Why Does My Chameleon Keep Falling? {Don’t Freak Out – Just Do This}

Step, wobble and drop. What’s going on with my chameleon falling over and over again?

Should I freak out when my search results are showing bleak warning that my chameleon could be sick or dying? Can I make some minor adjustments to find out how to prevent my chameleon from falling?

Read the article instead of worrying or stressing out when trying to figure out, “Why does my chameleon keep falling?”

Why Does My Chameleon Keep Falling?

A common answer is MBD – metabolic bone disease that starts with a calcium deficiency and symptoms include loss of coordination and also answers why a chameleon is not moving. This is not the only reason to why a chameleon keeps falling, but it’s a big one.

The following factors in this article are essential for you to understand and remedy the situation. It might not be a huge problem. Let’s see what minor adjustments you can make.

Wobbly Chameleon

A clumsy chameleon could be naturally slow and silly in wonky or jerky movements. The hesitation in unknown territories with objects in our home we take for granted, could actually cause chameleons to be falling or slipping.

Your reptile companion could be getting bruised by this as well. At this point you may wonder why does my chameleon have black spots? 

A dinner table, chair, bookcase, TV stand are all simple pieces of furniture for us, but strange structures for a chameleon. Notice when and where your chameleon is acting or moving weird.

Strange chameleon movements are not always a sign of illness. They might just be trying to figure out this landscape in captivity which is a stark contrast to what they have adapted and survived through for millions of years in the wild.

Does my Chameleon Have Metabolic Bone Disease?

The skeletal system links to MBD (metabolic bone disease) as a common and unfortunate occurrence in many reptiles including chameleons. I had to see it first-hand to believe how much it can affect a chameleon falling, losing balance or looking wobbly.

In the end, your chameleon’s vet will make the correct diagnosis between several of these related illnesses to determine why the physical loss of coordination is occurring.

  • Hyperparathyroidism (NSHP)
  • Renal Secondary Hyperparathyroidism (RSHP)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Deficiency in vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus

My fingers are crossed that it’s none of the above and could be something more simpler that we will discuss further down this article.

Which Chameleons Get MBD?

Plenty of chameleons are able to contract a bone disease known as MBD. The following categories of chameleons are known to need more calcium, vitamin D and phosphorus to prevent metabolic bone disease:

  • veiled chameleons
  • juvenile chameleons
  • female chameleons
  • malnourished chameleons

The Symptoms Of MBD

Your chameleon might be falling or losing balance as one of many symptoms that may indicate metabolic bone disease.

If you notice any of the following symptoms along with this loss of balance or inability to support weight, than seek medical help:

  • drooped lips
  • muscle spasms
  • swollen limbs
  • bone fractures
  • loss of color on fingers, toes and tails
  • loss of appetite
  • lethargy
  • curved spine
  • sunken eyes
  • foul smell
  • bloodshot eyes

Why is my chameleon clumsy when he doesn’t really display any of these symptoms above? He wobbles sometimes and I’m trying not to freak out and think of using online information to tell me the worst-case scenarios. Read further to see if there is something you can do to lessen your worries.

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Why is My Chameleon Weak?

A weak chameleon may fall often. They may also act lethargic and give up eating. Weakness could range from diseases such as MBD (metabolic bone disease) or plenty of other ailments that require a diagnosis.

However, let’s go through some basic assessment such as:

  • Checking temperatures
  • Checking humidity
  • Examining the terrain in the enclosure or outside
  • Detail assessment of nutrition in diet
  • Dehydration (loose or tight skin)

Start with making sure your chameleon is drinking enough water. Take a temperature reading and see if there is fluctuation at night.

Assess how much nutrition they are getting from their meals and consider gut loading mealworms to pack in more nutrients.

Ideal Diet For Weak Chameleons

A weak, wobbly, clumsy chameleon that is having trouble moving without falling may need a complete overhaul of their diet or minor adjustments. Check to see if you are able to purchase and supply your chameleons with the following:

  • crickets
  • hornworms
  • locusts
  • mantis hatchlings
  • silkworms
  • snails with shells
  • mealworms
  • superworms
  • butterworms
  • waxworms

I powder meals with calcium and multivitamin supplements meant for reptiles after discussing this with an experienced representative at my nearest exotic pet shop.

She gave me this tip and along with gut loading crickets and mealworms, powdering or sprinkling on supplements once a week is a good preventative measure or can assist with chameleons who are losing balance.

Help A Falling Chameleon

How often is your chameleon falling? Do they seem uncertain of the terrain around them and move with apprehension?

Do the limbs seem shaky and weak? If the falling is continuing daily, then follow these next steps and see what you can find out:

  • Visiting the vet.
  • Getting x-rays.
  • Testing for calcium and phosphorus levels.
  • Adding more protein to their diet.
  • Supplementing with calcium and multivitamins.

Inside the enclosure, you can lower branches and create a safer space while they try to improve balance and strength.

You can also allow for 12 hours of UVB light. Finally, we recommend feeding in the mornings to help provide energy for the rest of their day.

Do Chameleons Fall?

Yes. Chameleons fall in the wild all the time and they are survivors. They have flexible bodies that are armored and hardy. Their nails catch branches or slow down their falls. Some get injured and others develop deficiencies in nutrition when they do not find or eat enough insects.

4 Minor Adjustments To Helping Your Falling Chameleon

  1. Ever since we started gut loading mealworms and crickets for our chameleon to eat, we notice an improvement of strength and stability.
  2. We added more UVB light for longer stretches of the day.
  3. I lowered branches and invite my chameleon to move freely in safer, lower or flatter spaces.
  4. I sprinkle calcium with multivitamins supplements on the insects or a small piece of fruit once a week for added nourishment.

We hope this article give you enough information to make minor changes, improvements or the ultimate decision to visit the vet.


Thank you for visiting PocketPetCentral.com for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.