How do you get a cat to stop licking?

We used to have five cats, and we let them all sleep in our bedroom with us. Everybody had their own spot, and all was well. One of them was kind of “pushy” and liked to “arrange” one or the other of us in the proper position so he could snuggle up with us, but once he settled in he was fine.

Fast forward a few months. We adopted a couple of kittens, who are now about nine months old. For awhile, we tried letting everybody sleep with us (which we prefer) but the male kitten has developed an annoying habit of licking the spousal unit on the chin while he’s asleep, chewing on his fingers, and generally being as annoying as he can possibly be (while simultaneously purring like a motorboat–he’s a happy guy). We end up either shooing all the cats out of the bedroom before we go to bed (which we don’t like to do) or locking the male kitten and his sister in the bathroom in the middle of the night (so he won’t be lonely–he cries and scratches when he’s lonely). He doesn’t lick me–just the spouse. Maybe he likes the stubble or something. I don’t know. He (the spouse, not the cat) doesn’t wear aftershave or anything like that.

Anyway, any suggestions for how to stop this? We’d like to have our furry family back with us at night, but not at the cost of our sleep.

i think that face licking is a sign of affection, also gentle bites.

bitter apple is a flavor distasteful to cats which can be used to discourage chewing. see if spouse wants to put some on chin.

The poor little guy is probably confused - he does all this licking and your husband never nurses him. :slight_smile:

My cat Cuervo is unusually attached to me, as he was rescued, and had to be quarantined for the first couple months we had him. During that time, I was pretty much his only visitor, I fed him, gave him water, meds and played with him several times a day.

When he’s especially happy to see me lying still anywhere, he’ll start licking my forehead, face and nibble on my ears. After a bit he finds my hands and bats at one or the other until he gets some face skritching of his own. I’m not bugged enough to make him stop to be honest, he usually gives up on his own after a few minutes.

Phoebe seems to understand the command “no licking” - I think because 7 million times in a row, she’s lost her “comfy spot” with the first lick following the command. It takes an awful lot of time to train a cat using adversives - but I don’t have good ideas for alternatives in the middle of the night.