Chameleons are reptiles and can go for a short time without food and water. How Long can a Chameleon Live? Generally, they can survive 1-2 weeks without food and water before they perish. They normally go 2-3 days between meals. When time intervals get longer, the chameleon will begin losing weight.
Same with water, if a chameleon is not able to get daily water or misting it will begin to dehydrate. They need access to water and misting daily, these can easily be automated. But if your chameleon goes without food and water for more than 1 week, it will begin to deteriorate. It will continue until the Chameleon perishes.
How Long can a Chameleon Live / Recommended Actions if Chameleon is being left Alone
- Keep access to water at all times
- Keep Lighting and heat being automated
- You can set up automatic Misting
- Escape Proof top of the cage
- Have someone stop in and check in on your Chameleon Every Week
- If You have inside security systems – you can log in and view your chameleon.
Chameleons are challenging pets to take care of, if you find that your Chameleon is dying from starvation, or dehydration brings them back slowly so as not to shock their systems. many of your Chameleons environment can be automated, which removes so much of the constant checking.
What are the Symptoms
- Loss of Color
- Bodyweight shrinking and shriveling
- Cannot open mouth, eyes
Chameleons have amazing color-changing abilities by realigning their crystal cells. As the health of a Starving Chameleon, its color-changing abilities will be affected.
Chameleons possess pigment filled chromatophores underneath the surface of their skin. These expand and contract to change the chameleon’s color due to Stress, environment, romance, protection, and other external triggers.
Thinking of getting a chameleon? If so, before you get one, you need to know about them. How much do they eat? What happens if chameleons stop eating and go days without eating like other reptiles? Do they need food daily?
Chameleons have a good appetite. Baby chameleons like to eat more frequently and need to feed ten to twelve insects a day by dividing them into two feedings.
|Insects / Avoid Insecticide||Greens||Occasional Snacks||Avoid These Foods||Supplements / Dusted Insects|
|Earth Worms||Mustard||Melons||Spinach||Vitamin D3|
|Dubia Roaches||Turnip||Grapes||Avacodos||Multi Vitamins|
|Pinkie Mice / Frozen||Dandelion Greens||Bananas||Wild Insects/ Insecticides|
|Silk Worms||Sweet Potatoe||Peaches|
|Horn Worms||Sweet Red Pepper||Berries|
|Indian Stick Insects||Basil|
|Blue Bottle Flies|
Most Owners Do Not Recomment Wild Insect / Chance of insecticide poisoning
However, feeding your chameleon is not a problem; the problem starts when your chameleon stops eating. The first thing that will come to mind when they stop eating is that they can live without eating for a few days? The answer is yes, they can live without food. In this article, we will discuss how long the chameleon can live without food and water. And how can we overcome this problem?
How long can an Adult Chameleon Live Without Food or Water? 1- 2 Weeks
If your chameleon is not eating, it is normal. Sometimes they do not feel like they need to eat something, or there may be some problem, they are suffering from; that is why they are not eating anything.
But there is nothing to worry about; your pet can live without food for a few days and sometimes for a week or two without eating anything.
But make sure they drink water properly. They can live without food, but water is an essential component, and they cannot live without it for days.
How long Female Chameleons Live Without Food?
Females can live without food for a few more days compared to males. Female chameleons have been seen to stop eating for 10 days before laying eggs, and it took around 3 days to lay eggs. So in total, they go through their natural phenomenon for thirteen days without food and in which they lay eggs, dig a hole, clean everything up, and after all that, she’s still fine.
So there is no need to worry if you are going on vacation for a couple of weeks and have no one to take care of your chameleon. They will be fine. You just need to provide them with the proper light and mist settings.
Suppose your chameleon refuses to eat something for a much longer period. In that case, there could be a serious problem behind it. Of course, they can live without food for weeks, but there may be some reason they don’t eat. Some of the reasons why chameleons don’t eat are listed below
Common Reasons why Chameleons Stop Eating and Drinking
There are many reasons for the problem of not eating or drinking. Some causes are mild, and others are harmful. Some harmless causes are:
- During skin shedding
- When in heat
- During egg-laying
- When eating the same thing as too much cricket again and again
- Stress due to change in territory
Some reasons that are serious and need attention.
- Intestinal worms
- Feeling pain anywhere in the muscles
- Excessive stress
- Gut Blockage
- Intestinal infection
- Any injury on tongue and chameleon being unable to eat. If the tongue is injured, the chameleon will feed by using its tongue.
- Infection on gums, tongue, or jaws
Chameleon / Disease / Symptom / Solution
|Metabolic Bone Disease||1) Rib/ Spine Fractures|
2) Limb Deformuty
3) Rubber Jaw
|Supplements / Dusting|
2) Pin worms
Loss Weight/ Appetite
|Dewormed by Vet after Stool analysis to identify Parasite|
|Gout||1) High Uric acid crystals|
2) Swollen Ankles
3) Swollen Joints
4) Bumps on Joints
5) Chameleon in Pain
6) Chameleon stand on three legs instead of 4
7) Excessive Urination / Drinking
|Lower protein in chameleons Diet|
3) Changing Colors
5) Puffing Up
|Remove cause of Stress
|Respiratory Diseases||1) Draining Muscus|
2) Gaping Mouth
3) Noises when
5) Popping Sounds
See Vet for Meds
|Rickets||1) malformed bones|
2) Malformed toes
3) Swollent Joints
4) Crooked joints
|Egg Binding||1) Difficulty Breathing|
2) Open Mouth Breathinf
3) Refusing to Climb
5) Swollen Eyes
6) Closed Eyes
7) Signs of Distress
|Take you Chameleon to Vet
He May give fluids
He may do C-Section
|Sunken Eyes||Eyes receding into Chameleons Head||Take to veterinarian
Make sure is being misted
|Vitamin A Definency||1) Swollen Eyes||supplement of beta carotene
Vitamin A - Vet Might do Injection
|Cancer||1) Indication of internal Growth|
2) External Growths
|Take to Veterinarian
|Kidney / Liver Failure||1) Lump in Pelvis|
2) Cannot lay Eggs
4) Fluid Swelling
5) Fowl Breath
6) Bloodshot / Yellow Eyes
7) Chameleon has water does not urinate
8) White Sheen in Mouth
Take to Vet
Can be Quickly Fatal
|Viral Infections||1) Gaped Mouth|
3) Difficulty Breathing
6) Eye/ Eyes swollen
7) Chuncks of
8) Muscos in Mouth
9) Mouth Rot
|Take to Vet
|Chemical / Household Toxins||1) Breathing Issues|
2) Stool Changes / Diahreah
Flush with Fluids
|Starvation / Dehydration||1) Lethaqrgy|
2) Loosing Weight
3) Mouth Closed
4) Body and skin shriveling
|1) Give food slowly
2) give water by Misting
3) Give water by eye dropper
Check with Your Reptile Veterinarian
How to Get your Chameleon to get back to Normal Routine?
If your chameleon is not eating, the most important thing to do is check for any medical problems. If there are any, take care of them first. If your pet is in any pain due to injury, ease that pain. Also, look for any environmental problems, monitor the temperature, and see if there is enough water available to drink.
Chameleons are sometimes picky about what they eat. You can also give your chameleon its desired prey to eat. Many chameleons like to feed on wax, moths, caterpillars, and butterflies. If your chameleon starts eating these prey when they see them jumping and climbing up the branches, it means there is no need to worry that your pet just wants to eat their favorite thing.
Some chameleons are also very shy; when you gave them something to eat, stay away and leave them alone so they can eat. If your chameleon is in a tank, they may not understand reflections, so put a soft net cage for them. You can also organize a perfect environment for the chameleon by placing live or fake plants in it so that it can climb.
Chameleons also like to drink water, so you can wet those branches with a blowing water bottle and spray until the plants start to drip, and your pet is drawn to it. A live plant is a good way to keep the environment moist, but select the plant carefully, look for harmless plants, and make sure the soil is pure. Avoid adding fertilizers and don’t add any chemicals; only pure dirt is good for them.
What Type of Supplements can you add to the Chameleon Diet if he is not Eating or Drinking?
If your chameleons stop eating and take a break for days, you can add a supplement to their diet to overcome their diet deficit. You can add vitamins and minerals as a food supplement in their diet; the most important is to add calcium.
Furthermore, don’t risk over or under supplementing your chameleon’s diet. Normally it is recommended to apply a light layer of calcium in the feeding of chameleons. You can use vitamin and mineral supplements once a week.
If you don’t supplement once a week in adult chameleons, it’s not a big deal. As long as your chameleon eats insects regularly, there is no need to add supplements, but supplementing at least once a week is recommended if he begins to lose his diet.
- Dusted Insects with Calcium
- Mineral Supplements
- Varied Diet
- Vitamin A
Chameleons can live without food for weeks, but if your pet begins to start missing his food, you should look for the cause, and if there are any problems, contact your vet and seek treatment. However, proper management can prevent these problems. They need to provide access to water for them daily.