Setting Up a Chameleon Cage

Course: Setting Up a Chameleon Cage

In this course we explain the theory behind your chameleon cage set-up. When completed you should be able to identify what is an appropriate captive chameleon environment. This course is presented in four sections

  1. Chameleon Cage Build Theory: You are given a base of knowledge as to what is necessary for proper chameleon husbandry. I will go over what a chameleon does during the day and what it needs to be happy. I will then go over the natural environmental conditions the chameleon developed to thrive within and how we will successfully recreate those conditions in a cage.
  2. Setting Up The Chameleon Environment: Here I get my hands dirty (literally) and describe how to set up a cage interior so a chameleon will call it home. I review the equipment, placement, and timing I use to create a chameleon environment that makes them comfortable and nourished.
  3. Cage Build Guides: In this section I will guide you through setting up a complete system using the principles given in this course. Here is your step-by-step recipe!

If you are pressed for time, jump to section three and just follow the instructions to a complete and effective chameleon set-up! (You can come back and read the rest with your chameleon hanging out in his bushes.)

Section 1: Chameleon Cage Build Theory

chameleon cage forest edge

One of the most important things we can do as chameleon keepers is ensure that our chameleons are given a suitable home. Often, chameleons are given a bad rap for being fragile. But, in the right environment, chameleons are actually incredibly hardy creatures! The cage we make for our chameleon will be its home for the rest of its life; a good cage will ensure that life is a long and healthy one. This course is designed to give you the information you will need to build the best home possible for your miniature tree dragon. Specifically, we will be going over how to use the Forest Edge 5+5 method to bring all the benefits of the forest edge into the 2’x2’x4’ cage in your living room.

In biology, the word “edge” is used to describe the space where two different habitats meet, like when the trees stop and the meadow begins. It is this area at the edge of the trees that chameleons spend most of their lives. They sleep in a protected area. When morning comes, they drink dew off the leaves and head out to warm up in the rising sun. As the day heats up, they retreat back into the shade of the leaves. They come back out in the evening, after it’s cooler, and hunt. They return to a protected area to sleep before nightfall, and the cycle repeats the next day.

It is our job, as chameleon keepers, to replicate this forest edge in our cage, ensuring that our pets have places to sleep, to hunt, to drink, and to sun themselves as they please.

Module 1

Creating A Home For Your Chameleon

A Home Made For Your Chameleon

I present what a chameleon’s home should look like to best provide for chameleon needs.

Module 2

Environmental Conditions for Chameleons

Environmental Conditions

In this module I review sun, rain, fog, and the weather conditions we want to provide.

Module 3

Plants For Your Chameleon Cage

Chameleon Cage Plants

It is time to add plant life to our chameleon’s home!

Section 2: Setting Up The Chameleon Environment

Chameleon Cage Pair

Module 4

Assembling Your Chameleon Cage

Assembling Your Chameleon Cage

We take that box full of panels and screws and create a chameleon cage!

Module 5

Branching, Planting, And Pulling It All Together!

Branch Selection and Arrangement

Learn what makes a good chameleon branch and how to use them!

Module 6

The Sun: Setting Up Lighting, UVB, and Heat

Replicating the Sun

We put together the light, heat, and UVB system.

Module 7

Setting Up a Chameleon Hydration Strategy

Naturalistic Hydration Strategy

Learn how to create a naturalistic hydration strategy.

Module 8

Setting Up Hydration Equipment

Hydration Equipment

Learn what equipment is used for naturalistic hydration.

Module 9

Placing Your Chameleon Cage in Your Home

Placing the Chameleon Cage

Finally, we place our finished cage strategically in the house.

Section 3: Chameleon Cage Case Study

In the below case study I take a common cage and build it out as a demonstration of all the principles we have discussed.

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2' x 2' x 4' Screen Cage Case Study

2' x 2' x 4' Cage Build

We will apply the Forest Edge 4+4 method to a 2′ x 2′ x 4′ Screen Cage.

3' x 18" x 3' Screen Cage Case Study

3' x 18" x 3' Cage Build

We will apply the Forest Edge 4+4 method to 3′ x 18″ x 3′ Screen Cage.


Setting Up Your Chameleon Cage is a class that is part of the Term 1: Getting Started With Chameleons  coursework which gives you a basic exposure to the important issues in chameleon husbandry. Once you have the cage set up you the get into maintenance mode where you are now looking for behavior cues from your chameleon to personalize their cage experience to their particular liking. This is where it gets personal and you get to start learning about what makes your chameleon an individual! Check it out in the next course, Maintaining Your Chameleon Cage!

Term 1: Chameleon Husbandry Course List

Chameleon Academy Logo with yellow motto

Next Course: Maintaining Your Chameleon Cage

chameleon cages