I would also recommend a hand signal that means "no." I have seen this done with dogs in obedience classes. The trainer said that dogs who learn hand signals only are usually the "stars" in the class. Of course, cats are different , more independent, but you need a way to communicate. I think a number of hand signals, starting with "no" are important. Then you can follow up with the rest of the punishment, such as time out.
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A dog, I have always said, is prose; a cat is a poem. ~Jean Burden