Can You Have a Pet Monkey? Laws, Expenses, Care, and More

The debate can be fierce on this topic. Some people believe that pet monkeys can make great pets, while others are wary of the idea. This guide will answer your questions about whether you can have a pet monkey and explain what is required to legally own one in different states.

Let’s start with the most important question;

Can you have a pet monkey? You can have a pet monkey legally in 14 states including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Wyoming, but even if it’s legal, you shouldn’t get a pet monkey as your first pet.

Pet monkeys are tricky, dangerous, and difficult to care for. They may look cute, and I’m sure the YouTube videos you’ve seen online have made you go “awww, I want one”, but before you decide if you are ready for a pet that you will commit to for the next 20-40 years, there are some stuff you need to know.

Let’s go through each of them.

Can you have a pet monkey legally?

monkey eating to answer can you have a pet monkey

Well, can you? The answer is yes in some states, maybe in others, and no in most states.

Legal requirements for having a pet monkey can vary depending on which state you live in. A few states like Florida and Nevada only require registration of your pet with the county or city that it lives in; there are no special licenses required to keep one as long as certain standards are met (for instance, you can’t keep a pet monkey in Florida if it is less than four feet tall at adulthood because this could be dangerous).

In other states such as New York and Nebraska, there are special licenses required. In fact, in some cities like New York City it’s illegal to own a pet monkey without the necessary permits; fines can even be issued if you get caught.

I can’t stress enough that it’s important to check what the requirements are in your area before getting a pet monkey just because someone else can or because every other state allows them. Even though they may seem like “cute little monkeys”, these animals can cause serious harm and injury, even death!

In which states can you have a pet monkey?

In some states, you can have a pet monkey as long as your state or city allows it. In these cases, no special license is required to keep one.

Here is a quick overview of the laws of each state regarding owning exotic primates (pet monkeys)

  • Alabama – legal to own with permit from county/city government
  • Arkansas – legal to own if the animal was obtained before January 1994 and registered with local authorities
  • Florida – legal to own with registration with county/city government
  • Indiana – legal to own if you can prove that your state or country allows it and can provide proof of rabies vaccination
  • Mississippi – legal to own as long as the animal is registered, has a health certificate, etc.
  • Nebraska – requires license from Department of Agriculture
  • Nevada – legal to own as long as your state or country allows it and can provide proof of rabies vaccination
  • North Carolina – requires registration with county/city government
  • North Dakota – can have a pet monkey if from an accredited school for training, scientific institution, etc. but must be accompanied by someone who has experience in keeping primates
  • Ohio – can have a pet monkey if from an accredited school for training, scientific institution, etc. but must be accompanied by someone who has experience in keeping primates
  • Tennessee – legal to own as long as your state or country allows it and can provide proof of rabies vaccination
  • Texas – legal to own with registration with county/city government
  • West Virginia – can have a pet monkey if from an accredited school for training, scientific institution, etc. but must be accompanied by someone who has experience in caring for primates.
  • New York – can only own with permit and special licenses; fines may also apply

but the legal aspect is not the only aspect, there is also something very important to consider; Monkeys are very expensive.

How much does it cost to get a pet monkey?

You can expect to pay $15,000-$20,000 for an adult monkey. A baby can cost around $30,000 and up depending on where you get it from (pet store vs breeder). Monkeys can be purchased online as well but there is no guarantee that what you’re getting is legitimate or healthy so it can be a very risky investment.

This cost can also depend on the breed of monkey you are getting. You can learn about the best monkey breeds as family pets here.

The cost of getting a pet monkey is not the only cost, though.

Cost of Food for Pet Monkeys

Monkeys usually eat fruit and veggies, as well as animal protein, such as poultry, worms, and insects. The cost of fruits, vegetables, insects, and goodies will be around $25 per week. Commercial whole foods with commercially prepared monkey chow are comparable to a dry dog or cat food in terms of complete nutrition. It is designed specifically for monkeys and can be found at pet stores.

The cost of food for your monkey can add up to over $100 per month, depending on the type of diet you choose for them (veggies vs meat, etc.)

Cost of Pet Monkey Habitats

A good cage can cost up to $200 and it gets even more expensive if you want to set up an outdoor habitat. The cost can also go much higher, depending on how big you plan for it to be and can end up costing thousands of dollars if you’re looking into a larger size one that can fit multiple monkeys.

Costs of Veterinary Care for Pet Monkeys

Vet visits can cost around $40-50 but if you want to spay or neuter your monkey it can go as high as $300.

Costs of Diapers for Pet Monkeys

Monkeys can be trained to use a litter box or even go outside to do their business, but if they’re not potty-trained you will need diapers for them. These can cost around $40 per month depending on how many times your monkey soils the diaper (a baby only needs one change while an adult might require more).

It’s important to consider that it’s actually considerably difficult to potty-train most monkeys if it’s even possible at all, so the cost of diapers is probably something that you can’t escape.

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 $30-50 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.

Can Monkeys be good family pets?

Monkeys can make good pets if you’re prepared to spend the time and money, but they can also be very difficult.

They can develop behavioral issues due to stress or just because of their natural behavior such as screaming all day long, throwing things around, or even biting. This can become an issue for anyone living in your home including your children, your other pets, and guests.

Monkeys can also be very destructive when they’re bored or just being a monkey in general (which can happen quite often).

You need to understand that you may spend thousands of dollars on the cost of repairing any damage that is done by your pet monkeys if you can’t get them trained enough before it can happen.

Conclusion: Can you have a pet monkey?

Yes, you can have pet monkeys legally in 14 states, but the question should be whether you should have a pet monkey, not whether you can.

A monkey can be a great pet for some people, but it’s very important to consider all the costs and responsibilities before making this type of decision. It can become expensive quickly so take your time researching what you need to do in order to get started with owning one!

If your intention is to get a monkey as your first pet, we highly advise against it and recommend getting a family-friendly dog or cat instead, as they can be much easier (and significantly less expensive) to get and care for.

Related Questions

Where can I get a pet monkey?

You can get a pet monkey in one of these online stores:

  • Primate Store – Monkey listings include pictures, pricing, contact information, and more. You may also discover information about their diet and housing if you look in the sidebar. A shopping area is included to assist you in locating the food, treats, and toys your monkey will like.
  • Pets4You – If you’re looking for a primate breeder in the United States, this is the place to go. This site occasionally features monkey and primate breeders with contact information so that you may locate one who lives near you. Other classified ads include photos of the monkeys they have for sale.
  • Poggi’s Animal House – This business sells marmosets and capuchin monkeys. They also sell cages and provide information on how to care for them on their website.

Can I adopt a monkey?

You can adopt a monkey. There are a few websites that can help you locate an animal shelter or rescue center in your area. This is the best place to start if you’re interested in adopting one of these animals, as they can make great pets for certain people with specific lifestyles and needs:

Petfinder – You can find lots of information about different types of pets and can filter by breed, age, size, and more.

Adopt-A-Pet  – This site provides a search directory so you can find the type of animal shelter nearest your location. Adopting from an animal rescue center can be much less expensive than buying one directly from a breeder or store, but it’s also important to note that this can be a much longer process.

How can I care for my pet monkey?

You can care for your pet monkeys by doing plenty of research and getting all the supplies you’ll need before it arrives at your home, such as bedding, food, etc. Monkeys are very social so they do best in pairs or groups, and can get very lonely without a companion. They can also be quite destructive when they’re bored so you’ll need to make sure you provide them with a lot of toys and things to keep them busy and entertained.

Helpful Resources

Exotic Animals Laws By State

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