I feel your pain
Your cat is a brat. It is comparable to adolescence and yes, in a way he is testing you, but it is probably not as deliberate as it seems. At that age, they are absolutely driven
to play and explore the limits of their universe.
I'm not big on negative reinforcement, beyond the loud NO and the bum's rush. Unless there is a fight brewing, I never time-out my cats because I honestly don't think it works (except for me
). And I disagree that distracting him in the moment with a toy will only invite the same behaviour. On the contrary, you would be re-directing his attention to activities you encourage. Correct quickly, and then distract.
There's also an element of boredom. Is he alone all day? Since he is young and foolish, the best antidote is play, as exhausting as possible. Are there places he can
climb, such as one of those cat trees? You've probably noticed that they love to climb. Can you hang a bird feeder near a window? Provide him with distractions that are acceptable and cat-proof the rest. If he jumps on the TV, is it likely to fall? Sometimes if you let them explore safely, they eventually lose interest (counter-intuitive, I know).
I recently I put hook-and-eye latches on the kitchen cupboards. Problem solved. Closet doors are kept closed. They love closets - I almost wish I had a spare one just for the cats - but it's too risky.
One of those big tubes that accommodate as many loose electric wires as needed would be a good investment.
In other words, rather than waiting around for him to get it, make your living space as cat-friendly as possible. This is his space, too, one he cannot leave.