How to Clean a Veiled Chameleon Cage? (Step By Step)

Your pet chameleon comes with a unique set of responsibilities – different from other pets. Owning this cute pet has its own set of challenges – we discussed their shedding process with you. The other thing about them is they like their cage to be cleaned regularly.

Like most pets, you have to regularly clean your chameleon cage. It is quite a simple process which needs consistency.

You will have to clean the cage to remove the poop, dead insects, etc. We will discuss everything related to chameleon cage cleaning in this article.

How to Clean a Veiled Chameleon Cage

What is the need to clean your chameleon cage?

The reason for cleaning the chameleon cage is the same as cleaning your own room, cat’s litter tray, or rabbit’s cage. The good thing about chameleons compared with other pets is that they are more organized and remarkably clean. 

You have probably noticed that they use one area for basking, another for pooping, and yet another for hiding and sleeping in that same area.

You should clean their place because they are very well organized. You should help the process for them by keeping their cage as much as possible. 

Just like you become happy in a clean room, your pet will be happy being post cage cleaning. Chameleons are highly susceptible to stress. You can help them reduce stress by keeping their cage clean.

The other obvious reason for cleaning is that the dead insects, wastes, and piles of faces can invite bacteria and other parasites. It can create certain health problems to your chameleon.

To sum up, you would not like to stay in a dirty place, so why would you keep your pet’s place dirty? 

Are chameleon cages stinky? 

Even though chameleons are generally odorless, their enclosures can emit smells if things aren’t regularly cleaned and if feeder insects aren’t cleaned on a regular basis.

A chameleon’s habitat should be cleaned regularly to prevent build-up of excrement that gets on your pet’s skin as they wander around.

Chameleons’ happiness and cleanliness will both be affected by lingering poop. Standing water will worsen odor problems. Excreta when mixed with water can create a muddy mess which can be very difficult to clean.

How often should cleaning be done?

You will have to divide the cleaning activity into three events. 

Daily – It is a spot cleaning where you clean the areas that become dirty daily.

Weekly – You will clean the areas like daily cleaning. Also, you will remove the substrate and also deep clean the surface.

Annual – You will deep clean the cage after emptying it entirely.

You may think it is time-consuming, but cleaning your chameleon cage takes around 15 minutes (except for the annual cleaning)

What is needed to clean the chameleon cage?

Before we discuss the cleaning process, let us talk about the items you will need for cleaning. For daily, weekly, and yearly cleaning, you need different items. 

For daily cleaning you need the below items:

1.) Sponges – These are effective for cleaning poop of leaves and cleaning the more stubborn areas.

2.) Paper towels – You need these to wipe all the surfaces, accessories. You can use them to pick dry or wet chameleon poop.

3.) Tweezers – These are a perfect choice for picking dried poop and dead insects.

4.) Surface cleaner – You can get wipeout for cleaning surfaces, just ensure they are reptile safe. If you are using a spray, ensure it is unscented antibacterial spray and you do not spray it on the chameleon.

For weekly cleaning, the items are the same. Additionally, you may want to have some rubber gloves as they give a bit more of a thorough wipes down.

Annual cleaning not only requires the above but many other tools. They are as below:

1.) Buckets – The bucket should be large to soak any accessories you remove like vines and branches.

2.) Window scraper – It is useful for scraping any stubborn bits of dirt from the surface or from glass enclosures.

3.) Steam cleaner – Not a mandatory item, but you can use them as it prevents the exposure of chemicals in the cage area.

4.) Antibacterial Dish Soap – Use this dish soap to soak away the removed items and disinfect them. 

How to clean a chameleon cage?

We are well prepared to clean the cage with the above information. Now, let us take a look at the steps to be followed to clean the chameleon cage:

1.) Remove the chameleon: The first and foremost step is to remove the chameleon from the cage. The best-case scenario is to have a backup cage and put a chameleon inside it during the cleaning process.

 If you don’t have a backup cage, you can put him on a plant or in some other room. Be careful that the chameleon is away from the cleaning area – it should not inhale any fumes.

2.) Remove and clean the cage items: If you have kept any decorative items or accessories, you should remove them. Disinfect all the items after you have brought them out. 

The items also include live plants and trees. The bucket can be used to soak the items – it will help you easily remove the caked-on areas.

You should soak the items in warm water with disinfectant for best results. Once the soaking process is done, wash all the accessories with hot and foamy water. 

Use a scraper to clean any tough buildups. Plants should be watered with clean water. Ensure that all items are completely dry by placing them in the sun.

3.) Remove the substrate: It is the surface or material on or from which the chameleon lives, grows, or obtains its nourishment. The substrate could be stones, sand, or other organic material.

In this step, you remove the substrate from the cage. Clean the cage’s bottom with a paper towel or a newspaper.

If you have a non-disposable substrate, use the foamy water to clean it, thoroughly rinse it, and allow it to dry.

4.) Clean the cage surface: With warm water and soap, clean the walls and floor. Rinse it after the cleaning process. For rough spots, use a scraper.

Use a toothbrush to clean the corners or hard-to-reach areas of the chameleon’s tank. For extreme spots, you should use an animal-safe terrarium cleaner.

5.) Keep back the items: Once all items are cleaned, disinfected, and dried, start to place them back in the cage – start with the substrate, trees, plants, and other accessories.

6.) Return the chameleon to the cage: Once you have reassembled everything in the cage, wash your hands and bring the chameleon back from the room or backup cage.

Should you bathe your chameleon?

No. In general, you do not need to bathe your chameleon. In some instances, a veterinarian may advise baths for severely dehydrated individuals.

However, even if you feel the need, never take the decision on your own. Take the opinion of a medical professional before taking the final call.

In showering, water is showered over the chameleon’s head and body. Instead, light mist (shower) of water can be sprayed adjacent to the chameleon providing an indirect sprinkling of water.

Choosing the disinfectant

You can use a disinfectant to remove bacteria causing infections, microscopic organisms, and parasites. However, you should be very careful while selecting which disinfectant to use.

It should be harmless and safe for your pet. If you are doing it for the first time, get the disinfectant from the vet’s clinic, or you can purchase it online after reading the reviews.


We hope after going through the details in this article, you can confidently clean your chameleon’s cage. You would have also figured out that it does not require much time.

However, you have to regularly clean the cage. A clean cage will give your chameleon a good home and help it live a healthier life.

Susan R Elliston

I have over 11 years of experience as a vet working with a wonderful variety of species of innocent and lovely animals. Whilst I still work two days a week for a local practice, I realized that I could help more people by sharing my knowledge and experience with my readers.

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