How Much Does a Lemur Cost?

Written by: Staff

The lemur, a primate that is native to the island of Madagascar, a large island off the southeast coast of Africa, are intelligent, playful, and cute.  Lemurs are known for its long, bushy tail that they use for balance and to communicate with one other.

Lemur by magnus.johansson10, on Flickr
Lemur” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by magnus.johansson10

 How much does a lemur cost?

Before considering a lemur, you must first check your local city/state laws to ensure that owning one is legal.  If owning this exotic pet is, indeed, legal, then most lemurs from a reputable breeder will cost anywhere from $700 to $3,000 from the breeders we found.  The costs will greatly depend on the lemur species, age, its health and the breeder.

A reputable USDA breeder should include the USDA paperwork, and in some cases, a few sample food bags, care sheet and diapers.

On multiple ads on, for example, listings ranged anywhere from $1,500 to as much as $3,000+.  From the ads we looked at, many breeders would sell in pairs.

Lemur overview

Lemurs have furry, pointed ears and with long tails. Lemurs often compare to both monkeys and squirrels because their body is gray, with black muzzles. They also possess an opposable thumb and long toes for gripping tree branches.

There are around 100 species of lemurs, 33 of which are found on the island of Madagascar. Lemurs are classified on the basis of their size, with the tiny pygmy mouse lemur being the smallest one, and the Indri lemur being the largest one today and weighs around 15 pounds.

Among the most common lemur species found in Madagascar include the russet mouse lemur, the black and white ruffed lemur, the wooly lemur, the ringtail lemur and the aye-aye. The ring-tailed lemur is the most common type of lemur taken home as an exotic pet, however. The ring-tailed lemur has a grayish-brown body with black and white rings of fur on their tails. Unlike the other varieties, ring-tailed lemurs spend some significant amount of time on the ground. Adult ring-tailed lemurs can reach up to a length of about 17 to 22 inches long and weigh around five to eight pounds on average.

The average lifespan of a lemur is about 20 years.

What are the extra costs?

An indoor enclosure, which can be small at first, is required as you don’t want a lemur to roam like a dog or cat would.  A good sized enclosure for an adult should cost about $500.  An outdoor enclosure, while optional, can cost another $200 to $400 depending on the size and materials.  Lemurs can do well inside of a main room with lots of activity; however, they will do best with an outdoor enclosure similar to a dog cage and indoor enclosure with some sunlight.

Fresh food, depending on your choices and local grocery store prices, can cost about $10 to $25 per week.  In captivity, a lemur will eat on a variety of leafy greens, fruits and vegetables, according to  The breeder cited often feeds their lemurs carrots, bananas, melons, sweet potatoes and even non-toxic flowers.

Toys, blankets and hammocks, all accessories highly recommended for the enclosure, can cost another $50.   As primates need enrichment for a healthy lifestyle, a lemur will need to keep its mind and body busy.  Failing to do so can lead to stressful and aggressive situations.

Diapers, while optional, can cost about $8 to $10 per package.  A lemur can’t be potty trained like a cat, but most owners choose to use diapers.  If trained, however, they can use the same spot to use the bathroom.

If the lemur has to be shipped, which is often the case if purchasing online, additional shipping fees may apply.

Breeders highly recommend spaying when the lemur is six to eight months old to avoid aggression.

A special license, as mentioned, will be required.  Depending on the state you live in, this can cost up to $200 for the year.

Tips to know:

Lemurs are primates native to Madagascar, off the coast of Africa and on the neighboring Comoros Islands. They are classified as prosimians, which differentiates them from anthropoid primates, a group to which both humans and monkeys belong.

Lemurs are well known for their big, round reflective eyes and for their wailing screams.

While lemurs can be wonderful pets for the right people, they can be unpredictable. Always look for a hand-raised lemur.

Lemurs must be neutered or spayed between six to 10 months old. If they are not neutered or spayed at an early age, they can become quite aggressive. While capturing wild lemurs in their native land of Madagascar island is prohibited, it is legal to keep a captive-bred lemur as a pet in most U.S. states. Again, check your state and city laws to make sure it is legal to own lemurs as pets in your area.

Most biologists are concerned as regards to the diversity of lemur species as many are endangered and threatened. Lemurs are very vulnerable to habitat destruction and human encroachment because they previously have led very sheltered lives historically.  In fact, many species have gone extinct.

A reputable breeder, when adopting, should be licensed by the USDA.  With very few genuine breeders within the United States, your chances of adopting an illegally imported lemur is quite high if you don’t do your due diligence.

Advertising Disclosure: This content may include referral links. Please read our disclosure policy for more info.


Average Reported Cost: $0

0 %
0 %
Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

About Us | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Amazon Affiliate Disclosure
Copyright © 2022 | Proudly affiliated with the T2 Web Network, LLC
The information contained on this website is intended as an educational aid only and is not intended as medical and/or legal advice.