Will a Chameleon Recognize Its Owner

Will a Chameleon Recognize Its Owner?

Some weeks after I got my chameleon, I began to wonder if it could recognize me and tell me apart from others. This question bugged me until I did some extensive research on the subject, looking for definite answers. Here is what I found.

So will a chameleon recognize its owner? Yes! A chameleon can recognize its owner in as little as one week. This depends a lot on many factors such as the species and sex of the chameleon, how quick you are able to form bonds with it, and the type of care you give it. In addition, these factors also determine what emotion your chameleon will show when it sees you.

It is common to see dogs wagging their tail when they are happy to see their owners, or a cat rubbing its cheeks on its owner and giving special eye blinks (cat kisses). Would you like to know how your chameleon shows that it recognizes you? There is really a lot to know about how your chameleon communicates signs of recognition and affection. These signs will also let to know just how much it loves you. Are you ready to form a stronger bond with your chameleon? Well, let’s get started already!

(Check out the Ambanja Panther Chameleon for sale)


Will A Chameleon Recognize Its Owner?

It has been shown that chameleons have a memory that makes it possible for them to recognize their owners just like any other conventional pet. However, chameleons are not the most social of animals and have not learned to develop a broad spectrum of emotions like cats or dogs. This is probably because reptiles such as chameleons have only been domesticated for about 30 to 40 years.

However, dogs have been domesticated for about 100,000 years! So, although chameleons can experience some types of emotion, they may not experience as deep an emotion as cats, dogs, or some other common pets do. Their emotions are mainly along the lines of fear and contentment and sometimes trust if you get to win their heart.

If a chameleon recognizes you, it may let you move to its next level of emotion and begin to display signs of pleasure when you feed it. After some time, it may let you hold it, and finally, stretch out to you when you come to its enclosure! This probably the highest of its emotions – Trust.


Usually, the best a reptile will do is trust you and this is a pretty big deal. Chameleons have been shown to demonstrate pleasure when offered food or sometimes when stroked. This means that if you constantly feed your chameleon personally and do the cleaning of its enclosure yourself (See More: How Often Should I Clean a Chameleon Cage? (Clean Guide)), there is a higher likelihood that it will recognize you and bond with you. This bond could get especially strong when you give your chameleon adequate personal care during periods of its illness or discomfort and help it recover. When your chameleon bonds with you, it tends to prefer you over others. (See more: Reptile Emotions)

However, this does not mean you should constantly handle your chameleon, at least not yet. This is because your chameleon may exhibit some fear when it is just getting to know you and may sometimes even become aggressive. Consequently, it may perceive you as a threat and will subsequently think you are someone it has to get away from. I bet you wouldn’t want that!

Therefore, at the early stages of familiarization, keep the handling sessions to the barest minimum until your chameleon gets used to you.



How Can I Make My Chameleon Recognize Me Faster?

The fact that your chameleon can recognize and bond with you should spur you into knowing how you can make it do so as soon as possible. If you want your chameleon to recognize you within a short period of time, here are some proven steps to take.


Approaching its enclosure

When you want to approach your chameleon, do so slowly and make sure it sees you before you actually get to the cage. You should allow it to process the fact that someone is approaching it. Continually doing this will help it recognize you with time from a distance. Also, when you are around it, never move your hands and arms hurriedly as this may make it fret. You will always have to resist carrying it, at least not for a while.


Avoiding eye contact at the onset

If it’s a new chameleon, try to avoid direct eye contact with it at least for a few days. If you look directly at its face, training both your eyes on it, it may think that you are about to eat him! Try to avoid the staring match until he gets to know you.


Wearing cham-friendly colors

Always wear cham-friendly colors before approaching its enclosure. Since a chameleon mainly expresses its mood and intentions by coloration, it automatically assumes that you do, too. You can wear a shirt which is pale green, khaki, or bland brown. You can keep some oversized shirts of this color which you can throw over your regular clothes when necessary. Colors to avoid wearing are bold and bright colors, especially pink, black and red. So, if your office clothes have these colors, wear those oversized shirts over it. Taking this into consideration can make a world of difference.


Make it feel in control

Chameleons always love to have their space to themselves, hence, it is important that you respect its space. For example, when it makes a sudden forward movement, drawback. If it gapes and ignores you, walk away. When you give your chameleon enough space, it starts to feel that it has some level of control over its environment. This sure puts its mind at rest.

This is very important, especially for a male chameleon. If you have a male chameleon, you can place his food in his cage as quickly as possible and leave it alone. Let it watch you move around the house day after day. After a while, he will stop to see you as an immediate threat. This will give you the liberty to approach him more frequently, come close when offering him food, and finally, feed him with your hands!

With these methods, you can establish a rapport with the most difficult of chameleons within a few weeks.


Do Chameleons Like Being Pets?

Do chameleons like being pets?

No, chameleons do not like being pets. Usually, chameleons prefer living in the wild than becoming domesticated pets. This is because, in the wild, they feel they have a lot of control over their lives, a larger living space, natural weather conditions, zones and combats, and other fun things.

However, when domesticated, they tend to lose out on much fun, especially if their enclosure is not properly prepared (See more: Best Terrarium size for a Veiled Chameleon). This can make them really bored and sick. So although they do not like being pets, you can make them love it when you give them just about the right amount of everything they need. In fact, it has been shown that on average, domesticated chameleons live longer than those in the wild. (See more: On Average, How Long Do Chameleons Live?This means domesticating them is not such a bad idea after all.

Chameleon by RichardJames1990, on Flickr
Chameleon” (CC BY 2.0


Chameleons are very shy creatures and love to be alone. In fact, they usually freak out when they see other chameleons (even of similar species), or creatures that are bigger than them. They almost always feel that a bigger creature is out to eat them or crush them.

Consequently, they may be subjected to much stress when domesticated. However, with a few tricks and tweaks, you can make them get used to it. If your chameleon tries to bite you, it implies that it is under much stress. (See more: Don’t Worry about Chameleons’ Bite!The best thing to do at such a time is for you to leave it alone and come back at a much later time. Also, you should follow the previously stated steps in order to build a bond with it. Work toward dispelling its fear. A few generations in captivity does not suffice to erase the deeply engraved inherited learning.

Even if your chameleon is captive bred, don’t be deceived into thinking it has lost all of its natural instincts. Therefore, you should totally anticipate and expect it to show some sudden mood changes. For example, it could be calm and docile one minute and become aggressive the next. In order to prevent this, you will have to remove as many threats away from it as possible. For example, don’t get the family dog to sit by its cage for too long.

Check it out this funny video!


Do Chameleons Make Good Pets?

Do chameleons make good pets? Yes, chameleons could make very good pets, but they are very difficult to maintain.

They have very complex needs and are very susceptible to stress. For this reason, it may not be the best idea for people who are inexperienced with reptiles to start with this animal as a pet. With some expert help, however, you will be able to make an excellent pet out of your chameleon.

There are about ten different types of chameleons which can serve as domesticated pets. Though each has a little different in color, character, and on, they are still similar in a lot of ways. Before you can be sure which chameleon is best for you as a pet, you will have to know what it takes to adequately care for your pet.

So really, the question is not whether a chameleon will make a good pet or not, but whether you are willing and ready to own one. This pet is definitely not for everybody, so if you’re trying to make a decision on whether you will like to have one in your home or not, consider if you’re ready for the responsibilities as well as the costs involved.


Which type of chameleon is better for a pet owner?

The world is home to about 202 different species of chameleons which varying in color, size, and appearance. However, a good number of chameleons are not suitable as pets. Furthermore, there is only a small percentage of breeds bred in captivity and of this number, some make better pets than others. Many more chameleons which have not been domesticated can only be found in the wild. An important thing to consider is the average lifespan of different species of chameleons as this affects buying choice.

Here are some very popular chameleons which are commonly kept as pets.


The Veiled Chameleon

The veiled chameleon is one of the most popular and commonly recommended chameleons for beginners. This is because they readily adapt to captive conditions. Therefore, if you consider taking the next step into having chameleons as pets, the veiled chameleon may be the best choice for you. The veiled chameleon can live for about 6-8 years in captivity. The males are usually larger than the females and can grow to be about a foot long, not including their tail.

They are named veiled because of the structure on their head which resembles a helmet. Interesting, this casque is usually used in the wild to steer rainwater into their mouths. They are docile with humans (but not other chameleons) and can stand stress longer than most other species.

See more: 35 Cool Facts About the Veiled Chameleon


The Panther Chameleon

This chameleon can grow to be more than a foot in length. It is not popular for only its size, but also for their vivid and bright colors which are captivating to look at. They are very territorial and have a lifespan of about 5 years. Despite the fact that these chameleons are not very suitable to handle, many people still enjoy having them as pets because of their beautiful colors.

See more: 37 Cool Facts about the Panther ChameleonPanther Chameleons for sale




Jackson’s Chameleon

This type of chameleon is very popular for its small horns. Although they are not fond of handling, they can live up to 10 years in captivity. When they are young they are not so brightly colored but after they mature, they grow into brightly colored pets.

Spiral by Florence Ivy, on Flickr
Spiral” (CC BY-ND 2.0


Oustalet’s Chameleon

The Oustalet chameleon is also known as the Malagasy giant chameleon. They can grow up to 30 inches in length. Because of their large size, this chameleon is ideal for people who prefer handling larger chameleons to handling smaller breeds.

Their large size also means that they require a bigger enclosure. They can live up to 12 years in captivity. If you’re nervous about handling smaller chameleons and want a large chameleon with a very passive temperament, the Oustalet is for you.


Flap-Necked Chameleon

The flap-necked chameleon usually come in hues of green and yellow. They can grow as long as 12 inches on average and are one of the smaller breeds of chameleons.

They can raise a section of their skin over the neck in order to frighten predators hence their name. Flap-necked chameleons can only live for 2 to 3 years. They, however, are very excellent pets due to their ability to cope well in captivity and calm nature. However, this is not a chameleon choice for beginners.


Are Chameleons Good Pets For Children?

Are chameleons good pets for children? It depends on a lot of factors. Before you can make a conclusion about whether or not a chameleon is a good pet for your child, you have to take into consideration the personality of the child. In this wise, a chameleon may or may not be an ideal pet choice. For example, if your child loves to have something it can cuddle or play around with, then you may have to get your child a dog or cat. On the flip side, if your child is more reserved and would like a pet which it adores and enjoy looking at, then a chameleon may be a good choice!

Since chameleons are not the most social of animals and don’t exactly look forward to being handled, a child who is looking for a pet to cuddle may not enjoy having a pet that does not like being touched. In addition, while chameleons may be interesting to observe, children may grow tired of watching them and lose interest after some time. Also, after some time, it may become tedious for your child to do all the misting, cleaning, feeding and so on.



Although it may take some time for your chameleon to recognize and form bonds with you, it is worth it! Don’t be discouraged if this doesn’t happen as soon as you expect it to. Try to get to understand the temperament of your chameleon and work towards making it feel just wonderful!

Also, don’t forget to feed it with its best food! Hope you find this post interesting and helpful. If you find anything wrong or outdated, please leave your comment below. I’ll update it as soon as possible. 

Thanks for reading.