Over the last four to five years, the popularity of keeping a chameleon as a pet has been steadily increasing and although chameleons are still not one of the more commonly kept pet reptiles, they do have a loyal and dedicated community of people who keep them.
With chameleons having some stage behaviors, we have noticed a number of people reaching out and asking about these various behaviors such as their chameleon hanging by its tail so we wanted to publish an article on why your chameleon may be doing this.
In some situations, it can be totally normal for a chameleon to hang by its tail, especially if it is new to its vivarium and it can be considered a natural behavior as your chameleon explores its environment.
In other situations, a chameleon hanging by its tail can be an indication of the chameleon being stressed, anxious, gravid, or having some other type of problem.
It is more common for a chameleon to hang by its tail just as a way for your chameleon to explore its cage or to relax rather than it hanging by its tail due to there being a problem.
If you do suspect that your chameleon is having a problem then we would recommend that you book a video call with a veterinarian to have them check your pet chameleon over via the camera on your smartphone to offer you professional advice.
Is It Normal For A Chameleon To Hang By Its Tail?
The majority of chameleons will not hang by their tail at all but out of the chameleons who do display this behavior, it is usually due to natural reasons rather than your pet chameleon having a health issue or problem.
Some chameleons will use their tail for balancing while climbing on branches in their vivarium and this may eventually result in them hanging by their tail as they climb.
If your pet chameleon does have multiple branches in its vivarium at various heights then it can be considered normal for your pet chameleon to use its tail more than it would in a vivarium with fewer branches.
This is due to some chameleons using their tail to lower them to other branches or help them when they cross from one branch to another that is at a similar height.
If you have a young chameleon then they do seem to hang from their tail on a more frequent basis than adult chameleons but most will grow out of this behavior as they grow and age.
Keep in mind that the majority of chameleons tend not to hang by their tail at all and will commonly climb normally so if your chameleon does not hang by its tail from its branches then don’t take steps to try and encourage the behavior and just leave your pet chameleon to climb as it wants.
Why Is My Chameleon Hanging From His Tail?
Some chameleons will do seemingly random things with hanging by their tail being one of them and it is just one of those quirks of keeping chameleons as pets but they can also hang by their tail when climbing to reach other branches.
A chameleon hanging by its tail can also be an indication of the chameleon having problems such as being stressed or anxious, being scared due to change or being gravid.
Most chameleons, especially younger chameleons really don’t like change and they will often display a number of random behaviors as a way to cope with even small changes to their environment with hanging from their tail being one of them.
This can be due to something as small as a new branch being added to their vivarium to something as large as the chameleon being moved to a brand new vivarium that it has never been in before.
Although rare, some chameleons will hang from their tail when gravid, especially if it is their first egg cycle and this can include increased stress and anxiety levels.
Keep an eye out for other symptoms of your chameleon potentially being gravid and add an egg-laying dish to the vivarium if possible to prevent your chameleon from becoming egg-bound and additional problems potentially developing in the future.
Should I Be Worried If My Chameleon Is Hanging By Its Tail?
In most cases, a chameleon hanging by its tail tends not to be anything to worry about. It will usually be due to the chameleon just exploring or due to being a little scared due to a small change in its environment and presenting no long term issues.
If you suspect that your chameleon is gravid, stressed or anxious and hanging by its tail as a way to cope then you should look to help your chameleon.
This can range from moving your chameleon to an area of your home with less traffic as more sensitive chameleons can have issues with vibrations from people waking or loud tv sounds in certain rooms.
This can stress your chameleon out or spike their anxiety, especially if they are young and new to your home but other symptoms in addition to hanging by their tail from the branches in their vivarium will usually be present.
If your chameleon is hanging by its tail due to being gravid then there is usually no need to worry and adding an egg laying tray will often help encourage egg laying.
If you suspect that your chameleon is egg bound then we would recommend that you book a video call with a veterinarian to get some confirmation on the condition of your chameleon as well as some professional advice on how to move forward.
That brings our article going over why your pet chameleon is hanging by its tail to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you better understand why your chameleon may be exhibiting this behavior but there are some very rare and very specific causes too. Thankfully, the majority of chameleons that do hang from their tail do it as a quirk of being a chameleon and there is no other reason or cause behind it meaning that there is nothing to worry about.