Keeping Chameleons With Dogs, Cats & Other Pets

I was always content with having just my chameleon as a pet. I sometimes wish I had a dog too but my living arrangements won’t allow it. Lots of people have dogs and cats living together and some people might want to add a chameleon to their family of four legged friends but is this practical?

Do chameleons get along with dogs and cats? Chameleons are solitary animals and don’t really get along with any other animal or even their own species. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a pet chameleon as well as other pets, you just need to make some allowances to make sure they feel comfortable living alongside your other animals.

Chameleons and Dogs

Anyone who has a dog knows how loving and inquisitive most of them are and these characteristics will likely be shown towards a chameleon. This will almost certainly bother your chameleon and, worse, cause them to be stressed out and hide. It all depends on the personality of your dog too. Some dogs will hardly bother paying any attention to your chameleon.

Don’t worry about your dog barking though as chameleons will unlikely be able to hear it at all.

Don’t, whatever you do, assume that your chameleon wants to play with your dog, start getting your chameleon out of its cage to play with your dog or put your chameleon on your dog’s back to go for a little ride. I’ve seen youtube videos showing this and I just despair.

Chameleons are generally terrified of anything bigger than themselves, and that’s most things. They will certainly be terrified of a sniffy, slobbery dog jabbing at it with their nose. The dog may want to play and yeah, it seems cute, but I would make a sure bet that any chameleon in this situation is stressed out to the max and too much stress is bad for a chameleon’s health.

Do chameleons get along with cats?

As I said in the beginning, chameleons are solitary animals and don’t really like the company of other animals. They will certainly not get along with cats. In fact, I’ve read many reports on various forums where cats have killed chameleons by either ripping through a flimsy screen cage or attacking a chameleon out of its cage on a plant.

I have also read about some cats having no interest in chameleons but being very interested in crickets and other types of live food. I guess this is useful if any escape!

When you consider how most cats behave around birds and mice it’s not surprising they’ll behave the same way around a chameleon that is of similar size.

Again, it’s not to say you can’t have a cat and a chameleon you just need to make some adjustments and allowances to prevent your chameleon from being attacked and killed by your cat. Personally, I would not have a pet cat and a pet chameleon unless I was able to keep my chameleon in a separate room away from my cat.

Can chameleons live with bearded dragons and other reptiles?

At the risk of repeating myself too much, chameleons are solitary animals who prefer their own company. A question I see crop up pretty regularly though is whether chameleons can be housed with bearded dragons, geckos snakes, iguanas, and other reptiles. I guess the logic is they’re also reptiles so it will be fine

This is a flat no, housing your chameleon with a bearded dragon or another reptile in the same cage will almost certainly result in one reptile having the other one for dinner. They also have different requirements from other reptiles so it will be virtually impossible to do this. In fact, I have never known anyone attempt this successfully and I seriously do not recommend you try.

Having said all this though they can certainly be housed in the same room in different cages. To make sure both remain happy and stress free I would try and make it so your chameleon can’t see your bearded dragon, gecko, turtle or any other reptile you have and vice versa.

Can two chameleons be housed together?

I have seen this done successfully but by and large I do not recommend it for the reasons I’ve already mentioned. I’ve only seen this done successfully with a male and a female chameleon and in custom built enclosures much larger than ones you can readily buy in stores. I do not recommend attempting this if you are an inexperienced chameleon keeper and I certainly do not recommend under any circumstances keeping two males together.

You may have seen pictures and videos of lots of baby chameleons living together in the same enclosure and it looks absolutely adorable, doesn’t it!? This certainly works well because baby chameleons are so small they have enough space to move away from other babies and they just don’t feel overly threatened by other chameleons at that size. When they get bigger though they really need to be separated into their own enclosure. Unless you plan on breeding chameleons this is unlikely to affect you.

Again, having said all that you can certainly house multiple chameleons in the same room in their own separate cages. As long as each chameleon cannot see other chameleons in the same vicinity this works fine.

How to keep chameleons comfortable alongside other pets

I’ve touched on this throughout the article but there are some general rules you can apply to make your home remains harmonious amongst all your animals.

  • Keep your chameleon high – Nope not that kinda high! I mean make sure they are above every living creature that will be in the same room as them, including you. Chameleons are arboreal, meaning they live 98% of the time in trees. In the wild, they are often attacked from above so allowing them the opportunity to climb high up will make them feel safer and a lot less stressed.
  • Keep your chameleon separate – This isn’t always possible but if you can, house your chameleon in a separate room that has a lower amount of humans and animals in. This is particularly desirable if you have a cat or an over excitable dog who takes an interest in your scaly friend.
  • Obscure your chameleon’s view – If you house your chameleon in the same room as other animals then it’s best you make sure they can’t see other animals in the vicinity, this is more or less necessary depending on what type of animal you house your chameleon with. I would definitely advise this with other reptiles and definitely for other birds because birds usually prey on chameleons a lot in the wild and seeing birds usually stresses pet chameleons.
  • Make the cage cat/dog proof – If you can’t/don’t want to keep your dog/cat out of the same room then I recommend making some adjustments to the cage. This means much stronger mesh than what is standardly available at pet stores or getting a hybrid cage of glass and mesh but making sure the mesh is inaccessible to any prying paws and eyes. This would mean going down the custom build route although this one from amazon may work well in some houses.
Conclusion

Don’t let the fact chameleons are solitary put you off from having one if you have another pet. If you make the allowances I’ve outlined in this article your chameleon should remain happy and stress free. The only thing I would caution against is allowing a cat in the same room as a chameleon.

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