Caring for Primates: Is a Pet Monkey Right for My Family?

Is a Pet Monkey Right for My Family?

While pet monkeys may look cute and cuddly, they are not right for everyone. Adult monkeys are strong-willed and intelligent enough to get you in trouble. Caring for primates requires a lot of effort and patience. Therefore, we have put together a few considerations to take to help you answer the question, “Is a pet monkey right for my family?”

Is a Pet Monkey Right for My Family?

When you’re considering a pet monkey for your family, proceed with caution. You will need to prepare your house as if you are having a toddler live with you. The following are a few considerations to take before purchasing a pet monkey for your family.

Obtaining a Monkey Legally

Make sure it is legal to have one in your state. Many states are passing laws to protect primates and bear in mind that it is illegal to carry your pet monkey into the U.S. from another country.

Also, traveling abroad with a pet monkey is not a good idea. Not only are pet monkeys illegal in some countries, but they are sensitive creatures and can get easily unsettled with displacement.

The only legitimate and safe way to obtain a monkey would be to purchase one through a reputable breeder. Although is sometimes difficult to locate a breeder near you and doesn’t ask for outrageous prices. Always look at the going rate of the breed of monkey you are searching for. Anything under that price is more often than not going to be a scam. Some breeders have their own websites and advertise through that platform, others use pet listing sites such as

Time and Commitment

Owning a pet monkey is a lifetime commitment. During their infancy, these creatures require 24/7 attention. However, many will require such attention all the way into adulthood as well. Also, keep in mind pet monkeys can live up to 40 years or more.

You must be watching your pet monkey every second they’re not in a cage. Even the smallest of monkey breeds can open a cupboard and spill containers of flour, sugar and liquid in minutes. Larger monkeys can open refrigerators, turn on faucets, rip through window screens, unlock outside doors, turn over chairs, tables, stereos and televisions. In addition, you must keep toxic substances and medicines locked.

Living Environment and Space

For the safety of the monkey, you will need a cage. As mentioned earlier, monkeys are extremely intelligent and can unlock doors, windows and cabinets. This can put their safety at risk. Therefore, a cage will be necessary to prevent damage to your home and harm to the monkey.

The USDA recommends a minimum size for the cage, but it is advisable to acquire something larger, as monkeys are very active animals and need a lot of space to play. In addition, they need a large amount of mental stimulation, ensure to fill their cages with toys, trees and plants. Without mental stimulation, the monkey will become bored, which can result in aggressive behavior.

Qualified Veterinary Care for Pet Monkeys

Many vets know very little about primates, and some won’t accept primates as patients. Before purchasing a monkey as a pet, make sure you have veterinarian nearby that offers care for pet monkeys.

All Pets Veterinary Medical Center offers veterinary care for pet monkeys in the Bryan/College Station area. Contact us to learn more about our services.


These are just a few considerations to keep in mind when answering the question, “Is a pet monkey right for my family?” Contact us with the link below for more information or to schedule your pet monkey veterinary care with us today!

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