I think EleanorRigby had some great suggestions. When Fiance and I moved in together, I had my 5 year old cat, and he had his 108 lb black lab. Yea, the lab, probably looked like a big scary black giant to him. the cat was terrified. our meeting process lasted several months, and i think it worked really well.
the cat, was confined to the bedroom, while the dog had the rest of the apartment. they would be able to sniff under the door. When we’d take the dog for a walk, we’d let the cat out into the apartment to smell around. When we got back, one of us would go inside first to put the cat back in the bedroom. We’d also bring out blankets, etc, that the cat laid on in the bedroom out into the rest of the apartment for the dog to smell.
this was for probably at least 2 months, not joking, maybe even longer. Our cat was seriously terrified of the dog, and you are not supposed to force meetings. you need to make sure they are at the animals comfort and choice. the next step was putting the dog on a leash (we did this when he was calm – like after a roller blade or run) and he was laying on the couch or the floor, and we’d hold the leash so he didnt have much leash at all. Then, open the bedroom door, and if kitty wants to come out, it will. We prob did this for another month at least (and continued letting cat into dog area while on walks)
eventually they were semi comfortable being in the same area. I think the biggest challenge was getting the dog to realize he could not chase or try to eat the cat!
for a long while, the cat stayed in very safe places, mainly underneath a chair (we called it “the cage”) it was funny. a little over 2 years later, the dog will chase the cat away from the water bowl and cat will “run” away and then come right back, they take naps together on the bed/couch. and i’ve even seen the cat step on the dog to look out the window in the car one time. They aren’t the best of friends, but more so all the time they get along and the cat isnt scared anymore.
Oh! One other important thing we read about (we did quite a bit of research on the whole intro thing) was that dogs are pack animals, and by that time, dog knew that Fiance him and I were a pack, but we needed to let him know the cat was too. Fiance took this kind of seriously, it was adorable, but he sternly would say to dog that cat was part of our pack.
Sorry this got so long, but i hope it may help in some way. Just know it takes time, and even if they fight in the beginning, im sure a lot of that has to do with establishing territory and dominance, and doesnt mean that they wont not get along forever.
Good luck! yay animals, they bring so much happiness to life!! 🙂