A Monkey as a Pet

Keeping a monkey as a pet can be challenging as well as dangerous but these loveable and adorable creatures usually make all of the hard work worth it in the end.

There are dozens of species of money that one could adopt. Doing research on each species is highly recommended because they are very different. Some species of primate can live up to 40 years so this is truly a life-long commitment. Each species of monkey including chimpanzee, marmoset and capuchin has its own personality and health concerns. You should be financially, physically and mentally prepared for the challenge before adopting a pet monkey.

Monkeys need an abundance of care and attention or they will, without a doubt, become destructive and aggressive. If your new companion is allowed to roam around the house then they need constant supervision. They may swing from curtains or climb on the furniture. Supervising a monkey is nothing short of watching a toddler.

Moneys are intelligent and the larger can open doors. That means the front door, the back door, even the refrigerator door.

To keep your monkey happy he/she will need a large enclosure to play around in. Regular bird cages just won’t do. There should be plenty of foliage, hammocks, ropes and other toys as well as a heating element. Keeping lots of play things in the enclosure will keep your monkey busy and happy. Outdoor enclosures can be especially comforting to monkey’s. However, with outdoor enclosures, there may be legal ramifications if the enclosure is not inspected first. Also, keep in mind the weather of your location as well as the climate of your monkey’s natural habitat. Your monkey’s enclosure should be cleaned daily with disinfectant. They are highly susceptible to diseases that we carry so proper cleaning and sanitation is a must.

Commercial primate food is available and can be purchased for your new pet. Monkeys like a lot of variety and are naturally omnivorous feeding on small insects as well as fruits and vegetables. If you choose to make fresh food for your primate friend then go with a mixture of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, eggs and wheat bread as well as pet store bought crickets and grasshoppers.

If you are considering owning any species of monkey be sure you will legally be allowed to keep one. Legal requirements vary by jurisdiction but always check with local law enforcement as well as animal control to find out the specifics of exotic pets. You will need to find a veterinarian who specializes in monkeys. They are considered an exotic pet and not all veterinarians will treat them. They will require yearly checkups as well as vaccinations. Monkeys are highly susceptible to the diseases that we carry, cold sores can be fatal for monkeys so finding a proper veterinarian before adopting is very important.


  1. I have two squirrel monkeys as pets. They are wonderful, but as you have mentioned take a GREAT deal of care. They are tons of work. But for me it is all worth it.

  2. @Eileen – Thanks for the comment. Since you have some experience, can you share the biggest issue in having a monkey as a pet? I would imagine it’s a toss up between the expense to properly care for an exotic anima, or possibly the mess it creates.

  3. The expense isn’t too terrible. Once you’ve purchased the animal and built the cage which are the most expenisive items the rest is not much. To give you an idea I spend $30 every 3-4 months on a 25lb bag of Zupreem Monkey Chow. I supplement the chow with fruits and veggies spending another $15 every week or week & a half. All this is for two monkeys. To put it in Yearly numbers about $600-700 on fruits a year for 2 monkeys, and $120 for monkey chow a year. A dog owner will spend roughly $360 a year on food. for one dog. So its pretty much the same as a dog food wise.

  4. Sorry I had trouble with the posting…The other expenses are toys, some I buy which are specially for monkeys. Others I make. I made them a swing and a nest box out of PVC pipes, plastic chain, and a Home Depot bucket. Total cost was about $15 for both. Vet visits are pricy at $350 each, but again its only once a year. That includes all their shots.

    The mess isn’t that big of deal. The hardest part is making sure that I am spending sufficient time with them. The first year of Joey’s life he was with me 24-7. I took him to work. That got a little overwhelming, but I am glad I did it because I know that he is more mentally healthy because of it. Also learning to read them and their vocalizations. Every chirp, bark or scream means something particular. If you pay attention, you will become attune to what they are saying/feeling. I know when they are in a bad mood and put them away so they have time to cool down. They are very much like people. Like raising a rebeiluos teen in a terrible two’s stage. You love them dearly, but to me it worth every moment of it. To get home and have Sofie put her little hands around my neck and purr with content, or Joey to see me walk through the gat and start screaming at the site of me…To be in my room with Joey jumping from curtain rods to armoire to bed, and then to me jumping to play. That makes it all worth it.

  5. I am getting a Capuchin monkey delivered tomorrow, I have the chance to buy two, would one monkey on it's own be lonely. The seller hasn't given me much information on the Cappuchin and I have only saw a picture of it.
    Any advice would be very welcome

  6. i have been trying to buy a monkey for as long as i can remember. but have had no luck finding some place safe and reliable. could you suggest somewhere in the u.k where i can purchase a adorable capuchin monkey?

  7. well i am very close to buying a capuchin monkey. we r working on building a cage made out of PVC pipes and Metal netting for the indoor cage. for the out door cage we will also use metal netting. i have a storage house in my back yard and we will take everythin out and use it as an encloser.

Leave a Reply