So You Want To Adopt A Monkey As A Pet? Read This Guide | Pet Adoption Planet (2024)

So You Want To Adopt A Monkey As A Pet? Read This Guide | Pet Adoption Planet (1)

Monkeys aren’t known as the best pets to have around due to their upkeep and the fact that they’re illegal to own in many different US states. If you do decide to get one, there are helpful resources to help with your basic monkey questions and needs

Adoptions for monkeys can start at $52/year or $5/month and purchasing one can be $7k-$70k, depending on their size. If you would like to adopt a monkey there are a few states that will allow you to legally. Owners must be able to read their monkey’s behavior and give them a suitable habitat.

In this article, we’ll be going over the typical behaviors to expect with monkeys, how to give them proper care, and where in the United States you can adopt/buy one legally. If you’re not sure if a monkey will be a good pet overall, you should have an answer by the end of this article.

Monkey Behavior Overall

On average, a monkey can live up to 20-40 years, can be 22+ inches tall, and weigh about 15-25 pounds. Generally, females will be a bit smaller than males. Source

Monkeys are very social so they will need lots of attention from you as they don’t like being left alone. If you don’t interact enough with your monkey, behavior problems will occur such as aggression.

This also results in them screaming loudly and biting whoever is within reach. It can be hard to break this habit once it starts, so set boundaries easily.

Cute But Intimidating

Signs of aggression are shown by the monkey grinning (if you smile back they take it as a threat), pulling their lips, yawning, and jerking their head/shoulders forward. Whereas signs of affection and peace-making are grooming one another.

Monkeys can be cute and funny but they have their moments of being unpredictable. Make sure you keep things that you don’t want to be snatched as they will go after shiny objects and food. They have a keen sense of smell they can tell where food is, even if it’s sealed or hidden behind doors.

Don’t fight for your belongings either in a tug of war as this will result in a bite or scratch that will need medical attention. There is a good chance that monkeys will drop it but if not, you should stand your ground in making yourself appear larger, shouting and waving your arms.

Monkeys follow the hierarchy of respect, so doing this shows you’re the one with dominance. If they detect fear in you, look out, they’ll chase you down.

When To Seek Medical Help

If a monkey scratches or bites you, medical help is urgent as monkeys could carry rabies. This disease is very dangerous and needs to be treated immediately. Even scratches can become infected because of a monkey’s habit of handling their own feces. Source

Monkeys easily transfer dangerous diseases to humans and that’s why zoo professionals wear certain clothing to protect themselves. While monkey pet owners may not need to wear the garments the whole time they interact, it’s still important that you take your monkey to the vet regularly for checkups. Always be sure to wash your hands after touching them as well. Source

So You Want To Adopt A Monkey As A Pet? Read This Guide | Pet Adoption Planet (2)

Caring For Your Monkey

Diet Needs

If a monkey isn’t fed properly, they are subject to diabetes, which results in constant monitoring by a vet. Monkeys are omnivores, so a typical diet for a pet monkey would be both meat and plant-based food. For meat, they eat bird’s eggs, small lizards, insects, and spiders. They also eat nuts, fruits, seeds, and even flowers. Source

Enclosures And Entertainment

Keeping your monkey in your home is a no-go. A typical house size doesn’t provide the basic habitat requirements that monkeys need. Monkeys also get into everything such as electrical cords, leashes, and cleaning products.

An enclosure has to be about 30 square feet or more and those can get pretty expensive. This means they will need to be kept outside as they will need to be to have better development.

To keep the monkey entertained, they need a variety of toys for them to play with. It’s crucial to help them feel challenged during their development. If they become too bored, they will start to throw things and bite. Monkeys are very vocal, so chances are if you don’t have laid-back neighbors this noise will become a problem.

Potty Training

Monkeys cannot be toilet trained. Even if you are able to train a young monkey to be partially trained, they will lose this ability as they grow. Even during the process, monkeys will want to throw and play with their feces. A lot of monkey owners have them. wear diapers, but this isn’t a perfect solution either. Source

What Types Of Monkeys Are Best As Pets?

So You Want To Adopt A Monkey As A Pet? Read This Guide | Pet Adoption Planet (3)

Where Can You Buy/Adopt Monkyes

Typically the cost of a small monkey (like a capuchin) is around $7,000 whereas a larger monkey (like a chimpanzee) can be around $70,000. Though the cost of food, diapers, and vet visits can vary Source

You do need to have a permit when adopting or buying your primate friend and the states featured below are where you can have monkeys as pets with no restrictions in the US:

  • Washington state
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • Kansas
  • Iowa
  • Missouri
  • Arkansas
  • Wisconsin
  • Illinois
  • Ohio
  • Alabama
  • West Virginia
  • Virginia
  • North Carolina/South Carolina


If you are interested in purchasing or adopting a monkey the following are sites where you can find what you’re looking for:

  1. Primate here
  2. Born Free here
  3. Wild here

Are Monkeys Good Pets Overall?

Monkeys are capable of having sweet dispositions, but in the end, they are still wild animals that will give into instinct even if they are raised by you as a baby. Even sweet monkeys can flip from being their cute selves to becoming aggressive even to their owner.

It is possible for a monkey to live with humans without causing harm and can be well-trained behavior-wise, but because they can never be domesticated the risk is too high in the majority of cases. Monkeys need your full commitment through their lifespan, and overall they’re not meant to be pets because they don’t mature the same way as children.

So You Want To Adopt A Monkey As A Pet? Read This Guide | Pet Adoption Planet (2024)


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