The best tips for caring for a baby chameleon are to purchase a small enclosure, house one baby chameleon per enclosure, and feed the animal crickets every day. A small enclosure lets you watch the animal for signs of health problems and stress and prevents it from harming itself by falling. Even baby chameleons can be aggressive and stressed out near other chameleons, so keep them separated whenever possible. In addition, baby chameleons need to be fed more often than adults, so keep live, well-fed insects on hand to satisfy them. You also may want to avoid over-handling babies because this can cause stress.
Start with a small enclosure to better keep an eye on the growing animal. Some reptile experts stress the importance of having a well-ventilated enclosure, but an aquarium with a screen top is usually sufficient for a baby chameleon. After three months of age, the chameleon can be moved to its adult enclosure. The size of adult enclosures vary, but they are often vented on multiple sides and do not resemble an aquarium. These enclosures are built with chameleons in mind, since the animals are most comfortable in humid but really well-vented habitats.
If you have more than one baby chameleon, put them in separate enclosures. Young chameleons can sometimes be housed together with little aggression between the two, but it will still cause them both stress. Housing two male chameleons is especially risky because they might fight and injure one another. A male and female baby chameleon can be housed together if the enclosure is large enough for them to avoid each other. The age of sexual maturity differs depending on the species of chameleon, but some species can breed as early as three months old, so separate opposite sexes before then if you are not intending to breed the animals.
Crickets are typical food for chameleons, but a baby chameleon will need to be fed more often than an adult. These insects are usually “gut-loaded”, meaning they are fed vegetables to maximize the baby chameleon’s nutritional intake. You can also feed the animal worms or flies, depending on its preferences and what is available at the local pet store. Do not leave uneaten food in the animal’s habitat — especially crickets — as this can cause serious harm to a baby chameleon.
Chameleons are often referred to as display pets because, in most cases, they are better off without handling. Being picked up can cause a baby chameleon a lot of stress, eventually leading to a shortened life span. Of course, there are some chameleons that like to be handled by people. It all depends on the personality of the animal, but make sure to put the animal back into its habitat if it shows signs of stress or aggression.