Interested in buying a primate or other monkey as a pet? Indeed, small primates seem cute and cuddly, and are certainly attention-getters. They are quite intelligent, and at times they can seem like little humans. If you thought a cat in your lap or a dog wagging its tail was endearing, try getting a hug and kiss from a tiny primate.
However, you should carefully consider all factors before you bring a new primate friend into your home.
Following are some Frequently Asked Questions, with answers.
How big are primates?
Various species of monkeys range in size from 12 inches to three feet tall, and can be kept as pets. Most primates that our members adopt and keep in their homes are around the size of a typical pet cat.
Why do people select primates as pets?
Primates are preferred for their size, intelligence and warm companionship. These characteristics render a primate a challenging and rewarding pet. Because of their curiosity, monkeys are considered endlessly entertaining and even thought provoking to their owners.
Where can I buy a primate?
Buying a pet monkey isn’t as easy as strolling into your local pet store or contacting one of the many breeders for the type of dog or cat breed you want. These jungle animals haven’t been fully domesticated yet, and even those that come from experienced breeders can be difficult to deal with. We advise that you see pictures of the primates first, and go pick it up from the breeder, dealer or current owner. Here are a few websites to browse through to find the primate for you, close to your home.
- Primate Store: You can find monkey listings to include pictures, prices, contact information, and more. In addition, if you check the sidebar, you can find information about their diet and housing. You will also find a shopping section designed to help you find the food, treats, and toys your monkey will want.
- Go Pets Online: This site has a Pets for Sale section that may occasionally include monkeys. This works like a classified ads section, so you may want to check back from time to time to see if the type of monkey you’d like is available in your area.
- Pets4You: This site has monkey and primate breeders listed with contact information so that you can find one that lives close to you. You’ll also see classified ads with pictures featuring the monkeys they have for sale.
What can I expect to pay for a primate?
Primates cost between $4,000 and $13,000 each, depending on its age, rarity and temperament. Younger, more rare and friendlier monkeys tend to cost more.
How much effort can I expect adopting a primate?
Primates are a labor-intensive pet choice. It’s much like owning a toddler for 20 to 40 years, which is their life expectancy. Homes must be monkey-proofed and care taken when visitors are present in the home, because monkeys are curious and mischievous. Monkeys must be diapered or cleaned up after, fed and played with often.
What types of monkeys can I buy?
Some types of monkeys are more popular as pets than others. Monkeys most frequently purchased as pets include:
- Spider monkeys
- Squirrel monkeys
I’ve heard that I should own more than one primate.
Unless a person in the house will spend most of their time at home, primate experts recommend owning more than one, as monkeys are prone to depression if left alone, even for short periods of time.
What are the best enclosures for primates?
Enclosures should be designed to allow the primates to move as they would in the wild, and all of our primates are provided with appropriate sleeping sites and nesting materials. Both indoor and outdoor enclosures are designed with private areas, so primates can choose to be away from the others in the group, and away from public view if they wish.
Should I be cautious when purchasing a primate?
Monkeys may look cute, cuddly, and like the perfect pet; but beware. Adult monkeys may not be the companion you were hoping for, because they can be strong-willed and intelligent enough to get into trouble. That’s a far cry from the furry little baby monkey that made you want to scoop it up and take it home.
What are the challenges of owning a small pet primate?
Keep in mind that purchasing a pet monkey means a much longer commitment than other pets–and sometimes even a longer commitment than raising and feeding your own children. You could be responsible for the monkey for up to 40 years. Potential problems with a pet monkey include:
- They may not like the other people in your life, and because they tend to be aggressive as adults, you may run into biting and other unpredictable behaviors.
- It’s not as simple as kenneling a dog when you want to go on vacation for a while; and when you’re away at work just for the day, your monkey will need a companion.
- It’s not like in the movies — they aren’t that easy to train.
- Many veterinarians won’t treat monkeys. You’ll need to find a vet who deals with exotic pets.
- They’re messy and destructive, no matter how well you train them, especially as adults.
- It may be illegal in your state to own a pet monkey.
- They are expensive to buy (usually between $7,000 and $13,000) and keep. Primates Sanctuary estimates the cost of owning a monkey over the course of its lifetime to about $50,000 to $60,000, because they need a varied diet and lots of enclosed space to play both indoors and out.
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