Bright and colorful, veiled chameleons are the mood rings of the wild; but what is it like to own one? Are they hard to take care of? Let’s find out!

Kevin the veiled chameleon on a steering wheel
Kevin, the veiled chameleon, taking a VW Jetta out to do some burnouts
Photo by: Kastle Gilster

What Do Veiled Chameleons Eat?

In the wild, a veiled chameleon will eat anything from crickets to Ficus plants. If you are thinking about owning a veiled chameleon, it is good to stock up on crickets, mealworms, Dubia roaches, ficus plants, and romaine lettuce. When giving a veiled chameleon some mealworms, place five to ten worms in a small bowl, then place it in the enclosure with your chameleon.

If you want to give your chameleon a ficus plant, just go ahead and plant that bad boy in your chameleon’s enclosure. For crickets and Dubia roaches, stick them in the enclosure with the chameleon since they won’t stay in a bowl.

Why Does My Veiled Chameleon Change Colors?

Most people think that a veiled chameleon changes colors to camouflage themselves when they are in danger, but that’s just a myth. Just like a mood ring, the veiled chameleon changes colors based on what mood they are in. When the chameleon is a bright green, they are generally in a good, loving mood. If the chameleon turns a dark brown, watch out because your googly-eyed friend is either upset or stressed out. In this case, you should leave them alone or figure out why they are so stressed so you can help them.

If your veiled chameleon does turn dark brown, make sure they aren’t hungry, have been misted, and get enough heat. Veiled chameleons are very fragile and need a good amount of heat to stay warm. While they are brown, if they hiss at you, take caution while handling them. A veiled chameleon will hiss as a warning and bite if you do not back off, which can hurt both you and your critter.

Veiled chameleon sitting on a branch
Veiled chameleons can be the perfect pet, as long as you take care of them!
Image by Clinton Pillay from Pixabay

How Should A Veiled Chameleon’s Enclosure Be Set Up?

When setting up your new friend’s enclosure, make sure they have a lot of room to roam around. Veiled chameleons love to be up high, so if the enclosure you chose is big enough, plant a small tree for your chameleon to climb on. Give your veiled chameleon a few vines and a few plants. Here are a few chameleon friendly plants to put in their new home:

  • Golden Pothos
  • Wandering Jew
  • Ficus
  • Parlor Palm
  • Elephant’s Ear

Make sure the enclosure has excellent ventilation so the veiled chameleon can get enough air to breathe but also, so they get enough air to cool off.


Do you own a Veiled Chameleon? If so, we would love to hear about your little googly-eyed friend in the comments!