Are you planning to adopt a monkey as your pet? If so, know it is not a child’s task to pet monkeys. Unlike most pets, they demand a lot of care, attention, money, training, and legal permission.

In the era of viral videos, adorable monkey jokes for kids have gained glamorous popularity. People often see a fun playmate in them.

Therefore, the fascinating idea of having one at home sounds amusing. Chimpanzees, pocket monkeys, and marmosets are some of the top exotic pet picks.

However, there is a big difference between reels and the real world. Are you wondering how? Let us take a look!

The Appeal of Monkeys as Exotic Pets

A boy with glasses and a bow-tied monkey

Monkeys, or primates, are intelligent, playful, and mischievous animals. Their resemblance to human behavior adds an extra piece of charm to their personalities.

These curious, funny, furry, and jumping buddies are lovely to watch. They make amusing entertainers with their problem-solving and communication skills.

In short, it is an extraordinary feeling to watch these wild animals grow. It is no wonder that people worldwide would love to have them as playmates at home.

But if you count yourself in for a similar idea, we suggest you pause before deciding.

See, it is crucial to understand that monkeys are wild animals. You can undoubtedly pet them and raise them at home. But it is difficult to eliminate their wild traits.

Top Five Challenges of Domesticating Monkeys

A young boy cuddling a monkey

Domesticating monkeys as house pets is a complex topic. Even though they behave like humans, their brain growth is like that of toddlers. It is thus safe to say that you are committing to raising a permanent toddler.

However, there are more challenges to face! Here is a quick list of the five difficulties of domesticating monkeys.

Take a look!

1. Legal Limitations

A monkey eating in the forest

The first challenge to owning a monkey as a pet comes from legal authorities. Having a monkey at home is illegal in many countries, states, and jurisdictions. It is due to human safety, zoonotic diseases, and animal welfare concerns.

However, if you crack a legal permit, authorities will round up to check your property. Several boxes to tick will ensure the exotic pets’ best care. Legal limitations are also meant to protect these animals from poachers and smugglers.

2. Medical Expenses

A person in a white coat holding a monkey

Once again, monkeys prove their wilderness through health and food demands. In the wild, primates survive on fruits, vegetables, and rarely bird meat. However, all these luxuries of nature are not always available for exotic pets.

Besides, wildlife care professionals confirm the existence of several communicable diseases. A few of which can transmute from monkeys to humans. 

While planning a monkey adoption, one needs to ensure the availability of qualified veterinarians who can treat primates.

3. Travelling Limitations

A monkey perched on motorcycle handlebars

Adopting a monkey is very different from adopting dogs and cats. It is not always feasible to travel with these exotic playmates.

The reason takes us back to our first limitation on legal issues. A handful of jurisdictions allow monkeys as pets. Therefore, you cannot travel with them wherever you want.

Also, not all passenger vehicles will accommodate these exotic pets for long travels. Meanwhile, we cannot neglect the stress and trauma on our pets during this time.

Therefore, one must stay home to care for a pet monkey constantly.

4. Financial Demands

A monkey perched on a jungle wall

It’s time to discuss the financial challenges as we move past the physical limitations of adopting a pet monkey. You might be a hardworking person with a solid financial backup.

But the question is: will this amount qualify to provide for a monkey in the long run?

The initial cost of adopting a monkey can vary from seven thousand to seventy thousand dollars. Now comes the long list of expenses.

Some of these include monkey diets, medical care, and building big spaces for their mobility.

5. Rehoming Challenges

A monkey sits on a table

Monkeys are playful animals and stay in groups in the wilderness. If you intend to adopt only one monkey, chances are they won’t survive for long! Monkeys naturally demand companionship and large spaces to thrive and live their lives fully.

Therefore, understand that you are signing up for a long-term commitment while adopting primates. But what if you want to take a break from raising your exotic pet?

Rehoming monkeys is challenging because they are difficult to handle, like other pets. Only some have the resources to keep monkeys at home.

Three Monkey Species You Can Keep as Pets

After weighing all the challenges and limitations, did you decide to adopt a monkey? If so, let us help you with that.

Here are three common monkeys that are comparatively a better pick for domestication.

1. Squirrel Monkey

Squirrel Monkey

Squirrel monkeys live up to 5 years and are accommodated in homes with large spaces. You will have to provide enough props to help them hang around.

This species loves using its tail to hang and play around. Squirrely monkeys are also extensively demanding about their food.

2. Tamarin


Tamarins are new-world monkeys who can survive in a small seven-square-foot enclosure. You can easily keep them indoors in a strong cage.

However, do not forget to allow them access to a bigger space for a healthy life.

3. Macaque


Macaques are an exotic spice of monkey suitable for home. With around forty pounds, you can easily keep them in cages.

Irrespective of their size, macaques often require larger spaces to thrive peacefully.


Overall, monkeys are as irresistible as pets. Their fun-loving, curious, and playful nature makes them widely appreciated and famous.

However, irrespective of what you watch on Instagram, monkeys are not safe pets.

Monkeys are wild animals, and taking the wilderness out of them is impossible. Their physical, mental, and biological demands are difficult to provide at home.

Therefore, there is always a lingering fear of monkey attacks on neighbors and strangers.

Would you like to adopt a monkey as a pet despite the challenges?

Comment below and share your thoughts with us.

Jonathan Green, M.Ed.

Jonathan Green is an esteemed Education Specialist with an impressive track record. He holds a Master's degree in Education alongside bearing expertise in Child Psychology. He began his career as a special education teacher, gaining insights into diverse learning needs. His previous experience includes leading teacher training programs and authoring several papers on early childhood education. His extensive experience is reflected in his insightful articles and webinars. Outside of his professional life, Jonathan is an enthusiastic gardener and a volunteer at local community education centers.

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