Introduction to Chameleon Cage Placement
You can create the most incredible cage interior and have it not accepted because of what is going on outside the cage. Your chameleon has excellent vision so anything that happens outside the cage affects his sense of well being.
It is important that we are aware of what is going on around the cage when trouble shooting any possible problem.
One of the most effective ways to give security to a chameleon is to arrange it so they can perch high up. If you are able to set their cage on a platform where their perch is at or, better, above eye level of the humans walking around, your chameleon will feel much more secure. Even with a perfect cage interior, resting the cage on the floor is the quickest way to have a nervous chameleon.
Perch height will determine how well your chameleon will tolerate people and pets milling around. It is amazing the difference being above the action will make.
Using Walls & Corners to Your Advantage
Solid walls on a chameleon cage provides security because the chameleon knows that they cannot be attacked from that direction. Though we may think that solid walls will make them feel enclosed and trapped, they actually provide a sense of security. There are cages made with solid walls, especially for professional breeders, but you can create this same sense of security by using the walls of your home. Even with a screen cage, placing the cage against a wall effectively blocks off that avenue for predators to approach. By putting the cage in a corner you have blocked off two directions for predators. So consider how you can use your home’s layout to your advantage.
Traffic Patterns of People and Pets
Give extra consideration to the traffic patterns of people and pets. You may find that your chameleon is stressed for no apparent reason. While human children can be of concern, cats, dogs, and birds are as close to natural predators as we can get without throwing in a snake. Your chameleon’s instinct may not be sure what to do with a human shape, but a bird, cat, or snake is unmistakable and will get a stress reaction. Keep these pets outside of the visual range of the chameleon.
Traffic patterns in your home of people should be considered as well. For example, having your chameleon cage near the kitchen door may be a poor idea if the door constantly surprises the chameleon by opening unexpectedly.
Environmental Conditions of Cage Placement
Placement in the house also requires you to consider what could be happening while you are gone to work. Two major checkboxes are where the air conditioning vents are and where the sun hits through the window. You may be confused as to why your chameleon seems so discontent when you have placed his cage so the perching branch is above eye level. But if this puts the cage in line of the air conditioning vent your chameleon may be getting blasted by cold air every afternoon. And if this happens only while you are at work it may be a challenge to figure out why your chameleon is getting sick.
Windows are another check point. Does the sun shine directly through at any time? The sun is powerful even going through the window and, depending on the cage size and window size, it could hit the chameleon in a way that there is no escape. This can warm the chameleon too much. Nd if you re trying to figure out what is wrong when you get home in the evening, the the true cause may be elusive.
Windows can also cause problems if there are animals on the outside. While chameleons tend to be intelligent enough to know that screen cage doors and windows are security, each chameleon will be different in how they think of the predatory bird outside the window. This is a condition that may be a regular occurrence, yet, completely absent when you are analyzing the situation when you get home in the evening.
In the end you try the best you can, but you do not know what your chameleon will be sensitive to. Some chameleons don’t care about people milling around them but will stress when they see a hawk in the distance out the window. Once you do the best you can it is time to watch their behavior and see what they tell you about their needs.
This module is part of a class on Setting Up Your Chameleon’s Cage where you learn how to build up a complete chameleon environment from start to finish. This is the final module in the section about setting up your chameleon cage. In the next section we will have specific cage build examples where I take you step by step in building up the most popular cages. With these you can follow along and create an effective cage with a minimum of absorbing this avalanche of theory!