Chameleons with screen and hybrid cages

Should chameleons be in screen or hybrid cages

If you have listened to me you know I consider the hybrid cage the best general purpose chameleon cage and that screen cages are actually, rarely the best cage to use in captivity. That still holds, but this week is dedicated to screen cages because they still have valuable uses! 

Screen cages have the advantage that they are typically cheaper cages and easy to find and or build. Since most keepers start out with screen cages it is worth learning about them. 

But first, what is a screen cage and what is a Hybrid cage?

A screen cage is, not surprisingly, a cage with screen sides so you get the full benefit of the breezes and air flow. A hybrid cage is one where any number of the sides are solid. The more solid sides the more control you have of the interior environmental conditions. If you need to raise the humidity above ambient you need a hybrid cage.

You decide whether you should use a screen cage vs a hybrid cage by comparing your target care sheet parameters with what the conditions are in your room. And you don’t look on your weather app. You measure the actual room. If you air condition or have a heater going, your humidity is not what it is outside! So measure the room the cage will be in.

The reason why hybrid cages are usually the most appropriate for an indoor cage is because most houses do not get the high nighttime humidity and the central air dries out the air during the day.  But this doesn’t mean we can pack up the screen cage! Because there is enormous benefit to keeping chameleons outdoors, even if for just a couple good months or else weekend afternoons. And, for this, the screen cage is the only one that will do!

Screen cages, hybrid cages, glass cages…these are all just tools. I am well aware of the strong feelings in the community for and against different cage types. But there is no one answer. The cage type you use will depend on the environment you are in. There is no reason to limit your options. Choose between as many tools as possible to find the right one. All it takes is to understand the characteristics of each tool. And we can go into that!

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