Monkeys can live for up to 40 years and are very intelligent, curious, and capable mammals. In most cases, you will have to obtain a state permit or license before buying a monkey and be sure to research reputable breeders and stay away from folks without licenses.
Monkeys come in all shapes and sizes and you should do extensive research on what you are looking for in a monkey before bringing one into your home. Training a monkey will be an ongoing project if you want him or her to learn tricks, so allow for a monkey trainer in your budget if you do not forsee yourself spending hours a day training your little guy or gal.
Specialized primate vets should also be sought out in your area, as you will need to have one fairly close by. Regular vets are unable to treat monkeys if a problem arises. If you work at home, a monkey may be a great pet for you. If you travel often or work 8 hours a day away from home, a monkey is not ideal. A pair of monkeys is better than one because they will provide company for each other and are very social animals.
Potty training a monkey is an essential if you want to let your monkey have the run of the house. You should not think of a monkey like a dog, cat, or hamster. Monkeys have complex emotional needs and need to feel genuinely loved and well-cared for. Monkeys can never be expected to be 'well-behaved' or trained to stay off of expensive furniture. Many become more aggressive when sexual maturity is reached, so do your research.
Despite all of these complications, why would someone want to own a monkey? Monkeys are very humanlike and can reciprocate emotionally on a more sophisticated level than most other pets. For stay at home workers, retirees, couples who are unable to have children, or single adults who do not want children but, have an excess of disposable time and income, monkeys may be the perfect addition to your family.
Some of the smaller breeds ideal as pets include spider monkeys, squirrel monkeys, marmosets, and pygmy marmosets (my favorite!). There are over 15,000 monkeys kept as pets in the United States. Monkeys are alot of fun, who wouldn't want one?
I would like to build a large greenhouse (45ft high x 100 ft long x 50 ft long) with banana trees and tropical flowers and have a couple of pygmy marmosets. It would be great to have a seating area in the center of the greenhouse for socializing, breakfast, working on the laptop and hanging out with my monkeys. I think we would enjoy the company of a few small conure parrots, too! But, that's just me.
Here are some resources for your pet monkey:
- monkey clothes, toys, and treats!
- info on keeping monkeys as pets
- read this if you have ever thought about buying a monkey!
- monkey stuff for humans