The answer to that question is complicated. Why Do Chameleon Hangs Upside Down, Because they usually do not hung upside down? So, history is the most crucial thing in that case. If your Chameleon is good and happy in a cage with a regular diet you are giving and no other curious sign, then that behavior is normal or due to bad vises/habits, or maybe sometimes he is only acting nimbly. But these chances are rare.
When your Chameleon is hung upside down, most probably, he is stressed out, and you must take action if you are not giving proper UV light, nutrition, and an optimal environment. Furthermore, there are many reasons for that which we discuss below: Jump to Are Chameleons Hard to Take Care Of? Ultimate Guide
The foremost reason for that is you change the Cage of the Chameleon/ Change its location
This will lead to stressed-out Chameleon because they are very much sensitive. The cage size is also another critical factor. The optimal cage size for an adult chameleon is at least (26 inches length* 20 inches width* 36 inches tall)
Some time glass cage also makes them stressed out if they are not used to it, then they hiss and behave aggressively and hung upside down or sit in a corner to tell you that they are in a not good mood.
Baby or Adult: an extra-large net/mesh reptile cage is ideal for these chameleons in that Cage; they live happily and can’t do stupid stuff or stressed out.
Chameleon babies will live happy in a large enclosure, so it is advised to purchase the correct size enclosure for a baby or adult Chameleon. Chameleons perform best in cages that favor height over floorspace.
Chameleon Hangs Upside Down / Restless
It is common for your Chameleon to be restless for the first two days in a new cage. This time your Chameleon is exploring the boundaries of his new home. During this time, you will notice behaviors that usually indicate discomforts, such as climbing on the sides of a cage and hanging upside down.
The typical pattern is one or two days of restless packing and exploring and then settling. If your Chameleon continues to move after two days and is disturbed, then something could be bothering him. Only then is it time to re-examine each situation and study its behavior.
Restlessness, Screen Walking, or “Pawing” To Get Out
While chameleons will observe the Cage for the first few days, they should settle down quickly after that, especially if they are captive hatched. If there is continuous pacing around the Cage’s sides, something needs to be fixed. Unfortunately, this is not an easy task.
The challenge is to get to the Chameleon’s head and find out what’s bothering them. Do they have dense leafy areas where they can rest? Is there a cat, dog, or bird insight? Are they hot enough? Too hot? They’re trying to get out, and it’s up to you to figure it out.
Tips to Check If Your Chameleon is Hanging Upside Down
- Dense Leafy Areas to rest
- Cat in sight
- Dog in Sight
- Bird in Sight
- Is it too hot
- No UV Light ( Needs 16 Hours)
- Wrong Bedding
- Another Lizard in Cage / Chameleons have an aversion to being eaten!
Avoid falling into the trap of thinking because they want to play with you. There are a large number of chameleons that are afraid of humans. But believing that screen-walking behavior is because they want to come out and play will hide the maximum problem of the possibility that they are not in the Cage.
If you believe your Chameleon wants to be with you, consider that they will act like chameleons when you are not there. If you walk in and crawl to the side or hang upside down, they are not happy with the Cage. Then it would help if you changed the Cage
A problem which leads to irregular chameleon behavior, including hanging ing upside down, is: Reflections of the glass cage
With more and more mainstream glass and acrylic glass side cages being used, people are amazed at Cage’s reflections’ complexity. This is an odd situation where some keepers are convinced that their Chameleon reacted to a glass cage. Then some multi-generational people who use glass cages never report seeing a reaction.
If a glimpse/reflection bothers your Chameleon, it will react either defensively or aggressively toward the reflection area. If you are unsure what it looks like, get a mirror and place the mirror about nine inches in front of your Chameleon. What is your chameleon reaction? And, now, is this the treatment you see in the Cage?
If you decide that the reflection is causing a problem, you can check the lighting system’s location. Changing the position of the lights will change the reflection map. You can also add plants, branches, or other cage elements to enhance the blasphemous area’s look.
The benefits of having solid sides are essential, and if you need them, it’s worth dealing with any reflection.
The second reason will be the optimal UV light
Optimal Uv light is a must for at least 16 hrs for the adult one. Remember, Red UV light is not suitable for them as they cannot see correctly in it. If UV light is not enough, they must be stressed out and behave not good; they hung upside down.
Low-Quality Bedding Material:
In nature, they live where they wish for, but in our custody, they are confined, so we must take care of that the bedding material must be good enough and loveable by Chameleon. Plus, bedding material must not be harmful or having a sharp edge
Chameleons do best in warm and semi-moist cages. These two bedding materials hold moisture and are easy to keep within the suggested screen cages:
- Chemical-Free Cypress Mulch
Optimal temperature :
- Unhealthy Low temperature: 72 F.
- Unhealthy High Temperature: 91 – 96 F *
- Cold End Temperature (Bottom of Enclosure): 76 – 86 Degrees
- Adult Basking Temperature (Top of Enclosure): 96 – 102 Degrees
- Baby – Juvenile Basking Temperature: 86 – 92 Degrees
Please be sure there is a cold area available to your Chameleon to cool down when needed.
A small temperature drop during nighttime hours is ideal
Ideal Humidity within Enclosure: 62 – 72%
You can change the humidity in your Chameleon’s enclosure by only misting their cages with dechlorinated water 3 – 4 times a day and by adding more live plants to their chamber. Manage humidity with a hydrometer.
Stressed out/ Crowded Environment:
Another reason for your Chameleon to be hung upside down is a crowded or distressed environment. For example, two males living together or many Chameleons living together. They do not like it as they mark their territory and aware of others by hissing. So never disturb or add any other male chameleon with yours. It will cause a problem
Artificial Environment of Cage/ Live or artificial Plants:
They love to hide with plant leaves. Provide more plant foliage for the younger chameleons to give more privacy, which will reduce the stress of young animals.
- Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
- Dracaena (dracaena compacta)
- Weeping Fig (ficus Benjamina)
- Rubber Tree (Ficus elastica)
Please rinse your Chameleon’s Plants well before placing them into their cages. Chemicals found on the plants can be harmful to your Chameleon.
Helpful Hint: Don’t feel the need to plant the foliage into the screen enclosure directly. Place the potted plant inside. This makes cleaning super easy!
Is Your Chameleon Hydrated enough?
Dialing in the hydration cycle is your most important job. You manage your hydration cycle and then find feedback on how adequate chameleon hydration is.
If your chameleons rush into the water, make a drain or an orange drain due to dehydration, then there is a problem, and the solution is to increase the availability of water. Drinking water with their mouths is a common reaction, whether they are thirsty or not.
Feeding Management may lead to Stress
Chameleons eat a variety of insects. “Gut load” crickets to ensure maximum nutrition. Ensure dusters with reptile calcium with D3 to help prevent metabolic bone diseases
You can give your Chameleon a vitamin supplement once a week by dusting your feeders with powdered refining minerals and a vitamin supplement.
Chameleon Feeders (all to be Brushed with Calcium with D3):
Crickets (Gut loaded)
- Dubia Roaches (Gut loaded)
Feeders that should be Offered as Cheat Meal/Treat only due to their Unbalanced Nutrition:
- Hornworms (gut-loaded)
Summary: Health Concerns also leads to a change in behavior
The Chameleon requires careful monitoring of the environment and is considered a delicate reptile.
However, with proper information, care, and rearing, most health concerns can be avoided:
- Lack of water from water droplets
- Pesticide poisoning from contaminated plants or substrates.
- Stable air and lack of air cause respiratory health problems
- Trapped effect with dehydration, moisture, or loose soil with foods.
- Blunt force trauma due to falling from heights
- Pressure from too much handling is wrong
- Heat pressure from too high a temperature or lack of cold end in the wall
- Metabolic bone disease with calcium deficiency with D3 supplementation and UVB light
|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
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
Lizard Habitats and Facts
|Lizard Type||Foods||Adult Size||Vivarium Type||Eggs||Temperament||Country Origin||Price|
|Ameiva||Insects||20 "||Tropical Woodland||2-8||Aggressive||Central, South America||$ 49.99|
|Alligator Lizard||Insects||20"||Semi- Aquatic||6-12||Aggressive||North America||$ 18|
|Asian Water Dragons||Carnivorous||40"||Tropical Woodlands||8-16||Aggressive||Asia||$ 18 - $ 80|
|Panther Chameleon||Insects||12"||Tropical Woodlands||30-50||Aggressive||Madagascar||$ 150 - $ 600|
|Jacksons Chameleon||Insects||14"||Temperate Woodlands||Up to 30 Live Young||Aggressive||East Africa||$ 75 - $175|
|Giant Day Gecko||Insects||10"||Tropical Woodlands||2||Aggressive||Madagascar||$ 79.99|
|Leopard Gecko||Insects||10"||Desert||2||Aggressive||Asia, India||$ 30 - $ 45|
|Tokay Gecko||Insects||14"||Tropical Woodland||2||Aggressive||Southeast Asia, New Guinea||$ 39.99|
|Blu Tongue Skink||Vegetarian||20"||Savannah||6-25||Aggressive||New Guinea, Australia||$ 150 - $ 649|
|Common Walled Lizard||Insects||8"||Savannah||3-8||Aggressive||Central Europe||$ 460 - $ 600|
|Green Lizard||Insects||16"||Savannah||6-20||Aggressive||Europe, Southern Asia||?|
|Green Iguana||Vegetarian||60"||Tropical Woodland||20-40||Aggressive||Central, South America||$ 39 - $ 55|
|Desert Iguana||Vegetarian||15"||Desert||3-10||Aggressive||USA, Mexico||$ 34.99|
|Six Lined Racerunner||Insects||11"||Savannah||4-6||Aggressive||USA||$ 29.99|
|Chinese Crocodile Lizard||Carnivorous||12"||Semi- Aquatic||2-12 Live Young||Aggressive||China||$ 1200|
|Collared Lizard||Insects||14"||Desert||4-24 Eggs||Aggressive||USA, Mexico||$ 53.99|
|Western Fence Lizard||Insects||9"||Savannah||6-13||Aggressive||USA||$ 19.99|
|Chuckwalla||Vegetarian||18"||Desert||6-13 eggs||Aggressive||Mexico||$ 88.99|
|Green Anole||Insects||9"||Tropical Woodland||2||Aggressive||Southern USA||$ 10.00|
|Brown Anole||Insects||8"||Tropical Woodland||2 Eggs||Aggressive||Caribbean, Central America||$ 3.99 - $ 7.99|
|Knight Anole||Insects||22"||Tropical Woodland||1-2||Aggressive||Cuba||$ 39.99|
|Nile Monitor||Carnivorous||79"||Savannah||10-60||Aggressive||Egypt||$ 69.99|
|Bosc's Monitor||Carnivorous||69"||Savannah||10-50||Aggressive||Central Africa||$ 100 - $ 150|
|Bearded Dragon||Insects||20"||Desert||15-30||Social||Australia||$ 60 - $ 400|
|Agama||Insects||16"||Savannah||10-20||Aggressive||North Africa||$ 24.99|
|Five Lined Skink||Insects||9"||Temperate Woodland||15||Aggressive||Africa||$ 10|
|Red Tailed Rock Lizard||Insects||8"||Savannah||2-4||Aggressive||South Africa||?|