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How Much To Feed A Chameleon

Are you worried about feeding your chameleon too much food?

Do you find yourself wondering if you are correctly feeding your chameleon?

If you are concerned with feeding your chameleon you might be asking:

How much should I be feeding a chameleon?

Adult chameleons should be fed five or six large live insects every other day, while baby chameleons will eat more small live insects, between 12 and 18 every day.

Read on to understand more about how much to feed a chameleon.

how much to feed a chameleon

How Much To Feed Your Chameleon

Whether you have purchased an adult chameleon or cared for a young one into adulthood, you will need to understand how much to feed your pet.

Feeding adult chameleons is simpler than feeding a baby because they have less of an appetite than their younger counterparts.

They will have also reached their full size and are no longer growing, so they will require less.

Adult chameleons are fed five or six and up to 12 larger insects every feeding.

The size of the insects can increase, allowing you to feed adult-sized insects to your chameleon.

Drop the live insects into your chameleon’s enclosure to give them a chance to hunt and catch their food.

It is best to track your pet’s feeding schedule on a calendar, to ensure they are fed proper amounts on schedule.

How To Feed A Baby Chameleon

Baby chameleons will need to eat often and require more insects than adults will.

A fast metabolism means you will need to feed your baby chameleon more often and have more insects available to them.

At least once per day, you will need to feed your baby chameleon between 12 and 18 small insects.

Feedings can occur twice a day if your schedule permits.

When you are feeding a baby chameleon, make sure the insects are small enough, so they will not choke or have trouble swallowing their food.

As a general rule, insects should be no large than the space between your chameleon’s eyes.

There are a few methods for feeding your baby chameleon.

Choose from the cup method, free-range, or by hand.

With the cup method, you will fill a plastic cup or similar type of dish with insects and secure it in the enclosure.

Your chameleon will be able to hunt for their food without it escaping with this method.

Free-range feedings teach your chameleon to hunt for their food because you simply put the insects in the enclosure to move about freely.

With this method, do not put too many insects in at one time, because they will have a better chance of hiding from the baby and your chameleon won’t get the nourishment they need.

Hand feeding, the third option, allow you to feed your animal and get it used to being around you.

Simply hold the insect out, offering it to your baby chameleon.

Do not hold it above them, as they might feel threatened as predators usually attack chameleons from above.

You will need to work out what method works with your schedule and with your animal.

How Often Should You Feed Your Chameleon?

The frequency of feedings for chameleons depends on the age of the animal.

Baby chameleons need to be fed constantly due to their fast metabolisms and speedy growth.

Feed your baby chameleon twice a day, if possible.

Once per day is acceptable, so long as they are getting the proper amount.

A juvenile, aged six months to one-year-old, will still need to be fed every day, but the number of insects is reduced because they are mostly done growing at this point.

With juveniles, it’s ok to skip a day now and then, just make sure they are still getting adequate amounts of insects.

When your chameleon is an adult, feedings are scaled back even more to every other day or even every two days.

What Should You Feed Your Chameleon?

Whether they are in captivity or the wild, a chameleon’s main source of food is insects.

Feed your chameleon a diet of varying insects including, flies, mealworms, cockroaches, and locusts.

There are other options available from online or local pet shops.

You can become your own insect farm and maintain a healthy supply on hand at all times.

Your chameleon will require supplements, so dusting the insects before you add them to the enclosure is necessary.

Gut load the insects by feeding them good nutrients to be passed on to your chameleon once they are eaten. 

There are some chameleons, like the veiled chameleon, who will eat leafy greens, veggies, and even fruits.

Can You Over Feed A Chameleon?

Chameleons are relatively new to being domesticated, meaning they still have many of the same ingrained traits as those in the wild.

When it comes to eating, in the wild, a chameleon is never sure where their next meal is going to come from, so if they have the opportunity, they will eat.

This still applies to captive-bred chameleons.

Your pet chameleon will not understand another meal is coming. Instead, they will eat as much as you give them every time.

These animals don’t expel a ton of energy like your dog or cat might because they don’t move nearly as much.

Also, unlike mammals you might own, chameleons will digest their food over a few days, rather than in a few hours.

It is ok to feed an adult chameleon every other day because overfeeding can lead to kidney and liver problems and even a shortened lifespan.

If this leads to worry over your chameleon being too skinny, contact your vet for specialized help in developing the best feeding schedule.


Feeding your chameleon, no matter what age, doesn’t have to be complicated.

When your chameleon is a baby, feed them between 12 and 18 insects throughout the day.

As your chameleon grows, the number of insects and the frequency of feedings is reduced to five or six bugs every other day, but the size of the insect increases.

After reading this article, we hope you have a better understanding of how much to feed your chameleon no matter what age.

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