Cleaning Cage

Keeping your chameleon’s enclosure clean is of utmost importance if you want to keep him/her healthy and happy. Because of the fecal matter (and insect matter) which accumulates at the bottom of the enclosure, along with the warm humid air and water (which also accumulates at the bottom of the enclosure), this environment can become a breeding ground for bacteria and parasites. This can also increase the chances of your chameleon contracting a potentially serious illness.

Thankfully, the solution is very simple: clean your enclosure regularly. Start by removing any fecal matter, dead insects, or shed skin from the leaves of any of the plants as well as the floor of your enclosure. If the fecal matter is stuck to a leaf, snip off the leaf with a pair of scissors. By doing this on a daily basis, you will cut down the amount of time that bacteria and parasites have to grow. (I also keep a wet/dry shop-vac nearby so that I can just vacuum the floor of the enclosure and get all the offending matter as well as any excess water off the floor. It helps to use a rubber mat on the floor instead of substrate. This is also more hygienic since it can be cleaned with relative ease.)

You must also schedule a full cleaning of the enclosure every week or two. Of course, by performing daily maintenance, you should be able to cut down your cleaning chore somewhat. First, remove the chameleon from its enclosure. This will ease the stress of all the activity, as well as prevent you from spraying him/her inadvertently with any cleaning solution. You can then proceed to remove all excess fecal matter, etc.

Once this is done, create a cleaning solution using a mixture of water, dish soap (not dishwasher), and bleach. Use a 10:1:1 ratio (water:soap:bleach). Spray the walls, floor, and any artificial climbing limbs or vines you have (chameleons sometimes do their business on these inadvertently). Try to avoid spraying your plants. Remember, if you use your regular misting device to spray the cleaning solution, make sure it is well rinsed out before using it to spray your chameleon with. Better yet, use a different spray bottle.

Using clean paper towels, wipe the walls, floor, and any artificial climbing limbs or vines in the enclosure of any excess cleaning solution (scrub the floor if necessary). Follow up by using your misting bottle to thoroughly spray the walls, floor, and any artificial climbing limbs or vines with hot water to rinse off any excess cleaning solution. Finish up, by using clean paper towels to wipe down and dry the whole enclosure.

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