Hi everyone. I've had 2 dogs and 2 cats together for approximately 2 1/2 years now. 2 males and 2 females (1M/1F cat, 1M/1F dog). All fixed; dogs both came from shelters, both cats rescued as kittens. The issue is with the males (male cat and male dog). Even though they've been together 2 1/2 years, the cat still growls at the dog for no reason. The dog will just be sitting on my lap, or in his crate/on couch/wherever, and the cat will just sit there and growl at him. He will not move until I squirt him with the water bottle. After 2 or 3 squirts he will eventually go somewhere else. If i didn't squirt him though, he would just sit there and keep growling.
In the past, the dog has tried to get the cat to "play," but I haven't seen this recently. Mostly the 2 dogs play together. Also, the cats have several full-size cat trees, in addition to wall shelves, so they have their own places to go, and their food is up high, out of dog reach.
Background: dog is bichon/poodle mix (?), approx. 4 years old, neutered, and definitely a Mama's boy.
Cat is about 5 years old, short-haired tabby, also fixed, can be sweet when he wants attention, and was always somewhat of a "bully" even before the dogs entered the picture (would take treats from the female cat, etc.)
I don't want to re-home anybody but honestly, sometimes I feel the cat would be happier as an "only pet." Does anyone have any suggestions? And I know, this may be more of a cat question, but I know lots of us have both. Thanks everyone.