Can You Have a Pet Monkey in the UK? All Questions Answered

Do you want a monkey as your new pet? This can be a controversial question, but it can also be an interesting one. We have all seen the TV show Friends and remember seeing the pet capuchin monkey on there.

But before you can think of where to get one and which monkey breeds are best as pets, you need to know if you can legally even have one.

Let’s start with this one.

So, can you have a pet monkey in the UK? You can legally have a pet monkey in the UK as there are no laws against private ownerships of monkeys as pets or against buying a small monkey from pet shops, and in most cases, you will not even need a background check or a license to get a pet monkey in great Britain.

so basically, buying a pet monkey can be as easy as buying a bunny in the UK, which is good news if you were worried about the legal side, but there is a lot more to owning a pet monkey than the legalities.

In this article, I’m going to discuss whether you can afford a pet monkey, where to get one, and whether it’s even a good idea. Let’s jump right in.

The legalities of owning a pet monkey in the UK

woman holding monkey in arms to answer why can you have a pet monkey in the UK

It is not against the law to buy a monkey in Great Britain now (as long as it is from the pet shops). They don’t do background checks nor is there a need to get any kind of license for owning a pet monkey. This implies that, in many situations, acquiring a pet monkey may be as simple as obtaining a pet rabbit or goldfish.

In fact, many people have pet monkeys in the UK and have not suffered any legal trouble.  Marmosets, capuchins, squirrel monkeys, and lemurs are among the 5,000 primates kept as pets in the United Kingdom.

More interestingly, it is legal – until the time of writing this blog post – to sell primates in the UK. However, you will need certain documentation if you wish to sell certain species.

How much does a Monkey cost in the UK?

A Monkey can cost you anywhere between £1,500 to £60,000 or more in the UK depending on the monkey’s breed, sex, and age. Lemures, tamarins, and marmosets are the least expensive, with macaques and baboons being more expensive while Chimpanzees are the most expensive.

In fact, you can expect to pay more for a Chimpanzee than for a giraffe, which could run you only $45,000 while a Chimpanzee can be more than $60,000.

Monkeys are expensive pets to own in the UK and anywhere else in the world. Monkeys are expensive because they are hard to acquire. The number of monkeys worldwide is dwindling and it’s not easy or cheap to acquire one, train it, and bring it into Europe or the US legally.

Baby monkeys are, unsurprisingly, going to cost more than adults. Younger Monkeys are more expensive than their adult counterparts for the same reason that puppies and kittens cost more. They are cuter (I mean, puppies, com’on), and they are easier to train.

Moreover, in recent years the cost of a monkey has been on the rise as it becomes more difficult to acquire these animals from their native habitats and they can be used for breeding or research purposes due to being very intelligent creatures. In fact, just last year (2021) there was a capuchin monkey who escaped from its owner in the US and managed to make its way across several state lines before it was caught by police.

How much does it cost to care for a Monkey?

It will cost you thousands per year to care for your pet monkey. The costs of food, diapers, habitat, and vet bills will easily cross the 4-figures every year for a pet monkey.

Here is a breakdown of the costs you can expect to pay to care for your pet monkey.

Cost of Food for Pet Monkeys

Monkeys primarily consume fruit and vegetables, as well as animal protein, such as chicken, worms, and insects. The cost of fruits, vegetables, insects, and goodies will range from  £21 to  £45 per week. Commercial complete foods containing commercially prepared monkey chow are comparable to a dry dog or cat food in terms of comprehensive nutrition.

Depending on the type of diet you feed your monkey, food expenses may reach over $100 per month

Cost of Pet Monkey Habitats

The cost of a cage for one primate ranges from  £175 to over  £800. If you want to create an outdoor habitat, the price will rise considerably.

The expense can also go higher if you plan on making it larger and may end up costing thousands of dollars if you’re considering a bigger model that would accommodate many monkeys.

Costs of Veterinary Care for Pet Monkeys

Vet visits for a pet can cost around £20-40, but spaying or neutering your primate may set you back as much as £250.

Costs of Diapers for Pet Monkeys

Monkeys can be taught to use a litter box or even go outside to urinate, but if they aren’t potty-trained you’ll need diapers for them. Depending on how many times your monkey soils the diaper, these might cost anywhere from $35 to $70 per month (a baby just needs one change, whereas an adult may require several).

It’s crucial to remember that despite their cute appearance, most monkeys are difficult to toilet-train even if it is feasible, so the cost of nappies may be unavoidable.

Cost of Toys for Pet Monkeys

Monkeys can be very playful, so you will probably want to have a variety of toys for them. You can expect to pay  £20-40 per month depending on how many different types of toys your monkey wants.

Thankfully, you can get plenty of toys for your pet monkey on Amazon.

These are just some examples of the costs that can come along with owning a pet monkey and it’s definitely something worth considering

Now that we’ve covered the cost, there is one other thing we need to discuss.

Conclusion: You can have a pet monkey in the UK,

You can legally have a pet monkey in the UK, but it may not be the best idea. Monkeys are difficult pets to care for, and you can expect them to cost thousands of dollars per year in food, habitat, veterinary care, and diapers. You can learn more about the costs of caring for a pet monkey here.

Monkeys are also dangerous pets, can be aggressive at times, can carry diseases that can spread to humans, and are illegal in some locations. So, while you can have a pet monkey, it’s probably best to go for a dog or a cat as they are just much easier to get and care for.

Related Questions

What pets are illegal in the UK?

In the UK, certain animals are absolutely forbidden and it is difficult to obtain a permit for them. The list of prohibited dog breeds includes pitbull terriers, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa, and Fila Brasileiro. In addition, certain animals, such as wild cats, primates, wolves, and wild dogs require a license to keep.

What exotic pets are legal in the UK?

The following animals are legal to own in the UK:

  • African Pygmy Hedgehog.
  • Pygmy Goat.
  • Micro Pig.
  • Capybara.
  • Tarantula.
  • Axolotl.
  • Marmoset Monkey.
  • Octopus.

Helpful Resources

Exotic Pets on the rise in Britain

Legislation Affecting Exotic Pet Species in the United Kingdom

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