I prefer this method because nearly all cats will not respond to negative reinforcement at all. All cats will respond to natural instincts.
Felines(felidae) have a wide variety of social behaviors. House cats, Felidae Felinae Felis F. Catus, are descended from the Felidae Pantherinae subfamily. This subfamily includes: Lions, tigers, Jaguars, Leopards, panthers, and other panther-like feline.
Through many years of domesticating, house cats have adapted to human interaction yet retain several diverse instincts from their Pantherinae ancestors. Toms typically socialize more like panthers; they lean towards being dominant, territorial(spraying), less social, solo animals. Queens typically socialize as lioness; pride animals, solo hunters, providers, and protectors. Tell tale signs of panther-like behavior are: ignores you a lot, cat chooses when to be pet and left alone, doesn't bring you dead mice. Tell tale signs of pride like inclinations are: sleeping with you, waking you up in the morning, excessive meowing.
I've had my female cat since she was 8 weeks old. I've been able to raise the cat to be submissive. If your cat is the dominant in the household use the following technique with care as overuse could make the cat loathe you. It can also make the cat feel it is no longer welcome and needs to find a new family.
When my cat attempts to get on my desk I pick her up by the scruff of her neck (this is ok to do with cats of any age as long as they aren't overweight). This shows the first sign of dominance as this is how mothers carry their young. I turn around, putting myself between the desk and the cat establishing a barrier. I then initiate a "Stare Down" with that cat just like you might see on the discovery channel when two unfamiliar cats are contesting territory. This step can take awhile as this is part of their ancestral instincts. Remain still and maintain eye contact. If you blink do it quickly, slow blinks are an comfortable/affectionate sign. A dominate cat will turn its head away to the side and TURN away an pretend nothing ever happened. A submissive cat will turn its head down and BACK away. If a submissive cat turns its head to the side and doesn't back away this is the equivalent of "I don't want to challenge you but I still want up there so I'm going to stick around and see if you change your mind". If this is the case don't adjust your position to meet the cats eyes but continue to stare down the cat until it concedes and walks away.
Afterwards, I will get the cat's attention and rub my head on the desk, marking the territory just as cats do when they are depositing their pheromones to mark territory. This sets up clear territorial and dominance boundaries and overtime with will convert a dominant cat. When doing this it's important to let the cat have its own private territories that you do not invade to keep the cat comfortable.