Thank you for your helpful response! Here is my (long) reply to many points you've brought up. I hope I've addressed them all. If not...ask again. I want help and I'm not trying to hide anything.
The aggression is definitely offensive. His posture is described perfectly in the ASPCA article. He also does most of the following when attacking the dog:
· Swatting, striking with paws
· Growling, shrieking
· Preparing for an all-out attack by rolling onto side or back and exposing all weapons: teeth and claws
The cat is also guarding the dog’s resources. He will lie on or near the dog’s food bowl (I’ve started picking it up) and the dog’s toys (which I’ve also started picking up) and will growl at and/or chase the dog away from those items. Incidentally, this is behavior that the cattle dog (RIP) used to do to the mastiff.
Most of the attacks have happened when the dog is asleep or laying quietly on the floor.
When they were much younger; the dog was chasing the cat when the cat stopped suddenly and the dog ran over him. The cat’s ACL was torn. This was 6-7 years ago.
As far as being able to get vertical—the cat has a 7-8’ climbing tower. It is home made of carpet covered 2x4’s. It has a solid box on the bottom (all carpeted) with an access hole to out the top and another hole out to the side. The middle and top shelves have access holes as well. The upright posts are covered in various types of rope and it has hanging toys. He loves it. His litter box and food are inside an un-used bathroom with access via a small doggie door.
He also has access to a large screened in porch via a small doggie door. The porch is 30’ long by 14’ deep. It has patio furniture (tables, chairs, couch, futon, chest freezer, etc.) that he likes to lay on. He loves the porch.
We live on acreage—and he also goes outside. In 8 years, I’ve never seen him off of our property. Our neighbor’s don’t even know we have a cat.
The cat weighs a lot…and I’m sure he’s over-weight. I’ll find out for sure when he goes to his appointment. He only eats the food prescribed by the vet. The cat is vicious to the vet and caused one vet to get stitches in her hand. He now has to be “boxed” before handling—that is gassed inside his carrier prior to handling.
He has aggressively attacked us—but we respect his boundaries. We cat pet him on the head only—about four strokes before he gets annoyed. I can pick him up and carry him, but my husband cannot. He will sleep in the bed with us, but we can’t touch him or he will growl and bite.
We adopted him, but he was originally purchased from a breeder as he was micro chipped by that breeder. Apparently, he was played with too aggressively in his first home and was dump for aggression on a hwy outside a rural town. The only rescue in town wound up with him and they had to keep him in a kennel in someone’s office because he was aggressive to other shelter animals and staff. We’ve made our peace with him and I think he likes us and he used to love the dogs. Now that one has passed—he is very openly aggressively to the remaining animal.