Are you looking for a little less fur? Here’s one that might tip the “scales”: Keep a cool chameleon as your animal companion. Have you ever thought about keeping a chameleon as a pet?
You may know that chameleons are reptiles and that they can change colors. The most common chameleons to be kept as pets are Veiled, Jackson’s and Panther. Young chameleons are usually a dull gray or brown color until they are about five months old. Around that age, these animals will begin to show their adult colors, which range from green, blue green, turquoise to black. While their changing colors is typically known as a means to camouflage, it actually means other things as well. For example, changing colors can communicate to other chameleons and regulate body temperature.
If you’re considering a chameleon as a pet, it might be a real commitment:
First, make your chameleon feel at home. This animal requires lots of living space, as its natural habitat is in trees! To keep one as a pet, invest in a cage that is 3 feet by 3 feet by 4 feet tall. It is best to provide natural foliage, or branches, that are non-toxic, and to use natural bedding. You should be able to find these materials at your local pet store. It is also good to provide some areas that your pet can bask in, or lay in direct sunlight. Different chameleon breeds prefer different temperatures. For example, Jackson’s prefer lower temperatures while Veiled and Panther chameleons prefer warmer climates. So research your particular breed to keep him comfy.
Dinner time! For food, these animals seem to do best on a diet of insects. You can find a nice variety of insects at your local pet store as well. As for water, did you know they will not drink out of bowls? So you will either need to mist your pet’s cage twice a day, or install a drip system. Drip systems can be purchased, or fashion one from a water container placed on top of the cage with a pinhole to let water drip down. Or, simply place ice cubes on top of the habitat, and let them melt into it.
While chameleons may seem like a really cool pet, they are actually high maintenance and prefer to be left alone. Consult with a veterinarian and pet store consultant before investing time and money in one of these reptiles as a pet.
Do you have a pet chameleon? Tell us about it in the comments!