Does your cat seem to be playing but then viciously attack your hand? Have you tried water, newspaper swatting and hollering, and all that does is make it escalate?

Cats are predators. They are supposed to be attacking and biting; but while you shouldn’t be the victim, for a cat who lives indoors, you may be the next best thing to a rodent. Starting today, show your cat that hunting interactive toys is more fun. After he’s good at ripping the guts out of a few hunt-and-pounce playthings you can teach him about gentle interaction with you.

Head over to a retailer like Long Leash on Life (in Albuquerque 299-8800) and get a variety of toys for you to flop around in front of your feisty kitty. Also check out www.ourpets.com for a Bubble Mouse that drives itself. Or you can tie a couple of feathers to a string on your ankle so he can pounce on a flopping “wounded bird” as you walk around. Rotate the toys often so he’ll never know what to expect. It’ll be like a safari.

Watch your cat carefully and only pet him when he’s calm. If his eyes are dilated or the tip of his tail is twitching you can whip out a toy or just ignore him. If he’s about to attack, ignore, stand up, and allow him to drop onto the floor. Then walk away. Avoid direct interactions when he’s on the hunt. Fighting with him will only inflame him and make you the bad guy.