Do monkeys make good pets for humans? Before posing that question, it might be better to consider what a monkey is.

A monkey is a primate. All primates have evolved from forest-dwelling ancestors, and all but a few species are still, at least partly, arboreal. Primates include two basic groups: prosimians and anthropoids (simians).


Prosimians include lemurs, loris and tarsiers. Simians include the monkeys and the apes (of which humans are one).

With the exception of humans, primates live in tropical or subtropical regions of Earth.

Before further considering the question, ask yourself another question. Do Humans Make Good Pets? A human is a close cousin of the monkey. It is not usual, in civilised society, to keep a human as a pet. In fact, in most modern-day societies, to do so would be called slavery or kidnap!

Monkeys and apes are wild animals. They do not belong in captivity. In captivity, they will become listless, smelly, aggressive and mentally disturbed..

Cute Chimp do monkeys make good pets
Cute Chimp

Have you seen captive monkeys rocking back and forward, repeatedly? Sitting nodding their heads in a pronounced fashion, or pace back and forth for hours. These are symptoms exhibited by humans but, usually, only in asylums.

Do Monkeys make Good Pets?

Most of the great apes are big powerful animals. Even a chimpanzee could easily overpower a human. The little cutie (shown to the right), if he were a male when fully grown, could rip an adult human’s arm off.

Emaciated Caged Monkey do monkeys make good pets
Emaciated Caged Monkey

A recent news article reported a man being attacked by a “pet” lemur. An attack which nearly cost him his life.

Some of us show empathy to others of our species, and some of us exhibit empathy toward those of another species. And some of us are quite incapable of empathy.

Animals don’t think. They have no feelings or emotions. – NOT true! Chimpanzees think. They can solve problems and learn to use tools. Elephants who live in extended, matriarchal, family groups suffer profound loss and trauma when a herd member is killed by a hunter or poacher.

Angry Monkey
Angry Monkey

So, finally, to the question Do Monkeys Make Good Pets? The answer has to be a resounding, emphatic NO! Monkeys do not and cannot make pets. To do so would be inhuman, The term inhuman is used deliberately as humans are also primates and any monkey is a, relatively, close cousin. We do not keep our own kind as a pet.

Liberate the Apes

But, they are cute and I will love them and care for them. No, you won’t! You will hold them captive, feed them food they don’t like, keep them in alien surroundings, keep them away from their families and while you may love them it is certain they will NOT love you back. If they show any kind of attachment, it will be a version of Stockholm Syndrome, a condition where humans befriend their kidnappers.

There are sites on the Web advertising “monkeys for sale”! That is tantamount to trying to sell next-door’s kids! And, another thing: a chimpanzee is not a monkey, it is an ape. Help stop this abhorrent practice.

I watched a recent documentary, where Charla Nash was savagely attacked by a pet chimpanzee.

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Do monkeys make good pets for humans?