Keep Your Chameleon Happy

Every chameleon is entitled to live in clean conditions. A chameleon living in the wild can move from one area to another if the surroundings aren’t to his liking. A chameleon which is kept as a pet doesn’t have that luxury. Anyone who is considering the purchase of a young chameleon needs to be aware of the amount of work necessary to keep the chameleon happy. If you can’t commit the time and effort which is required, then perhaps it isn’t the right time to make the purchase.
Basic Work
As the enclosure is kept warm, and necessarily humid, it is an ideal breeding ground for parasites and disease. Any chameleon living in these conditions will be susceptible to picking up a serious illness.
It isn’t difficult to remedy the situation and if the cleaning is undertaken regularly, this will be one thing less to worry about. Chameleons aren’t the easiest of creatures to look after and keep healthy – let’s not make it even more difficult.

 

Daily Maintenance

At the bottom of the cage or enclosure there will be faecal matter from the chameleon together with the remnants of insects which were fed to the reptile, bits of dead skin and leaves from the plants which live in the enclosure. There may also be matter on some of the leaves of the plants.
The easiest way to clean the base of the cage is to have a rubber mat there rather than substrate. The mat can be lifted out carefully, and all bits can be removed from it. A small car vacuum cleaner is brilliant for cleaning the mat, and it will only take a few seconds to do and then to replace the mat back into the enclosure. Cut away any leaves which had any matter on them.
Regular Cleaning

 
The enclosure will also require to have a thorough cleaning every week or two. The daily maintenance will only take a few minutes, however, the thorough cleaning – or spring cleaning – will take longer. Make sure that the chameleon isn’t in the enclosure whilst you are cleaning it, as you don’t want chemicals anywhere near the reptile.
Mix up your own blend of cleaning solution, using warm water, hand soap (not the liquid used for washing the dishes). A small amount of bleach should be added – 10 parts water to one part each of hand soap and bleach, is about right. Thoroughly clean the enclosure. If you decide to spray the liquid, ensure that you use a different bottle from the one used in the drinking water! Incidentally, it is a good idea to label spray bottles with the details of the mixture being used – this could be essential information if there was an accident.
Use a clean cloth, or disposable towels to work the liquid into all areas, and ensure that the enclosure is completely dried out. Make sure that all plants in the enclosure have been thorough cleaned and dried.
To Finish

Once everything is clean and dry, replace all plants etc back into the enclosure. Return your chameleon back into its living quarters and mist the plants again, which will give the reptile moisture. Ensure that the temperature is correct and that the light is working properly. Feed your chameleon and let him settle down again.

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