What is the Smallest Pet Monkey? Everything You Need to Know

Exotic animals’ private ownership is on the rise, and monkeys are at the forefront of this wave. More and more people are looking to get pet monkeys but are wondering what is the smallest commitment they can make, and it makes a lot of sense to want to start with something small as it is probably the easiest to care for.

So, what is the smallest pet monkey? The smallest pet monkey is Pygmy marmosets, commonly known as the finger monkey, which is a tiny monkey that weighs just over 100 grams and is native to the rainforests of South America’s western Amazon basin. Baby marmosets start at $4,500 and are rising in popularity among the wealthy.

These tiny creatures are not only incredibly cute, but they are also incredibly fascinating, and in this article, we are going to discuss why they are booming in popularity, whether you can get one, and whether they should even be pet, so stick around!

The Marmoset; the Rise of Smallest Pet monkey

the marmosets, the smallest pet monkey, holding fingers

Pygmy marmosets (Cebuella pygmea), weighing about 100 grams, are the world’s tiniest monkeys. They are found in the Amazons where they dwell in small colonies of only a dozen marmosets or so.

Because of their small size and low weight, they are prey to larger animals like birds of prey (or raptors) as well as large snakes which makes them particularly vulnerable.

The tiny size and instinctive inclination of the tiny pygmy marmoset to grab onto fingers in lieu of their mothers, which they are taken away from when sold as pets has earned it the name “finger monkey.”

The “thumb monkeys” phenomenon has gone viral on the internet, with photos of the creatures proliferating. While conservationists and primate scientists are gloomy about it, it’s clear that it is a growing trend.

The Rise of the Marmoset’s popularity

Marmosets have recently been incredibly popular amongst the wealthy in many countries, primarily China. In fact, finger monkeys are now one of the most popular monkey breeds as pets.

According to a study that was published in The American Journal of Primatology, hundreds of thousands of monkeys are trafficked each and every year.

Among these trafficked monkeys,Pygmy marmosets were the second most trafficked, only after squirrel monkeys.

How much do finger monkeys cost?

Baby marmosets can cost you $4,500 and the price can change depending on the age and sex of the monkey. Monkeys are expensive pets, but they are not the most expensive, that title belongs to a pet Rockhopper penguin which can cost you $100k.

They are also expensive to care for, and you can expect to pay thousands in food, vet bills, and diapers throughout their lifetime.

Are Marmoset monkeys good pets?

Marmosets may be cute pets, but they are very expensive and difficult to care for. For example, they require a very specific diet and access to UV light to stay healthy.

They are also still monkeys, which means they are dangerous pets. You can learn more about why monkeys are dangerous pets here.

are finger monkeys legal?

Finger monkeys are legal in the US in the states where it is legal to own pet monkeys.

You can get pet monkeys in the following states:

  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • West Virginia
  • North Dakota
  • Nebraska
  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Washington State
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Arkansas
  • Alabama

You can learn more about the legal requirements of owning a pet monkey in the US here.

Are Finger Monkeys legal in the UK?

Yes, finger monkeys are legal in the UK. This is because they do not fall under any of the exemptions for animals that people can keep as pets and there isn’t a ban on them either. You don’t even need a license to own a finger monkey in the UK.

Can you potty train a finger monkey?

You can not train most finger monkeys to use the potty, they are wild animals after all, but you can get your finger monkey used to wearing diapers. What’s more, they have a tendency to urinate when being carried or restrained so it is important that their diaper be checked often.

Conclusion: Can you have the smallest pet monkey; the marmoset?

In general, finger monkeys are considered to be the smallest type of pet monkey and there isn’t really a smaller one out there that you can have as a pet. This makes them pretty unique in their own way!

While you can have the marmoset, and while they can be incredibly cute, you really shouldn’t. Not only are monkeys expensive, but they are also very difficult to handle and you need a lot of money in order to raise them.

Marmosets only stay small for about four years, after which time their tail will grow long and they can become aggressive towards their owners; this means that even finger monkeys really aren’t the best pets out there. You would be better off getting a dog or cat from your local shelter instead.

In general, finger monkeys are considered to be the smallest type of pet monkey and there isn’t really a smaller one out there that you can have as a pet. This makes them pretty unique in their own way!

Helpful Resources

Facts about Marmosets

Recent Posts