When it comes to keeping a pet, there are lots of owners who like to keep them in pairs. We don’t blame them as most of the pets feel lonely when their owner is not around for a while. But what about the chameleons? Do they like to stay in pairs too? After all, they’re not anything like regular pets.
Well, the harsh truth is, unlike the other pets, chameleons are not a fan of being accompanied by any other chameleons. Even most of the experts suggest not keeping them together as that can leave a negative impact on the lizard and make it unhappy. No matter how lonely they seem outside, they like to enjoy their terrarium all by themselves.
But do these loners hate being with a female or other animal too? Well, let’s scroll a bit down to find that out.
If you’re going to make a list of territorial creatures, then we bet you’re going to see the name of the name chameleons among the top five for sure. These solitary creatures like to roam as a loner and don’t support sharing their space with any other male chameleon.
You’re probably wondering – that goes for the wild ones, but what about the captive bred? Well, even then, they can’t skip their natural instinct and will behave in the same way. They usually showcase this kind of behavior from a sense of defending their territory and sometimes over a female.
So, if you’re planning to keep two chameleons together in the same cage, then we’d say it’s nothing but a bad idea. Even if they’re of the same species, the fight is going to be almost inevitable. Usually, they fight over three major things – food, water, and of course, their basking spot.
Sometimes the fight gets so intense that they end up injuring each other. And the worst-case scenario? One of them can die out of these injuries. But if you’re asking for specific reasons, then here they are –
We don’t know how much you know about the attitude of chameleons. But when it comes to sharing the territory, they just become highly aggressive. This can even cause fights between two lizards and lead to the death of one, like we said before.
When there are two chameleons in the same enclosure, the new one surely will invade the territory of the older one. In such cases, the older one will showcase its aggression by hissing, which is also considered another way of saying ‘back off’.
When you’re putting more than one chameleon in a cage, it’s kind of impossible to avoid the fights. As we mentioned earlier, they’ll fight here over water, food, and basking spot, just like the wild.
Like any other stubborn animal, they’ll give it their best to hold on to their territory. So, the best way to avoid conflict is to keep only one chameleon in the enclosure. If you still want two of them, it’s better to arrange two different enclosures.
If you want to put two chameleons in a stressful situation, then the easiest way to do so is putting them together in a cage. Clearly, when two of them are together in the same enclosure, one of them will be dominant, and the other will be the defeated one.
But no matter what their status is, they both will be under tons of stress, and you already know how bad stress is for chams. The dominant one will get stressed over the issue that the other one is always around and looking for a scope to take over.
On the other hand, the defeated one will be stressed as it can’t roam around freely as it’s not his spot yet. After all, they’re not used to living under any other chameleon’s shadow.
If you’ve gone through the earlier segments of this article, then you already know these peaceful lizards are not so peaceful when another chameleon jumps into their territory. So, clearly, the unwanted lizard faces the consequence – a fight!
Strutting their body and hissing are the two common signs they show off before getting started with the fight. Usually, the larger one got a better chance of winning. The prime rule of this kind of fight is the winner becomes dominant and owns the territory. On the other hand, the loser leaves the area after retreating.
But things are slightly different when the fight occurs in a cage or in captivity. Here, the loser has no way of leaving the area and lives with immense stress as he has no choice but to share the space with the dominant.
That doesn’t make the dominant stress-free. After all, his natural instinct makes him stay cautious as the other chameleon might come any time and go for another fight to win over the territory. This mutual stress ultimately leads to health issues for both the reptiles and can eventually cause death.
Usually, the reaction against a male chameleon and a female is almost the same – the old aggressive and competitive way. But that doesn’t mean there are no variations at all, based on the species, of course.
Some of the chameleons have shown positive reactions when there are one or more female chameleons around. The dwarf and stump-tailed chameleons are two of them. The other ones pretty much show off the same reaction whether it’s a male or female chameleon.
But things are a bit different if the female is the cham’s breeding partner. After all, it takes only 8-9 months for them to be sexually mature. This is the time when the female ones come up with certain colors, which are also indicators of them becoming ready for breeding. These colors help the male to respond to the opposite gender accordingly.
But if you see the female is not showing those colors in the first place, then you can bet that she will get involved with the male aggressively. To be more specific, there’s going to be a fight in the enclosure for sure.
That doesn’t mean you can’t put a male cham with her at all, but you need to make sure that it’s not for more than a few days. That’s because they are likely to be aggressive when they’re in their pregnancy period. This kind of behavior is usually triggered by stress as they carry eggs and undergo drastic personality changes.
According to some of the cham owners, they’ve seen severely injured male chameleons that were in there with a pregnant female chameleon. The level of injury can be so severe that you might see a cripple male in your cage as the female can chew up a leg of the opposite gender.
You’re probably wondering how a female lizard can overpower male ones, right? Well, that’s nothing impossible if the female is physically bigger compared to the male chameleon. On top of that, their fighting tendency can pop up over the fact that sharing their food and water might make them fall short on nutrients and energy.
If you’re talking about the two ‘happy’ female chameleons, then keeping them shouldn’t be a problem. By the term ‘happy’ we’re indicating lizards that are content with their fulfilled requirements.
This means if they’ve got their own source of drinking water, personal basking spot, enough food, and own place to nap or sleep, keeping two female chams won’t cause any fight.
But if you’re planning on something like this, don’t forget to make the enclosure large enough for both of the lizards. Otherwise, there’s a chance of them bumping into each other, and the reptiles will not be happy about that. It’s better to build or buy a cage that is large vertically and will give them enough room of their own.
By the way, don’t expect the peace to sustain if the lizards you’re putting there are pregnant. After all, they become more aggressive at that stage compared to their regular health condition. So, make sure that you’re keeping them separate for that time at least.
You’re probably getting tired of hearing so many ‘No’s about keeping these colorful lizards together. But there’s a stage where you can keep them together without turning the enclosure into a battlefield. Yes, we’re talking about the time when they are at their hatchlings stage.
No matter which species they belong to and how many of them are there, they can still live peacefully without starting a fight or any other problem. That’s because the loner attitude doesn’t grow within the lizards till they’re reaching a certain age.
But that doesn’t mean keeping them in a congested enclosure won’t cause any issues. To keep them as good as new, you better give them enough space to walk freely. Once the baby hits the age of 4 months, they’ll start developing antisocial personalities. So, you should move them to their own enclosure right then.
Once they reach the stage where they get sexually mature or, to be more specific, the age of 8 months, no matter what, you should avoid putting another chameleon in their enclosure.
We probably know what you’re thinking right now. If the chams can’t live together, then how do they live in the same situation in the pet shops, right? Well, there are a bunch of reasons why pet shop owners do such things.
The most common reason is lack of space. Not every shop is big or solvent enough to arrange different cages for every single reptile. On the other hand, the purchase rate of chameleons seems to be on the rise. So, they can’t exactly skip that part as well. But no matter what, keeping so many lizards together is never good for the color shifters.
Regardless of which species you’re putting together, events like fights surely will take place as all they’re nothing but extremely territorial by nature. Depending on the species, they can even become more aggressive than the others. If you’re asking for the names, then we’d say veiled chameleon seems to stay ahead in the race of aggressive behavior.
On the other hand, Panther and Jacksons chameleons are friendlier by nature. This is why suggest avoiding keeping different species together. One of the interesting facts about these lizards is that they can’t even stand the reflection of other chams. After all, such kind of minor incidents can trigger stress in them as well.
But does it mean there are no species that can keep it peaceful with other lizards? Well, that list is not entirely blank yet. We’ve got the names of Stump-tailed Brookesia and dwarf chameleons in there.
So, if you’re slipping them into a cage with sufficient space, you can be sure that they won’t be causing any trouble. Still, the best advice for you is to keep your lizard alone, regardless of its species.
It’s clear as day now that chameleons are not a fan of having another species in the cage. But what about the other reptiles? Well, the anti-social attitude is present here as well. Not only reptiles, they can’t stand other animals too and feel stressed. There’s a high chance of the lizard involving in a fight if you’re leaving another reptile in the enclosure.
But that’s not the worst case scenario. If you’re putting in any venomous creatures, it won’t be anything surprising if the they turn the lizard into their prey. On top of that, stronger reptiles might just kill the lizard as an act of self-defense.
The risk factor reaches the maximum level when you’re putting in reptiles in the cage that can carry harmful bacterias. In such cases, you chameleon can get harmed, one way or another.
It’s clearly understandable that lots of the pet owners like to see their pets in pairs. But when you’re owning a chameleon, you better forget to see your cham in pairs. As you’ve come this far in this article, we’re guessing you already understood that slipping in another lizard will do nothing but lead them to fight and eventually harm themselves.
So, the best thing to do here is let your lizard be on its own. And if you’re still feeling like experimenting, we say give it a try and see how the signs of a happy chameleon starts perishing from your lizard.