If you are considering getting a pet monkey, then it is best to do your research. There are many different kinds of monkeys that you can buy as pets, and some will be better for beginners than others.
But you’re looking for a direct and a quick answer, so let’s get right to it:
What is the best pet monkey for beginners? Capuchins are the best pet monkey for beginners, with Marmosets being another good choice for novice monkey owners. Capuchins are small, smart, and relatively easy to train compared to other monkey breeds, and they are affordable to get and care for.
So, if you are looking to get into the league of monkey owners and this is going to be your first monkey, a Capuchin is definitely the right choice for you. To understand why, and what it will take to get and care for a Capuchin monkey, keep reading.
Why a Capuchin is the best pet monkey for beginners
A capuchin is the best pet monkey for beginners because they are not as high-maintenance as other breeds.
They are small, cute, and easy to handle. Capuchins are also quite smart and can be trained to do tricks.
They are not as expensive as other breeds of monkeys, so they will cost less money in the long run.
They do best in pairs or groups, which means that you will need to have a friend for your new pet once it arrives from the breeder, but this is nothing too complicated and can be easily taken care of by putting two cages next to each other and giving them enough toys so they can entertain each other.
Caring for a Capuchin monkey is not too complicated, but it does require time and commitment on your part. You are best to get two of them if you can because they do best in pairs/groups rather than alone or with humans as their only companionship.
Behavior and Temperament for Capuchin Monkeys
The Capuchin is a small new world monkey that lives in South America. They are social and territorial. They spend most of their time actually forging for food or competing with other monkeys for their territory.
In the US, Capuchin monkeys were used as service animals until 2010 when the American Disabilities Act stopped this practice and declared them a danger to their owners as well as the general public thanks to their ability to treat diseases.
Capuchins also don’t make good pets as they bite, especially after they reach 5 years old which is when they stop being cute and start being aggressive and violent adults. Some people can handle them as pets, but it takes a lot of time, effort, money, and experience to do that.
But all monkey breeds bite, so this is not something exclusive to them. In fact, capuchin Monkeys are less aggressive and less likely to bite than other breeds. You can learn why do monkeys bite here.
Common Health Problems for Capuchin Monkeys
Capuchins, like other primates, can pass diseases to humans. The most serious diseases transmitted by capuchins include hepatitis and rabies.
Monkeys are also the natural hosts of viruses like herpes B virus which is a deadly infection that can affect the brain and spinal cord.
Because their immune systems are not as strong as ours, capuchins can get infected with practically any human illness. Pet capuchins also often become diabetic due to nutritional deficiencies.
Your pet monkey should have routine blood tests to check for these common health problems and catch them before they become more serious.
How much do Capuchins cost?
The best pet monkey for beginners, Capuchins are also the cheapest breed of monkeys to get.
You can expect to pay as low as $1100 per capuchin from a breeder or an animal dealer, although prices have recently gone up for all pets in general. Still, the cost of a capuchin will still be cheaper than other breeds that cost upwards of thousands of dollars each.
In fact, some monkey breeds, such as Chimps, can be insanely expensive, with some people paying more than $60,000 for a Chimp.
However, do keep in mind that you will need to buy a cage and the supplies that they need such as food, toys, etc.
You can expect this initial investment for getting your best pet monkey for beginners to cost about $500-$1100 in addition to the purchase price of the actual animal itself. You can learn about all the costs of owning and caring for pet monkeys here.
This might seem like a lot at first if you are used to buying dogs or even cats, but keep in mind that monkeys are not like other pets.
They require much more care and attention than most domesticated animals, which means that you will need time each day to spend with them outside of their cage so they can socialize with you while the rest of your family members get on about their day.
Many people who get pet monkeys enjoy their company so much because they do best when you are interacting with them on a daily basis, but this is time-consuming and best done by only one or two members of the family rather than everyone. This means that if you have kids, then having your own monkey might not be best for your family.
Of course, you can still get a pet monkey even if you have kids, but it is best to discuss the matter with them and see whether they will be able to take on such a big responsibility as caring for an exotic animal that has special needs as opposed to dogs or cats which are easy pets in comparison.
Are Capuchin Monkeys easy to train?
Compared to other monkey types, Capuchin monkeys are relatively easy to train, which is why you regularly see them in movies and TV shows.
They are highly intelligent, friendly and social animals that love to be with people.
These traits make them best suited for life as pets in homes rather than living out in the wild where they would quickly perish without any human contact or care.
Are capuchin monkeys smart?
Capuchin Monkeys are smart. In fact, Capuchins are the most intelligent New World monkeys – perhaps as intelligent as chimpanzees.
Are capuchin monkeys Aggressive?
Although cute and friendly as younglings, capuchins are clever and wild, and they may become aggressive after reaching sexual maturity. However, the likelihood of a well-trained Capuchin attacking their owners or handlers is still less than that of other monkey breeds.
Are capuchin monkeys strong?
Capuchins are surprisingly strong for their small size. The strength-to-weight ratio of capuchins is quite high. This allows them to accomplish things like open drawers and doors. They also have the brains to efficiently utilize their strength and dexterity.
Their strength is one of the main reasons they are often trained as service animals.
Are capuchin monkeys endangered?
Some breeds of Capuchin Monkeys are endangered, but not all of them.
The yellow-breasted capuchin monkey is a species endemic to the northern part of the Atlantic forest and is in danger of going extinct.
Are Capuchin monkeys legal?
As of 2018, North Carolina, Florida, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, West Virginia, Indiana, Arkansas, Wyoming (excluding the Bighorn Basin), North Dakota , Nebraska, and Kansas are all allowing pet capuchin monkeys.
The restrictions can change frequently; if you’re thinking about acquiring one of these animals there’s a good chance you’ll need to do some additional research on the current laws in your area.
Today, they are not considered endangered species but there have been restrictions put into place by CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species) which has limited trade and ownership of these animals around the world.
You can learn if it is legal to own monkeys as pets in your state here.
Conclusion: Capuchins are the best monkeys for beginners
A capuchin monkey may cost anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000. Capuchins can be purchased from a reputable breeder or saved from a pet shop. Even finding a good breeder may be difficult. Capuchins are taken away from their mothers at a very young age in the wild.
It might be tough to determine if a breeder or dealer is trustworthy, but it just takes a few minutes to verify if your breeder is USDA-licensed. Request a copy of the license or, if on the phone, ask for their federal number and search them up for verification.
You should feel free to ask a lot of questions about the animal, including its present care program and assessment of the monkey’s personality. Also, seek referrals from individuals who have utilized the same breeder or broker as you.
If you truly want a monkey, but you know it will be difficult to obtain one or if caring for a monkey around the clock is beyond your capabilities, you may also inquire about monkey sponsorship.
Jungle Friends is a sponsored-monkey program that allows you to sponsor a primate from a laboratory.
For a year, you may choose any monkey and give it food, shelter, and stimulation with the goal of obtaining a certificate of sponsorship, picture, and link to an online video feed of the monkeys in their natural habitat.
There are plenty of similar programs out there if you are truly interested, and we discuss more of these in this post on where you can get a pet monkey.
Are capuchin monkeys legal in Texas?
It’s perfectly legal to own and sell Capuchin Monkeys in Texas as there are – to the time of writing. – no laws or restrictions on keeping monkeys or other exotic pets like ferrets, lemurs, or even wolves as pets. You can learn more about keeping pet monkeys in Texas here.
Are capuchin monkeys legal in California?
Capuchin Monkeys are not legal to own, sell, or import in the state of California,
California state law restricts a variety of animals, including Capuchin monkeys, which are native to Central and South America. That is because these species may only be imported, transported, and possessed with permission from the Fish and Wildlife Department.
You can learn more about the laws of California regarding Monkeys here.
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