Chameleons are a popular choice of exotic lizard pets. However, if you have never had a lizard pet, you might not want to have a chameleon as your first reptile pet. Chameleons are labor-intensive and costly to maintain.
These animals are best known for their ability to change their body color. Brighter colors typically imply that the animal is happy and content, while darker colors suggest that the lizard is under stress.
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to caring for chameleons is providing them with adequate shelter. These lizards require expansive quarters, complete with trees and plants, to mirror their natural habitat. Additionally, you also need to provide them with ample heat, lighting, and ventilation.
While there are many options when it comes to chameleon cages, it can be challenging to find the right one. Fortunately, we have done the heavy lifting for you. The following are reviews of the best chameleon cages on the market today.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
The 8 Best Chameleon Cages — Reviews 2020
1. Zoo Med Labs Nano Breeze Aluminum Screen Cage — Best Overall
Measuring 10 x 10 x 12 inches, the Zoo Meds Nano Breeze is a medium-sized chameleon cage that requires little space to install. Additionally, it only weighs 2.4 pounds, which allows you to move it around easily.
The Nano Breeze Screen Cage is made of high-quality anodized aluminum, which is an extremely sturdy material. In addition to enhancing the cage’s durability, anodized aluminum is also corrosion-resistant. Chameleons thrive in humid environments, and therefore, the ideal chameleon cage should be made from a corrosion-resistant material.
In terms of aesthetics, the Nano Breeze is quite the looker. It features a beautiful design that complements the décor of whatever room it is in.
A feature you will particularly love about this cage is the full and clear acrylic front door that allows you to have an unobstructed view of the cage’s interior. This makes checking up on the little animal much easier. A sturdy screen mesh covers the rest of the cage. This not only protects the chameleon but also allows for airflow.
The Nano Breeze Screen Cage’s aesthetic and functional design makes it an excellent habitat for pet lizards, which is why we have it as our top pick. It is also quite easy to assemble.
2. Zilla Fresh Air Screen Habitat for Reptiles — Best Value
The Fresh Air Screen Habitat by Zilla is a cage that is ideal for lizards of all sizes. While it is available in two different sizes, the larger one is more popular. Measuring 18 x 30 x 30 inches and only weighing 1 pound, this cage allows your pet chameleon enough room to be comfortable in, and it is light enough to carry around with ease.
This means that you can even take it outdoors to allow the lizard to get natural sunlight.
The Fresh Air Screen Habitat also features a pair of dual front doors that open wide to allow you to reach inside easily for maintenance purposes. The cage’s frame is made from anodized aluminum, which is a durable corrosion-resistant material. A robust, black escape-proof mesh also surrounds the enclosure for enhanced safety, durability, and airflow.
The cage’s bottom is made from PVC plastic, which is an easy-to-clean water-resistant material. There is even a cord port available to allow you to incorporate lighting inside the cage.
The only issue that you might have with this product is that you have to purchase equipment and decorations separately. Additionally, it is susceptible to bending when mishandled.
When you consider all the features that this cage comes with, its price is a bargain. This makes it the best chameleon cage for the money.
3. Carolina Custom Cages Terrarium — Premium Choice
The terrarium by Carolina Custom Cages is one of the most beautiful chameleon cages that you will ever come across. This product, however, is not for those with budget constraints.
The terrarium comes in 18 different sizes and models to ensure that you find one that suits your pet lizard’s size or needs perfectly.
Regardless of the model that you go for, they all feature a waterproof base to allow for easier cleaning. You will also find dual front doors that swing outward to allow for easier cage access.
The sides of this cage are made from high-quality glass that not only provides you with a great view but also makes the cage easy to clean. The top of the cage features a top-of-the-line black mesh screen to allow for optimal air circulation. The mesh is also sturdy enough to hold the weight of light fixtures and accompanying equipment comfortably.
You will love the key-lock security feature on this cage that ensures that no one can steal your pet, in addition to preventing the chameleon from escaping.
4. Zilla Vertical Tropical Kit
The Vertical Tropical Kit by Zilla is a tall reptile cage whose design aims to serve the specific needs of arboreal reptiles, such as chameleons.
This cage features a glass construction and measures 12 x 12 x 18 inches while weighing 16.75 pounds. Even though it is relatively small, it is made from heavy-duty materials to enhance its durability. As such, it is the perfect cage for transporting your pet chameleon, as it is not prone to damage.
The cage comes with a background décor piece for aesthetic purposes, in addition to having a substrate and feeding dish for the lizard. It also includes a mini halogen dome with a light bulb to provide the chameleon with heat, as well as UVB radiation.
This radiation is essential for helping the chameleon synthesize vitamin D. In the wild, chameleons get UVB radiation from the sun’s rays. Vitamin D is necessary to facilitate proper immune system functioning and promote the development of stronger bones and teeth.
The front door is large to allow for easy access into the cage, in addition to having a locking latch to keep the lizard safe and secure.
At the top, the cage features a hinged door covered by a black mesh screen. This allows you another means of entry to the enclosure. The mesh ensures that the cage receives ample air circulation while being strong enough to support the equipment that this cage comes with.
5. REPTI ZOO 34 Gallon Large Reptile Glass Terrarium
With dimensions of 24 x 18 x 18 inches, the Reptile Glass Terrarium by Repti Zoo is a large cage that can provide adequate housing even for the larger species of chameleons.
Additionally, it is constructed from durable, high-quality materials, which make the cage quite heavy at 38.5 pounds.
This cage features glass walls to allow for an unobstructed view of the animal. At the front, the cage has a set of doors that open outward independently of each other. The opening is large to facilitate easy access into the enclosure for feeding and maintenance purposes. Moreover, the doors have a unique lock feature to help you secure your pet chameleon.
Repti Zoo’s reptile terrarium features a raised bottom that allows you to fit a substrate heater. It is also waterproof to facilitate easier cleaning, in addition to having a foam background to simulate a chameleon’s natural environment.
The top of the cage features a sturdy screen to provide ventilation, as well as allow entry of infrared and UVB radiation. There are also closable inlets for tubing and wires in case you want to incorporate lighting fixtures in the cage.
This terrarium is easy to install, as it takes less than five minutes to assemble.
6. Exo Terra Rainforest Habitat Kit
The Exo Terra Rainforest Habitat Kit by Hagen is an excellent beginner chameleon cage for aspiring herpetologists.
This cage measures 18 x 18 x 24 inches, which makes it a medium-sized terrarium that is suitable for most species of chameleon. However, at 47.7 pounds, it is quite heavy.
It has dual front doors that open wide to allow you an easy time accessing the cage for feeding and cleaning purposes. It also has bottom doors to allow you to remove the substrate and perform maintenance in the cage.
The Exo Terra Habitat also comes with a fluorescent lighting system, as well as a ventilated top screen, to ensure that there is adequate lighting and airflow inside the terrarium.
Setting up this cage is quite easy, as it comes with an installation manual that not only takes you through the setup process but also shows you how to incorporate decorations.
7. Zoo Med Repti Breeze Chameleon Kit
The Repti Breeze Chameleon Kit by Zoo Med is yet another kit tailored for new chameleon owners. It comes with all the necessary features for ensuring that the lizard stays healthy and happy.
Measuring 16 x 30 x 16 inches and weighing 10.9 pounds, the Repti Breeze is a compact cage that does not require much space to set up. As such, it is ideal for young and medium-sized chameleons.
In addition to the cage, the kit contains essential features such as a natural-looking vine, naturalistic plants, and a green cage carpet that mimic a chameleon’s natural environment.
The cage also has a built-in UVB light, as well as a heat lamp, to ensure that the lizard receives adequate heat and radiation. The kit comes with a digital thermometer to allow you to maintain the optimal temperature.
Setting up the Repti Breeze is quite simple, as all you will need is a screwdriver and a few minutes.
8. Exo Terra Screen Terrarium, Medium
The Screen Terrarium by Exo Terra is a high-quality medium-sized cage that would be a good home for most chameleon species.
Measuring 24 x 18 x 36 inches and weighing in at 7 pounds, it is spacious but light enough to carry around. Further, it is made from corrosion-resistant aluminum to ensure its durability.
This cage features two separate large doors at the front. The upper door opens wide to allow for easy access when feeding the lizard, while the lower door allows for easy substrate removal, as well as cage cleaning. Both doors, however, feature sturdy, nickel-plated latches to enhance the cage’s safety.
Aluminum screen mesh surrounds the cage, and it allows the penetration of UVB radiation inside the cage. Additionally, the mesh’s design enables it to have a broader temperature gradient, thus helping the chameleon regulate its body temperature without trouble. It also prevents the cage from overheating.
Here is what you should look for when purchasing a cage for your pet chameleon.
Chameleons spend most of their time on trees and plants. As such, a cage needs to be spacious enough to support foliage for the lizard to lounge in.
It should also be large enough to accommodate heat and lighting fixtures that help a chameleon maintain proper body temperature.
Again, you must have enough space in your house to install a chameleon cage. There should be at least two feet of space between the cage and other items in the house in all directions. This ensures that air flows in and out of the cage freely.
Glass or Screen Type
Chameleon cages can be made from glass, screen, or a combination of both. All these options have inherent advantages and drawbacks that you should keep in mind before buying a home for your pet.
Screen cages are excellent at ensuring optimal airflow, in addition to being less demanding in terms of maintenance. Glass, on the other hand, is more durable. However, it is quite demanding when it comes to maintenance and can obstruct the free flow of air.
Hybrid chameleon cages that feature both glass and screen allow you and the chameleon to enjoy the best of both worlds.
Humidity and Temperature
Chameleons, like all reptiles, are cold-blooded. This means that they are poor at regulating their body temperature. It is, therefore, important to ensure that the cage has optimal temperatures at all times of day and night.
Even though ideal temperatures vary among different species of chameleons, most of them do well with daytime temperatures of between 77-87 °F and nighttime temperatures of between 65-75°F.
Chameleons also prefer living in humid areas, with most species preferring humidity levels of between 50% and 70%.
As such, it is necessary to have a temperature and humidity gauge inside the cage to help you maintain optimal temperature and humidity levels.
Lighting is an extremely crucial component when it comes to chameleon care. In addition to being a source of heat, proper lighting is also a source of UVB radiation, which helps the chameleon synthesize vitamin D.
This vitamin is crucial for the development of strong bones, as well as in the maintenance of a healthy immune system.
Wild chameleons get their UVB radiation from the sun. However, since your reptile will be indoors, you will have to provide it with an artificial source of that radiation.
Basking bulbs and heat-emitting bulbs are the best lighting sources to incorporate in the cage, as they emit heat that does not burn the plants inside the terrarium. Ensure that the lighting source you choose also emits ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.
Types of Plants
Chameleons spend most of their time on plants. As such, it is crucial to have plants inside their cage that mimic their natural environment.
Nonetheless, you must choose your plants carefully. For starters, ensure that the plants you go for will not be too big for the cage when fully grown. Also, make sure that the plant is not toxic to the lizard, as there are certain types of plants that can make chameleons sick.
Since most species of chameleons thrive in humid environments, you will need to enhance humidity inside the cage if you want the animal to be comfortable and happy.
However, this also means that the cage will be susceptible to rust due to the constant exposure to moisture. As such, you need a cage that is made from rust-resistant materials to ensure durability.
Species of Chameleon
Since different chameleon species have different sizes and requirements, it is crucial to buy a cage that is well equipped to suit the animal’s inherent needs. Therefore, research the needs and requirements of your pet chameleon so you can make an informed decision when purchasing a cage for them.
Chameleons make interesting pets, and watching them go about their business can be quite fascinating. However, caring for them can be quite challenging due to their unique needs.
Fortunately, a proper chameleon cage should make caring for the lizard easier. The challenge, however, lies in finding the ideal cage for your pet. Our buyer’s guide should help you find a cage that meets your pet chameleon’s needs adequately.
If you are pressed for time, consider going with the Nano Breeze by Zoo Med, as it has all the features necessary for ensuring that a chameleon is happy and comfortable. It is also beginner-friendly and made from high-quality materials.
For best value, consider Zilla’s Fresh Air Screen Habitat, as it provides everything a good chameleon cage should provide without breaking the bank.
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Featured Image: Pxfuel