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Can Chameleons Hear?

The popularity of adding a reptile to your family as a pet is increasing and although they are not one of the more commonly kept reptiles out there, more and more people are looking to add a chameleon to their family.

Although chameleons are excellent pets to keep, they do have a number of different strange behaviors that often result in people reaching out to ask questions about their new pets.

One of the more common questions like this that we see is about if chameleons can hear or not as well as a number of different questions about how noise and sound will affect a chameleon.

Some of the discussions about if chameleons can hear or not on social media do have accurate information but many of them are just full of people saying incorrect things so we wanted to publish our own article answering these questions.

With any luck, this should be able to help as many of our readers as possible better understand how chameleons hear and interact with sound as it is a commonly misunderstood topic.

Our table of contents below should be able to help you quickly and easily navigate our article without having to waste time allowing you to jump directly to the specific question that you want answers for.

Can Chameleons Hear?

Chameleons can hear but they have not evolved to have a very good sense of hearing and tend not to rely on that sense much in the wild.

This is why many people new to owning chameleons can commonly think that their chameleon is deaf when it is actually just a normal chameleon with a normal sense of hearing for their species.

This can be a common trait amongst many reptiles that are commonly kept as pets as they have simply not had to evolve to have a good sense of hearing.

Out of these reptiles commonly kept as pets, chameleons are definitely one of the worse when it comes to how well they are able to hear though making them seemingly unresponsive to you trying to interact with the chameleon via speech.

The majority of chameleons tend to prefer to be just left alone to do their own thing anyway making them a relatively passive pet to keep.

This means that they may not be ideal for children who are looking for a more interactive reptile that they are able to play with rather than something a little more low maintenance and hands off like a chameleon.

Do Loud Noises Scare Chameleons?

Although chameleons do have a poor sense of hearing, they are able to detect loud noises via the soundwaves moving through the room.

Sudden, loud noises can scare chameleons and spike the levels of stress and anxiety in your chameleon and potentially result in health issues later down the line if it is constantly exposed to loud noises.

One common mistake that we see people making time and time again with their chameleons vivarium is to place it near a door in a heavily trafficked room.

People new to owning chameleons are often surprised by the effect of the door opening and closing as it can transfer its soundwaves to your chameleon’s vivarium and result in obviously stressed and anxious behavior but people new to owning a chameleon are often not aware of what to look for.

Similar potential problems include having your chameleon’s vivarium near your TV or where your children like to play as it is simply too loud for the average chameleon.

Although your chameleon may be a little hard of hearing, it does not mean that it is not able to detect the sound via the vibrations on the branch it is standing on resulting in the chameleon becoming scared.

Do Chameleons Like Music?

Chameleons tend not to like music, especially loud music as they are unable to understand what the constant vibrations are or if it means that there is a potential predator close to them.

Although chameleons do struggle to hear, the constantly changing sound waves can be detected by your chameleon in other ways often resulting in stress and anxiety.

We have seen a number of people share videos on social media of their pet chameleon “dancing” to music but this is often just a scared chameleon trying to get to cover as it thinks that there is a potential predator close to it.

This is often due to people who own chameleons not being aware of the effects of loud sounds on them and then accidently thinking that their chameleon is enjoying the music.

The main problem with this is that many other people can then see these videos and then play music for their own chameleons.

This is one of the main problems with pet owners and social media as most people don’t take the time to double check that the latest trend is safe for their pets when more times than not, things like this can actually put your pet at risk.


That brings our article going over if chameleons can hear or not to an end. Chameleons are not deaf and they are able to hear but they do tend to have a poor sense of hearing but are still vulnerable to loud sounds so should be kept in a more relaxed area of your home if possible. This is a very common mistake that we see chameleon owners make time and time again so we hope that our article has been able to help some of our readers avoid making this mistake with their own pet chameleon.