Why Is My Chameleon Hiding? {How Can I Prevent This Shyness?}

Is your chameleon spending most of the day in hiding? How can you encourage your chameleon to come out and enjoy the entire space in your presence? In this article, we’ll discuss the topic of why your chameleon is hiding.

Why Is My Chameleon Hiding? Your chameleon could need time to adjust to its surroundings. It’s natural for chameleons to hide, but focus on proper ventilation, plenty of UVB light rays, protein rich meals with calcium supplementation and be present more often to build the trust between you. 

How Do Chameleons Hide?

Chameleons are masters of disguise. The color change that we consider to be camouflage for protection, could actually serve as a tool for communication between chameleons.

A chameleon can change its color in about 20 seconds. They try to match the colors around them to blend in with their surroundings.

The outer layer of a chameleon is actually transparent. There are several layers underneath filled with colored cells. The cells contract and expand to create various colors.

Why Do Chameleons Change Color?

Chameleons seek to change color for various reasons including:

  • protection from predators
  • hiding out of discomfort
  • mood changes
  • communication with other lizards
  • mating signals
  • warning signs to keep away

These skilled artists of hide-and-seek, do not wish to be found by larger predators. We may end up being considered as threats when we enter the surrounding space.

If your chameleon feels uncomfortable by you or other factors including the temperature, it may choose to change color or hide. Your chameleon may express moods with color changes and warn others to stay away or entice potential mates to come closer.

Why Is My Chameleon Avoiding Me?

Your chameleon is not a pet in the technical sense. This is a reptile in captivity that you are caring for. It’s difficult to bond with a chameleon, but they can still develop a trust for you.

For now, your chameleon might be adjusting to this enclosed space or may think that you are a predator. A chameleon may seek to hide when conditions are suitable.

The stress from living in a tight space that could get cramped, cold or too hot could lead to the hiding tendencies that you are noticing.

Your presence is large and intimidating. Continue to bring in food and try hand feeding. Allow your chameleon to climb aboard your arm for 10 minutes at a time and seek to build this trust.

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Is The Cage Making My Chameleon Hide?

Your chameleon could develop respiratory infections or fungal infections in an enclosure without sufficient air flow and UVB light exposure. Your chameleon could be cold or hot as well.

A screened enclosure instead of bars or glass is far more suitable and allows a chameleon to explore, grab onto the walls and feel the breeze of a well ventilated area instead of hiding too often.

Why Is My Chameleon Out Of Sight?

Pay close attention to your chameleon’s habits. In worst-cast scenarios, your chameleon could be hiding because of an illness.

Spending too much on the bottom of the cage or hiding all day is a sign of lethargy or sickness. If you see your chameleon hiding in spaces that are unusual to its regular hangout locations, then something could be wrong. Look for:

  • a lack of appetite
  • a refusal of water
  • droopy lips
  • sunken eyes
  • dull color
  • wounds or abrasions
  • labored movement

Hiding in their favorite spot behind plants or on a branch is common. Remaining on the ground or hanging at the top of the cage out of sight is more concerning. Seek a vet’s assistance if you notice the symptoms above.

Why Do Chameleons Hide?

Chameleons hide with camouflage or sneaking behind plants and any other spaces in their enclosures that keeps them away from potential predators. Unfortunately, you might be considered a large threat when you enter the room.

Snakes, birds, dogs or cats that are nearby may also frighten your chameleon. The early days or weeks of a new chameleon learning to adjust to a new enclosure may also trigger the response to hide.

There are many other reasons not mentioned here and the worst of which could be a potentially undiagnosed illness that needs medical attention if your chameleon continues to hide too often and stops eating.

Is it Normal For Chameleons To Hide?

It’s very normal for a chameleon to blend into its surroundings. This is a natural ability that has helped it survive for centuries throughout the explosion of the human population and deforestation.

Predators continue to be eliminated or endangered, but humans are still looming large and considered by your chameleon to be a threat. Your presence will soon be tolerated the more often you interact with each other.

Keep offering delicious insects and worms for your chameleon and stay present while it enjoys eating or exploring the locations you have created that may also include your arm, shoulder or hand.


A chameleon that hides too often is either stressed, ill, shy, or needs time to adjust to its surroundings. Make sure that temperature is well within the optimal range of comfort and spray your chameleon a light mist from time to time.

The enclosure needs lots of UVB light and ventilation. Make sure your chameleon is still eating well. Supplement extra calcium and vitamins with their meals.

It’s normal for chameleons to hide, but your presence will be felt and accepted over time once the trust is built.


Thank you for visiting HomePetHelp.com for all your informational needs surrounding chameleons and other reptiles. We invite you to stick around and check out many of our articles concerning any pets that you are interested in. Your chameleon is one of our favorites! See you soon!