Pet Monkey Laws By State

We determined what states it is legal and illegal to own a monkey as a pet.

Pet monkeys laws research summary. We researched the legality of monkeys as pets across the United States. Much like every monkey has a cap, every state in the US has it’s own laws regarding the ownership of monkeys as pets. Here are the key points.

  • Monkeys are legal pets in 25 states, including Texas, Florida, and North Carolina.

  • Monkeys are not legal pets in 25 states like California, Oregon, and New York.

Map Of Where Monkeys Are Legal Pets In The US

Pet Monkey Legal Status By State In The United States

Click to enlarge

In the eclectic world of exotic pet ownership, the desire to have a primate companion often swings into the hearts of animal enthusiasts. However, the legality of bringing a pet monkey into your home varies across the United States, creating a veritable jungle of regulations. Whether you’re considering a capuchin in Connecticut or a tamarin in Texas, you need to where the law stands on monkey business.

States where it is legal to have a pet monkey include Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

States where it is illegal to have a pet monkey include Alaska, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, and Washington state.

I personally don’t see why you’d want a pet monkey. I’ve seen enough Friends episodes to know they’ll leave you to become a famous actor.

States Where A Pet Monkey Is Legal

Monkeys are allowed throughout the Midwest and South. It could have something to do with a general inclination towards lax regulation, a culture more accepting of exotic pets, or a love for monkeys. Who doesn’t love a monkey?

  1. Alabama – Legal
  2. Arizona – Legal
  3. Arkansas – Legal
  4. Connecticut – Legal
  5. Delaware – Legal
  6. Florida – Legal
  7. Indiana – Legal
  8. Kansas – Legal
  9. Michigan – Legal
  10. Minnesota – Legal

States Where A Pet Monkey Is Illegal

Monkeys are typically not allowed as pets on the coasts. These states might have concerns over health risks, the ability of people to care for exotic animals, or animal welfare concerns.

  1. Alaska – Illegal
  2. California – Illegal
  3. Colorado – Illegal
  4. Georgia – Illegal
  5. Hawaii – Illegal
  6. Idaho – Illegal
  7. Illinois – Illegal
  8. Iowa – Illegal
  9. Kentucky – Illegal
  10. Louisiana – Illegal

Pet Monkey Laws By State

State Pet Monkey Legal Status Permit?
Alabama Legal Yes
Alaska Illegal
Arizona Legal
Arkansas Legal
California Illegal
Colorado Illegal
Connecticut Legal
Delaware Legal Yes
Florida Legal
Georgia Illegal
Hawaii Illegal
Idaho Illegal
Illinois Illegal
Indiana Legal Yes
Iowa Illegal
Kansas Legal
Kentucky Illegal
Louisiana Illegal
Maine Illegal
Maryland Illegal
Massachusetts Illegal
Michigan Legal Yes
Minnesota Legal
Mississippi Legal Yes
Missouri Legal
Montana Illegal
Nebraska Legal
Nevada Legal Yes
New Hampshire Illegal
New Jersey Illegal
New Mexico Illegal
New York Illegal
North Carolina Legal
North Dakota Legal Yes
Ohio Illegal
Oklahoma Legal Yes
Oregon Illegal
Pennsylvania Illegal
Rhode Island Illegal
South Carolina Legal
South Dakota Legal Yes
Tennessee Legal Yes
Texas Legal
Utah Illegal
Vermont Illegal
Virginia Legal Yes
Washington Illegal
West Virginia Legal
Wisconsin Legal
Wyoming Legal Yes

Methodology: How We Determined The Pet Monkey Laws In Each State

To determine the legality of monkeys as pets in each state, we used Saturday Night Science to conduct the following analysis:

  1. Compilation of State Pet Monkey Laws. An initial step involved gathering information on monkey ownership regulations from reliable legal sources, including official state government websites, wildlife departments, and legal databases. This compilation ensured accurate and up-to-date information.

  2. Legal Review Of Pet Monkey Laws: We carefully reviewed each state’s specific regulations to identify whether monkeys were allowed as pets, restricted under specific conditions, or prohibited outright. Key details, such as permit requirements, enclosure standards, and ownership restrictions, were noted.

  3. Mapping Monkey Laws By State: Finally, we mapped the legal status of pet monkey ownership in each state.

Note we are not lawyers, and this is not legal advice. Navigating the legal landscape of pet monkey ownership can be a barrel of laughs, but being informed and responsible is essential. Check your state’s regulations before you swing into action and bring home a cheeky companion. Failure to comply might leave you with more than just a banana peel to slip on.


In our investigation into the legal landscape of pet monkey ownership across the United States, we discovered diverse regulations that shape primate companionship’s permissibility. Pet monkeys enjoy legal status in 25 states, including the welcoming jurisdictions of Texas, Florida, and North Carolina, while facing prohibition in 25 states, notably in coastal strongholds such as California, Oregon, and New York.

The Midwest and South seem like havens for monkey enthusiasts, reflecting a potential alignment with lax regulatory traditions. On the contrary, the coastal states express concerns ranging from public safety and health risks to broader questions about these animals’ ethical and responsible care.

And that’s all the monkeying around we have time for today.


About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.