How Much Does a Finger Monkey Cost?

Last Updated on January 27, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Finger monkeys, also known as pygmy marmosets, have recently grown in popularity as exotic pets. Their tiny size and endearing nature make them appealing to many prospective owners.

However, while they are undeniably cute, finger monkeys require very specialized care and a major commitment. Before getting a pet finger monkey, it is very important to understand the true cost of ownership. This article will break down finger monkey prices and the expenses associated with properly caring for one of these primates.

How Much Does a Finger Monkey Cost?

The initial cost of a finger monkey typically ranges from $1,500 to $4,000. The price depends on the monkey’s age, pedigree, training, and the breeder. Baby finger monkeys usually range from $2,000 to $3,000.

Older, more mature monkeys often cost $3,500 to $4,000. The most reputable breeders usually price at the higher end. Factors like rare coloring or advanced training can also increase the price. Overall, plan to budget at least $2,500 to $3,000 just to acquire a healthy finger monkey from an ethical source.

Compoundexotics.com lists the price for a single pygmy marmoset monkey at $300 and a pair at $700.

Tal-com.com mentions that the cost of this tiny monkey ranges from $1,500 to $4,000. It also provides information on additional expenses such as the cost of a cage, food, and care.

A-z-animals.com states that current market prices put the value of this species of monkey at $3,000-$4,000 each.

What Exactly is a Finger Monkey?

Finger monkeys belong to the species Pygmy Marmoset, which is the smallest true monkey species in the world. They are native to the rainforests of South America. As their name suggests, these tiny primates can fit in the palm of an adult human hand. They weigh only 3 to 5 ounces fully grown and measure 5 to 6 inches long.

Adult finger monkeys are highly intelligent, social animals. They cling to their piers and form close family units and require a great deal of interaction and enrichment. While cute, they are not suited for casual pet owners. Meeting their specialized care requirements takes serious commitment.

Legal Concerns

The legality of owning a finger monkey varies greatly depending on where you live. These pocket monkeys are illegal to own without special licensing in most states. Some states like California and Nevada have an outright ban.

Always thoroughly research your local and state exotic pet laws before considering purchasing a finger monkey. Even if legal in your area, most cities and towns prohibit owning monkeys without proper permits and insurance.

Ongoing Care Costs

While the initial purchase price may seem high, it pales in comparison to the long-term costs of properly caring for a finger monkey as a pet. Responsible ownership requires providing:

  • A large, complex enclosure – Expect to spend $2,000 to $5,000 to provide an adequate habitat.
  • Specialized diet – Feeding an appropriate diet of fruits, vegetables, forages, insects and specially formulated chow will cost $50 to $100 per month.
  • Routine veterinary care – Annual exams, vaccines, and incidental vet visits can cost $2,000 or more per year.
  • Enrichment toys & accessories – Providing a mentally stimulating environment requires an ongoing investment in toys, branches, ropes, and hammocks. Budget $50 to $150 per month.
  • Training & socialization – Investing in continued professional training is highly recommended at about $50 per session.
  • Exotic pet insurance – This averages $60 to $100 per month for finger monkeys.
  • Licensing fees – Where legal, annual permitting fees are generally $100 to $500.

Over the finger monkey’s 10 to 15 year lifespan, total costs often exceed $100,000 including the initial purchase price. This is a major financial commitment!

Jandaexotics.com offers items needed to raise a marmoset monkey, with prices starting from $12.00.

Health & Welfare Considerations

Finger Monkey LookFinger monkeys are prone to stress-related disorders, digestive issues, and respiratory infections in captivity. They need an experienced exotic pet veterinarian.

As social primates, they require lots of attention and carefully structured environments to thrive. Solitary confinement, small cages, improper diet, and lack of mental stimulation often lead to self-harming behaviors.

To ensure their health and welfare, finger monkeys should only be kept by expert owners able to provide specialized care. They do not fare well as impulse purchases or in the hands of casual pet owners. Extensive research and preparation is a must!

A Finger Monkey As a Pet is a Lifelong Commitment

While finger monkeys have an average lifespan of 15 to 20 years with proper care, they can live over 30 years. Bringing one home is a lifelong commitment requiring dedication every day for decades.

You might also like our articles on the cost of a monkey in general, a Capuchin monkey, or a Marmoset monkey.

Monkeys bond closely with their owners and do not take well to re-homing. Taking on a finger monkey means devoting a significant portion of your life to caring for their highly complex needs.

Ethical Considerations for Marmosets

The exotic pet trade often perpetuates unethical breeding practices and animal exploitation. Many finger monkeys are poached illegally from diminishing South American populations.

When sourcing a finger monkey, it is essential to find reputable, sustainable breeders focused on animal welfare. Adopting a rescue monkey is also an option. Avoid supporting black market exotic animal trafficking by carefully vetting any source.

Insurance & Licensing

Where legal, owning a finger monkey requires specialized exotic pet insurance and permits. Insurance provides liability protection and coverage for vet bills. Annual plans average $700 to $1,000.

Local municipalities often require permits for ownership ranging from $100 to $500 per year. Licensing ensures owners are educated on proper primate care and their facilities pass inspections.

Finding an Ethical Source

Responsible breeders focus on proper care rather than profits. They often have waitlists, screen buyers, check in regularly after purchase, and take back monkeys if needed. Be wary of any seller offering monkeys at cut-rate prices, with no oversight, or who will ship them.

Attend exotic pet expos to connect with breeders and rescues. Join primate care groups online to find re-homing opportunities. Take time to build relationships in the monkey community.

Final Words

Finger monkeys are a huge, decade+ commitment requiring specialized care and significant expense. But for the devoted exotic pet owner prepared to provide everything these intelligent primates need, they can be an incredibly rewarding lifelong companion.

Understanding the true costs and conducting extensive planning helps ensure a healthy, enriching life for both the monkey and the owner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a finger monkey a good pet?

Finger monkeys make good pets only for expert owners willing to commit to providing highly specialized, lifetime care. Given their complex social and mental needs, they do not fare well in the hands of casual or novice exotic pet owners.

Finger monkeys need large, enriched environments, veterinary expertise, and extensive handling and training. With proper care and dedication, they can thrive and bond closely with their owners for decades. But impulse-purchasing a finger monkey on appearance alone often ends badly for these sensitive, intelligent animals. They require an intense commitment.

How long do pet finger monkeys live?

With proper care, finger monkeys typically live 15-20 years in captivity. Lifespans over 30 years are not uncommon. In the wild, pygmy marmosets live 10-15 years on average.

The increased lifespans of pet monkeys reflect advances in nutrition, veterinary medicine, and overall improved care by knowledgeable owners. However, finger monkeys are quite delicate and can suffer from respiratory infections, gastrointestinal issues, and stress-related disorders.

The longevity of this wild animal requires keeping them in spacious, enriched environments and working closely with an exotic vet. With dedication, finger monkeys can remain healthy and energetic well into their 20s and 30s.

Are finger monkeys rare?

While finger monkeys themselves are common in the exotic pet trade, ethical, humane sources for them are quite rare. Many primates bred for pets come from illegal poaching of vulnerable wild populations.

Even legal breeders often focus on profits over animal welfare. It takes time and care to find a responsible, sustainable finger monkey breeder focused on proper animal care, socialization, and captive enrichment.

Connecting with primate care communities helps locate rehoming opportunities. While not truly rare, finding an ethical, nurturing source for a healthy, well-adjusted finger monkey does require diligent searching, patience, and caution. But supporting such breeders ultimately benefits both the monkeys and owners.

8 replies
  1. Cathrene
    Cathrene says:

    WOW! This finger monkey really exists? It’s so cute I want one! I really hope they are nice pets. Who would want a dog when you can have this cutey? It’s pretty expensive at that cost but I can see why. You don’t see one of these too often.

  2. Mark
    Mark says:

    I bought one for my gf for roughly $1,200 from a friend, but I`ve seen some sell for over $6,000. I hope this helps other people that think about buying a finger monkey.

    • Sondra
      Sondra says:

      If you don’t mind me asking. When did you get your finger monkey an where are you located? and would you be able to send some information to my email? Are you still in touch with who you got yours from? If so I would love more info. I would love to have one of these little guys they are sooo cute!! I am sure your gf was super surprised and happy when she got hers! She is very lucky to be able to own one!! Thanks

  3. Billie
    Billie says:

    Although this finger monkey is pretty expensive, I really like owning one! They are great as pets, really easy to take care of and really fun to play with. I strongly encourage everyone that wants one to get it. Great article and really on point.

    • Connie Gifft
      Connie Gifft says:

      I’d love to have a finger monkey but have no idea where to get one. I live in Winchester VA. Any idea?
      Thank you
      Connie Gifft


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