Axolotls, those enchanting aquatic creatures, have long been admired for their unique charm and captivating behavior. Their endearing appearance, with their feathery gills and perpetual smile, never fails to win the hearts of animal enthusiasts. 

Delighting in their tranquil underwater world, axolotls are creatures of amusement, enjoying playful endeavors that define their character. However, their way of playfulness is different from other pets like a dog or a bird. 

With a childlike curiosity, axolotls adore engaging in various activities that mimic games. As they gracefully glide through their aquatic habitat, they revel in pursuing small objects like pebbles. 

It might come to you as a surprise but they also love playing with their owner’s hands.

For an amphibian that looks like it is too cool to hang around with others, it sure has some “conditional” ways of fun. If you read my detailed description of it, maybe you’ll have an easier time…

What Do Axolotls Like To Play With

Do Axolotls Like To Play?

Let me state the obvious once again, Axolotl likes to play in their tank. But their definition of fun is different from ours. This is why we quickly write them off as anti-social, which is wrong.

These intelligent beings possess an innate desire for exploration, darting after moving items that pique their interest. This is how they like to have fun. Observing them maneuver through their underwater playground is genuinely a delightful spectacle.

They’d hide, maybe nudge a few rocks over here and there, they might even follow your finger across the other side of the tank as you swipe it around the tank’s walls. That’s all the fun they need in their day-to-day activity.

Do Axolotls Like Playing With Toys?

No, they don’t care much about toys either. So, I’m sorry if you were planning to post videos on Instagram about how they’d play with toys like a cat. Axolotls are relatively simple creatures when it comes to entertainment, and they don’t have the cognitive capacity to play with toys as some other animals do.

Axolotls prefer relaxing and casual activities more than being hyper and needing interactive play.

Do Axolotls Like To Play

What will Axolotl play with? 

While axolotl might not play with traditional toys, there are things you can add to make your little pet enjoy its time living in the tank. Here are some ideas:

1. Hiding places

Adding hiding places is a surefire way of making your axolotl excited. These little salamander lookalikes love to hide. I can’t read their mind but I think they have fun knowing they can’t be found. 

So add loads of plants and rocks inside your tank. Have a look at our suggestions on the best plants for an axolotl tank.

2. Live food

Axolotl might be shy but when they see food, that trait goes out of the window. At that time they become active and hunt for their prey. So, it’s not a bad idea to drop live food and watch them turn into 2009’s randy orton, ready to pounce at the right opportunity. 

Food like brine shrimps or bloodworms are great picks. For the complete list, you can read the article on the best food for axolotl. I strongly recommend it.

3. Floating objects

This is one of my favorites. You can add buoyant items that will surely grab the attention of the axolotl. They might think it’s prey and chase it. Kinda like a dog and a chew toy. 

4. Gentle current

In general, axolotls love to swim at their own pace. A great way to mimic a natural environment would be to set it against the current by using an aquarium pump. I recommend this one from PULACO.

5. Hand feeding

This is the same as suggestion #2. But instead of dropping, you hold it on the surface of the water, wiggle it a bit and wait for the axolotl to come close and take it from you. 

It is a surefire way to get closer to your axolotl as it’ll get familiar to you over time.

6. Target feeding

It’s the same thing but instead of holding it in your hand, you are suspending it on the water. It’s also fun for you as it can be a pseudo-fishing activity, at the same time become a training session for your axolotl where it’ll learn to follow objects. 

7. Adjust decorations 

Every once in a while switch up your decorations, making them different from before. To the axolotl, it’ll be like a completely new environment. This way it’ll explore the tank again with renewed vigor. 

These are some of the ways you can make your axolotl have a little more fun.

What will Axolotl play with

Put effort into making a well-designed tank for Axolotls. Have a look at the axolotl tank setup guide if you need any ideas.

Can I Play With My Axolotl?

Nope, you can’t play with your Axolotl as you do with people or regular pets. Having fun with them is cool, but you gotta respect their boundaries, you know? Axolotls are super delicate and sensitive, so touching or holding them is a big no-no. They don’t dig that stuff. 

To keep them happy and safe, you gotta take a totally hands-off approach when it comes to playtime. Just let them do their thing in their tank, and enjoy watching them explore and chill out in their own way. 

But I’m not going to leave you stranded, as I have some tips to bring you guys closer.

Can I Play With My

Tips for playing with axolotl

  • When it’s feeding time for your Axolotl, you can create some playful moments by using feeding tongs to gently wiggle bloodworms or brine shrimp.  
  • Axolotls are usually not comfortable being handled, but you can gain their trust by letting them make contact with you first. Once they trust you, you can gently stroke their tail or belly. It might even lay eggs on your hand if it gets too comfy. Hand feeding is the easiest way to achieve this. 
  • Do not overdo it, as this can stress them out.
  • Avoid hurried or aggressive actions around your pet, as this can frighten them. Move slowly and carefully to create a stress-free environment.
  • Try a little experiment by gently moving your finger along the glass wall of the tank and observing whether or not your Axolotl follows along. It’s pretty common for Axolotls who recognize their owners to participate in such activities.

These are some good and enjoyable ways you can bond with your pet.  


In the enigmatic world of axolotls, every move speaks volumes, and every moment is embraced with quiet contentment. Axolotls can have fun on their own, without needing any external help. While they can be social with other axolotls, they do not require companionship and can be perfectly happy living alone. So, let your axie do its thing.

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