Why Monkeys Don’t Make Good Pets?

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There is something cute about having a baby monkey as a pet. Baby monkeys like capuchins usually appear so helpless, sweet, and they also look a lot like human babies. However, those cute looking baby monkey will grow to become really difficult adult monkeys and you may begin to wonder why you chose them as a pet in the first place.

The challenges of caring for a monkey

Taking care of a pet monkey is nothing like taking care of other pet animals. A monkey that is well cared for can live as long as 20 to 40 years of age and it will require this full commitment throughout the pet and owner relationship.

You have to understand that a pet monkey will not understand nor make any attempt to be independent if you become too busy or when circumstances change. If you are expecting your baby monkey to grow up and mature the way human babies do then sorry to disappoint you, they will remain toddlers in character for the rest of their life.

Monkeys may not be welcoming to new people in your life and that includes your spouse and children. They also make it hard for you to just get away on a vacation because they always need you.

If you are giving a monkey to a new owner, there is bound to be problems as the monkey can neither handle the transfer of ownership well both emotionally and psychologically. Especially when the monkey has bonded nicely with its first owner.

Monkeys are not cheap to house as they usually require a proper permit, secure enclosure, and in some cases an additional insurance on your homeowner’s policy. They are also expensive to feed especially because they need a specialized diet that can be very time consuming to make. You also need to have plenty of time to spare just for cleaning up after your pet primate.

Another important thing is that monkeys require a large amount of social interaction with their owners. A pet monkey that is attention starved will develop behaviour problems that will cause it to scream and even begin to bite. It may also develop psychological problems that can be hard or almost impossible to resolve.

Legal problems with pet monkeys

It may be illegal to keep a primate as pet in the country where you reside. Even if it is legal to own a monkey as pet where you live, you may need some form of permit.

Sometimes even permit holders are subject to home inspection to make sure that proper care and facilities are provided. The homeowner policy may sometimes require an additional liability coverage or even cancel your policy completely if they discover you have a monkey. However, not having an insurance will put you at risk if your monkey ever bites a person.

Medical issues with monkeys


A wide variety of zoonotic diseases can be passed from monkeys and other primates to humans and the other way round. Finding a veterinarian near you who will be willing and able to take care of a primate might be very challenging.

One of the common illnesses among pet monkeys is diabetes and that happens due to poor diet a lot of owners feed them. Diabetes in monkeys will require constant monitoring by both your vet and you.

Monkeys can be aggressive

The sweet baby monkey that looks innocent and dependent will eventually grow up to become the wild monkey that it was meant to be. It is unfortunate that raising a monkey among humans will not change it’s natural behavior.

In fact, if a monkey is deprived from normal social relations with its kind, that money may begin to have behavior problems and even neuroses. Monkeys will never be domesticated regardless of how many monkeys you put together in your home.

Monkeys have 32 teeth that are sure to deliver the nastiest bites at the slightest chance. While there may be some relatively well behaved monkeys, some can be extremely aggressive.

Even the monkey that seems like the gentlest can switch behavior and become aggressive on anyone and that includes it’s owner no matter how much time they have spent together. There is a higher chance of such aggressiveness to occur during a monkey’s puberty years.

Messy monkey

Monkeys are very messy creatures and no matter how hard you try, toilet training them may never be possible. They may even grow to become so dirty that they begin to play with their urine and poop. Monkeys can also be very destructive and mischievous so if you are getting one, see to it that your are fully prepared for all the trouble.

The bottom line is that monkeys are never a good choice for a pet because they are so much trouble. However, if you have been able to effectively care for a monkey or manage to keep one as a pet, please feel free to tell us about it in the comment section.

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