The veiled chameleon is the most preferred lizard to keep as a pet, accompanied by the Panther chameleon and Jackson’s chameleon. In reality, veiled chameleons have become so famous that they can now be found in major pet retailers such as Petco and Petsmart.
Like to know much about veiled chameleons and why they are so desirable lizards? To learn more, read “Types of Chameleons.”
Before purchasing a veiled chameleon, it is critical that you understand how to correctly set up their habitat. Doing this right from the beginning will offer your veiled chameleon a much better chance of living a long and happy life, saving you effort, money, and concern in the long term.
This article will teach you all you need to know about setting up a veiled chameleon habitat.
Veiled Chameleon Habitat Set Up
A veiled chameleon may exist in a variety of environments. They are indigenous to Yemen and southern Saudi Arabia. However, species have spread to Florida and Hawaii as well.
They like to reside in trees, bushes, or plants and are arboreal. You should ensure that their cage has some form of tall plant materials.
A veiled chameleon enclosure should be filled with dense plant growth to provide an arboreal atmosphere in which they can hide during the day.
Veiled Chameleons Cage
An adult should be housed in a 2x2x4ft cage with plenty of greenery, and set around 6ft from the ground. Youngsters can be housed in a 16x16x30′′ screen cage for six months before being moved to adult habitat.
Plastic laminated wire mesh (12in squared gaps) with a wood or metal frame is the finest enclosure, but you may also try a hybrid cage from Amazon. It includes a glass front for clearer observation of your chameleon, and screened sides for improved ventilation and humidity.
You may also make your own DIY enclosure, and some individuals get extremely crafty with these. Before beginning such undertakings, you should be informed of the materials that will be employed. Because timber cages may get twisted and rotted, glasses can be difficult and costly to use, and any missteps could harm your veiled chameleon.
Where Should a Veiled Chameleon Cage be Kept?
Veiled chameleons are usually timid species that are easily stressed. The placement of your chameleon’s enclosure can have a significant impact on the amount of low-level hidden stress they experience across time.
To avoid a dangerous issue, I recommend keeping your chameleon in a place with little foot activity from other people in your house.
If you stay alone or with a mate, this will not be an issue because you may keep your veiled chameleon in whatever room you want.
However, if you have a large family with young children, and other pets such as cats, and they spend a lot of time in the lounge room, your chameleon may feel uneasy.
Ensure your veiled chameleon’s enclosure is high on a shelf and that the chameleon can hang over your head anywhere you place it.
Heating and Lighting
Keep the bottom of the enclosure chilly and the top warmer to assist your chameleon to maintain its body temperature.
Throughout the day, the cool region must be around 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 27 degrees C), whereas, the warm region must be approximately 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (27 to 29 degrees C) for Jackson’s Chameleons or 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (32 to 38 degrees C) for Veiled Chameleons.
Using different thermometers, monitor the temperature in both regions of the habitat.
At night time, the general temperature of the cage should be between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 21 C).
A 12-hour light/dark pattern is required for all reptiles; a UVA/UVB fluorescent light will provide the light your chameleon needs to absorb calcium effectively.
If UVB is not replicated in captivity, the bones of your pet chameleon will grow fragile and degenerate. This unpleasant illness is known as metabolic bone disease, and it is a primary cause of mortality in many confined reptiles. However, it is easily prevented with the proper lighting setup.
The relative humidity in your chameleon’s environment must be between 65 and 80 percent. Using a hygrometer, you can monitor the humidity levels.
An automated fogger, sprayer, or drip device should also be included in the habitat.
Basking Light for the Veiled Chameleon
As previously said, veiled chameleons require the sun’s heat since they are cold-blooded animals and therefore cannot boost their body temperatures on their own.
Since their body temperature changes during the day, veiled chameleons will wander in and out of direct sunshine and shaded locations.
This means you’ll need to create a temperature gradient for your chameleon to travel in and out of, much like they do in the natural.
A basking heat lamp should be put on top of the cage and pointed at a position on a branch approximately 12 inches beneath it.
Try using a clamp lamp with the 60w lightbulb that comes with it to give a sharply defined basking zone for your veiled chameleon, while also reaching the appropriate temperature of roughly 90 degrees.
A substrate is generally not suggested for chameleon homes because it can become fungal from water dripping.
Chameleons are also renowned for consuming bedding granules or pieces and end up having gastrointestinal system blockage; if bedding is required, consider reptile carpets, coconut fiber, or towels that are made of paper.
Plants and Decorative Elements
On one side, construct a thick area of harmless, genuine, or artificial plants and vines (but not silk, which will not soak up water) for concealing; on the other corner, make a more wide, exposed region of branches for basking.
Organic plants will assist to keep the habitat moist, which is essential for keeping chameleons refreshed. When choosing branches, compare their breadth to the length of your chameleon’s feet to ensure they can grasp them.
Branches and plants must have some horizontal areas for your chameleon to readily sit on.
Giving Your Veiled Chameleon Water
Veiled chameleons are difficult to keep as pets because they require a lot of water. Like most pets, simply supply a bowl of water or a water bottle built into the side of the cage, but this is ineffective for a veiled chameleon.
This is due to the fact that veiled chameleons do not consume standing water; in reality, they do not even identify it as water. However, veiled chameleons keep themselves hydrated by swallowing droplets of water that accumulate on plants in the morning light or when it rains.
You must duplicate this in captivity, much like the sun’s light, or your chameleon may get extremely unwell due to dehydration. There are a few options, and which one is best for you will rely on how active you are and how much money you have.
Hand Misting Your Veiled Chameleon
This is how the majority of chameleon keepers begin. It’s a straightforward method of refilling up a plastic spray bottle. I prefer one with a pumping system to spare your hands and fingers from tiring, refill, pump, and spray off.
Nevertheless, you might realize that this soon becomes tedious since you must mist the cage at least 2 times a day and do so until your chameleon knows the presence of water, not simply until everything is moist.
Dripper Method For Your Veiled Chameleon
This approach involves installing a water dripper on the roof of the cage and allowing it to flow at a slow to medium speed onto the leaves beneath.
You may purchase an available commercial dripper to give you more control over the pace of the droplets. Alternatively, you can replicate the effect by piercing a very little hole in the bottom of a plastic bottle, fill it with water, and placing it on top of the enclosure.
Chameleon Misting System
For many reasons, this is by far the finest option.
It is the simplest and easiest way to offer water to your veiled chameleon, and it gives you a sense of peace that your animal is getting adequate water.
They’re not inexpensive, but they’re also not the most costly alternative. Their convenience of use and the time they conserve make them definitely worth it, in my viewpoint.
Thoroughly cleanse their cage on a regular basis, removing feces, dead crickets, and leaf litter.
Make sure to check their excrement when cleaning.
Feces that are normal are dark brown or black with a white portion. They are spherical or oval in shape and have no odor. If it is watery, too dry, not regular in shape, or smells, you should take it to a veterinarian for testing.
Wash the cage’s bottom with soap and warm water after two weeks. Rinse any plastic décor or houseplants every two months.
You’ll need a few more types of equipment to make sure your chameleon is at the appropriate temperature, has the right degree of moisture, and that the lights turn on and off at the same time every day.
Checking the temperature requires checking it at least once a day in two locations: the basking location and the air temperature of the cage. Using a temperature gun is the simplest method to accomplish this. Temperature guns are extremely simple to use, precise, and will not upset your veiled chameleon in any way.
Then, you’ll need a hygrometer to test the relative humidity in the cage. An electronic one is the most precise, and this one, in particular, has received rave reviews.