Can I have a monkey as a pet? Is it illegal to have a monkey as a pet? What type of monkey can you have as a pet? Pet lovers have been asking such questions since the start of this year.
Well. If you are interested in owning a monkey as a pet but wondering whether it’s a good idea, you are not alone. Some monkeys are cute, cuddly, and can be affectionate depending on their mood.
That said, in this article, we are going to highlight everything you need to know about keeping a monkey as a pet.
Can They Be Kept As Pets
Yes. Some monkeys are friendly to humans and can be properly cared for as pets. However, you need to be careful when living with a monkey in your home as a friend. Thousands of monkeys are hosted as pets, companions, or status symbols in people’s homes across the world, relationships that often end in tears.
When monkeys are young, they look adorable and harmless. Don’t be deceived by their look. Experts warn that monkey pets can become aggressive and dangerous once they reach maturity. They can also transmit deadly diseases such as herpes B if they bite or scratch you.
Is It legal to Have a Monkey as a Pet?
Legally, there is no federal law in the United States that regulates the ownership of monkeys and other primates. Instead, states and local administration authorities decide whether you can own any kind of exotic animals. They have exotic animal laws that allow, prohibit, or restrict the ownership of certain types of animals.
According to FindLaw, some of the States that have enacted legislation allowing the ownership of monkeys as pets include Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Also, keep in mind that some states allow pet monkeys but have restrictions on the kinds of monkeys you can keep as a pet. They also require people who are interested in keeping exotic animals as pets to obtain certain types of permits and insurance. That’s not all. You should be prepared to follow expensive bonding requirements and lengthy application processes.
Laws are constantly changing. It’s, therefore, important you always check with your state authorities before obtaining a monkey as a pet.
What Type of Monkey Can You Have As a Pet?
If you are thinking of acquiring a monkey to live with as a companion, just keep in mind that not all species can be kept as a pet. Below are some of the most common types kept as pets.
- Guenon: Also known as cheeky fellows, guenons are medium-sized monkeys with a rounded head, long back legs, and long tails. They are mostly colorful, graceful, and lively. They are also best known for their striking color patterns, such as white-nose spot, browbands, or hip stripes. Facial features include a throat ruff, mustache, and beard. While cheeky fellows make a variety of sounds, they also communicate with facial expressions and several gestures such as closed eyelids or open mouth showing sharp teeth.
- Capuchins: Capuchins are territorial, social, and diurnal (active during the day). They are famous for their small size and mischievous nature. They spend most of their day hanging out in trees, urinating to mark their territory and searching for food. They considered the smartest type of monkey you can ever keep at your home as a pet. They are charming as babies and therefore need to be taken care of like a human baby. They are often seen in television and movies.
- Macaques: These are small-sized monkeys whose legs and arms are about the same in length. The color of their fur varies from shades of brown or black. They have rounded muzzles in profile with nostrils on the upper surface. Their tails vary among each species and can range from short, moderate or long. They need large secure cages to prevent them from running all over the house or climbing up electric poles, which can be dangerous.
- Tamarins: Another species of monkey you can keep at home as a pet are tamarins. They weigh less than a pound and vary considerably in appearance, ranging from pure black to a mixture of white, brown, and black. Most types of monkeys and this ground are not considered aggressive but can give you a nasty bite if they sense danger. They are small in size, so you will need to secure their cages with tiny bar spacing.
- Squirrel monkey: Their fur is typically yellowish orange on its back and black at the shoulders. The upper parts of their heads are hairy. They grow up to 35 centimeters and weigh from 500 to 750 grams. Both males and females feature long and hairy tails, pointed claws, and flat nails. They are highly social if you are considering keeping them as pets. One of the downsides of keeping squirrel monkeys is that they are highly mischievous and need a lot of space.
- Marmoset: These species are similar to the tamarins in weight and size. They also have the same housing requirements, just like the tamarins. They are playful, jumping from one tree to another and feeding on different types of food such as gum, leaves, fruits, and insects. They have strong incisors, which allow them to make holes on branches and tree trunks to extract the gum. They are quick and are not suited to handling since they do not sit still in your lap.
Problems of Owning a Monkey as a Pet
- The challenges of raising pet monkeys
Monkeys do not grow and mature as children do. Instead, they remain toddlers forever. This means they will need your full commitment throughout their entire life. A pet monkey deprived of your attention is likely to develop psychological issues and severe behavioral problems such as biting and screaming.
- Medical issues (zoonotic diseases)
Monkeys pass a wide range of zoonotic diseases to humans. Even if you find a veteran near you, most of them will not be willing to treat your monkey. Besides, it can be difficult to keep a monkey healthy. For instance, they need specialized food that can be expensive and time-consuming to prepare. One of the diseases that are common among monkeys is diabetes, which occurs due to poor diet.
- Behavioral problems
Monkeys can seem innocent and harmless when they are young but can grow to be an aggressive animal that they were meant to be. Even if you raise them properly, you won’t change their wild nature. Depriving normal social relationships with other primates can create negative behavioral problems such as biting, screaming, or aggressiveness.
- Housing pet monkeys
Another problem you may encounter when raising a pet monkey is the housing requirements. Monkeys, when they are in their natural habitat, like to jump from one tree to another. You will, therefore, need to provide a large and secure cage, which can be time-consuming and expensive to construct. Since your pet monkey is going to spend time caged, you will need to provide them with a variety of toys and exercise equipment. Moreover, monkeys are not clean and tidy.
- Difficult to train
Unlike other pets, monkeys are difficult to train. Although they are quite intelligent and smart, you will find it much more difficult to train them compared to regular pets like dogs and cats. Often, they will refuse to be trained. However, with new training techniques and little patience, you can succeed in having a relatively well-behaved monkey.
Where You Can Buy a Monkey
Here are a few websites if you want to find the best monkey to keep in your home as a companion or status symbol:
- Primate store (monkeys for sale page): Here, you will find listings of capuchin, marmoset, tamarin, squirrel monkey, macaque, or other monkey species. Besides, you can buy anything related to monkeys such as primate related diets, foraging devices, enrichment toys, monkey hammocks, treats, diaper covers, and more.
- Pets4You: This site lists different types of pets for sale, including different species of monkeys. The lists contain contact information and monkey pictures.
- Poggi’s Animal House: This Company is located on 11365 Earnest Blvd, Davie, Florida. The company is best known for its baby monkeys and other exotic animals. Mostly, they specialize in selling marmosets and capuchin monkeys.
In general, monkeys, regardless of species, do not make good pets. They require constant mental and physical attention, proper environment to live, and specialized diets. They are also difficult to train and house. If they are not taken care of and provided what they need, they can quickly become depressed, aggressive, and destructive. If you are planning to keep them as a pet, you must be practical and prepared.
If you need clarification or have any further questions regarding pet monkeys, feel free to contact us or leave your comment below. We will be glad to provide the best answers you need.