How Big Of A Cage Does A Chameleon Need?

Suffocation and smaller cage – can you relate these two? Well, if a chameleon could speak, they would’ve said – for them, both of these are the same thing. Clearly, that’s enough to understand how much these color shifters hate a small cage. But how big of a cage does a chameleon need in the first place? 

Actually, a chameleon’s cage size should be at least 2 x 2 x 4 (feet). FYI, that number can vary on the basis of your chameleon’s size and other aspects. But going below that size while getting an enclosure for your reptile might make it feel suffocated. 

Now the question is, how will you find out the ideal cage size for your chameleon? After all, your favorite lizard is not going to stick to the same size for the rest of its life, right? Well, this blog of ours is all about getting that question of yours answered.

What is the Ideal Size of a Chameleon’s Cage? 

If you’ve had the chance to peek into the care sheets and guidelines, you likely noticed the size of the chameleon cage is broken down into several categories. Don’t worry if you didn’t get enough time to look into those pages, as we’ve got your back. 

A cage with dimensions of 2′ by 2′ by 4′ is considered ideal for housing standard-sized chameleons. They work the best when you have species like veiled and panther. You can call it ‘kind of’ a mystery that no one knows who has fixed this size as the standard for chameleon enclosures. But for years, chameleon owners have followed it, and it seems to be working pretty well. 

Though we can see that the buyers usually consider cages of this size as the perfect one for their reptile, some of them even also think that the vertical cages are better. Looking at the chameleon’s tendency to climb higher, the reason is quite predictable. But let’s not forget that not all chameleons got an interest in climbing. 

So, rather than following the care sheet blindly, we suggest you better look into the requirements of your pet first. After all, you’re not going to buy an enclosure every now and then, are you? 

If you’re asking for a suggestion on the type of cage, we’ll say the vertical ones are the best. The thing is, vertically oriented cages function flawlessly. On top of that, their manufacturers choose to construct them in a manner where they are less cumbersome to pack and transport. 

But the best part is, as chameleons prefer to stay in an elevated area, these cages work perfectly for housing them and almost function as per their needs.

3 Things to Consider While Getting a Chameleon Cage? 

If you’re planning to grab a cage randomly and expecting it to be the best cage for your chameleon, then we’ll say you better wake up now. Getting the right cage is nothing impossible, but only when you know what you need to put on your list of considerations while getting one. So, when you’re heading for a shop with enough cash to get your chameleon a cage, put the following things in mind. 

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1. Size

Call it the most important part to consider when you’ve decided to invest some hard-earned cash in your chameleon’s cage. The larger, the better. Check out your chameleon’s size and age before finalizing a deal.

One of the common things about chameleons is they grow rapidly. Yes, they do stop growing after a certain age. But before that, they grow as if there’s a race or something on that. So, make sure the one you’re choosing can hold your reptile even after it steps into its adulthood.

But when you don’t need to take that aging fact into account? Well, clearly, when your chameleon has already reached adulthood. There can be another exception if you’ve got a pygmy chameleon. 

The thing is, Pygmy chameleons don’t grow higher in size, and they love to stick to the ground. So, you won’t have to take any headaches about getting a bigger or taller cage. On top of that, here you might be able to save some bucks too.

2. Material 

Like any other stuff you buy, you need to keep in mind the materials too. You’re probably wondering that because of the durability, right? Well, you’re not going to spend hundreds of bucks every year. So, it’s better to choose something that can last long enough that your reptile can spend the rest of its life there. 

But that doesn’t mean you’ll have to get something super heavy, especially when you’ve got a plan to move the cage whenever it’s necessary. So, don’t go with something made of glass in all the way, as that’ll mess with the airflow, along with making the whole thing heavier.

3. Ventilation

One of the easiest ways to make a chameleon suffocated is by putting it in a cage that lacks the required ventilation. So, when you’re getting a cage for your reptile. Make sure that it supports the ventilation system to the fullest. The best ones we can think of for that purpose are the screened cages. 

What we love about screened cages is they don’t let the heat build within and allow the airflow to stay on point. Plus, when it comes to maintaining the temperature, maintaining the room temperature to up the mark is enough for the chameleon as well. Another good thing about this kind of cage is they’re lighter in weight.

Why Are Bigger Cages Important For Chameleons? 

From the beginning of the article, we’ve been focusing on getting bigger cage for chameleons. But probably didn’t explain elaborately why we were saying so. Well, this part is all about putting some light on that. 

Growing Bigger

One month – that’s all a chameleon need to grow an inch. This means by the end of the year, it can turn into a twelve-inch long reptile, and we don’t see how a small cage can contain such a huge reptile. Clearly, you’re going to need a bigger cage at that point in time. 

But will it be wiser to buy two cages – one, when the cham is a baby and two, when it’s becoming an adult? We say let’s just get one – the bigger one. This way, not only can you save yourself from the hassle of repurchasing, but you chameleon will also get a house big enough to live in. 

Hiding Spot

Do you know the best way for a chameleon to cope with its stress? Hiding. They usually get plenty of hiding spots in the wild, whether there’s a predator around or another chameleon. But we don’t see that happening easily with a small cage where the reptile needs to struggle for a corner to shut itself down for a while. 

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So, if you too don’t want your reptile to go through the same struggle, getting a bigger cage is always better. As you’ll be able to add more trees and plants to the enclosure, finding a hiding spot won’t be a hard nut to crack for them. 

Climbing Up

A cage being big by the sides is not enough when you’ve got a chameleon as a pet. That’s because they naturally love to climb higher, and with a ‘not so tall’ cage, you’ll simply be putting a limit on that part. 

So, in order to keep it natural and pleasing, we say you better get a taller cage for your reptile. Besides, this kind of cage gives the plants to grow bigger as well, unless you’re putting artificial plants in there, of course.

Setting Plants and Attachments

To give a chameleon the right habitat to live in, putting it in a cage is definitely not enough. You need make sure the reptile getting all of its need fulfilled there, just like the wild. For that, you need to ensure proper supply of food, light, heat, and of course, hiding spot.

But in a cage that’s not going to pop up out of the blue, right? So, you need to add up the plants and attachments there to get it all to the reptile. The problem starts when the cage is comparatively small for slipping it all in. So, the best thing you can do is get a big cage where you can set it all up. 

What Are the Drawbacks of a Bigger Chameleon Cage? 

If you’re expecting us to say that bigger cages got no cons, then we’re sorry, but that’s definitely not going to be the case. Yes, we do have some reasons to say that, and the first one is –

Difficult to Clean

Like anything big out there, bigger chameleon cages too are full of hassles when it comes to cleaning. And isn’t it quite obvious? After all, there will be lots of plants and attachments. So, to avoid the growth of bacteria, you’ll have to make sure they’re getting cleaned on a regular basis but the size of the cage surely make it a bit harder than usual. 


Big cages can be many things, but cheap isn’t one of them for sure. A good cage with a larger dimension can cost you hundreds of bucks. So, if you’re really into getting a bigger cage, make sure that you’re saving enough green for the investment. 

Requires More Plants

A bigger cage means a larger space to cover. Chameleons are not a fan of open empty spaces as they don’t see that in their natural habitat. So, it’s better to cover up the area with trees and plants. But the bigger the cage will be, you’ll have to add more greenery to it so that the reptile can feel at home. And for that, you’ll have to shed some extra case for sure. 

4 Types of Chameleon Cages 

The one dilemma you might have to deal with is choosing a cage from a variety. There are a whole bunch of cages that you can pick from. But to make the right choice, you need to know about them first, right? Well, here are some options you can try out. 

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1. Screen Cages

There are a ton of reasons why screen cages are sticking to the top of the preference for most of the chameleon owners. And if you’re planning on personally asking someone about this kind of cage, we bet they’ll recommend it too. 

This is due to the fact that chameleons will be able to get plenty of fresh air if you’re putting them in screen cages. After all, keeping chameleons in an environment with enough ventilation is crucial for keeping them healthy and happy.

On top fo that, these cages provide excellent drainage, even after extensive spraying. Plus, there is no need for an alarm each time you wish to spray up the cage to raise the humidity. This means you won’t have to worry about farming bacteria every time you make it rain in the cage. 

2. Glass Cages

Before you count it as the worst option, let us tell you something. Not all, but only certain types of glass cages are not ideal for housing reptiles like chameleons. This is due to the fact that a chameleon housed in an inappropriate glass enclosure would have issues like as inadequate ventilation, reflections, lime scale, and drainage. 

But we won’t say the same for glass terrariums. After all, they’re built for chameleons, which are quite the opposite of the traditional aquariums that are meant for hosting fish and water.

The glass tanks with mesh screens installed on the top that ensures a proper ventilation system are the best option for keeping a chameleon. On top of that, a glass tank brings in the advantage of being more aesthetically pleasing for keeping your chameleons. Like a cherry on top, they’re easy to maintain and clean as well.

3. Aviary

A chameleon’s natural habitat is a tropical rainforest; therefore, if you happen to live in a similar area, you surely can keep one as a pet in an aviary. The only thing you’ll need to watch out for is whether or not the aviary you’re using can accommodate chameleons. 

Aviaries do a fantastic job when it comes to creating an environment that’s quite close to these reptiles’ natural habitat. But the one thing the cage shouldn’t have is too thin of bars. that’s because the chameleon might try to scale them but end up tumbling to the ground because of their flimsiness.

4. DIY Cage

If you’re a bigginner, sooner or later, you’ll learn the ins and outs of caring for chameleons and become familiar with their needs in terms of housing. In such time, there’s a chance that you might find DIY cages as a better option compared to the ones we’ve mentioned above. 

When constructing your own cage, it’s the safety should come first, always. It’s also crucial that the cage need to be made without having any sharp edges as you don’t want it to become another death trap for your reptile. For construction, you can try materials like wood or metal. But no matter what you use, it has to be resistant to water.

Before You Go

Probably you’re reconsidering the fish tank as your chameleons next home. We don’t blame you on that as they’re cheap, easy to maintain. But if you’ll ask us, we’ll say it’ll be a bad move. But why? Well, our next blog, we’ve opened up about the topic Can You Put Chameleon In A Fish Tank? All you have to do is give it a click and get your questions answered.

Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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