Being a cat owner all my life I've realised how fast they can learn habits, good and bad. Little treats I've enjoyed indulging them with have quickly become expectations. After all they are a lot like us, creatures of habit and routine which can of course be used to train our furry friends. It's not really a bad habit but every night when we sit down to watch telly the cats consider it their cue to make themselves comfy on our laps. Sometimes we might be late with tea so have it on our laps watching a show we don't want to miss. Rueben stands there paddling at our legs waiting to be lifted up onto the couch which is pretty irritating but he's just exercising his learned habit that we have in fact encouraged. Which brings to mind Fergus who decided recently that he didn't want to go out to 'Pussy Hilton' at bedtime. Now Pussy Hilton is the cats place to sleep at night furnished with woolly blankets, but it's winter and he likes being on the lap with us where he's cosy. Previously when I got up he did too and willingly went to his 'quarters'. That changed a week ago when he hid under the table and gave us the runaround so that I had to draw him from his hiding place with food. Not being silly he knew what was going on so snaffled the food and ran to hide again only I grabbed him firmly and marched him to bed. Retraining was necessary to avoid this new habit getting out of hand so next night he was offered food and he came straight away so I picked him up and the food bowl and fed him where I want him to sleep. Problem solved within days. Now as soon as I get up he comes running knowing there will be food involved. Eventually I will taper the food off once the habit is established firmly in his mind. So the message here is think before you start or allow a certain behaviour because it can end up being immensely annoying.