Why You Should Not Scruff a Cat to Discourage Bad Behavior
Encourage Good Behavior
Whenever possible, give treats, praise, and attention to your cat if it is behaving nicely. If you notice it lying next to something it used to chew, reward it. If you notice it scratching the scratching pole instead of your sofa, reward it. Your cat will quickly learn the difference between good and bad behavior.
Problems and Proofing Behavior
It is important that you never physically hurt your cat. This includes spanking, hitting, kicking, or hurting your cat intentionally. Attempting to teach a cat a lesson through physical means does not work and can actually lead to more disruptive, even aggressive, behavior.
Do not scruff your cat. This is no longer recommended as a method of restraint or transport for adult cats. Scruffing is painful and when you cause a misbehaving cat pain, it will only further exacerbate an issue. It is also thought that what appeared to be relaxation for some cats who are scruffed is actually fear paralysis.
An alternative to grabbing a cat by the scruff is putting a blanket over it and scooping the cat up inside it. This will keep you and the cat safe and allow you to transport the cat without stressing it out further.