Do Monkeys Make Good Pets?

Do you really want a monkey?

Movies and television shows portray monkeys as a bit mischievous but otherwise living harmoniously with humans. For instance, there’s Tarzan and his monkey Cheetah, Aladdin and his buddy Abu, and Ross from Friends and his capuchin monkey Marcel. But in reality, do monkeys really make good pets?

Monkeys are a group of animals that belong to the Primates order which includes apes and us humans.

Monkeys, like babies, are adorable and seem so helpless that they come as irresistible — not to mention that their appeal can’t be that far from a human baby’s. But once they grow up, they can be difficult to manage.

As a general rule, monkeys are not suitable as house pets. Although their intelligence is special and superior compared to other animals, that very intelligence makes monkeys really, really challenging pets. And yes, the entertainment reference about monkeys being mischievous is in fact, quite true. Monkeys can be very annoying too.

We guess you should be a professional to handle these difficult and unpredictable primates. If you’re not a professional but do intend to adopt monkeys as pets, you should face these risky consequences.

Pet Monkey Care: Do monkeys make good pets?


Many, especially those who have owned a pet monkey before, think that taking care of a pet monkey equals to taking care of a human who never grows up and needs your attention at all times. You should know that once you take a monkey home, it will surely be a long-term commitment. A monkey needs your full attention throughout their lives. Make sure that you’re not a very busy person because if you are, a monkey cannot thrive on its own without your attention.

Generally, monkeys do not welcome changing circumstances. They can be very jealous creatures, and may not take well to new people in your life, including your new spouse or your newborn infant. Finding a new home for a pet monkey can be quite challenging, especially when it has bonded to its previous owner.

Monkeys are expensive to feed, and their diets can be very specialized and food may require time-consuming preparations. A significant amount of time and attention are required just for cleaning and caring for monkeys. But above all these things, monkeys need complete and undivided social interaction from their human owners at all times. Otherwise, a monkey that is deprived of attention may develop behavioral problems and psychological complications.

Legal issues

In some states, keeping primates such as monkeys is illegal. If you live in a state where keeping a monkey as pets is otherwise legal, be sure to obtain permits. And that would not be all, because even if you secure permits, you are still subject to inspection from officials to see if you provide your pet monkey with proper facilities and care.

Medical issuesMedical issues

Monkeys are known to carry certain diseases that are transmissible to man. They include rabies, human herpes 1, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis, and several others. They should be vaccinated against any of this disesase. Aside from being carriers, monkeys are also susceptible to a variety of human illnesses. It can also very difficult to find a vet who is knowledgeable, capable and willing to treat an ill pet monkey or any primate.

Unpredictable behavior

Primates such as monkeys are very unpredictable creatures. No matter how you raise a monkey to become domesticated, a monkey still has its wild nature. A monkey’s wild nature is suitable for the jungles of Borneo but not inside your living room. And besides, monkeys need the social interaction of other monkeys. Deprivation of such interaction can lead to psychological and behavioral problems.

Given their unpredictable behavior, even docile monkeys may become suddenly very aggressive, even to whom they are closest. Monkeys also have the tendency to bite.

Housing concerns

As indicated, finding a new home for a pet monkey can be quite challenging, especially when it has bonded to its previous owner. And besides, they require a very ample and secure enclosure. Monkeys also need to spend time outdoors when circumstances allow. Since monkeys are intelligent, they also tend to become bored, so you must keep them stimulated by giving them a variety of toys or other things for them to play.

Monkeys are mischievous and messy

Unless you have tons of patience to have them toilet-trained, most monkeys won’t probably obey your orders. Younger monkeys can be worn with a diaper, or toilet-trained for a time, but that is lost once they become adults. They even relish in disgusting and gross things like their own feces or urine. When monkeys are especially very bored, they become really destructive and really, really wicked.

Good luck to you if you still want to take a monkey home (and want to court risks from having one). Make sure to be totally prepared in facing these consequences listed above, especially if you really take a liking to monkeys.