Wanting to buy a monkey is not as easy as buying a dog, a cat, or any other domesticated animals because it is not…literally. Depending on the species, monkeys can be very dangerous animals. Although they are the nearest kin to human kind, at least based on some archeological studies, they do not have our rational thinking but have the strength comparable or even surpassing our physical abilities by a few folds.
But once you get the hang of it, owning a primate for a pet can be an enjoyable experience and very rewarding.
After doing some thorough research and you still want to own a monkey for a pet, the least you can do is to buy from a reputable and licensed breeder. One likely indication of a legitimate breeder is the willingness to ship monkeys younger than eight months because they are not supposed to be. If they agree to the shipping, then you can forget about it as it is likely to be illegal.
Average Cost of Monkey
If you are seriously considering it, the average pet monkey cost ranges from $4,000 to $8,000 depending on several factors like the species, age, gender, color, source, temperament, among others. You could encounter some who may cost more especially the friendlier ones as they have already been trained to mingle with humans as well as those which breeds are rarer compared to others.
There are several types of monkeys that you can choose from. Their prices vary as well as their characteristics so it is important to research on each of them prior to even considering buying.
That being said, the following are the types that people can choose from if they want to buy a monkey as their pet of choice:
- Finger monkeys – $1,300 to $5,000
They are also known as pygmy marmosets or dwarf monkeys because they will grow no larger than 6 inches long and their tail up to 9 inches only. Their maximum weight is around 5 ounces only. Their lifespan is 16 to 20 years in captivity and 11 to 12 years in the wild.
- Capuchin monkeys – $3,700 to $12,500
These species are associated with the organ grinders or the ones riding Greyhounds like a jockey. They are known as the ringtail monkey due to their habit of curling the end or tip of their tail. They are very social and have a very strong sense of smell.
- Spider Monkeys – $4,500 to $6,500
They are one of the New World monkeys because of their long limbs and tail, hence the name. They are also considered to be the most intelligent and the ones with one of the longest life spans at 35 years. They can be difficult to take care of because they require more room and warm weather as they can catch fatal respiratory diseases easily during cold weather.
- Squirrel Monkeys – $5,500 to $8,000
These monkeys are small, easy to handle, cute and playful but can sometimes attack. They are very active and would be needing a lot of care and attention. If you own one of these, make sure to have them spayed or neutered as they tend to be very aggressive during their maturity.
- Chimpanzees – $60,000 or more
These types of monkeys do not make good pets and could be five to eight times stronger than humans upon reaching maturity. They can be a big threat because of this as they are capable of killing a human if they become unruly. Most pet owners end up selling them or giving them up to biomedical research.
What are Included
When purchased from reputable breeders, the pet monkey prices come with a 90-day health guarantee. In fact, most would include a full veterinary checkup and up to date vaccinations.
You also would likely be supplied with a starter kit that includes a feeding bottle, some formula, diapers, and carriers that covers the duration of the trip if it is going to be shipped. Those which are already trained would likely be included in the price so you do not have to worry about looking for a trainer yourself.
Owning a pet is a very huge responsibility and does not stop right after you have paid the pet monkey price. On the contrary, it can be a life-long responsibility, at least within the lifespan of the monkey if you decide to keep it for life.
Some of these extra costs you need to spend on as part of taking care of your pet are the following:
- Shipping – when your prospective pet would be coming from a distant place, prepare a budget for the shipping especially so if you want bigger monkeys as pets. In the case of finger monkeys, shipping fees can range from $100 to $800.
- Cage –The cage ranges from $650 to $900 for the indoor cages and from $1,300 to $3,500 for the outdoor cages. Aside from this, they need the cage to have a nesting box, branches, toys, and blankets which can cost around $100 to $200 in all.
- Health – maintaining good health is important especially those species which catch diseases quite easily. Make sure that there are veterinarians nearby specializing in wild or exotic animals. Typical cost for an annual visit like a vaccination can cost around $350 if there are no other health issues present. But if your pet would be needing the usual or routine check up or during emergency cases, $100 to $200 would usually be the veterinarian’s charges.
- Food supply – their diet includes fruits and vegetables as well as worms and insects. These can cost around $25 per week. You may also add the monkey chow which can cost about $30 for a 20-pound bag.
- Diapers – monkeys usually can be housetrained. But while they are not yet, diapers would be the best solution. Typical three to four months supply would cost around $65. MonkeyKisses.com supplies monkey diapers for all sizes made to order.
- Starter kits – as mentioned, most pets are sold with a starter kits to go along with the animal enough to last for a few days. In cases these are not included, then expect to be around $300 poorer for these that include feeding bottle, formula, diapers, and carriers.
- Permit – you must remember that the United States has a very strict law pertaining to owning wild and exotic animals particularly monkeys and most states ban keeping and owning them as house pets. Before even considering buying one, make sure to check out if your state allows you to have a pet monkey.
Shopping for Monkeys
One important thing to note is that if you found an online seller from another country who promised to ship monkeys to the US, forget it as it is a scam. The country has banned the importation of monkeys as pets since 1975 and you cannot buy from other countries when you travel and bring them with you in the US as you would not be allowed. In the same manner that you cannot travel outside the country with your pet monkey because it would not be allowed back in.
To know if your state allows owning a monkey or any primate, check out this link.
To locate if there are some monkey or primate breeders near your area, you may check out Pets4You.com.
Factors Affecting Cost of Monkey
How much does a monkey cost depends on several factors like the following:
Species – as mentioned above, the types of species of monkeys have varying prices depending on several factors also discussed in this article.
Source – where the monkey is coming from plays a major role in the pricing as those from a legitimate and licensed breeder can cost higher most of the time because of the assurance of the quality and health of these primates.
Size – we could imagine that the bigger the monkey, the higher the cost but it is usually not the case. Younger monkeys tend to be smaller in size and therefore they are likely more friendly and tame as compared to larger and older monkeys that you would be handling for the first time. And the more friendly the monkey, the higher the cost.
Age – as explained above, the smaller the monkey, the more it is easy to handle and because of these, they may cost higher than the older ones.
Gender – Some breeder would put a premium on the gender so you may find some who would price a male monkey higher than a female or vice versa depending on the species.
Condition – the healthier the primate is, like if it has been checked and certified in the pink of health by a veterinarian and has completed all the necessary vaccinations, the higher the price compared to those which are yet to be seen by an exotic animal doctor.
Temperament – monkeys tend to have varying temperaments and those which have been trained or have been used to living with humans may be more expensive as buyers would not have any more problems making them tame.