I am new to this forum, and I need some help. Here is a long and short of the problem. I have two fifteen year old cats that I have had since they were 8 weeks old. They are a male and a female, both 15 years old, and both have different medical issues, but are generally healthy for their age. They live at my parents' house where I am renting the upstairs while I'm in between apartments. I adopted a dog two years ago that is a very high prey drive breed. I worked very hard on his training prior to ever having him around the cats at all. Before we moved in, his "down/stay" and "leave-it" commands were extremely reliable. I also made sure he was able to focus on me via eye-contact prior to having him around the cats, that way he would not stare at them and cause them any anxiety. For the first two weeks we only had the dog in the shared part of the house for a few hours a day, always on a leash. We made it so that both the dog and the cats have their own private space within the house where the others cannot go. Also, the "dog's space" is a part of the house the cats never used to go in anyway so they didn't have any space taken away from them. We used nurturecalm collars for the cats to help them adjust to the dogs presence. Turns out the dog isn't a problem at all, he never chases them, barks at them, stares them down, etc. when he gets excited when people come home we bring him to "his space" so that he isn't too exuberant around the cats. Buttercup (the female cat) has adjusted VERY well, she has even been known to curl up in his dog bed with him. She follows him around the house. Pepper (the male) on the other hand HATES the dog. If he is lazing around on the back of the sofa or chairs he is totally calm and doesn't care what the dog is doing, but if he is on the ground with the dog is walking by he will attack him from behind. Claws, but no teeth. If the dog is laying down and Pepper comes in the room he will start stalking the dog in his bed. At first I was okay with either of the cats hissing or displaying a little aggression because I wanted the dog to have a healthy fear of them. But now the dog is terrified of Pepper, he cowers, and averts his eyes... etc. I don't like the my dog is scared, but I'm really concerned about Pepper because he is clearly stressed out. I don't know what to do to help Pepper de-stress, and in-turn protect my dog.
Pepper has a vet appointment tomorrow for his annual exam/geriatric blood work, etc.
Any ideas? Questions I should ask the vet?