What Is The Best Species For A Pet Monkey? - Ollie The Monkey (2024)

There are so many types of monkeys and the uptick in having one for a pet brings the question, is one species better than the other to own as a pet monkey?

Most Popular Species

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  • Chimpanzee
  • Capuchin
  • Macaque
  • Tamarin
  • Squirrel Monkey
  • Marmoset
  • Guenon

These are the most common species people keep as pets. One of the biggest reasons for this list is because these are the species most legal states or countries will allow. If considering getting a pet monkey be sure to double check not only your state laws but also your county laws on which species are legal. If your looking for primate toys/item you can check out Chewy USA or Chewy Canada and find bird toys and small pet items that can be used for monkeys as well.

Which Species Is The Best Pet Monkey?

Monkeys are extremely extraordinary and intellectual creatures. They are very high maintenance and are not the best pet for anyone with little expertise on handling and caring for non human primates. They require a lot of dedication and commitment to keep socially stable and enriched. Not to mention they are VERY expensive not only to purchase but to maintain on a regular as well. I’ve written an entire post on the hidden cost of primate ownership. With all that being said, which one is best comes down to each individual person and monkey.

If you are looking for a companion to snuggle in your lap and comfort you when you are sad, a monkey is not the right pet. They do show affection, but in their own ways.

Squirrel Monkey

Squirrel monkeys are extremely active and intelligent. They are also greedy and possessive. Don’t get me wrong Ollie The Monkey is cute and fun but he is a lot of work. It takes a long time to establish and learn how they communicate with different sounds. If you are curious what monkey eat you can check out my post on a Primates Diet, or my e-book!

What Is The Best Species For A Pet Monkey? - Ollie The Monkey (1)

Capuchin Monkey

Capuchin are the species of monkey that most think of right away as having for a pet. Capuchin are highly intelligent and can preform task for elderly or disabled individuals. Capuchins can be taught to open bottles, fetch items, and are typically not aggressive. However, someone who is disabled would need to have a helper to clean up after the monkey because they are extremely messy.

Marmoset Monkey

Marmoset or finger monkeys are indeed CUTE! Yup sorry Ollie but they are. With being the smallest monkey also comes it’s challenges. These little guys tend to get themselves into big trouble! Because they are small they are also generally pretty quick. Unless you really need to do cardio these little guys could easily outrun their owners.

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Macaque Monkey

Macaque monkeys are one of the more common species to keep as pets. They do tend to get much larger and require more space for running and playing. It is recommended that their indoor enclosure be 30 square feet or more. That’s a pretty big chunk of room! Macaque’s are also very social animals and need attention from their owner just like the other monkey species.

Tamarin Monkey

Although Tamarins are considered to be on the top list of pet monkeys, I only personally know a handful who do own them. This is due to many states making it illegal to own them. Also, tamarins pose some health risks. Humans can transmit deadly diseases to them and catch them from them as well. Hepatitis B can be transmitted from tamarins to humans which can be fatal.

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Guenon Monkey

I’m sure we could come up with many reason for and against owning a primate and as a primate owner myself I honestly think a Guenon monkey is one I’d NEVER EVER consider as a pet. Here’s why. For one, they get relatively large once fully grown. That equals not only extra mess but extra possible threats as well. And two, they are known to be aggressive in controlled situations and in the wild. Lastly, they are unpredictable.


Again, this one’s under the same line as the Guenon monkey. Everyone has read the story of Chimpanzee named Travis that was considered an animal actor. He had many castings with well know movies and commercials. He was considered a star, well at least until he attacked and ate Carla Nash’s face off. So I think I’ll pass on the pet chimpanzee 🫣.

In Closing

So is one species of pet monkey better than another? In my opinion, no. All pet monkeys take a lot of work, energy, dedication, and time. These are not the pets for a typical person who works a 9-5. Many just do not have the ability or skills to care for a creature with such depth.

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What Is The Best Species For A Pet Monkey? - Ollie The Monkey (7)

Published by Natasha Woodruff

Hi I'm Ollie. I am a 4 year old rescued squirrel monkey. Here you will find answers to all your pet monkey or general monkey questions. Be sure to follow me on social media as well where I share my day to day life as a pet monkey.View all posts by Natasha Woodruff

What Is The Best Species For A Pet Monkey? - Ollie The Monkey (2024)
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