I have two cats (one female and one male) that get along very well and are very personable. They love being around people especially my boyfriend and I which is not ever a problem besides when we go to bed. We lock them out of our bedroom at night and have tried very hard to classically condition them to be okay with this but they keep acting out. The male cat will scratch (putting his nails on the door to make a noise - not ruining the door at all) and the other cat will cry outside the door because they want to have access to the bedroom.
I tried for months to spray them with a squirt bottle the second they start doing the negative behavior but they still do it. The female cat will just sit and get sprayed with the water till she is soaking wet and the male cat hears me getting out of bed and runs and hides under the coffee table where I can't spray him as well.
We have now resorted to locking them in the spare bedroom at night but that involves moving the liter box every single night which is a hassle. I'd like them to have access to the living room and spare bedroom at night (where ever they sleep they always have access to their food, water, and liter box so that is not the problem) but I can't take getting woken up at various hours of the night or 6am because they want in our bedroom.
Any suggestions as to how I could train them to be okay with not sleeping in the bedroom without locking them in the spare room?