Thousands of people in the United States are keeping monkeys as pets at home, often thinking of them as part of the family - a cute cuddly baby.

Monkeys are highly intelligent and also emotionally complex but they are still wild animals and as they grow older pet monkeys will demonstrate the same instinctive behaviors they would in the wild including violent and aggressive behavior this occurs when they reach their sexual maturity.
Research shows that when kept as pets, monkeys can become mentally disturbed, aggressive and even self-destructive.  They are also prone to a wide range of diseases that can be transmitted to humans. They require a large amount of care and visits to the vets to keep them healthy.

In many states of America keeping monkeys as pets is illegal.

Anyone who is thinking of keeping monkeys as pets should make sure they have researched thoroughly all the pros and cons of keeping a pet monkey and also looked at all the information on the type of monkey most suited to living as a house pet. Care of pet monkeys is a full time job. From the day you bring one home your pet monkey will require constant care and attention for the next 20 years or longer depending on the type of monkey. Monkeys are costly, requiring special diets and regular veterinarian care.

Most Common Types of Monkeys kept as pets in the US


Very popular as pets Capuchins are the most intelligent of the New World monkey family and are also used for lab research.  They are very social and in the wild live in large groups, in the home environment they need constant attention and grooming.


The marmoset is a tiny monkey found naturally in Brazil. They are highly social living in family groups of up to 15 monkeys. Pet marmosets are normally captured at only 3 to 10 days old and hand reared ready for sale.

Spider monkeys:

These are the most popular type of small monkeys kept as pets. They can live up to age 25 in the wild and longer in captivity. They are known to become very aggressive as they grow older and there are numerous reports of savage attacks by spider monkeys on their owners.

Squirrel monkeys:

Naturally found in the rainforests of Bolivia, Surinam, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay, Brazil, Columbia, French Guiana and Venezuela and very popular as pets in the USA. They normally travel in large groups of up to 500 and find living in a small human household very difficult.

Insurance for pet monkeys

Monkeys fall into the category of exotic pets and are prone to many diseases they also live between 20 and 40 years If you are thinking of keeping a pet monkey you need to consider a Pet Insurance Plan which can save you thousands in vet bills. In some states it is also necessary to make sure you have liability protection in case your pet monkey causes injury to anyone either inside or outside your home.