It is hard to deny the allure of owning a pet monkey, and it often looks like an amazing experience. But what’s behind the curtain isn’t always so pretty. These creatures typically require a lot of care and space. Many species can become aggressive or violent, even after years of peaceful cohabitation.
Still, there are people who keep monkeys and other primates as pets. It’s estimated that 15,000 primates are currently being kept as pets in the US. Of course, with 330 different types of monkeys, some are going to be better pets than others. However, if you’re set on a primate pet, then here are the 5 best ones to go for.
Can you have a monkey as a pet?
Dogs, cats, birds and goldfish are always popular pets because of their wide availability, low cost and a number of other factors that determine their suitability. These animals are easy to care for, usually docile, and have been domesticated so they have qualities that make them good as pets.
But, According to some, monkeys also show none of these traits. They are very difficult to care for because they need so much space and you have to pay a lot of attention. Even the neediest dog will have nothing compared to how much your monkey needs from you.
It’s important to consider the animal’s behavior too. There are primates in captivity that have been pets for many years and with no incidents; however, this can suddenly change. For example, there was one instance where a woman had her face and hands ripped off by an ape because it had supposedly changed overnight.
Feeding a monkey can be time-consuming and expensive; primates need diverse food that contains nutrients, so if you own a monkey as a pet, you’ll want to spend lots of time making sure it is well-fed.
If you’re thinking about getting a monkey as a pet, don’t expect to have the cuddles. They may look like they want to be cuddled, but these animals are wild and should be treated as such. If you need the love and affection of an animal without the worries, cats & dogs are your best bet.
How much is a pet monkey?
One of the main reasons to avoid keeping a monkey as a pet is the associated cost. While some monkeys are reasonably priced such as capuchins, they can still cost $10,000 or more.
Not cheap at all, but some grand show dogs can fetch quite the price. And it doesn’t stop there- bigger primates cost a lot more money. A chimpanzee, for example, will come at a hefty price tag of around $70,000. For some businesses this is an investment that’s worth the penny.
While prices and specific packages will vary, pet monkeys can generally be found at a cost between $4000 and $8000. In general, younger, more rare, and friendlier monkeys will cost the most.
The 5 Pet Monkey Breeds:
There are a lot of different types of monkeys and many don’t make the best pets. The following eight, though, are some of the most domesticated (and popular) breeds so you can get what you’re after if you’re dead set on getting a house monkey.
1. Squirrel Monkey
Squirrel monkeys are a small breed of monkey usually 10-14″ without the tail and weigh an average of 1-3 pounds. They’re very active, acrobatic, and need lots of room to jump around in place. They enjoy hanging by their tails and swinging on tree branches, so make sure you give them plenty of trees to do so. They are known to be picky eaters. So even if a squirrel monkey eats less than a chimp, you could still find yourself experiencing dietary difficulties.
2. Spider Monkey
You might be able to name a few types of monkeys, but if you can name one, it’s probably the spider monkey. They are unique because they are kept as pets and are known for being very messy! Even though other monkeys seem to manage in diapers, for some reason with spider monkeys it’s the opposite – it seems like the majority of them are already potty trained.
Spider monkeys are also very social, and they need even more attention than other breeds. Without enough interactions with humans, spider monkeys will exhibit hostile behavior.
Chimpanzees are primates and not monkeys, as well. However, they are also apes and stand nearly 5 feet tall. A chimp can already be stronger than a grown man at the age of 5.
Chimps can live up to 60 years in captivity, so if you get a pet chimp, they will live the rest of your life. As we all know, these creatures are very dangerous and have hurt people before. If you do visit a chimp sanctuary or zoo with your kids, be sure to keep an eye on them at all times.
Capuchin monkeys are much smaller than chimps and thus a lot easier to care for and less dangerous. They’re around 2-feet tall, weighing under 10 pounds, and too small to rip off your face as a chimp could. Capuchins live around 25 years, so it’s not as long-term of a commitment as you would put into a chimpanzee.
Tamarins are a type of monkey you might have as a pet. They usually weigh less than a pound and live for about 15 years. You’ll only need about 7 square feet of living space for them, but they still need plenty of time to play & interact.
The idea of getting a pet monkey might sound like a novelty, but it’s not the best idea. You would need to have enough space and resources for one since they live for quite some time.
Before you get a pet monkey, make sure you know about the challenges you’ll be taking on! They’re not for everyone, but if done right & with the right expectations, it could be an incredible journey.
If you’re thinking about getting a monkey, make sure to buy one that is from one of the five breeds we’ve discussed on this list.
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