What is the Best Pet Monkey? A Guide to 9 Monkey Breeds for Families

If you are a family looking for the best pet monkey, there is an abundance of options to choose from. Monkeys make good pets because they are intelligent and social animals that can be trained to live in a home environment.

There are many different breeds of monkeys that can best suit your needs depending on your lifestyle and budget.

But what breed to choose?

Here are the best monkey breeds as pets:

  • Chimpanzees
  • Marmoset
  • Capuchins
  • Macaques
  • Marmosets
  • Guenons
  • Squirrel Monkeys
  • Spider Monkeys
  • Tamarin

But before we get to know each of these breeds and what makes each of them unique, we need to discuss what even makes a monkey breed suitable as a pet.

What Makes a Monkey Breed Good as pets?

The best pet monkey should have the qualities that you are looking for in a family companion.

For example, if you are looking for the best small pet monkey that doesn’t require much space and is easy to care for then the best type of monkey would be a Squirrel Monkey.

If instead, you’re looking for something more independent like capuchin monkeys who can entertain themselves while you are away at work all day then perhaps the best breed would be the best pet chimp, which is fully grown at around ten years old.

Monkeys can make wonderful pets if you are willing to put in the time and effort into raising them correctly, but they shouldn’t be treated like domesticated dogs either.

They still require a lot of space as well as enrichment activities that stimulate their natural intelligence, which is best accomplished with the help of another monkey friend.

If you are looking for the best pet monkey that can be easily trained to use a litter box or toilet then marmoset monkeys would make great pets.

Now, let’s explore each of the types of pet monkeys.


Chimpanzees are best suited for families with children and other primates.

They can be extremely sociable if trained correctly, but they may become aggressive to strangers or begin acting out in adolescence because of their naturally developing sexual hormones.

These types of monkeys take a lot of time and effort to train properly so it’s best to only get a chimp if you’re willing to dedicate the time and energy, but it can be very rewarding.

Capuchin Monkeys

These best pet monkeys are best suited for families who live in large houses or properties with lots of space outdoors.

They need constant companionship from another monkey friend otherwise they may become bored and become destructive.

They can be trained to use a litter box but they require lots of space and enrichment activities like toys, puzzles, or games that challenge their intelligence.

Marmoset Monkeys

Marmosets are the noisiest of all monkeys. When a marmoset is neglected, it will yell and scream to ensure that you know they are not happy. Marmosets have a shorter lifespan than many, reaching 20 years maximum. Marmosets come in several varieties, with an average length of 8 inches on average.

Many pet parents are drawn to Marmosets due to its sociable nature in the wild.


Capuchins are reddish-brown monkey that is native to South and Central America. This primate has a high intellect and may live up to 35 years in captivity. A habitat need is an outdoor enclosure with a heated indoor cage. The surroundings should replicate the natural environment of this monkey.

Capuchin monkeys are considerably smaller than chimpanzees, making them far easier to care for and far less dangerous. These monkeys are between 2 and 3 feet tall and weigh less than 10 pounds.


Macaques are small primates that can weigh up to 40 pounds at the biggest and can live up to 30 years. For each monkey, they require a space of 30 square feet or more. All

Macaques are best suited for large families or homes with lots of space.

Macaque babies are adorable, but this does not justify keeping one as a pet. The macaque may also transmit a zoonotic illness to its human caretaker by biting them.


This primate is also known as Wolf’s mona monkey and may live up to 25 years in captivity. Guenon monkeys are sociable, so it’s best to have two of them. The adorable tiny noses and brilliant hues that attract many pet owners are what entice people most. Because guenon monkeys run, climb, and jump, they need an enclosure that has a lot of space.

Squirrel Monkeys

Squirrel monkeys are highly sociable creatures in addition to being intelligent. This monkey is comparable to the others, and family relationships may be complex. Squirrel monkeys are finicky eaters who require a lot of attention.

Any negligence might be a disaster, and the monkey may bully the weakest member of the group. They can live up to 25 years.

Spider Monkeys

Diapers are required for spider monkeys, but diaper training is not practical. Adults have been observed to pull off the diapers and toss them away! This monkey species requires a lot of human care, and without it, it becomes aggressive. Spider monkeys may survive up to 30 years in captivity.

Spider Monkeys are best suited for large homes or properties that have a lot of space outdoors.

These monkeys are very smart and can become bored easily, so it’s best to keep them busy with toys and games. They require constant socializing from their human caretaker as well as another pet monkey friend. If neglected, they may scream until you pay attention

Tamarin Monkeys

Tamarin monkeys are best suited for families or homes where there is plenty of space. They can live up to 30 years in captivity if well cared for. Tamarins require lots of attention and socialization, so it’s best to have multiple tamarins as pets

If neglected, they may become aggressive towards the weakest member of the family.

The Challenges of getting a pet monkey

There are quite a few challenges of getting a pet monkey;

Monkeys are not legal everywhere

It is illegal for you to own a monkey in 19 states in the US, and these are :

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Wyoming

Monkeys require specialized care

It takes a lot of time, money, and patience to care for a monkey, which is one of the longest, toughest, and most significant commitments you’ll make.

Whether you’re the unique kind of individual who could handle a pet monkey, begin looking into what sort would be ideal for you. Get ready to spend a lot of time playing with your monkey and assisting him to feel at home.

Monkeys are a health risk

Monkeys may transmit a zoonotic illness to their human caretaker by biting them. Monkeys also carry diseases such as herpes B virus, which can be deadly to humans.

Monkeys can also become aggressive after they reach sexual maturity, and they can flip on their owners surprisingly and attack them out of nowhere. This possibility goes down considerably when the monkey is trained and socialized from a young age, but the chances of this happening are never a zero with a pet monkey.

I have a complete guide on what makes pet monkeys dangerous here that you should definitely check out.

Monkeys are stupidly expensive

The high cost of acquiring and maintaining a primate is another reason why many people hesitate to adopt one as a pet. The exorbitant expenses associated with owning and keeping a primate are another deterrent.

Capuchins, for example, maybe purchased for less than $10,000. Not cheap in the sense that it is not inexpensive, but the cost is worth it for the best pet monkey.

However, if you start looking at larger primates, the price soars dramatically. A chimpanzee, for example, will cost you approximately $70,000 as a pet.

In addition, remember that housing and maintenance expenses must be factored in. Your pet will require a large enclosure with high ceilings and structures to climb on.

Furthermore, you’ll have to pay for veterinary care, which can be quite costly for a wild animal. And because monkeys require a lot of attention, you’ll need to take a lot of time off from work if you want to keep one.

Related Questions

Do any monkeys make good pets?

No, not all monkeys make good pets, small monkeys best make good pets because they are best suited to people who do not have the time or skills to take on a more challenging breed.

Can I train my monkey?

Yes, with patience and perseverance you can successfully train your pet Monkey. Monkeys respond well when trained using positive reinforcement techniques which creates a strong bond between the owner and the pet.

Can I use punishment when training my monkey?

No, please do not use physical punishments or abuse your best pet Monkey in any way. Monkeys are very sensitive creatures that only respond to positive reinforcement techniques which creates a strong bond between the owner and the best possible Pet monkey you can find!

Helpful Resources

The Care Of Monkey Handbook: Expert Advice On – Housing, Feeding And Health

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