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How to Hold Chameleons

By Jen Davis

Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images

Chameleons are sensitive reptiles that experience a significant amount of stress when they are mishandled. Due to your pet chameleon's talent for blending into the scenery, the last thing you want to do is drop him when you are attempting to pick him up. A loose chameleon quickly can become a missing chameleon. Properly handling your pet is the best way to avoid accidentally setting him free. Practicing proper handling every time you interact with your chameleon is a good way to make sure your lizard stays sociable and healthy.

Step 1

Alert your chameleon to your presence. Chameleons generally don't care for being startled and may be frightened or stressed if you just stick your hand into their living enclosures and try to grab them. Speak gently to your chameleon as you approach his enclosure.

Step 2

Slowly lower your hand into your chameleon's cage. Make sure he can see your hand coming. Lay your hand gently on the ground beneath your chameleon and carefully begin to slide your hand underneath him while lifting him up slightly. Your chameleon should react by stepping onto your hand.

Step 3

Keep your chameleon fully supported in your hand when you are holding him. Do not dangle your pet in the air or attempt to make him do any type of trick. Do not let your chameleon go, even for a second, he could fall and be seriously injured or escape.

Don't over-handle your chameleon as some are not fond of being touched.


  • Never attempt to pull a chameleon off a branch or perch. He likely will just hold on tighter and you may injure him or stress him out while trying to get hold of him and make him let go.
  • Your chameleon may bite you if he doesn't appreciate you holding him.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images


Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.