🐒 Things You Should Know About Owning a Pet Monkey 🐒

My partner @AJ had a pet monkey, named Charlie, when he was a kid. Back then you could just go to the exotic pet store and buy a squirrel monkey for $99. His brother Steve saved up by mowing lawns one summer and then just went down and bought one. Here's what you should know. (All images pulled from the web)
  1. They make terrible pets
    Sorry to burst your bubble. But monkeys are wild animals. Unlike cats and dogs they haven't been domesticated. You should NEVER have a monkey for a pet. We went to a wedding once where we sat at a table with a primate zoologist. AJ told her that he had a pet squirrel monkey growing up. She was horrified.
  2. That said, they are basically like having a perpetual 4 year old around that doesn't speak.
    Monkeys are incredibly intelligent and it's basically like having a perpetual toddler or child around. They are fun to play with but also throw inexplicable temper tantrums and get moody. If you can't deal with children, you aren't going to be able to deal with a monkey.
  3. They have emotions.
    Sure they get happy and joyful, those are the fun ones. But they also get jealous and angry. As they get older they will get very protective of you. They basically hated any person that Steve (AJ's brother) dated. They couldn't let the monkey out of the cage when Steve's dates would arrive because they were scared the monkey would attack them.
  4. They really do love bananas
    Every time AJ or his family member fed the monkey bananas, he went bananas! He really did love them. 🍌
  5. They also love meat
    I actually thought most primates were herbivores but it turns out they are omnivores. In the wild they do eat a lot of fruit and vegetables but they also eat spiders, insects and even small birds. Occasionally AJ's family would give Charlie a small raw meatball as a treat and he LOVED them. They quickly learned to only give him enough that he would eat it right away though. Otherwise he would horde the remaining meatball in his cage and then it would go bad...
  6. They make the best show & tell item in grade school
    Every year AJ would take Charlie to his grade school class and he would be the envy of all his classmates.
  7. They do require a lot of heat
    The natural habitat for most monkeys are tropical forests. So you do need to keep your home fairly warm (or the room the monkey lives in really warm). Otherwise the monkey will get sick.
  8. They don't throw poop at you.
    Everyone always asks AJ this! But he has no memory of this happening to him or his friends. Maybe it happens with other monkeys but Charlie never threw his feces at anyone. Then again, AJ's family kept him in a clean cage.
  9. By the way, Charlie's cage was pretty huge.
    When I say cage I meant a large space that his father (a woodworker) created for him. They let him out of the cage as often as possible. But he did have his own space and home that they could put him in at night and when people visited.
  10. You do have to keep a vigilant eye on him though.
    They never let Charlie out of sight and they DEFINITELY did not let him outside without a leash. They were fearful that he would escape and just run off into the woods behind their house never to return. Monkeys love to climb trees!
  11. They are super strong (for a creature of their size)
    The reason they eventually had to give up Charlie was because he attacked one of AJ's friends. The friend was probably teasing him through the cage when AJ wasn't looking. When AJ went to let the monkey out Charlie attacked him. He bit AJ's friend's finger right to the bone. It was bad and they ended up having to give Charlie away to a zoo in Florida.
  12. Again, don't get a monkey for a pet.
    Just don't. It's a wild animal and deserves to be out in its own habitat in the wild. Dogs and cats are excellent pets.