How To Set Up Live Plants in Your Chameleon’s Cage

Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Though chameleon owners can choose to use artificial plants in their pet’s cage, there are many benefits to using live plants in a chameleon enclosure. Among other things, they will help maintain humidity and moisture levels and provide a natural cover and climbing area. Some species of chameleon will even eat greenery, so providing real, nontoxic plants can keep your pets healthy, as well.

Light and Water

The UV lighting from chameleon lights is usually enough for plants to grow and thrive. Avoid placing plants directly under a heat lamp, as that can be far too hot and damage plants.

Though you will be providing live plants with some water by regularly misting your chameleon enclosure, you’ll probably still need to water them separately as well. A good way to tell if a plant is getting enough water is to stick your finger in the soil. It should be dry on the top inch and damp below that. Avoid over-watering plants, as too much water can drown the roots and cause them to rot.

Getting Started With Live Plants

In the wild, chameleons are an arboreal species living in and among trees. As you’re setting up your chameleon cage, keep in mind it’s essential to give them plenty of vertical climbing space to mimic their natural habitat and encourage their instincts.

When creating a naturally planted chameleon habitat from scratch, start by buying or building a wood planter box with drainage holes for water. Fill the bottom third of the container with rocks or gravel, and the rest with soil. It’s best to use organic potting soil that contains no fertilizers or pearlite (those small white balls found in some types of potting soil).

Next, choose nontoxic, hardy plants such as pothos, ficus and hibiscus. Planting in layers can give your chameleon plenty of places to hide and things to climb. When planning plant placement, a good rule of thumb is to use shade-loving plants on the bottom, leafy plants in the middle, and flowering plants at the top.

Shade-Loving Plants

Aspidistra plants, also known as “cast-iron plants,” provide good ground cover in shady areas. These slow-growing plants thrive in nearly any condition, making them excellent for indoor use. There are also many different species of nontoxic ferns that flourish in shady conditions and add beauty to a chameleon enclosure.

Aspidistra plants make a good ground cover.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Leafy Plants

With their bright green, shiny leaves and rapid growth, pothos plants are beautiful and very easy to care for. These plants grow rapidly in a variety of light and soil conditions, and can even grow with no soil at all.

Schefflera arboricola, also known as the dwarf umbrella tree, is a favorite among chameleon keepers. The plants are relatively easy to care for and are medium-light plants, which means they need bright but indirect light. When watering this plant, be very cautious not to over-water. Allow the top inch of soil to dry out between waterings.

Ficus trees (Ficus benjamina) are also very popular plants for chameleon enclosures because they require relatively high humidity and temperatures and prefer regular misting – just like a chameleon does. In the right conditions, a ficus tree can grow up to six feet tall. However, ficus plants will retain their tree-like shape regardless of their size.

A pothos plant has characteristically large, shiny leaves.
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Flowering Plants

Hibiscus is a tropical plant that can grow up to six feet tall and is known for its colorful flowers. These plants are relatively easy to care for and also do well in warm, humid conditions.

Hibiscus plants have gorgeous, brightly colored blooms.
Image credit: Pinterest

Even if you don’t have a green thumb, there are many plants that make good choices for your chameleon enclosure. You can also consult with your local garden store for additional options. Happy planting!

 

The Benefits of Finding a Good Chameleon Breeder

So, you’ve decided to adopt a chameleon – what now? Where should you get your new pet? While your first thought might be to go to the pet store, there’s no guarantee of finding one there. And even if your local pet shop happens to sell chameleons, that doesn’t mean it’s the best place to buy one. With exotic pets, your best bet is often to get them directly from a breeder.

Image source: Pinterest

Why Breeders May Be More Knowledgeable

Pet store employees aren’t required to be experts on every pet they stock, so the staff might not know the age or gender of their chameleons. They also might not provide you with important information on care, dietary requirements and cage setup – all of which are essential details for first-time chameleon buyers to know, since chameleons can be relatively high-maintenance pets with specific husbandry needs.

Meanwhile, a chameleon breeder should be able to give you all the information about the pet you’re buying, including species, age, gender and expected lifespan. They’ll also be able to give detailed instructions and advice about what you need to do to keep a chameleon healthy and happy, including nutritional recommendations, what supplies to buy and how to properly furnish your pet’s habitat.

After all, chameleon breeders have the specialized knowledge and equipment to keep multiple chameleons in good physical condition, not to mention the intense dedication required to breed them. They’re truly the experts.

Breeders Can Offer Healthier Animals

If you buy from a good chameleon breeder, you will also have confidence you’re getting a chameleon who has been bred in captivity. Captive-bred chameleons tend to be much healthier than those who have been caught in the wild, because they will be less stressed out and less susceptible to parasitic infections.

A reputable breeder should be able to give you a full medical history of the chameleon you intend to purchase, including sending photos and offering guarantees on his health before you buy.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

How to Find a Chameleon Breeder

So, now that we’ve given you the reasons to seek out a breeder, where should you start looking?

A veterinarian who specializes in reptile care could provide recommendations on reputable chameleon breeders. Reptile magazines can be another good source of information on chameleon breeders, and of course, you can also look online.

If you do find a chameleon breeder near you, it’s worth making the trip to meet them, see their animals and their facility and ask any questions in person. However, if you don’t have a breeder within a few hours’ drive, contact them to ask about shipping options. Many breeders offer express shipping anywhere in the U.S.

Other than causing him a little extra stress, shipping doesn’t harm the chameleon. However, ask your breeder if they provide a live arrival guarantee in the event of the worst-case scenario.

Adopting a pet – especially an exotic pet – is a major life decision. You owe it to yourself and your new pet to thoroughly research breeders before you commit to one.

How to Find a Reputable Reptile Veterinarian

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – there’s just no substitute for quality medical advice from a trained veterinarian. Yes, there’s plenty of information and advice about chameleon care on the Internet, but if you think your precious pet may be sick, online research just isn’t enough to cut it.

Unfortunately, pet stores aren’t required to exclusively sell species for whom there are trained vets nearby. That’s why one of the most challenging aspects of owning an exotic pet can be finding and forming a relationship with a qualified, trustworthy vet.

Image via LoveToKnow

Look for a Vet With Reptile-Specific Training and Experience

A “normal” vet who specializes in cats and dogs may know very little about how to treat a sick or injured reptile. Unlike a physician, whose many years of training and study are devoted to treating humans, small animal vets are working with potentially hundreds of species, only a few of which were covered in-depth in their veterinary school curriculum. Vet schools typically spend anywhere from one to six weeks, total, learning about exotic pets, which include more than 5,000 species of mammals, 10,000 bird species, more than 9,500 reptile species and 20,000 species of fish.

How can a vet learn more about species she hasn’t studied as thoroughly as cats, dogs and livestock? Committing to becoming an exotic animal vet requires additional training and education. Vets can take additional courses, attend conferences hosted by exotic animal veterinary organizations, subscribe to specialized vet publications and study textbooks devoted to specific types of exotics. There are also continuing education courses – many of which are online – for vets to learn more about various aspects of exotic pet care.

Do Your Research to Find a Trustworthy Vet

In other words, you should do your homework on your vet to find out if he’s been doing his homework to learn about caring for exotic pets. For reptile vets, that entails joining an organization such as the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV), which publishes both a journal and a newsletter, and also hosts regular educational conferences.

If you’re a new reptile owner and have no idea where to start looking for a vet, ARAV has a helpful vet finder on their website. Members of your local herpetological society may also be a good resource. If there are no herpetological societies in your area, you can reach out to nearby wildlife and bird rescue organizations to ask if they can recommend a vet with experience working with reptiles, or if they know someone who can. Zoo vets may also be a good resource, though they’ll probably be more difficult to get in touch with.

Be prepared to cast a wide net, geographically, to find a vet with the specialized knowledge and training necessary to treat reptiles. Exotic pet owners who live in more rural or isolated cities will probably have to commit to traveling to another city to get your pet cared for by a vet with training in treating reptiles. Depending on where you live, that may entail a long drive. If you aren’t prepared to go that distance, don’t adopt the pet.

 

A Guide to Chameleon Grooming and Hygiene

As with any pet, regular cleaning of your chameleon’s habitat is essential to maintain his health and well-being. Because reptiles are particularly susceptible to skin and bacterial infections, chameleon owners should establish a regular hygiene routine to keep your chameleon’s cage clean and disease-free.

Good cleaning habits also keep the cage attractive so you can enjoy showing off your pet, and reduce unpleasant odors that can accumulate in a poorly maintained environment.

If you’re new to chameleon husbandry, here’s a checklist of items you’ll need to keep in your chameleon cage-cleaning kit. To prevent cross-contamination, store these items separately from your other household cleaning supplies, and don’t use them for any other cleaning tasks.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Assemble Your Cleaning Kit

  • Backup cage – an environment where your chameleon can safely stay while you’re cleaning
  • Scrub brushes – Choose the right size to get the job done in your cage. A toothbrush is handy for hard-to-reach corners and crevices.
  • Sand sifter – removes feces and other debris from substrate
  • Sponges – one for cleaning, one for rinsing and one for disinfecting
  • Disinfectant – Select the proper disinfectant carefully. The disinfectant must be strong enough to kill disease-causing viruses, bacteria and fungi, without causing harm to your pet. Reptiles are sensitive to toxic fumes, so be sure to move your pet to another room while disinfecting.

    The most readily available disinfectant for cleaning a cage is household bleach at a dilution of approximately 1/2 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water. Your veterinarian may be able to recommend other safe disinfectants, as well.

    After a thorough disinfection, rinse all the surfaces carefully, and be sure to allow your cage and all its accessories to fully dry before returning your chameleon to his habitat.

Good Cleaning Habits Are Key for Long-Term Health

Cleaning is also a good opportunity to look for signs your chameleon may be ill, such as any evidence of parasites, or abnormal or discolored feces or urates. Also, watch for hazardous conditions in the cage, and remove or repair them.

Plan to do a full cage cleaning at a least once a month. However, don’t overlook daily cleaning tasks such as removing uneaten food, dead feeder insects and shed skin. Chameleon fecal matter may carry bacteria that cause disease in humans, so it’s very important to remove feces from the habitat every day. Before and after touching your chameleon or his cage, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water. This will also help you avoid infection.

Following these good hygiene habits can improve your chameleon’s quality of life and make your home environment healthier, as well.

Signs of Dehydration in Chameleons and Reptiles

If you’re new to chameleon care, you may be surprised to see your pet leave a dish of standing water untouched. Unlike many other types of pets, chameleons are instinctively unlikely to drink out of a bowl of water. This is because chameleons in the wild get their hydration by licking moisture from leaves that gets left behind from either dew or rainfall.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Delivering a proper drinking method is essential to prevent dehydration, which is one of the most common health problems among captive chameleons.

Dehydration – What to Look For

If you’ve ever been dehydrated, you know it doesn’t feel good. You probably had a headache and low energy levels. Similarly, if you notice your chameleon is lethargic, that could be a red flag he is dehydrated.

Here are some other warning signs that a chameleon is suffering from dehydration:

  1. Sunken eyes
  2. Yellow or orange urate
  3. Lack of appetite and weight loss
  4. Lack of skin elasticity
Image via chamworld.blogspot.com

If you notice any of these symptoms in your chameleon, consult with your reptile veterinarian as soon as possible to find out exactly what is wrong. Your vet should be able to evaluate the severity of the dehydration and recommend the proper amount of fluid based on your chameleon’s body weight and stomach capacity.

Proper Misting

Fortunately, preventing dehydration in your chameleon may be as simple as diligent care techniques. You can simulate the natural drinking habit of wild chameleons and avoid dehydration by misting your pet’s enclosure at least twice a day.

In addition to providing your pet’s essential water source, misting also helps maintain humidity levels in the chameleon enclosure. Most chameleon species are native to areas of high humidity, so a relatively high humidity range helps keep them happy and healthy.

For those who have chosen to use live plants in a chameleon’s cage, misting also has the added advantage of keeping the greenery watered.

You have several different misting options. The simplest, of course, is a spray bottle of water. Some chameleon owners prefer a pressurized plant sprayer, and some use an automatic misting system.

Automatic misting systems operate on a timer, which is excellent for forgetful chameleon owners or those who regularly go out of town and don’t want to hire a pet sitter. However, keep in mind that these misting systems can harbor bacteria. If you choose to use an automatic mister, make sure to thoroughly clean and disinfect it monthly.

Knowing how to properly care for a chameleon is essential for making sure your pet lives a longer, healthier life. Remember to regularly mist your chameleon’s enclosure to keep your pet hydrated, and look for any changes in your chameleon’s appearance or behavior.

 

Disclaimer: This blog post is not medical advice. Consult an experienced reptile veteran right away if you notice any indicators of dehydration or any other signs of illness in your pet chameleon.

Beginner’s Guide to Chameleon Feeding

Just like people, chameleons need a balanced diet with lots of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and maintain proper body function. In their natural habitat, chameleons have a much greater variety of insects to eat, and those insects, in turn, have been dining on a large selection of fresh vegetation.

In captivity, chameleons only have access to the food you provide, so it’s up to you to be well-versed in chameleon nutrition. For newbie chameleon owners, this can seem like a tricky task, but it’s well worth learning about to keep your little friend happy and well-nourished.

Image via Chameleon Forums

What Chameleons Eat

Chameleons are insectivores. Unlike other insect-eating species, chameleons rarely eat dead insects, so caring for prey items is a big part of chameleon husbandry. That’s right – if you’re going to adopt a chameleon, get ready to be a bug farmer.

Crickets and mealworms are staple foods, but it’s important to provide a wider range of insects to provide better nutrition, as well as to help prevent boredom. Would you be happy eating the same meal every day?

Dubia roaches, mantids, phoenix worms, silkworms, hornworms and superworms are all good choices to spice up your chameleon’s diet. Because chameleons get extra exercise from chasing insects, consider moths and nontoxic butterflies as well.

Some species of chameleons, especially veileds, also occasionally eat vegetation. Consider offering fresh fruit or leafy greens for a delicious and nutritious snack. Your chameleon may also decide to sample a leaf from the plants in his cage, so always research the foliage you provide to make sure it’s completely nontoxic.

Image credit: Pinterest

How Chameleons Eat

One of the most fascinating features of chameleons is their amazingly mobile tongues, which they use to catch prey. This tongue evolved to compensate for the fact that chameleons don’t move very fast to hunt. Depending on the species, your chameleon’s tongue may be as long as, or even longer than, his body!

Using high-speed video and X-ray film, two Dutch biologists calculated that a chameleon’s tongue shoots out of his mouth at more than 26 body lengths per second — that’s the equivalent of 13.4 miles per hour. Once it fastens to prey, the tip of the tongue works like a suction cup to pull the food into the chameleon’s mouth.

The Importance of Gutloading

Gutloading is the process of increasing the nutritional value of your chameleon’s food supply by feeding the insects they eat a healthy diet. The goal is to get as close as possible to replicating the lifecycle a chameleon would experience in the wild.

The same dark, leafy greens that are so good for you to eat also make great gutloading ingredients. This includes mustard, turnip and collard greens, dandelion leaves, escarole, watercress and alfalfa. Combine these with a blend of fruits and vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, oranges, mangoes, butternut squash, kale, apples, beet greens, blackberries, bok choy and green beans.

Nutritional Supplements

In addition to gutloading, chameleons also need calcium and multivitamin supplements for a balanced diet. Look for supplements in a powdered form you can use to lightly dust insects before offering them to your chameleon.

Don’t make the mistake of assuming supplements can replace a high-quality diet and proper gutloading. Supplements should be used to augment and support your other feeding efforts.

If you’re planning to adopt a chameleon, doing your research and becoming well-informed about nutritional needs is essential to ensure your pet lives his healthiest, happiest life.

Creating an Outdoor Chameleon Habitat

In last week’s post, we discussed the many benefits of taking your chameleon outside on warm, sunny days. Chameleon keepers who are lucky enough to live in warmer climates – and don’t mind getting a little bit crafty – may want to consider building an outdoor cage for their little friend. Here are some ideas for how to accomplish that.

Constructing a Portable Outdoor Cage

If you’re not a do-it-yourselfer, building an outdoor cage may sound pretty intimidating, but you can easily get all the materials at your local home improvement store. Recommended items for your shopping list are a wooden planter box, potting soil, plants that grow well in your local climate and an outdoor misting system or kit. To ensure maximum portability, attach wheels to the cage to make it easier to move to shadier areas when the heat of the day reaches its peak.

Image via Chameleon News

If you do choose to build your own enclosure, keep your size in mind. The enclosure should be large enough to allow the chameleon plenty of room for exercise. If you’re short on space, remember that height is always more important than width for these little climbers. Putting a cage on a table or hanging it can also make a chameleon more comfortable. Any and all rough, exposed edges must be covered with wood, silicone or plastic tubing to prevent injury.

Design your cage to account for predators such as birds, raccoons, snakes and larger types of lizards. Using metal hardware cloth or screen will keep your precious pet safe from being carried off and eaten.

Natural Greenery Is Both Beautiful and Practical

One benefit of creating an outdoor habitat is being able to use outdoor plants. Of course, using potted plants is always an option for those who lack a green thumb, but you can craft an even better experience by growing a natural plantscape for your chameleon to climb in and hide among. The thick plant growth also creates natural shade, and the dirt floor of the cage holds moisture for additional humidity, which is important to keep your chameleon hydrated.

The easiest way to create a habitat with natural greenery is to buy or build a wood planter box, fill it with dirt, then place a standard screen cage over it. Use screws to secure the cage to the planter box to keep it from blowing over.

Be sure to use plants that do well in your local weather conditions, and always do your research to make sure all the plants you’re using are nontoxic for your chameleon. If you’re not sure what to plant, ask at your garden center or home improvement store.

Planting in layers can not only lead to a more attractive habitat, but can also give your chameleon more variety when it comes to hiding places and things to climb. A good rule of thumb is to use smaller ornamental flowering plants at the top, large, leafy plants in the middle, and lush, shade-loving plants on the bottom.

If you choose to take on the challenge of building your own outdoor chameleon habitat, the results can be rewarding for both you and your chameleon friend.

Is It Safe to Take Chameleons Outside During the Summer?

Every living thing benefits from exposure to natural sunlight, and of course, chameleons are no exception. The longer days and warmer weather of the summer months provide the perfect opportunity to take your chameleon outside. This can be as simple as moving your indoor cage out to the patio for a couple of hours, or as in-depth as building a permanent outdoor cage.

One of the biggest challenges for chameleon owners is making sure your pet gets all the nutrition he needs to stay healthy and strong. Your chameleon habitat setup should include a UVB bulb, but the light and energy it will provide is limited compared to the benefits of the sun’s rays. There’s a free, natural source of energy just waiting in your backyard – take advantage of it!

Fun in the Sun for Chameleons

The easiest way to give your chameleon some summer lovin’ is to simply move your indoor cage outside. While indoors, we’re lucky if the light makes it all the way down to the floor. Outside, the sun’s rays are powerful enough to bounce off the floor and heat your chameleon from the bottom. Sounds nice and toasty, but keep in mind that too much of a good thing is a real possibility – it’s easy for a chameleon to get overheated in direct sunlight. Set a timer to remind yourself to walk by the cage at regular intervals and check on how your little buddy is doing.

Partly Sunny Conditions Are Ideal

Image via chameleonforums.com

There are several ways you can combat heat stress in an outdoor situation. The first is to position your cage so it’s partially in the sun and partially in the shade. This will enable your chameleon to bask in the sun for a while, then move into a shady area when he needs to cool off. Remember that as the sun moves, a beautifully shady spot can easily become a sunny one within just a few minutes. This is another reason it’s essential to regularly double-check your chameleon’s status. If you have a covered porch or patio, that’s great. If not, you can create your own shade by placing a cloth over part of the cage.

Another way to beat the heat is by putting potted plants in the bottom of your chameleon’s cage to provide extra humidity and interrupt the reflection of the sun’s rays. Regular misting is also important in an outdoor environment. If you plan to make outdoor excursions a regular occurrence during the summer, you might want to consider installing an outdoor misting system.

Watch For Signs of Heat Stress

Chameleons are naturally well-adapted to warm and humid conditions, but that doesn’t mean you can just walk away and leave your chameleon exposed to the elements for hours at a time. If you decide to bring your chameleon outside, be vigilant and check on him frequently. If you notice any signs of heat stress in your chameleon, such as a lighter color or a gaping mouth, it’s time to move inside as soon as possible.

With the right precautions, summer can become the best time of year for both you and your chameleon friend. Just be sure to keep an eye on the balance between sun and shade, and don’t forget to check in on his status regularly to avoid overexposure and heat stress.

How To Prepare For Buying a Chameleon

Chameleons are truly fascinating creatures. Their intriguing characteristics, such as their long tongues, their unique eyes and their ability to change colors, make them fun to watch and have in your home. However, keeping a pet chameleon may not be a good fit for everyone, due to their specific needs. If you’re considering bringing a chameleon into your life, make sure you know what you’re getting into before making the leap.

A chameleon habitat requires careful monitoring of temperature, moisture and humidity.

1. Determine if you’re ready to buy a chameleon.

Chameleons can be relatively high-maintenance animals. Keeping them healthy requires careful upkeep of their habitat, with regulated temperature and humidity conditions. Food, supplies and veterinary care are additional costs to consider. Before you buy a chameleon, research what it costs to own one and make sure your budget can accommodate it. Consider talking with a chameleon expert or someone who has experience with keeping a chameleon to get a better idea of what’s involved in their daily care and feeding.

2. Select a reputable breeder.

Buying your chameleon from a trustworthy breeder will help ensure he is healthy. A veterinarian who specializes in exotic veterinary medicine could provide you with recommendations on respectable chameleon breeders. Reptile magazines can also provide information on chameleon breeders.

3. Purchase a young chameleon.

Chameleons vary in their longevity, but most live between a few years and 10 years of age. Buying a young chameleon will increase the amount of time you’ll be able to enjoy keeping him as a pet. Another good reason to buy from a reputable source is that they’ll most likely be able to tell you exactly how old your chameleon is.

A juvenile veiled chameleon.

4. Purchase a captive-bred chameleon.

Compared with wild-caught chameleons, captive-bred chameleons are healthier and less stressed, with a longer life expectancy.

5. Check the chameleon you buy for signs of illness.

A reputable breeder should be able to give you a full medical history of the chameleon you intend to purchase, including sending photos and offering guarantees on his health before you buy. However, if you haven’t had the opportunity to meet your future chameleon before completing the purchase, look for warning signs of illness. Check his eyes – are they bright and open, or sunken or closed? Sunken eyes are a symptom of dehydration, while closed eyes during daylight hours usually indicate the chameleon isn’t feeling well. A dark or drab coloration is a warning sign that a chameleon is feeling stressed, sick or cold. Also, a chameleon who shows no resistance to being held or handled is probably ill.

Tips to Keep Your Female Chameleon Healthy

Females can make the best pet chameleons, but they do have specific health needs that differentiate them from males. They typically require a more complex diet, and have particular concerns around egg laying. This blog post provides some tips to keep your little lady happy and healthy.

You may be surprised to learn that female chameleons can and will lay eggs even without the presence of a male. Like chickens and many other birds, female chameleons of egg-laying species will start producing clutches of infertile eggs regularly throughout their lives, even without having a mate. Female chameleons become sexually mature around six months old.

In some cases, a female chameleon might be unable to lay the eggs by herself, retaining them inside her body. This is known as egg binding, and it’s a serious medical condition requiring veterinary intervention. That’s why it’s so important to know what to look for so you’ll be able to tell when your baby girl is ready to lay eggs.

Signs a Chameleon Might Be Ready to Lay Eggs

A gravid female veiled chameleon.
Source: Chameleon Forums

When getting ready to lay a clutch of eggs, a female will gain weight, even if you haven’t changed her food intake. She will also start to look rounded, and she’ll usually begin to get restless as she looks for a place to lay her eggs.

In addition, female chameleons change their colors to show they are receptive to mating, and will also display a different coloration when carrying a clutch of eggs.

Visual stimulation may be all it takes to begin the ovulation process in a female chameleon. If you have both a male and a female chameleon and you don’t intend to breed them, make sure you keep them separated and set up visual barriers so they can’t see each other.

A Healthy Female Has Fewer Risks When Laying Eggs

An unhealthy or malnourished female will have much more difficulty laying eggs because she’ll lack the ability to contract her uterus appropriately. Providing your female chameleon with a balanced diet that includes plenty of calcium and other vitamins and minerals is the key to helping her produce eggs safely and with less risk to her own health. It’s also important to include a UVB bulb in her habitat to help her absorb the calcium.

Provide your chameleon with adequate opportunities to exercise, as well. One way to do this is by forcing her to hunt for her food. A fit female with strong bones and well-developed muscles will be better equipped to lay eggs without problems.

Creating a Nesting Environment

When a female is ready to lay eggs and there is nothing to lay them in, she might retain them. As mentioned above, this is a serious and potentially life-threatening medical condition. The best practice is to provide your little girl with a nest at all times.

A top-down view of a sand-filled nesting box.
Source: Chameleon Forums

To create a laying bin, fill an opaque container at least 12″ deep with moistened sand or soil. In the wild, female chameleons dig tunnels to lay their eggs, so make sure the sand or soil is moist enough to retain the shape of a tunnel without collapsing, but not soaking wet. Some females will not feel comfortable with a laying bin containing only soil. Use a small (6” to 8”) potted pothos so your chameleon can lay her eggs around and under the roots of the plant.