Seven Primates That Make Excellent Pets

types of monkeys illustration

Primates have special requirements and necessitate a great deal of care and attention. Taking care of one in a home might be difficult. More than 350 species of primates have been discovered in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Only seven of these primates are often kept as pets. Review some key points regarding owning capuchin monkeys, chimps, and other primates. Also, before you bring one home, think about some important factors.


What's Not So Great About a Pet Monkey

Major Considerations Before Getting a Primate

If you're considering adopting or purchasing a pet primate, there are a few things to consider before making your decision. Primates in general, and bigger primates such as chimps are among the worst.

A primate's price is high, whether it's a little monkey like a capuchin ($7,000) or a large ape like a chimpanzee ($70,000). However, growing expenses such as a lifetime supply of food, diapers, and veterinarian bills might be too expensive.

You and your family are at risk from all primates. Even if you raise the animal from birth, it is still a wild animal that might attack you at any time. Smaller monkeys are more likely to get angry, bite you, or destroy your home or enclosure. Larger monkeys and chimps can cause more damage, personal harm, and even death. While some monkeys are well-trained and live their whole lives without harming others, the risk is too great in most circumstances.

Most primates are long-lived creatures that, despite their appearance, are not cuddly. They take up a lot of your attention every day and demand enormous cages. Even zoos with enormous naturalistic enclosures are being chastised for not providing enough room in terms of space requirements. Even while some of the animals can survive in cages of 30 square feet or more, others never adapt well to living in one.

Monkeys and apes require a varied, nutritious food as well as many hours of daily stimulation and engagement with you. If these requirements are not met, the animal will grow lonely or unhappy, and may become violent.


The is a New World monkey that is frequently shown in television and film as the hat-and-vest-wearing monkey that collects money from street performers. These bright, mischievous, and territorial long-lived monkeys have an average lifespan of 40 years. Despite their intelligence, kids never learn to use the bathroom and require diapers for the rest of their lives.


Although chimps have been kept as pets, it is not advised since they can be hostile. Chimps aren't the same as monkeys. They are large apes that are endemic to Africa's woodlands and grasslands. Humans have the most DNA in common with this species, although chimps are huge, muscular, and can outstretch humans in raw strength. Humans have been attacked and even murdered by chimps. This species likewise lives a long time in captivity (approximately 60 years) and requires diapers while outside of its enclosure.


Macaques are Asian monkeys that are smaller. They may reach a weight of 40 pounds and live for up to 30 years. They must also use diapers for the rest of their lives. They'll need a big, safe cage so they don't get lost inside your house or flee outdoors and climb up power lines. Despite their diminutive size, these primates require enormous cages of at least 30 square feet.


Tamarins are little New World monkeys that weigh less than a pound and can survive for up to 15 years in captivity. Despite their tiny jaws, they are capable of biting. They require a highly secure cage with narrow bar spacing; otherwise, they will escape or become trapped between the bars. A 7-foot square enclosure will enough for an indoor cage. They will, however, require access to a bigger outside enclosed space for vitamin D, which is essential for their growth and development.

What is a Pocket Monkey?

Monkeys like Tamarins and Marmosets are sometimes called pocket monkeys, because they're small enough to fit in your pocket.

Squirrel Monkey

Acrobats are squirrel monkeys. They may live up to 25 years, cling to branches with their tails, and require a lot of room and hanging branches to move about. They will also be diapered for the rest of their lives. They have specific nutritional needs that necessitate a broad variety of foods.


Marmosets are squirrel-like monkeys from South America that are similar in size and housing requirements to tamarins. Insects, fruit, tree sap, and other tiny creatures make up their natural diet. They are fast, scurrying animals that are difficult to control. Because of their unique food and UV light requirements, they are often unsuitable as pets.


These 10-pound monkeys are native to the woodlands of Sub-Saharan Africa and may survive in captivity for up to 25 years. Guenons require a lot of upkeep. Guenons come in over two dozen different species, with the green monkey, vervet, and grivet being the most popular. In huge groupings, they flourish. To keep this species as a pet, you'd need a whole swarm of them.