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How Much Does a Monkey Cost? (2022 Price Guide)

macaque monkey sitting on ledge

Before we jump into the cost of owning a monkey, let’s get one thing straight:

We do not recommend owning monkeys as pets. These incredible animals can be incredibly dangerous and fatal to humans. They are not domesticated, and so they do not get along with humans or feel at home in our homes. You risk a lot by taking a monkey into your home.

However, you may be interested to know just how expensive these animals are. Or perhaps you are a professional who needs to get a monkey. Either way, monkeys are very expensive. In this article, we are going to learn exactly how much it costs to own one.

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Bringing Home a New Monkey: One-Time Costs

Monkey up a tree
Image Credit: Joel Santana, Pixabay

Monkeys are costly animals to own and bringing one home for the first time is outrageously expensive. The exact type of monkey you get will affect the price, but all varieties are expensive, nonetheless.

In addition to bringing home the monkey itself, you need to by its enclosure, food, and other first-time essentials. You should easily expect to pay $10,000 for all of these items, if not much more.

Free

Don’t ever expect a monkey or any of its items to be for free. If someone is looking to give away their monkey, there is likely something wrong with the creature. As a result, we do not recommend getting a monkey for free. It is much safer for both you and the monkey to buy everything yourself. Even though this will be pricey, it will be worth it.

Occasionally, certain breeders and charities will donate monkeys to zoos and protection agencies to give the monkey the bets life possible. This only happens for very reputable programs, though.

Adoption

  • $0–$60,000+

Technically, you can adopt monkeys from different agencies and conservation programs. In fact, a few zoos and organizations sell their monkeys at a lower price than if you were to go to a breeder.

However, adopting a monkey is typically only available for other organizations and zoos. There are very few adoption options, if any, that allow adoption for regular homeowners. This is due to the nature of the animal in question.

The exact adoption price depends on a variety of factors, such as monkey type, age, and sex. For example, female gorillas are much more expensive than male capuchins.

Breeder

  • $3,500–$60,000+

The way that most individuals go about getting a monkey is by buying from a breeder. Certain private breeders do not see any ethical issues with private ownership of monkeys. Since private breeders of monkeys are so limited, they can sell the monkeys for an outrageously high price. You can expect the monkey price to be between $3,500-$60,000

Of course, not all private breeders sell to individuals. Many private breeders specialize in endangered species and sell them to other organizations and zoos so as to bring the species back to life.

Initial Setup and Supplies

monkey in a cage
Image Credit: ignartonosbg, Pixabay
  • $1000+

In addition to the monkey itself, you will need to buy a number of initial setup items and supplies as well. This includes the cage, habitat, food, diapers, and initial veterinary care. Expect to pay quite a lot for all of these items.

After all, the cage itself should cost over $1,000. Although you can find indoor cages for around $500, these cages are typically incredibly unethical and unsafe. So, expect to pay over $1,000 for a cage that is properly designed for the monkey in question.

List of Monkey Care Supplies and Costs

Cage: $1000 – $3,500
Cage items: $100 – $200
Initial Vet Care: $200+
Diapers: $65
Toys: $50

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How Much Does a Monkey Cost Per Month?

squirrel monkey
Image Credit: cegoh, Pixabay
  • $200–$1000+ per month

After you pay for all of the initial setup and supply items, you will have to pay for this monkey the rest of its life. Given that monkeys can be very old, know that you will be making a lifetime financial commitment.

The exact amount you pay per month will largely depend on the type of monkey. For example, larger apes can cost hundreds of dollars a month for food simply because of their large size. Smaller sized monkeys, however, only cost $100 a month in food.

Health Care

  • $0–$500+ per month

Unfortunately, it’s really hard to predict exactly how much health care will cost for your monkey. Most veterinarians do not accept monkeys as patients. So, you will have to go to a specialized expert. This can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars per visit. Of course, you won’t have to visit this expert every month.

The exact monthly costs for health care will depend on the type of monkey you have, your location, pet insurance, and frequency of the health care needs. For this reason, there is a wide range in price prediction.

Food

  • $100–$1,000+ per month

The food budget for your monkey is also hard to predict. Most importantly, the size and type of monkey you have will largely determine how much you spend on food. For example, small pet monkeys only need small amounts of fruit, vegetable, and protein. As a result, small monkeys only cost about $100 per month.

However, large apes require much more food simply because they are large. For example, an adult male gorilla eats up to 40 pounds of food a day. As you would expect, it costs thousands of dollars to feed adult apes.

Grooming

  • $0–$100 per month

For the most part, monkeys groom themselves, which means you don’t have to do a lot. You will need to give your monkey a bath, assuming that it is small. Simply grabbing a mild soap or pet safe shampoo works fine. Obviously, this is very inexpensive.

Even with larger apes, grooming is not that expensive. In fact, larger apes do a much better job at grooming themselves. So, very little of the monkey’s budget goes towards grooming.

Medications and Vet Visits

  • $100–$200+ per month

Because monkeys are such exotic pets, medications and vet visits are extremely expensive. You have to find a vet that specializes in monkey care, which can be very difficult, depending on where you live.

You should expect to pay hundreds and thousands of dollars in total for the monkey’s medications and vet visits. If the monkey is healthy, hopefully you don’t have to spend that much on the monthly basis, though.

Regular checkups for small monkeys costs around $100 to $200, but health care for large apes jumps up dramatically.

Pet Insurance

  • $50+ per month

Although pet insurance is not required for all pets, it is a must for monkeys. Monkeys can really get themselves into pickles, which means they need to see a doctor. Unfortunately, as we have already learned, medical monkey bills are very expensive.

If you cannot afford pet insurance, you cannot afford a monkey. It is as simple as that. Pet insurance for your monkey starts at around $50, but it can cost more.

Environment Maintenance

  • $0–$100+ per month

Maintaining your monkey’s environment isn’t particularly expensive, but it is labor intensive. You will need to clean out its cage, throw away waste, and wash blankets and other items.

Since pet monkeys primarily wear diapers, they don’t require substrate or any other type of absorbent bedding. However, gorillas and such need straw and other substrate-like material, which can cost up to $100 or more.

For all monkeys, you will likely have to spend on laundry detergent and odor eliminators. Those obviously aren’t that expensive. You may also need to buy diapers, however, which can cost about $50 a month. In total, you probably will spend around $100 for all of these items.

Related Read: Do Squirrel Monkeys Make Good Pets? What You Need to Know!

Entertainment

  • $0–$50 per month

One of the appeals of monkeys is that they are super intelligent and inquisitive. As a result, an entertainment budget is a must for monkeys. You need to provide them different toys and items to play with. Luckily, you can turn just about anything into a toy with a monkey, which means you don’t have to spend a fortune.

We recommend spending about $50 a month on your monkey’s toy budget. Once again, you can use sticks, pots, pans, and other things around your home to bring the cost down.

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Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Monkey

  • $200–$1,000+ per month

At the end of the day, monkeys are incredibly expensive on the monthly scale. Smaller monkeys will of course be more affordable because they don’t eat as much, but apes and other large species will be incredibly expensive.

The bulk of the monkey’s monthly budget will go towards its food, environmental maintenance, and toys. Luckily, you won’t have to do much grooming. As for health care, it can be very expensive, but it should not be a consistent monthly payment.

Additional Costs to Factor In

Two monkeys side-by-side
Image Credit: romanticfatman, Pixabay

Keep in mind that there are other various costs you may have to consider. For example, you will have to pay for this monkey to be cared for every time you go on vacation or are gone for an extended period of time. Since monkeys are incredibly risky, you will have to pay a whole lot of money to get a proper sitter.

More so, monkeys can get sick on occasion. When this happens, you will have to pay hundreds and thousands of dollars in order for that monkey to receive the health care it needs. We highly recommend having pet insurance that covers monkeys for this reason.

Owning a Monkey On a Budget

If you are on a budget, we do not recommend owning a monkey. As we have stated multiple times already, monkeys are very difficult animals to own. In order for them to be happy, they require a huge financial commitment on your part.

As a result, simply do not get a monkey if you are on a budget. It’ll be better off for you and the monkey alike. Of course, you can always use coupons and buy in bulk to help save money, but they probably won’t make a huge difference in the long run.

Like we said under the pet insurance section, if you cannot afford everything the monkey needs, you cannot afford a monkey.

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Conclusion

Once again, monkeys are not suitable pets, but it can be interesting to learn how much they cost. Simply put, monkeys are incredibly expensive and labor intensive.

Even the smallest of monkeys cost thousands of dollars initially and hundreds of dollars per month. Apes and other larger species are even more expensive, making them unsuitable pets.


Featured Image Credit: Rajesh Balouria, Pixabay

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