Chameleons are fun pets to have and care for. They don’t leave much of a mess, and don’t have nearly as many territorial disputes as other pets. You have to keep them safe and care for them, but they make great friends and sometimes live to be over 10 years old.
Unique in nature, a chameleon can change it’s color based on how it feels, temperature, nutrition, and other strongly influencing factors. Usually the darker colors like red or red-brown mean that your chameleon isn’t doing so well, while brighter colors like green and yellow mean they are happy and content.
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Ideal Habitat for Pet Chameleon
There are a number of aspects that need to be considered when choosing a cage for your pet chameleon. Below are the most important factors that cannot be missed while picking an ideal cage for chameleon.
The height of your chameleon habitat is very important because chameleons are reptiles that need vertical height and will not tolerate a small cage where their mobility will be affected and hampered. I advise that the cage measuring should not be less than 16 x 16 x 30”, but again it always depends on your chameleon size.
Temperature plays a vital role in the well being of the chameleons. Generally, a chameleon requires a daytime temperature ranging from 77 to 87 degrees and a nighttime temperature of 65 to 75 degrees. To gauge the temperature inside the enclosure, we recommend installing a thermometer.
Make sure that the cage you choose for your chameleon can hold the level of humidity required for them. Generally, the ideal humidity level for chameleons lies between 50 to 70% depending on the specie you are keeping a pet.
Every specie of chameleon requires different levels of humidity inside their enclosures, some prefer more humid environment than the others. In order to maintain the correct humidity level, you will need to install a hygrometer inside the cage.
Lighting is another essential aspect to consider. Chameleons need to be exposed to UVB lights regularly to produce the required vitamin D for the body. Since pet chameleons are kept indoors which naturally reduces its exposure to ultraviolet rays. Lack of exposure makes them prone to different diseases specifically related to bones & can be life threatening.
Make sure that the cage you choose for your chameleon has space to fit these lights which will help your pet get the adequate amount of ultraviolet B rays which its body needs. Some cages come already equipped with lighting systems and in some you may have to install yourself just make sure beforehand that it does support features to installing additional lighting systems.
Either way you should be ready with a few spare bulbs at hand just in case. Few species of chameleons require up to 12 hours a day of exposure to light & rays. If you live in an area where there may not be enough light during the day then the chameleon will want to regulate its body temperature during night under the light.
Plants are an essential part of a chameleon’s habitat. You will need to place a few plants inside your chameleon cage where they can climb and have a good time. Because chameleons in their natural habitats like to chill & climb on trees, plants & use them to hide.
Make sure the plants are nontoxic since they don’t really know the difference between a real plant or a fake one which makes them prone to eating it so just to be extra careful you should make sure the fake ones you place in the cage should be non-toxic. Make sure the enclosure you pick for your chameleon has enough space to fit in a few plants.
Plants in the chameleon’s cage need to be taken care of too because they are a vital part of your pets’ environment & helps with the humidity. Constantly monitoring them will help you know when its roots are poking out of the soil and it needs repotting. The cage you will select should be able to accommodate and handle pots.
Cages which provide better ventilation should be preferred by any pet chameleon owners for a variety of reasons. First is that ventilation prevents mildew & mold but the more important reason is it also helps decrease chances of respiratory infections, especially in baby chameleons to whom the respiratory issues pose a bigger risk.
It provides an easy access to the chameleon cage if you want to put in food or handle your chameleon. It’s definitely not a make or break but most owners prefer cages in which they have access from the top because you’ve set up bulbs, lightings, furniture etc., to a specific setting and don’t want it disturbed every time you’re trying to access the cage.
Higher price of the cage doesn’t generally mean it has better quality & value. That is why a collection of finest best chameleon cage list is made for you with our experience & research so you can get the best bang for your buck.
Chameleons in their natural habitats keep themselves hydrated where rain is very common. And that’s what you as an owner should do to help your pet chameleon stay hydrated by placing a water dish in its cage. But they will ignore it most of the time because instinctively they are used to consuming water droplets in their natural habitat.
Chameleons in their natural environment like to climb on trees, plants & live on them most of the time. The only few times they come on ground is to bury their eggs that’s why they’re called arboreal creatures. For that reason we need to provide our pet chameleon with good quality furniture to climb on such as vines & other plants.
It can be a combination of fake & real plants. Fake plants should be non-toxic and real ones should include plants such as pothos, ficus, hibiscus which offers the chameleon a place to hang out, climb cool down & even hide as it would do in the wild.
Materials used to make chameleon cages are glass, mesh or synthetic material and can be a combination of either of them. Glass material used for cages has the ability to retain humidity and heat very well but the air may remain stale. Synthetic has the same issues as glass but is a bit cheaper.
Mesh promotes ventilation but the issue with it is retention of humidity & heat, which can be controlled to a certain extent where there is a dedicated room. On the other hand where a combination of materials are used it gives the benefit of both worlds where ventilation is promoted along with temperature & humidity retention.
Resistance to Rust
Chameleon prefers a more humid environment, which means you will have to spray water or even attach a water source permanently. Hence the cage is always exposed to water; this will also increase the chances of rusting. The cage you pick for your chameleon needs to be resistant to rust.
Based on the factors discussed above, here is a list of best chameleon cages available in the market.
5 Best Chameleon Cages
Here is a list of best chameleon cages.
1. Zen Habitats Reptile Enclosure
- Large enclosure– 120-gallon equivalent
- Retains high humidity
- Easy to assemble
- Good ventilation
- Durable (superior to standard PVC)
- Acrylic doors for easy access
- Screened Substrate Shield for easy viewing
- Non-reflective surfaces that reduce anxiety
- 3 years warranty
Zen habitat is one of the best companies that manufacture reptile enclosure. They make cages for many types of reptiles such as bearded dragons, geckos, and chameleons. They offer 3 years warranty for their products which you won’t find anywhere else when buying a chameleon cage.
This 2’x2’x4′ Zen Habitats Reptile Enclosure with PVC Panels is the perfect option for chameleons as it retains high humidity and offers plenty of horizontal and vertical space for chameleons to run about, climb and exercise.
The cage features large front opening Acrylic doors that make cleaning and maintaining of the enclosure a lot easier. Most of the cages available in the market open from the top that can cause stress for your chameleon because they can get stressed out if approached from above. That’s why Zen habitat has decided to place the doors in the front of the cage that minimizes stress when approaching your pet.
The enclosure comes with a substrate shield; you can choose between screen or acrylic shields. The screen shield is for increased ventilation. They have also included support bars and wire grommets in the screen top that makes it easier to install lights and heat bulbs inside or outside of the enclosure.
2. Zoo Med ReptiBreeze
- All necessary hardware included
- Easy to assemble (only a screwdriver is needed)
- Easy cleaning and maintenance
- Easy access
This open-air cage from Zoomed is the perfect option for housing chameleons. Even though the medium size which is 16x16x30″ is ok for chameleon but we still recommend the deluxe version which is 24x24x48″ because it offers comparatively larger horizontal and vertical space for your pet to run around and exercise. Besides chameleons, this cage is also best for other arboreal lizards like geckos and Anoles, etc.
The cage comes with all the needed hardware and is reasonably easy to assemble. It is made up of corrosion-resistant black aluminum, which looks beautiful and also durable. It features a sturdy, rust- and corrosion-resistant black aluminum frame and screen top, with large doors for easy bottom cleaning.
The clear acrylic door panel provides unobstructed terrarium viewing, and a removable floor tray makes the substrate cleaning very easy.
3. Exo Terra Screen Terrarium
- 18″ x 18″ x 24″ (A lot of vertical space)
- Large front doors for easy access
- Bottom doors for easy substrate cleaning
- Cricket Proof Screen
- Made up of corrosion-resistant black anodized aluminum
- Easy assembly
The Exo Terra Screen Terrarium is one of the best options not only for chameleon but many other arboreal reptiles and amphibians. The aluminum screen mesh allows ultraviolet rays from UVB bulbs to penetrate deep inside the cage.
The design provides non-restricted air-flow offering optimal ventilation, which means your pet will breathe fresh air at all times. It also helps in minimizing odors and fungus growth inside the enclosure. The temperature gradient helps reptiles in regulating their body temperature effectively.
The cage comes with a substrate tray that allows you to place a small layer of substrate, which is specifically helpful in absorbing spray water and increasing humidity level. The substrate you put in the substrate tray can easily be removed through the bottom doors.
The assembly of the enclosure is reasonably easy; the whole enclosure can be put together using only a screwdriver.
4. Zilla Fresh Air Screen Habitat
- Durable (Aluminum frame is sturdy and long-lasting)
- PVC bottom (durable and water-resistant)
- Two hinged doors for easy cleaning and maintenance.
- Easy to assemble
- Very affordable
Unlike other enclosures we mentioned in this post, the Zilla Fresh Air Screen Habitat is a bit small measuring 18” x 30” inches. Despite its small size, its still one of the best cages for pet chameleons. It features two big doors that make the cleaning of the cage very easy.
This cage is made up of durable and water-resistant material that will last for a long time. It provides full visibility of the inside and offers enough light and proper ventilation for your pet chameleon to live a healthy life. The design allows installing all the lights, UVB bulbs, and other accessories with ease.
5. Zoo Med Repti Breeze Chameleon Kit
- Great for beginner Chameleon owners
- Includes all necessary things needed for a chameleon
- Best size
- Easy to setup
Zoo Med’s ReptiBreeze Chameleon Kit is one of the best options available for chameleons. This is a complete package that includes a 16x16x30 naturalistic cage, UVB lights, Naturalistic plants, Digital Thermometer, Reptivite sample, Repticalcium sample, Reptisafe sample, Vine and carpet that will get you started in no time. The kit works great for all kind of chameleon species.
6. Carolina Custom Cage
- Premium Cage
- Glass and mesh combination provides optimal view
- Great Ventilation
- Key lock feature for security
- Ease of access
Carolina custom cage is great for pet chameleons where they have a lot of space and room to play, if space is not an issue with you at home as an owner and is extremely durable. It comes with a variety of 21 different models for you to choose from. They are very easy to assemble with dimensions that start from medium size 24L x 28D x 18H and goes up to extra tall large size of bio deep 36L x 18D x 36H inches which can house a mature pet chameleon easily.
You can set up a lot of accessories & decorations inside the tank since theres enough space inside. It can be accessed from the top where there’s a steel mesh which makes it ideal & promotes ventilation. It also helps manage the humidity in the cage. The sides of cage are made up of glass which provides you to keep an eye on your beloved pet at all times.
Double door access feature will definitely come in handy when you’ll be cleaning the cage and taking care of your pet chameleon. To prevent your pet from escaping or someone else who might try to access the cage without your permission a key lock security feature is in place.
Overall the cage is made up of high-quality materials & is also water proof including deep bases which are waterproof also. All these features definitely make this one of the beautiful cages but makes it a bit pricey specially if you’re tight on budget, although if you do purchase it in the long run it will be worth the price & your pet will also enjoy and cherish it.
7. Exo Terra Rainforest Habitat Kit
- Smart lighting system at top
- Front window & Top metal ventilation
- Full Glass Tank
- Natural Rock background
A quality chameleon cage which is a full glass tank which should not be missed in this rainforest habitat kit. This full glass terrarium is ideal for your pet chameleon along with other reptiles such as frogs, lizards, geckos and snakes. It comes in both small & medium sizes with the dimensions 18.5 x 19 x 25 inches & weighs around 24 pounds. Equipped with a fluorescent lighting system which is compact & reached deep down the chameleon cage.
Front opening doors provides you with ease of access in handling your pet & cleaning the terrarium from inside. Top of the cage is a steel mesh which helps in promoting ventilation along with your pet receiving fresh air and escaping of bad odor from the cage. If you have trouble in maintaining and controlling humidity and temperature this habitat will help you.
A pre-installed natural looking background is in place to help your chameleon or any other reptile feel right at home. Even though it comes with all the necessary decoration items such as water dish, substrate, vine and rope which the chameleon loves to climb. You may find later on the need to replace them because these decoration accessories are not really of good enough quality.
8. 34 Gallon Best Repti Zoo Terrarium
- Vertically Expandable
- Anti-escape safety locking feature
- Ventilation from the Top, Left and Right
- Raised bottom frame
- Cable pass
This large 34 gallon glass tank will definitely keep your chameleon happy where the removeable top mesh allows fresh air flow and helps with the ventilation. There’s window mesh on its left & right for additional ventilation also. The size of this terrarium is 24 x 18 x 18 inches and weighs 36.4 pounds & is very easy to assemble within minutes.
Front doors of the tank can be used & opened separately for handling or feeding your pet. Since the top mesh is removeable it can be accessed from the top also. Base of the terrarium is water proof & water tight which along with plants help in keeping humidity in the tank.
Glass helps with maintaining temperature, humidity and also allows the owner to keep an eye out on their pet chameleon. If your pet is an escape artist or there are children in your house to keep them safe it comes with a safety lock so you can have a piece of mind knowing its secure. Its bottom is raised which allows for more substrate to be used or heating cables & heat pads.
If anywhere in the future you decide to expand on the existing terrarium it comes with a feature where 3 units can be stacked vertically which saves you more space and the instructions given with it makes it very easy to install. These stackers are bought separately and space between each stack is 202mm i.e., almost 8 inches each.
Frequently Asked Questions
We will answer some of the commonly asked questions below.
Can a Chameleon be put in a glass tank?
Glass tank is a better option where you can keep your pet chameleon. Because it maintains temperature better than the mesh only materials and other is its humidity management ability which is essential for your chameleon. Simply put yes the pet chameleon can be put in a glass tank.
Can a chameleon be put in mesh only cage?
Most of the owner’s prefer mesh cages for their pet chameleons but retention of temperature and humidity is difficult in it unless there is a dedicated room for it. So, it is recommended to best use the cage where there is a combination of both mesh, glass or synthetic to get the best of both worlds.
What should be in a chameleon’s cage that it needs?
All the things that would be available to a chameleon in the wild or its natural environment, you as an owner should provide your beloved pet now that its your responsibility. Equip your pet chameleons terrarium completely with water, plants, fresh air circulation & ventilation, temperature & humidity controlled environment, lights, combination of non-toxic fake & real plants specially the ones which it can climb.
It is important to keep in mind your pets well being and happiness which is why you’re still here reading this. It can be a challenging task but a rewarding one i.e., taking care of your chameleon pet. Because you want it to have the best home & comfort which is why we have compiled a list of best chameleon cage for you here in the above article based on our own research, opinion & experience. It will surely meet the needs of your beloved pet chameleon that it will love and cherish.