Unsuitable Pets

Why do Common Marmosets Make Unsuitable Pets?

Home Environment

  • Keeping marmosets in a home environment is not advised
  • It is very unlikely to meet their needs
  • The house will smell of the strong musky odour of marmosets (they scent-mark their surroundings) and furniture and fixtures may suffer damage

Keeping Them Busy

  • As highly intelligent and inquisitive creatures, marmosets can get easily bored, which causes stress
  • They need to be regularly provided with challenges, activities, and new objects to investigate


  • Contraception can be provided by an expert vet.
  • Pet marmosets should not be allowed to breed. There are too many marmosets in the pet industry already. Marmosets are also bred for research.
  • An infant marmoset needs to be reared by their parents. It is not appropriate to hand rear an infant to try to make it tame.

Social Requirements

  • Marmosets must be housed with other marmosets
  • Human company or watching the television is no substitute for interaction with other marmosets
  • Ideally, they should be housed within a species-typical group
  • Such groups require constant management
  • Problems can occur if there is only one group. As young marmosets grow they fight with other group members if they are unable to leave (as they would in the wild). If marmosets die they leave a depleted group behind

High Cost of Caring for them Properly

  • Financial costs: building and maintaining an enclosure with sufficient space and complexity; 24 hr heating bill (they are tropical animals); specialist veterinary bills; food bill
  • Time costs: Careful monitoring, providing enrichment activities and tasks, training, preparation of food, cleaning enclosures, etc.
  • Long life-span: (up to 18 yr in captivity) with a high level of care required throughout life

Marmosets should be sourced responsibly. If you are concerned about the welfare of a pet marmoset or want to report cruelty, you can contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999. The RSPCA cannot directly rehome unwanted pet marmosets.

For all these reasons we do not believe that marmosets should be kept as pets.