Marmoset Monkeys- The Basics in Pet care

Updated: Apr 11

Marmoset Care and Facts

Average Lifespan: Up to 20 Years

Diet: Marmosets eat commercial based marmoset food and fruits and vegetables.

Size at Adulthood: Under a pound.

Minimum Cage size: You can have a relatively small cage for your marmoset as long as they get plenty of time outside of the cage for exercise. The bigger the better as far as cage size goes. Yes they need an enclosure! You must be able to put your marmoset away, for their safety or otherwise, in their own space.

Marmosets are a member of the primate family and are one of the smallest monkeys. Their urine has a strong odor, and some people will use special monkey diapers. They scent their areas by rubbing their perineums over everything: toys, food dishes, bedding, stuffed animals, furniture, rugs and caging.

They are intelligent and need stimulation. Interaction can be supplemented with toys, but if a marmoset is kept as a pet by themselves, it will rely on the human family to become its family group.

Monkeys cannot be expected to be “well-behaved”. They will become bored and unhappy if confined to a small cage all day long with little to no interaction. It is a must to provide a play area or a tall outdoor enclosure in which they can climb high, the way they would in the wild. Monkeys are happy only when they can fulfill their social and emotional needs. They need other social animals like them, they need to feel loved and protected and generally long for genuine affection. It is a mistake to think of them as cats, dogs or hamsters.

Monkeys have complex emotional needs, a high level of intelligence and are likely to live a long life.

Living with a Marmoset:

When hand raised from infancy, marmosets can make fun and enjoyable pets for the right household. They have the cutest faces and have huge personalities even as babies. Keeping them loose in the house is a very good option as long as you have marmie-proofed your house. They will want your attention and do silly things to make sure you are watching.

They do not require a very large cage, but I recommend a cage for them to sleep in at night to keep them from getting into any danger.

I generally prefer to sell marmies to experienced owners as these guys are very particular and have many special needs and care. Vet care is very important and they need to have an experienced vet on hand in case of illness. This is NOT an impulse buy animal. Screening process is significant for any primates.

They cannot be left in a cage alone for extended periods of time they require a lot of attention and care. If there is no one home all day, or if you have young children a marmoset is NOT FOR YOU.

Baby Marmosets are very susceptible to viruses, colds, flus, and cold sores all of which can be fatal. They should not be exposed to a lot of people for this reason, you should not take them out in public.

Once they reach sexual maturity they change drastically. Typically only like the 1 or 2 people that raised them as a baby. They do not do well with strangers and get territorial or will attack a stranger or child. They are small but have sharp teeth and can cause significant injury.

Costs for keeping a Pet Marmoset:

Canned Marmoset Diet…….....................$3/Month Cage...........................................................$100-$300 Hammocks................................................$20-$40 Fresh foods and Supplements...............$20/Month Diaper and covers...................................$5-$20 Clothing....................................................$5-$20 Toys……………………………........…..........…...$5-$10

Preparing for your Marmoset: Before you bring your marmie home, you should have its habitat and cage ready before you get it, you also need to baby proof you house. Marmoset food almost always has to be ordered online so you should have all of their food pre-ordered and ready by the time you get them. Be prepared to spend several hours per day the first few weeks to get accustomed to your marmie and let them get comfortable with you.

Remember to locate a vet experienced with exotics and that is willing to see your baby BEFORE you get your baby. Before the big day, schedule an appointment for your baby be seen within 72 hours for our health warranty. Have your vet give a general examination and let them get familiar with you and your baby in case of an emergency or routine visits in the future. You should take your baby in yearly for annual checkups.

Marmoset FAQs

Do they have scent glands or a smell? Yes they do have scent glands and they should be spayed or neutered or the scent and urine can be very strong especially if kept indoors. Do they require any vaccinations? No vaccines are needed however your Veterinarian may want to give vaccinations. Please be sure they have experience with primate before they treat them. What is their general personality? Very affectionate, curious, loves attention and to play. They are extremely playful and they have very amusing personality each very unique, and they are extremely intelligent. How are they with other pets? Playful with dogs and ferrets and will get along with most cats. Keep an eye for playful fighting as marmosets are very small and dogs can get carried away and may hurt them accidentally. Will my marmoset bond to only one person? Generally marmosets will bond with everyone in the house that handles it regularly. It is usually not severely agitated by strangers and may go to them freely. Some are more shy but not generally aggressive. Can I let my Marmoset run free in my home? Many Marmoset owners do not even have a cage for them run around loose like a dog. I would recommend that you baby proof your house. Provide a safe environment for them to run free. This can be done all day long. Are their major differences between males and females in captivity?

When they are kept in non breeding environments there is no significant difference between the two sexes. Things to consider before owning a Marmoset Although the dont throw their poop, Marmosets will hang on the side of the cage and pee out of the cage, marmoset urine STINKS. ​ ​A pet marmoset can easily contract human diseases, such as the common cold. A human virus can be transmitted to the marmoset when it licks a plate or spoon, previously used by a human, or by close contact with the owner.

Captive marmosets will become territorial around the most dominant person, so they may attack and bite other people. When they becomes sexually active, some marmosets can be really nasty and aggressive. It is very important that a marmoset should never be kept in isolation, because it is an extremely social animal. They require special marmoset foods that must be special ordered online or found at a specialty store.

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