A feeding cup is simply a cup that you use to feed your chameleon. Before going into the details of how to make one, let’s go over the pros and cons of using one.
Advantages of using a feeding cup
Feeding cups are a good way to keep things clean. Instead of having crickets hide behind plants and furnishings, they are all isolated to a cup. In addition, the crickets also stay cleaner. Crickets are less exposed to the bacteria on cage bottom floors. Having said that, your cage floors shouldn’t be dirty in the first place.
Besides keeping things clean, it also makes tracking food intake easy. You can count how many your chameleon eats by simply counting how many are left in the cup. Cricket dust also tends to stay on longer, which eliminates the risk that your chameleon isn’t getting enough supplementation.
Disadvantages of using a feeding cup
The biggest disadvantage of using a feeding cup is the lack of exercise your chameleon will receive. Chameleons tend to get lazy when cup-trained. A side effect is that they also seem to stop using their tongues in favor of sticking their entire heads into the cups. For many, this reason alone is enough to free-roam feed. We also don’t recommend cup-feeding female panther chameleons. We believe that a female needs to be well-exercised to avoid complications with egg-laying.
How to make a feeding cup
Start with a semi-see-thru cup. You can pick up a soup cup at Whole Foods. They have the tall cups that work perfectly. Make sure they are not completely transparent as they will try to shoot right through it and injure their tongue.
Next, cut a hole at the bottom for drainage. This is optional if you are not using a misting system and plan to clean the cup daily. But I do stress that you need to keep the cup very clean. Even with screen, you still need to clean frequently.
Once you remove the bottom, you’ll need to glue a piece of aluminum screen to the bottom. Aquarium glue works very well for this. Make sure you use something safe.
Place a wire around the top-rim of the cup. Bend it in such a way that you have a hook at the end. Place the cup near your chameleon’s favorite spot. It can be directly under his/her branch or on the side.