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Please help!! Sorry if this post is a long read, I want to give as much detail as possible so we can get good answers.
First, I’ll try my best to explain our living situation. My partner and I have lived together since September. Before we moved in together, her cat had never met a dog before, and my dog had had positive interactions with cats on the street on occasion. We live in the basement of a large house and our dog spends most of her time down in our apartment when she isn’t outside or on walks. Our cat on the other hand, roams the house freely. She never comes in our apartment as our dog is extremely aggressive towards her. Above our apartment is a common living and cooking area that we’ve been spending more time in during quarantine. This means that the dog and cat are now in close quarters.
Our cat is a 2.5 year old domestic short haired spayed female with no health or behavioural problems. My partner has had her since she was 8 weeks old. She is a shy girl that prefers to spend time alone or with one or two other humans. She sometimes cuddles on her own terms and is very friendly when she wants food. She’s never been an aggressive cat and is very patient in general with things like vet visits and nail trims. Our dog is a 3.5 year old spayed cockapoo-border collie. She has a very confusing history. Long story short, she was given to me as a birthday gift (ugh) when she was 8 weeks old while I was very ill. I couldn’t take care of myself let alone an extremely energetic puppy. She mostly belonged to my mother who worked all day. She was pretty neglected for the first 2 or so years of her life. Anyways, my health is sorted out now, I’m not living with my mother and she’s been getting great care. As a result of her past, we’ve had struggles with her with anxiety and aggression. With the assistance of a walker who is very knowledgeable in behaviour and a daily dose of prozac, we’ve made great strides with her. She used to soil all over the house and lunge at every car on our walks. We haven’t had an accident since December and she walks with better manners than my dad’s gentle senior retriever. We’ve been using positive reenforcement mainly through verbal praise as she values this more than treats.
The only thing we can’t seem to make progress with in terms of behaviour is how she acts towards the cat. She tries to lunge at the cat pretty much any time she sees her. She growls, barks and wiggles if we get to her fast enough as to not let her chase her. Luckily our cat is fast and gets away quickly, but it obviously scares the shit out of her. Our dog gets aggressive when one of us is cuddling the cat or giving her any kind of attention. I don’t think she’d actually hurt her if she was to catch her, but who knows. In a few months we’re moving into a one bedroom apartment so the girls will be in close quarters. I really need some advice on how to teach them to get along. Without the large common area our poor kitty won’t have anywhere to hide from the dog. It’s tough because our cat is a shy girl and isn’t confident enough to tell the dog off by hissing. Please help! Sorry if this post is a little messy and frantic!
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