Do Axolotls Bond With Their Owner?

Axolotls have become a popular type of exotic pet in recent years. Also, as their numbers in the wild are declining, keeping these creatures as pets has kept their numbers up and staved off the prospect of total extinction.

Most pets, such as cats and dogs, bond with their owners. They recognize and are affectionate towards them. Therefore, you may have been wondering if pet axolotls can bond with their owners. Or, can axolotls recognize their owners?

Here’s what I can tell you as an axolotl owner:

Axolotls don’t bond with their owner. Or, to be precise, the bond between an axolotl and its owner is relatively weak in comparison with other pets such as cats and dogs. First of all, their emotional intelligence is low. So, unlike dogs, for example, they don’t really connect with their owners on an emotional level. That’s not to say that they’re not smart but in their own way. Secondly, axolotls have really bad eyesight! Therefore, whatever they see doesn’t really make much sense to them. As a result, it’s very unlikely that they will recognize their owner, or be able to differentiate their owner from other humans.

They are happy and grateful that you care for them and give them food. However, they will be thankful no matter who gives them their food. Therefore, if you wanted an axolotl because you hoped they’d recognize you and be loyal to you, I’m sorry to say that you will be disappointed. However, this doesn’t mean that axolotls can’t have their own personality.

However, axolotls are curious creatures, so if you put your hand in the tank they will swim up to you. Although, it is worth noting that you should try to touch your axolotl as little as possible. This is because they are extremely sensitive and delicate creatures.

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Table of Contents

Do Axolotls Recognize Their Owners?

Your axolotl may not recognize your face, but you have noticed that they are interacting with you. But why? 

The reason your axolotl interacts with you has to do with their feeding time. Your axolotl will associate sudden movements in the water or near its tank with feeding time.

As mentioned above, axolotls have terrible eyesight, so they cannot recognize their owners. However, they are smart creatures and quickly will learn that new movement means that it is time for food. They will notice when you approach the tank, as they will learn that this signals that they will be fed soon.

As a result, they will start getting excited because they know food is on the way. They may express their excitement by swimming or moving around their tank, rising to the surface, or putting their faces up against the glass. However, it may take some time for your axolotl to exhibit this behavior, as habits are built up over time.

Do Axolotls Need Human Interaction?

It might sound quite sad, but axolotls don’t need any human interaction. They don’t receive any in the wild. Axolotls can live quite happy lives by being undisturbed with no human interaction.

You may notice that they get excited when they see their food and that all they are happy about is that they are being given food. Axolotls only really interact with humans because they know that humans will feed them. Human = Dinner Time!

Axolotls are really delicate creatures, which means that you shouldn’t touch your pet axolotl that often. If you over-handle your axolotl, you can cause some serious damage and kill them.

You may think it’s nice that you get your pet axolotl out to pet them, but really you are doing more harm than good. Also, your axolotl doesn’t really appreciate this. In the wild axolotls always stay in the water and only axolotls that have undergone metamorphosis may venture out of the water. However, this is VERY rare.

Human interaction is actually what is killing wild axolotls. Therefore axolotls don’t need human interaction, they like living very solitary lives.  

Do Axolotls Feel Lonely?

They don’t have feelings like humans do and so they don’t feel lonely or show loneliness. Really, they enjoy being alone. They enjoy living simple solitary lives where they aren’t disturbed.

By adding another axolotl to their tank, they should not attack each other, but they don’t really benefit from or want another axolotl in their tank.

However, a lot of people have axolotls for breeding purposes. Therefore, having two axolotls in the tank is common, especially with breeders. They don’t really react to one another that much until breeding season.

Can You Train Your Axolotl?

You can train your axolotl to feed from certain areas of the tank. However, to do this you need to be consistent and persistent, as it doesn’t happen overnight. Some axolotls will learn quickly, while others just don’t want to.

However, if you want to teach your axolotl to feed in a certain area, you will need to feed them at the same time and in the same place, every time. You place the food where you want to feed your axolotl. You keep repeating this until your axolotl gets into a habit. Eventually, your axolotl will learn that you always put the food in the same place.

Hence they will naturally learn to hang around in that spot when they know it’s feeding time.

It is about persistence and sometimes you may feel like giving up. However, if you really want to teach your axolotl then you have to keep trying. Sometimes it is just luck. Some axolotls will be more up for it, than others. However natural instincts will kick in and they will learn.

Although when it comes to tricks, axolotls are poor performers! They aren’t known for being able to do tricks. Some owners have reported that they have seen their axolotls jumping, but this isn’t a trick that they have learned.

They are jumping because they are trying to get out of the poor water conditions they are in. Hence you may not be able to teach your axolotl any tricks.

How Do I Keep My Axolotl Happy?


To have a happy axolotl pet, you need to make sure that you are giving them the best conditions possible for the entirety of their relatively lengthy axolotl lifespan (10-15 years). They enjoy living in aquariums with relatively cool water. They prefer low to very dim lighting. You need a good filtration system and they like an extremely clean tank.

As we have already said, these are very solitary creatures and as long as you give them their preferred environment and handle them as little as possible, then you will have the happiest axolotl possible. 

Check out the following guides to help you on your journey:

How Do I Know If My Axolotl Is Happy? [No.1 Ranking Guide]

How To Set Up An Axolotl Tank [Beginner’s Guide]

How Do You Keep An Axolotl Entertained?

Axolotls live very simple lives. They spend their time sleeping, eating, pooping, and biting each other sometimes. Therefore, axolotls don’t need to be entertained.

Tank Features

Axolotls also like climbing up plants, hiding in caves or hides, or exploring decorations. That seems to keep them entertained.

Tank Mates

If your axolotl is mature and lives with another mature axolotl of the opposite gender, it may also mate very occasionally. So, if you only have one axolotl, adding another axolotl might bring them some entertainment.

Some owners believe that adding some other mates into your tank such as small shrimps, mini snails, minnows, or goldfish might keep your axolotl company. They may not interact with them, but they will sense the other creature’s presence. 

However, I personally recommend against tank mates as axolotls are the ultimate loner! Check out this guide if you’re considering adding tank mates:

Axolotl Tank Mates [Complete Guide]

Axolotls are very simple creatures and they are entertained really easily. Although adding these things may provide your axolotl more enjoyment and entertainment in their lives.

How Long Can I Leave My Axolotl Alone?

You can leave adult axolotls for up to a week, maybe a week and a half if you really push it. However, you need to make sure that your axolotls are mature and healthy, that your tank has a good filtration system, that the temperature of the water is correct, and that the axolotls have been fed plentifully just before you go.

However, you cannot leave young/baby axolotls alone. The younger the axolotl the more care and attention you need to give them. Freshly hatched axolotls need around-the-clock care, as they are to be fed multiple times a day.

You also need to be aware that if you don’t feed your babies, they will eat each other and this will affect how the surviving ones grow and mature. 

Adult axolotls need much less attention. While they are normally fed once or twice a week, they can survive over a week without food, so enough time for a vaccination. 


Hello and welcome to Pets From Afar. I'm Glen. My daughter Siri and I are mad about axolotls. I created this website to document our findings and experiences, as we learn more about these amazing amphibians. Follow along and enjoy the fun!

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