The Pygmy Marmoset, also known as the world’s smallest monkey, is commonly referred to as the Finger Monkey due to its adorable size.
The Finger Monkey earned its name due to its small size, which allows it to cling onto a human finger, a gesture that is incredibly endearing to anyone who loves animals!
Finger Monkeys are becoming more popular as pets among specific demographics because of their charming looks and actions, but they should not be considered a typical pet due to being primates.
Our focus in this article is to delve deeper into the world of Finger Monkey pets beyond their physical attributes. As with any unconventional pet, it’s crucial to address the ethical and practical concerns surrounding their domestication.
Our aim is to provide answers to these inquiries and additional ones, so please continue reading!
Where Does The Finger Monkey Come From?
The Finger Monkey is native to the rainforests of the Western Amazon basin in South America and can currently be found in Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia.
Finger monkeys are categorized as New World Monkeys, which are primates that have developed and inhabit regions in Central America, South America, and Mexico.
Within the Callitrichidae family, Finger Monkeys are genetically classified alongside other New World Monkeys like marmosets and tamarins.
Fun Facts About Finger Monkeys
Finger Monkeys have inspired a series of toys known as Fingerlings.
- Tiny Finger Monkeys lack the ability to oppose their thumbs, unlike certain other primates.
- Similar to an owl, the Finger Monkey has the ability to turn its head 180 degrees.
Can I Buy a Finger Monkey?
Before making any impulsive decisions, it is crucial to take into account the legality of owning an exotic Finger Monkey as a pet.
The answer to whether you can keep Finger Monkeys as Pets varies depending on your location and is not straightforward.
For those residing in the United States, it is important to verify the regulations of their state regarding Finger Monkey ownership as some states permit it while others prohibit it.
It is important to monitor the ongoing changes and developments in these regulations.
Similarly to other countries, the regulations regarding Finger Monkey ownership in Canada vary by province. While some provinces prohibit keeping primates as pets, others do not. In certain regions, obtaining and possessing a permit may be necessary to legally own a Tiny Monkey that loves to Hug.
While it is legal to have primates as Pets in the UK, some organizations are advocating for a ban on this practice.
It is highly advisable to conduct thorough research on the regulations governing the ownership of Finger Monkeys as Pets before making any decisions.
What Do Finger Monkeys Look Like?
Finger Monkeys are tiny marmosets, typically reaching heights of 4-6 inches and weighing slightly more than 100 grams as adults, which is why they can easily cling to a human finger.
Finger Monkeys have a tail that is longer than their body, which they use as an additional limb to climb and wrap around branches for added stability.
Finger monkeys possess sharp nails that can be compared to claws, unlike other primates that usually have flat fingernails. These claw-like nails aid them in climbing trees and grasping food more efficiently.
The Finger Monkey‘s fur is a blend of hues, including black, grey, and tan on their head and back, as well as orange and yellow on the undercoat. Additionally, certain Finger Monkeys may exhibit white fur around their face, head, and hands.
Finger Monkey Health
If you choose to have Finger Monkey as a Pet, it is important to be aware of the possible health issues that may arise during their captivity.
By doing so, you can enhance your ability to identify potential issues and promptly provide appropriate treatment.
It is important to be aware that Finger Monkeys can contract illnesses from humans, such as measles, Salmonella, and Diplococcus bacterium.
Among the viruses and bacteria that can be transmitted to Finger Monkeys, the herpes simplex virus 1 is the most destructive, causing fatal infections in these tiny primates, although it typically only causes cold sores in humans.
It is crucial to avoid kissing your Finger Monkey or letting it kiss others since over 80% of humans carry this infection.
It is important to prevent your Pet Finger Monkey from coming into contact with anything that has been in your mouth.
If you are feeling unwell, it is advisable to refrain from any interaction with your Finger Monkey.
Wasting syndrome is a severe ailment that Finger Monkey pets may suffer from.
This disease is a result of a parasite that spreads through domestic cockroaches and leads to symptoms such as weight loss, hair loss, diarrhea, and hind limb paralysis.
To prevent infestations of cockroaches carrying parasites, it is crucial to maintain household cleanliness and sanitation.
Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis remains unchanged. It is a viral infection that can be transmitted to humans from pet Finger Monkeys.
One disease that can happen to Finger Monkey pets in captivity is Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis, which is spread by house mice and results in symptoms such as breathing difficulties, tiredness, yellowing of the skin, and decreased appetite.
Keeping your house clean is the most effective way to prevent this condition.
Although these are the typical significant health issues that Finger Monkeys in captivity may experience, there are numerous other diseases they could acquire, so it’s crucial to monitor their well-being and conduct.
If a Finger Monkey is sick, it will typically hold its tail limp, which is a noticeable change from its usual expressive behavior, making the tail a good indicator of early signs of illness.
If your Finger Monkey appears to be unwell, it is crucial to seek veterinary assistance promptly.
Regarding its lifespan, a Finger Monkey kept in captivity can survive for up to 18 years.
It is crucial to keep in mind that owning a Finger Monkey as a Pet is a significant and long-term responsibility, particularly since these Tiny primates need extensive daily attention.
What Do Finger Monkeys Eat?
Finger Monkeys in their natural habitat are classified as gummivores, feeding on tree sap that they obtain by gnawing at bark and vines with their specialized teeth.
Observations have shown that Finger Monkeys consume not only the sap from plants but also fruit, nectar, and insects like butterflies to supplement their diet.
It can be challenging to find the tree sap that Finger Monkeys love outside of South America, which is why captive Finger Monkeys are typically provided with an alternative diet that meets their nutritional requirements.
Typically, Finger Monkey pets are fed a combination of insects like crickets and mealworms, along with fruits, vegetables, and boiled eggs while in captivity.
If you have a Finger Monkey as a Pet, it is advisable to seek advice from your veterinarian to develop a diet plan that meets all their nutritional requirements, which should be adaptable to changing circumstances as the Tiny Monkey grows older and other variables arise.
During their growth phase, it is crucial to provide a well-balanced diet for Finger Monkey pets to ensure proper development.
Finger monkeys as pets require frequent feeding, ideally every two hours, which can be reduced as they mature into adults.
Do Finger Monkeys Live in Cages?
Finger Monkeys kept as pets need to be housed in a cage to prevent them from escaping or getting hurt while roaming around the house, as they are tiny and vulnerable to injuries indoors.
Unsupervised, Finger Monkeys can cause a lot of trouble.
Choosing a spacious, multi-tiered enclosure is crucial for the well-being of Finger Monkeys, as they require ample room to climb and roam around in order to maintain their happiness.
Finger monkeys as pets require a multi-level and spacious cage to prevent boredom.
Make sure to provide ample ropes and other climbable surfaces in the cage for Finger Monkeys to enjoy and move around.
Providing Finger Monkey pets with novel playthings can serve as an effective method of offering mental enrichment to these clever primates.
Make sure that the Finger Monkey has constant access to food and water in its enclosure.
Can Finger Monkeys Live Together?
Finger Monkeys are highly social creatures that typically reside in groups called troops, which usually consist of approximately six members in their natural habitat.
Finger monkeys use chattering and high-pitched trills to communicate with each other, some of which are too high for humans to hear, and they also groom each other’s fur to maintain cleanliness and prevent parasites.
Finger monkeys are capable of displaying a range of emotions, including joy, anxiety, and astonishment, through their facial expressions, much like us humans.
Finger Monkeys are social animals that thrive in groups and should not be kept alone.
It is advisable to have a minimum of two Finger Monkeys as they require more than just human interaction to thrive and cannot live alone.
It is essential to keep in mind that Finger Monkeys are quite expensive, with prices ranging from $1500 to $4000 for one. If you decide to purchase two, the cost will increase significantly, and you will need to invest between $3000 and $8000.
Additionally, there will be expenses associated with caring for Finger Monkey Pets, including the provision of food, cages, toys, and veterinary appointments.
It is important to take into account the monetary consequences of having Finger Monkey as a Pet.
Is a Finger Monkey a Good Pet?
Regrettably, we cannot endorse Finger Monkey as a pet due to some significant reasons.
Initially, taking care of a Finger Monkey is vastly different from caring for a feline or canine since they are not domesticated creatures and are accustomed to having the entire forest as their playground.
Providing a spacious enclosure with ample playthings and care may not suffice in mimicking their natural habitat, as Finger Monkeys are clever animals that can easily get disinterested and anxious.
Keeping Finger Monkeys as pets may not be suitable for an average household due to their exotic nature.
Additionally, Finger Monkeys have a lifespan of up to 18 years in captivity, and it is crucial to provide them with consistent and extensive care throughout their entire life to ensure their well-being.
It is also necessary to meet all the financial obligations that accompany owning a Finger Monkey as a Pet.
Finger Monkeys are not pets that can be left unattended for extended periods. These primates require constant care and attention, and will rely entirely on their owners. It is essential to consider whether you are prepared to take on this significant responsibility for 18 years, in addition to your work and family commitments.
Finally, a significant number of Finger Monkeys sold in the exotic pet industry are separated from their parents at an early age and subjected to mistreatment.
Encouraging the keeping of Finger Monkey Pets is morally wrong and can cause additional mental and physical suffering for these Tiny Monkeys.
Thus, if you are contemplating having Finger Monkey as a Pet, we urge you to carefully ponder over these aspects before arriving at any conclusion. Although Monkeys are adorable and charming beings, we firmly believe that they should not be kept as domesticated animals.
Do you think Finger Monkeys make good pets or not?
Let us know below!
Discover other extraordinary animals in our other guides, such as the Spider Ball Python!
References and Resources
- Soini, P. (1982). The Ecology and Population Characteristics of the Finger Monkey, Cebulla pygmaea Folia Primatologica, 39(1-2).
- R. D.T. Bester (2014) provides advice on Finger Monkey Pets and how to tell if they are unwell in his article, ‘How To Tell If Your Marmoset Monkey Is Sick’. The Macau Daily Times.
- Hunt, R. D. et al (1978). Infectious diseases of Finger Monkey Pets – The Tiny Monkey That Loves To Hug. Primates in Medicine, 10.
- The Finger Monkey, also known as the Pygmy Marmoset, is a Pets that can be found at the San Diego Zoo Animals & Plants. This Tiny primate loves to Hug, and you can learn more about it by visiting the Pygmy Marmoset page.
- Genoud, M. et al (1997). Metabolic rate of the Finger Monkey (Cebuella pygmaea) – the tiniest simian primate American Journal of Primatology, 41(3).
- The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has advice on keeping Marmosets as pets.