5 Best Chameleon Cages

Are you a new chameleon owner unsure of whether or not you have the best enclosure for your pet?

Do you want to adopt a chameleon, but you also want to get all the gear you need first?

There isn’t much with chameleons more important than setting up their habitat properly, and getting the best chameleon cage is a huge part of this setup.

The best chameleon cage is vertically aligned, spacious enough for your species of chameleon, allow for some ventilation, retain heat and humidity, and fit in heaters and UVB light. Our picks for the best chameleon cage are:

Check out the rest of the article for a quick buying guide, setup guide, and detailed reviews of the products below.


What Makes A Good Chameleon Cage?

best chameleon cage

In this section, we’ll go over the features of a cage, which makes it the best enclosure for chams.

Use this information to help you better understand what to look for when reading the reviews below.

Size

Chameleon cages should be taller than they are wide.

This is because chameleons are climbing creatures, and most of the species won’t spend any time on the ground.

The starter dimensions are typically 2′ feet (0.61 m) long by 2′ feet (0.61 m) wide by 2′ feet (0.61 m) tall.

This is the minimum, but many recommend more overall in any of the dimensions.

At the bare minimum, you could get away with 3′ feet (0.91 m) tall, but many of the larger species would struggle and may grow smaller.

Material

Chameleon cages are usually made from either glass, synthetic, mesh screen, or some combination.

Glass retains heat and humidity well, but it also keeps the air stale.

Synthetic is cheaper and has similar problems with glass.

Mesh screen of some kind is usually the most common choice for chameleon cages. It allows for a lot of ventilation.

The biggest concern with this is heat and humidity regulation.

But this is controlled, to a certain extent, with keeping the temp and humidity of the whole room closer to what the cage needs to be at.

Some are a combination of the materials with one or two glass sides combined with a screen.

This tries to get the best of both worlds by allowing for ventilation while allowing some heat and humidity retention.

Ventilation

Ventilation is important for chameleons.

Without fresh and moving air, the chances of developing respiratory infections are high.

For baby chameleons, this is a big danger.

The best chameleon cage needs to provide good ventilation.

Looking at the sides for screens will help you determine if the cage provides this.

However, you should also consider looking at what people who have used the cage say.

We already did this for you by using it ourselves and talking to others who have (looks for the pros and cons in each review for more info).

Doors

Doors aren’t going to be a make or break of the cage, but a good and easy-to-use access door will make feeding and getting at the chameleon a lot easier.

Look for user reviews condensed into the pros and cons below to see more about the doors.

Durability

Cages or enclosures are always going to be one of the big, upfront purchases you have with any pet.

So you want one going to last a long time.

All the options on our list are durable, but some are better than others.

If this is a big concern of yours, look for our mentioning of this element in the review below.

Cost

Due to the higher cost of chameleon cages, you want to make sure you’re getting a good value.

A higher price doesn’t always mean better quality.

We’ll mention the general price area of each product to each other, but you’ll need to click on the buttons in the review section for the most current pricing information.

Some may even be on sale when you check!


Proper Habitat Setup For Chameleons

The best cage is only part of the whole habitat setup (although a crucial one).

In this section, we’ll go over the habitat needs for chameleons.

Note: Since the veiled chameleon is the most common pet species, we’ll base our specific information on the needs of this species.

Other chameleon species require similar or the same habitat needs, but you should still search for the specific kind you have.

This will give you a good place to start, however.

Learn more by checking out how to care for a veiled chameleon.

Cage/Enclosure

The information on what to look for in a cage/enclosure is discussed in detail in the above section.

Our specific recommendations are reviewed below.

Temperature

All chameleons, including veiled chameleons, come from tropical regions, usually in Africa or islands off the coast of Africa, such as Madagascar.

This hot, humid environment tells us we need to keep their tanks hot as well.

As with many reptiles, you’re looking at three temperature marks:

  • Basking spot
  • Overall temperature
  • Nighttime temperature

The basking spot is the hottest in the tank.

It’s where the chameleon will go to rest and absorb heat and UVB, which is important for digestion and nutrition.

The basking spot should be between 85° – 95° degrees Fahrenheit (29° – 35° C).

A basking spot is heated best by a heating lamp placed 6″ – 7″ inches (ca. 18 cm) away from the spot itself.

Make sure this spot contains a horizontal perch for the chameleon to rest on. 

The overall temperature of the cage is what temp the rest of the space sits at.

It doesn’t need to be as hot as the basking spot.

It’s better if it doesn’t because this allows the chameleon to move to different parts of the enclosure to help regulate its temperature.

For the overall temperature of the cage, a range of 72° – 80° degrees Fahrenheit (22° – 27° C) is the ideal. 

In some cases, the heating lamp at the basking spot will be enough to keep the temperature of the entire area in this range.

But, more likely, you’ll need something else to help keep it up.

Common options for additional heating elements include:

  • Heat lamps
  • Heat rocks
  • Heat tape
  • Ceramic heaters
  • Heating pads

Nighttime temperatures are also important to keep track of.

When it’s night, you should turn off heaters and lights to help simulate the day-night cycle of the chameleon’s natural habitat.

This allows the reptile to get consistent rest.

A good rule of thumb is 12 hours on and 12 hours off.

The temperature will drop quite a bit at night, and this is OK.

You don’t need to reach a specific temperature.

Any temperature drop will do just fine.

But you do need to watch for the minimum temperature.

Chameleons won’t like it if the temperature dips below 50° degrees Fahrenheit (10° C).

This may endanger their body’s health.

However, this isn’t likely to happen in captivity unless you also keep your house below 50° degrees Fahrenheit (10° C), or you place the cage too close to a cold window in winter.

Humidity

Humidity is important to a chameleon setup.

Above, we mentioned the chameleon’s naturally tropical environments, which means high humidity.

For adult chameleons, the rule of thumb is 50% relative humidity or higher (up to 75%).

This will help them avoid shedding problems and, more importantly, upper respiratory infections, which can prove very dangerous or even deadly.

Baby chameleons must have the humidity regularly watched as these little guys are much more likely to develop the infections.

Their bodies are also much weaker and won’t be able to fight them off as easily.

For babies, a better goal would be 75% relative humidity as much as possible.

In most cases, all it takes to keep the humidity up is to mist down the cage twice per day.

Keeping a water drip (see below) will also help a lot.

But if your room is drier, you may need to do a little more.

This could include misting more often or including an automatic sprayer to spray more per day.

You may also want to consider a small cage humidifier or a humidifier for the room itself.

Also, take care not to place the cage near heaters, AC units, or windows.

Keep a hygrometer in the enclosure at all times to track the humidity.

You don’t want your pet to catch an illness they may not be able to shake off.

Lighting

Another aspect of the tropical climate which has forced an evolutionary need on these reptiles is the requirement for sunlight.

Since we don’t want to leave the reptiles outside in the sun, we need to provide artificial radiant in the form of UVB lights for the chameleons.

A dedicated and specially made UVB light should be on in the cage for 12 hours per day.

At night, this can be switched off like the heater.

Many owners will often have a UVB and a heat lamp at the basking spot and call it good.

This set up works well, but you may also use an overhead UVB light for the whole tank if you wish.

Most reptiles have a higher need for UVB than other pets.

The main reason for this is the higher need for vitamin D.

Vitamin D is necessary to absorb minerals from food, most importantly, calcium. 

Reptiles, such as chameleons, need more calcium because they tend to develop calcium deficiencies and diseases in captivity.

If left unchecked, a calcium deficiency will turn into a metabolic bone disease, which may result in permanent deformities or death.

So make sure you keep a UVB light on for at least 12 hours per day and also make sure you use calcium supplements on the crickets your chameleon eats.

Water

You may have noticed a theme by this point: we look to the natural habitat of the chameleon and seek to mirror it in their cages.

Rains are common in the chameleon’s natural environment.

Interestingly, this results in a drinking mechanism based on water droplets rather than puddles or pools of water.

If you place a water dish in your chameleon’s cage, it’ll probably ignore it completely.

But if you use a water dripping dispenser, the chameleon will use it often to hydrate.

Combine this with its at least twice per day misting of the enclosure, and your chameleon will be hydrated well.

Furniture

Veiled chameleons and all others need items to climb on.

These creatures are arboreal, meaning they spend most of their lives up in trees or on other plants.

The only time you’ll see chameleons on the ground is when they’re burying their eggs.

If they spend most of their time up, we need to give them good furniture to climb on.

Vines and other plants are a must.

The ones you choose should be a mix of real and fake plants.

Real plant options include:

  • Ficus
  • Schefflera
  • Hibiscus
  • Pothos

All these are non-toxic, and the fake plants should be as well.

Plants offer a place to climb, a place to hide, and a place to cool down.

On top of this, live plants will also help raise the humidity and keep the air fresh in the cage.

However, you set the cage up, make sure you leave plenty of horizontal perches for the chameleon to rest on.


Review Of The Best Chameleon Cages

chameleon cages

In this section, we’ll review each of our picks for the best product and explain why their features should matter to you.

Use this information to help you narrow down which cage you want to buy, and then check out Amazon for current pricing information by clicking the button. 

Exo Terra Screen Terrarium

Exo Terra Screen Terrarium, Large
  • High quality, corrosion-resistant black anodized aluminum screen enclosure
  • Large hinged front door(s) offering full access to cage interior
  • Swiveling bottom door for easy substrate tray removal

The Exo Terra terrarium is a premium and higher-priced option, which will last a long time. 

It’s 3′ feet (0.91 m) long by 1.5′ feet (ca. 46 cm) wide and 3′ feet (0.91 m) tall.

This is normally shorter than we’d recommend, but the much longer tank makes up for this.

The volume ends up around the same.

The cage is made from a high-quality black anodized aluminum and aluminum screen.

This anodization process also makes the material more corrosion resistant, which helps it last longer.

The screen sides give it maximum ventilation and avoid the stale air of closed walls like glass and plastic.

The front door to the cage is a large, hinged door.

It opens up to almost the entire cage making feeding and cleaning simple.

There’s also a swivel bottom door to access the substrate without needing to bother the chameleons up in its vines and branches.

The screen’s mesh is narrow enough; even the smallest crickets won’t be able to escape.

This helps prevent a mess when feeding.

Assembly for this cage is easy.

If you want to add a background or side to increase heat retention and humidity, Exo Terra has many available for purchase with chameleons in mind.

There isn’t an easy way to insert light and heat directly into the cage, so you’ll have to keep these outside the tank pointing in.

Pros For This Product:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Lasts a long time
  • Reliable company
  • Large space

Cons For This Product:

  • Crickets can escape the bottom panel
  • Screening may tear
  • Higher price

Zoo Med Reptibreeze Open Air Screen Cage

Zoo Med ReptiBreeze Open Air Screen Cage, Extra...
  • Size: 24 x 24 x 48 inches
  • For Old World Chameleons, hatchling Green Iguanas, geckos (including Crested Geckos), anoles and other arboreal species of...
  • Large front door for easy cage access plus bottom door for easy substrate removal

Zoo Med makes this cage specifically for larger chameleons.

As such, it should have everything you need at a medium price point.

This tank comes in at 2′ feet (0.61 m) long by 2′ feet (0.61 m) wide by 4′ feet (1.22 m) tall, which is our exact recommendation for space for chameleons. 

The cage is an open-air, aluminum screen tank.

Screens allow for maximum ventilation, and the aluminum material is light and affordable.

The front door swings out easily for feeding and cleaning needs, and the bottom of the tank also opens for easier access to cleaning and replacing substrate.

Assembly is easy, and the product is durable.

Zoo Med is a company which works a lot in the pet and reptile fields with a strong reputation.

The top is open as well, allowing for an easy way to install and heating and UVB light on the top of the tank.

Pros For This Product:

  • Great value
  • Excellent space for chameleons
  • Good doors for easy access
  • Nice ventilation

Cons For This Product:

  • The screen may be weak and warp easily underweight
  • Assembly instructions not easy

Zoo Med ReptiBreeze LED Deluxe Open Air Aluminum Screen Habitat

Zoo Med ReptiBreeze LED Deluxe Open Air Aluminum...
  • Deluxe screen cage
  • Easy to assemble
  • All hardware included

Zoo Med’s ReptiBreeze habitat is the premium version of the product above.

For a higher price, you get more quality in the materials and extra benefits for the product.

The dimensions are the same in the extra-large option: 2′ feet (0.61 m) long by 2′ feet (0.61 m) wide by 2′ feet (0.61 m) tall. This is our exact recommendation for chameleon cages.

The cage uses screens all around for maximum ventilation.

These screens are made from a higher quality and treated aluminum than the last one.

This product also features two doors for easy cleaning, feeding, and access to your pet.

The bottom tray also removes easily for quick cleanup of the substrate.

Installed in this cage are touch-activated LED lights for you to see your pet better.

These lights have three different settings.

There’s also the option for a clear, acrylic door panel which provides a clear view of your pet while holding in some heat and humidity.

Pros For This Product:

  • The clear, acrylic door is a nice and useful touch
  • The removable tray helps with cleanup
  • Good ventilation
  • Durable and spacious

Cons For This Product:

  • Lights always revert to red and white colors
  • Door panel may get scratched
  • Higher price

Zoo Med ReptiBreeze Open Air Screen Cage

Zoo Med ReptiBreeze Open Air Screen Cage, Medium,...
  • All hardware included
  • easy to assemble using only a screw driver
  • Easy access

This cage by Zoo Med is made with similar quality at a much lower price.

But the smaller size of this model makes it a non-starter for adult chameleons of the larger species such as the panther or veiled chameleons.

For baby and juvenile chameleons, this cage may be perfect for you at an affordable price.

This cage is 16″ inches (ca. 41 cm) long by 16″ inches (ca. 41 cm) wide by 20″ inches (ca. 51 cm) tall.

The cage is made from the standard black aluminum and includes aluminum screen sides.

These allow for good ventilation, which decreases the risk of respiratory infections, a major danger to younger chameleons.

Both the front door and bottom door hinge out easily for quick access to the pet and makes for easy cleaning and feeding.

The screen’s mesh is small and keeps crickets from escaping, which is important with smaller chameleons as they have much smaller prey.

The screen top and lower height mean simple heating, and UVB light shining down on top should be plenty for keeping the temperature up to where it needs to be.

Pros For This Product:

  • Affordable
  • Good size for small and young chameleons
  • Good ventilation
  • Easy to install

Cons For This Product:

  • Not for adult or large chameleons
  • Screens are prone to tear and require patching

Zoo Med Labs Nano Breeze Aluminum Screen Cage

Sale
Zoo Med Labs Nano Breeze Alumuninum Screen Cage
  • 10" x 10" x size: 12"
  • Perfect for insects, Geckos, small lizards and Chameleons
  • Easy to assemble

This Zoo Med cage is the budget option for baby chameleons or small species.

The price is low, and there aren’t many features.

But this is fine with such young chameleons as they’ll grow up quickly.

The dimensions for this product are 10″ inches (ca. 25 cm) long by 10″ inches (ca. 25 cm) wide by 12″ inches (ca. 30 cm) tall.

This is quite small, and many juvenile chameleons won’t be able to fit in here easily.

However, baby chameleons would find this cage perfect.

The screen sides provide good ventilation, and there are two doors for easy cleaning and feeding access.

Pros For This Product:

  • Very affordable
  • Good size for baby chameleons
  • Easy-to-use doors
  • Good ventilation

Cons For This Product:

  • The screen may rip easily
  • Doors may break if used too roughly
  • Too small for many chameleons

Conclusion

We hope you found our reviews of the best chameleon cages helpful in setting up your pet’s habitat.

A correctly set up environment is key in helping your reptile reach its potential for happiness and health.

Chameleons are typical fragile creatures who react poorly to environmental changes.

Getting the right chameleon tank is the perfect start for giving your chameleon everything it needs.

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