My younger sister is a sociopath. She does whatever is most convenient to her at any given time. My mother seldom punished her. When she did, my sister learned that whatever-it-was wasn't worth the bother that would ensue when she was caught. When she stole from family members, Mom yelled but didn't do much else. When she stole from outsiders, there was punishment if she was caught. Therefore, my sister was not as likely to steal from outsiders.
And, yes, we punish the cat when he does something he knows he isn't supposed to do. He is capable of learning, therefore punishment when he disobeys the rules is valid and legitimate.
"Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"
"You can't erase icing."
"I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"