Why You Shouldn't Discipline Your Cat
There are several reasons why you should never discipline your cat with spray bottles, scruffing, or even a firm NO! It is likely that your cat will not equate the action with the behavior and won't understand why you are doing something hurtful to them. Your cat may associate you with these painful and scary actions and become anxious and fearful around you, deteriorating your relationship. Telling your cat to stop doing something like scratching, doesn't teach them where they can scratch. Imagine someone telling you, don't do this, don't do that, and so on. It can be an incredibly frustrating experience when you don't understand why someone reprimands you; the same is true for cats. Another reason not to punish your cat is that it may make them more aggressive. In response to being hurt when you scruff them, your cat may instinctively turn around and bite you. When you have a battle with your cat, you both lose. Punishment-based methods are a one-way street to hurting your cat. When your only tool is punishment, the only option you have is to punish more intensely.
To improve your cat's behavior and maintain your connection, focus your attention on reward-based methods and teach your cat acceptable behaviors. If you can't figure out how to do it on your own, consult with a feline behaviorist. Steer clear from any advice that tells you to use forceful methods.