How Much Does a Monkey Cost?

Last Updated on July 11, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Although a lot of people find it very interesting to own a monkey as a pet, the first thing we want to emphasize is that there are quite a few legal restrictions on keeping monkeys in captivity.

So before you even consider purchasing a monkey and raising it around your home, be sure to look into the rules and laws around owning one. These animals represent a lifelong commitment, as most species live quite a lot, some reaching the age of forty years.

Also, these are wild animals and should be treated accordingly. They can be dangerous and destructive, and require a lot of personal attention as they are social animals by nature. Keeping a monkey as a pet requires a big investment of both time and money. It is a lot of work, but can be very rewarding.

How Much Does A Pet Monkey Cost?

The average pet monkey costs somewhere between $4,500 and $10,000. The big range in prices is given by the species, temperament, and age of the money. Rare species are towards the higher end of the price range, while common ones are usually the cheapest.

If you’re thinking about getting a pet like this, you will also have to consider incidental expenses like supplies and food, because they can substantially add to the monthly cost of owning a monkey.

The Cost of a Baby Monkey

As you might expect, you will spend more on a baby monkey than on an adult one. This is due to their increased demand when compared to adult monkeys. This demand is because, just like in the case of any other creature out there, babies are cuter and easier to train than adults.

Female baby monkeys are even less expensive than baby males, as they are also less aggressive. Depending on their particular coloring and gender, a baby Capuchin monkey can easily cost $10,000 or more.

Pet Monkey Supplies and Additional Costs

The financial commitment of buying a pet monkey won’t end when you pay to purchase one. These pets are considered an investment and will leave quite a mark on your finances. First off, you will surely need a cage, especially since you won’t be able to just let your monkey roam around your house like in the case of a domestic pet.

You might also like our articles about the cost of a cheetah, an emu bird, or a squirrel.

You will likely spend between $750 and $1,200 for an indoor cage, while an outdoor cage will cost somewhere between $1,500 and $4,000. These prices will vary depending on factors like the size of the cage and its brand. Bigger animals will need bigger cages.

You will also spend around $200 on other things like branches, toys, and blankets for your primate, as well as some other things that will make the cage more interesting but also more comfortable.

When it comes to food, your monkey will usually eat fruits and vegetables, with the occasional animal protein. Expect to spend around $25 per week on this type of diet for just one pet. Monkey chow and other types of dry food are also available and usually cost around $40 per 30-pound bag. For every 35 pounds of body weight your monkey has, it will need about one pound of this type of food.

How Much Do Marmoset or Finger Monkeys Cost?

Finger monkeys are native to the rainforest canopies from South America and are also known as pygmy marmosets or dwarf monkeys. They usually reach a really small size as adults. You will rarely see one with a body larger than 6 inches, while their tail will reach a maximum of 9 inches.

As for their weight, it won’t go over 5 ounces. Although some specimens in zoos are known to reach their 20 birthday, in the wild they will only live to the age of 12 years. Finger monkeys usually cost somewhere between $1,500 and $6,000 depending on factors like their gender and type, as well as their temperament and personality.

How Much Does A Spider Monkey Cost?

The natural habitat of Spider monkeys is found between southern Mexico and Brazil. As they have a very long tail and long limbs as well, they are currently among the largest New World monkeys are the moment. The size of their limbs also got them their name. They also live to the age of 35 years and are known as the most intelligent monkeys in the world.

Their existence is currently threatened by excessive hunting and loss of habitat, having a decreasing population. Spider monkeys as pets are really difficult to own and raise.

They strive in warm weather and need a lot of room to stay entertained. It’s not uncommon for spider monkeys to develop all kinds of fatal respiratory infections when living in cold weather. Spider monkeys usually cost somewhere between $5,000 and $7,500.

How Much Do Capuchin Monkeys Cost?

Capuchins are another type of New World monkeys that come from Central and South America. These are the monkeys you will likely see riding on greyhounds and acting as jockeys or with organ grinders. The usual Capuchin monkey costs between $7,500 and $9,000.

There are organizations, one of them being Helping Hands, that train these monkeys to be companions for disabled persons. They can reach the level where they can open drinking bottles, microwave food, or wash the patient’s face, but for all these, they will require some extensive training from infancy. Disabled persons usually receive these monkeys at no cost, as the organizations fund these acts through donations.

How Much Does A Squirrel Monkey Cost?

Squirrel monkeys come from the Amazon Basin. Although they have been known to attack from time to time, overall they are playful and cute. Experts recommend that you spay and neuter them. When they aren’t, they will likely become very aggressive when they are adults.

Squirrel monkeys will usually cost $6,000 to $9,000. They will need a lot of attention and care to keep as pets as they are very active creatures. Due to their small size, they are pretty easy to handle, although they aren’t known as the friendliest of all pet monkeys.

Don’t Go for the Cheapest Monkey

You shouldn’t buy a pet like a monkey on a whim. If you don’t have the time to care for them properly, they can become very dangerous animals. Considering that they can reach the age of 40 years or even more in the case of some species and with appropriate veterinary care, they are considered a lifelong commitment.

If you’re set on buying one, you will have to get it from a licensed breeder, as these exotic pets cannot be imported. Before you figure out how to buy a monkey, you will have to educate yourself on the types and species of monkeys, so you know which one is best suited for you and which one is easier to care for.

Where To Buy A Monkey

A pet monkey will have to be bought from a licensed breeder only. This isn’t negotiable. Furthermore, you should never trust breeders that are willing to ship monkeys that are 8 months or younger. Spend enough time researching breeders and ask for available references as well as licensing information.

How Much Does A Chimpanzee Cost?

Monkey BabyIt isn’t recommended to get a chimpanzee, as these aren’t considered good pets. They will become 5 to 8 times stronger than humans when they reach maturity. They can be aggressive to the point that pet chimpanzees have occasionally created some very disturbing attacks. There have been several human deaths caused by chimpanzees.

Even so, there are quite a few people that buy them and keep them as pets, only to end up selling them later down the road for biomedical research. There are several countries that have chosen to ban research on apes completely. It is also very difficult to get a chimp and you might end up spending $60,000 or even more in the process. Giraffes, in comparison, can cost closer to $31,000.

Laws for Keeping a Monkey as a Pet

When it comes to monkey ownership, there are some legal restrictions you should know about. For example, there are states that give specific directions on the space required to keep monkeys like macaques for example. Before you consider getting a monkey, check the laws of your area to see if owning a monkey is even legal.

Half of the states from the US either banned pet monkey ownership completely or at least banned it partially. The number of states banning exotic pet owners is only bound to rise as more and more reports of serious injuries pop up in the news. Even if you are allowed to own a pet like this, you will most likely require a permit.

Countries all over the world have banned monkey ownership as well. Your ability to not only purchase but also keep a monkey at home might also be affected by local zoning restrictions.

Local zoning restrictions might also affect your ability to purchase and keep a monkey pet. Some people that work in the educational or research areas have been able to obtain special permits to breed and exhibit these animals, although these cases are really limited in numbers.

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