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Pygmy marmosets are also known together finger monkeys (you deserve to use the two names interchangeably) or bag monkeys, and also for great reason. They room the smallest species of monkey in the human being – and one that the smallest primates extant today. Quite than climbing increase your arm or your leg, a mere finger may suffice because that a rise frame.

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What is the expectation of a finger monkey, or pygmy marmoset? as is the case with almost all animals, trained or otherwise, finger chimpanzees tend come live fairly a lot much longer in captive environments. Pet pygmy marmosets usually live 15-20 years. Wild ones nothing live as long, since they room prey animals and also because they autumn from the trees!

Native to the rainforests and also jungles the the west Amazon Basin in south America, these tiny brand-new World monkeys are significantly making their way into our homes, and our hearts. Feeding mostly on gums, saps and resins (yep, they are technically gumnivores, though your pet marmoset won’t gain a pole of Extra), they room mostly discovered in evergreen and also river-edge forests. They room highly social animals, living and also operating in troops of 2 to 9 individuals.

Image by Gary Chambers indigenous Pixabay

Do they make great pets?

Read this guide and also judge because that yourselves! based upon the details here, you deserve to determine whether or no you think a pygmy marmoset, or finger monkey, is the right pet because that you!

You must know, very first of all, the they deserve to be high-quality in increase front and ongoing costs. Castle are likewise illegal in around 20 united state states. Over there are numerous things come consider.

Here is a rundown of the points I will cover in this guide:

Is the pygmy marmoset legal to very own as a pet?Finger monkey behavior – exactly how should you manage a pygmy marmoset?Finger monkey housing and accessories – how finest to treatment for a pygmy marmosetFinger monkey diet – what you should or need to not feed your pygmy marmosetFinger monkey cost – just how much will it collection you back, in upfront costs and ongoing costsWhere come buy a finger monkey, or pygmy marmoset

With any type of luck, by the time you finish reading this, friend will have actually a pretty great idea of even if it is or not owning a pygmy marmoset is the best decision because that you, and for the marmosets themselves

#1: Pygmy marmoset legitimate issues: is it legal to own as a pet?

This is a great place to start. Prior to we dive into how to take treatment of pygmy marmosets, it’s essential to know straight off the bat if they’re even legal to own!

Well, depending upon where girlfriend live, the answer to that might be correct or no.

Here is a list of claims in which the is (or in ~ least might be) legal
to very own a finger monkey:

Alabama, Nebraska, Nevada, Montana, phibìc Dakota, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, West Virginia, and Virginia: no permits needed—at time the writing. But double check prior to you buy! Laws readjust all the time.

Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Arizona, Indiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee: distinct permits are forced to store any form of primate or other type of wild or perhaps dangerous animal. Apply for her permit from the state room of Agriculture. Note: simply using for a permit does no guarantee you will certainly be granted one! Also, countless of this states have partial bans, so you could get stuck at a policy level before even do an application.

Does her state show up on either of this lists? If so, you’re previous the an initial hurdle! Note, however, that you might still require official permits and also licenses to own a primate. Some states devolve duty to the separation, personal, instance county or municipality authorities. Phibìc Carolina is an instance of a state in which over there is no statewide ban, but where decisions are made on a ar level.

Many states have actually introduced cover-all bans top top primates, no matter the circumstances or how many times you do an appeal. In this states, the only human being who deserve to legally save primates (or any other form of wild animal) space those running sanctuaries or educational pet exhibits. Also then, over there are extensive criteria which need to be met. These include New York, new Jersey, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, new Hampshire, new Mexico, and Minnesota. So if you live in any kind of of these states, think about settling because that a cat.

#2: Finger monkey behavior: handling and also bonding

Pygmy marmosets have a hold of exceptional talents, native rotating their heads all the round to jumping numerous times their very own height—further than many chimpanzees larger than them! right here is an advent to some of those behaviors.

Ability to turn head 180 degrees

That’s right. Owls, step aside. Yes a brand-new kid in town, v the uncanny ability to revolve its head through 180 degrees.

Crazy jumping ability

Pygmy marmosets have the right to jump come a elevation that cannot conveniently be extended by other breeds of monkeys, also those much larger than the pygmy monkey. Just how high, exactly? virtually 15 feet! because that an pet that fits conveniently in the palm of your hand, it is an impressive feat!

Bigger tails than bodies

The adult finger monkey generally reaches a total head-body length of 4.6-6.0 inch (117 to 152mm), if its tail is often substantially longer! their tails can thrive up to 6.8-9.0 inches (172-229mm).

Lucky if they do it come 6 months

Pygmy marmosets have a high mortality rate. Just 67% the pygmy marmosets make it to the age of 6 months. Practically 80% the pygmy marmoset deaths happen within the first two months of life. Organize on tight, baby monkeys!

Aggressive tendencies in males

Finger monkeys, specifically the males, tend to be aggressive once they with adulthood. If she planning on maintaining a finger monkey together a pet, you should be mindful of this, and handle castle accordingly! Pygmy marmosets are an extremely active and also often require the companionship of humans and/or other finger monkeys.

Handling finger monkeys

Take treatment when handling adult male finger monkeys. They are unlikely to have the ability to physically pains you, yet the shock of a nip could lead come a reflex action. Given their little size and also delicate bone structure, you can easily perform quite a lot of of damages to a pygmy marmoset there is no even meaning to!

Aside from that, be ready to manage your pygmy marmoset frequently. As extremely social animals, they require a many social stimulation and also interaction, one of two people from members of their posse, or you!

#3: exactly how to care for a pygmy marmoset

Finger monkeys are extremely social animals. A model troop consists of 6 monkeys. So if you space thinking of fostering 1 finger monkey, think again! take it them on in bag (or teams of an ext than 2!) come ensure they constantly have who their very own size to play with. This will take the press off you, and also increase the likelihood of her pygmy marmoset settling into its brand-new captive environment without a hitch.


Finger primates are physical active, too. They room avid and able climbers, and as such require vertical room in your enclosure. They likewise require a many sunlight – the most vital vitamins in a pygmy marmoset diet together C and also D3. These vitamins are essential for the wellness of a finger monkey (more ~ above diet below). To administer D3, that way lots the sun, or a UV light.

Note on ok health: finger chimpanzees are susceptible to number of diseases and viruses, lot like humans. Maintain excellent cage hygiene by cleaning it thoroughly and frequently, and also be responsibility of any kind of unusual behavior. Report strange activities to your registered veterinarian medical professional immediately. Take her marmoset come be checked if problems persist.

A finger monkey’s cage must mimic the natural setting as close as possible. This means:

Large cage with space to jump, climb and stay activeInstalling swings, synthetic or real trees and a stable supply that clean (de-chlorinated) waterDirect sunlight because that at the very least a couple of hours a day, and a warm lamp or UV light if friend cannot carry out this

You must AVOID enclosures which:

Are vast and shallow, due to the fact that they will certainly not provide your marmoset with sufficient vertical space in which come climb;Are really small, since marmosets space social and physically energetic and prefer to be grouped together. One might be small, however two or three deserve to take up a bit more space!Have opaque lids, due to the fact that they will certainly not permit in sufficient sunlightAre barren – spruce points up through some climbable objects!Are as well dark.

Pygmy marmosets space not like dogs – they do not make great emotional support animals. Therefore if you’re looking for a treatment animal, to cuddle as soon as you’re down, she probably far better off getting a dog!


Real plants:

While actual plants may come the closest to emulating the marmoset’s organic environment, that is an important that friend now exactly where it came from, and that it is no carrying any nasty toxins or bacteria. Marmosets room prone to miscellaneous diseases, and a brand-new virus carried into your cage on some bark might be deadly. To prevent the risk, buy indigenous a registered and reputable pet it is provided store.

Artificial plants:

Easy to purchase, maintain and also clean, durable synthetic plants deserve to make her marmoset’s cage an ext interesting and vibrant. They carry out opportunities for play and varied social interaction. To store your marmosets on your toes, swap the end one branch for another, or rearrange the items in the enclosure.

Swings & other climbable objects:

There are totality host of exciting objects available at most pet supply shop – hide boxes, swings, ladders and also platforms. Mix this in with your genuine or fabricated plants come liven points up for her pygmy marmoset(s).

#4: Pygmy marmoset diet: what do finger chimpanzees eat?

In the wild, pygmy marmosets have a committed diet of tree gum. Lock gnaw feet in the bark of suitable trees and vines through their unique teeth. As soon as the sap puddles increase in the feet they’ve made, the monkey laps it up through its tongue.

Obviously this is a tricky instance to kinds in one enclosure in her home. Fortunately, girlfriend don’t have to!

Finger primates will happy munch on a wide selection of foods, consisting of fruits and vegetables, pasta, small insects, and also rice. Over there are also special biscuits easily accessible which are fortified with vitamins D3 and also C, protein and also calcium. Look for these in your regional pet it is provided store, or online, together they space the perfect snack for her finger monkey.

How to feeding & feeding frequency

Finger chimpanzees are small, with high metabolic rates. Thus they have to eat frequently, yet only small amounts every time. Distribution biscuits, piece of fruit and other tidbits about the enclosure as soon as or twice a day. Watch for yourself just how much, or just how little, your chimpanzees eat, and also what foodstuffs they prefer. Readjust accordingly, and also clean out any type of bits that food that are left for more than a day.

#5: Pygmy marmoset cost: how much is a finger monkey?

This is probably where countless of you will switch off from the idea the owning a finger monkey as a pet. They may be small, however they sure aren’t cheap! In fact, they might be one of the highest possible cost-per-ounce pets available.

A small, 3-ounce baby finger monkey will certainly likely set you back somewhere between $1400 and also $4000.

If that isn’t enough to put you off, think about the cost of food and enclosure, plus the continual expense of vet fees. Constant vets room unlikely come welcome a pygmy marmoset right into their clinic, together they carry with them all sorts of legitimate issues. So friend will very first need to discover a vet that is all set to aid look after your marmoset at a moment’s notice, regularly, and over a duration of up to 18 years.

What’s more, the is ill recommend to keep a finger monkey solo, so girlfriend will most likely need to fork the end for two or 3 in one go!his If this is all within her budget, climate be my guest.

#6: Where deserve to you buy one?

These little fur-balls have been notoriously difficult to gain hold of in the past. However, offered the recent surge in popular among different pet enthusiasts, the it is provided chains have actually kicked right into gear. That is simpler than it ever before has been to buy a pygmy marmoset.

If you live adjacent a large and well-supplied pet store, lock may have pygmy marmosets in store. If not, you can look online, or contact ahead to other pet shop in the vicinity. That is clear preferable come buy your marmosets in person because you can check them over for health and also establish a rapport through the pet storeowner. Just buy from human being you trust!


So, what perform you think? do pygmy marmosets make great pets? carry out you have actually what that takes to look after ~ multiple finger monkeys?

Based ~ above the complying with three factors…

Maintenance – high or low? Pygmy marmosets require a many TLC, and also ideally like to be put in tiny groups. If you placed together a pairing and they obtain on well through each other, that will lighten the load for you. If not, her marmoset could be fairly high maintenance! They space attention seekers, and also require a fairly high level that maintenance.Handling – room they easy to handle?There is small evidence to imply that pygmy marmosets room difficult to handle. Aside from the aggression often showed by males as they reach adulthood, they nothing pose a threat to your safety.Cost – expense to buy pet, to run cost: this is the clincher. They are expensive to buy, are almost always sold and bought in pairs, and also may call for expensive vet bills further down the line, add to vaccinations, jabs, etc. The in its entirety cost have the right to be separated up right into base cost and ongoing costs, and summarized with overall cost. The base expense is high, and ongoing expenses are middle high (and not necessarily predictable).

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I’d to speak the pygmy marmoset has good potential to be fantastic pet – if controlled correctly, with diligence, patience and care. You might not be taking on the many emotionally understanding pet. Like I said, these monkeys are not favor dogs. They will not involved the rescue once you’re feeling blue!

They are likewise not prefer cats: perform not expect them to roam the house, looking after themselves and occasionally rolling over and also asking for food. They will hound you for attention, and also let you understand if they room not getting enough of it!

However, they have the cute factor, and will wow your friends through their incredible minuteness, and fascinating claws.

That’s every for now. What perform you think? Is the pygmy marmoset for you? have actually you ever held one, and also did that make your heart melt?