DIY approaches to chameleon enclosures as well. And while it definitely involves a little bit more work you get a more custom environment for your chameleon and one that may be far better suited to them than anything you could have purchased off-the-shelf.
Buy a Chameleon Enclosure or Build Your Own?
- Full glass terrarium ideal for snakes, frogs, lizards and gecko
- Unique front window ventilation; Full metal screen for top ventilation
- Compact top lighting system
- Includes all necessary decoration items, substrate, water dish, jungle vines, jungle rope and care guide
Trying to decide whether or not you should buy a chameleon enclosure or build your own tank is another big piece of the puzzle.
A lot of people start off with “standard” chameleon enclosures that they customize a little bit later down the line before moving into the DIY space and creating a legitimately custom environment for their pets to explore.
There are an endless amount of options in front of you when you choose to build your own tank, with guides, walk-throughs, and tutorials available online to get you from start to finish without any headache or hassle.
Along the way there are some key details you’ll want to think about, and we cover some of the most important ones below.
Tube Cage Or Tank?
Tube cages are some of the least expensive options in the DIY arena, taking advantage of a wire mesh like material that has been covered in plastic to protect the sensitive feet of your chameleon – a material often called “hardware cloth”.
A 4 foot wide and nearly 6 foot long piece rolled up into a tube and then wired closed can act as a starter DIY chameleon enclosure without ever threatening to break your bank account, though you will have to flesh out this approach with silicone caulk, plants, sticks, and some sort of “lid” to keep your chameleon inside.
The flip side of things, you can start off with a basic chameleon enclosure tank from any of the top-tier manufacturers and choose to customize it – leveraging the safety, security, and durability parent not to mention presentation) that these kinds of commercially available tanks offer with a custom touch.
Convert a Lizard Enclosure for a Chameleon
Traditional lizard tanks aren’t specifically designed for chameleons, but they can be converted with just a little bit of effort – particularly when it comes to the plants, greenery, environment, lights, and humidity modules that you introduce into the enclosure.
You want to be careful going with some of the least expensive options in this department, though, as they almost always sacrifice quality for cost. A middle-of-the-road lizard enclosure that has been modified with a DIY approach can be the perfect chameleon enclosure for next to nothing.
Lighting is Key
Reptile specific lamps that produce UVB and UVA rights are the way to go if you aren’t able to put your chameleon in a well lit area (though you want to keep them out of direct sunlight) – but you also want a combination of fluorescent tube lighting and dome reflectors to let your chameleon bask in the warmth produced by lighting, too.
It’s not even a bad idea to bring your chameleon outdoors for couple of hours each week whenever possible just to get them some natural sunlight. Be careful not to let your chameleon out of your sight, though, or you may end up with a free range chameleon that is next to impossible to find and get back in their enclosure.
At the end of the day, as long as you focus on the key details we highlighted above you shouldn’t have any trouble whatsoever finding (or buying) the perfect cage for your cute lizard!