I just had to scruff one of the cats and give her a gentle shake because not even the dreaded squirt bottle kept her from appointing herself guardian of the food and water dishes and preventing all of the other cats from eating or drinking.
I needed to remind her that the biggest cat here is me and treating her like a Momma cat treats a kitten is one of the ways that our vet recommended dealing with that kind of behavior. It appears to have worked, as she is now in my lap purring away and her whole attitude is "what food and water dishes are you talking about?"
This reminds me--when it was the vet assistant who "disciplined" my cat, badly.
My last cat really reacted badly to being "scruffed"--I always said she had a bad case of you're NOT my mother
's. She'd flat-out launch an attack at you if you tried that.
I took her to the vet, and she was snarling, etc. The vet thought he could hold her down, w/ a towel, etc., and was trying to figure out how to wrap her, or whatever. The vet assistant came in, got a disgusted "you people don't know what you're doing" look on her face, and advanced on my cat with her arm out.
I started to say, as fast as I could, "DON'T grab her by the scruff of..." I think I got as far as "grab," and she'd latched onto the scruff of my kitty's neck.
Seven-five gouge wounds later, the vet finally agreed with my very initial suggestion of sedating her.
So yeah, in my experience, what works with one cat may well backfire with another. That's another reason not to try to discipline someone's pet.
Maybe my cats have never really listened to me because I've always assumed they wouldn't, and therefore didn't end up finding anything that worked, because I didn't really try.