Love means licking

July 6, 2016
Brendan Howard, Business Channel Director

Brendan Howard oversees veterinary business, practice management and life-balance content for dvm360.com, dvm360 magazine, Firstline and Vetted, and plans the Practice Management track at all three Fetch dvm360 conferences.Brendan has proudly served under the Veterinary Economics and dvm360 banners for more than 10 years. Before that, he worked as a journalist, writer and editor at Entrepreneur magazine and a top filmed entertainment magazine in Southern California. Brendan received a Masters in English Literature from University of California, Riverside, in 1999.

We wouldnt tell you to make room on your veterinary reception desk for a standup display of LICKI Brushes in 2017. But we also wouldnt not.

(Still from LICKI Brush promotional video)If the only thing keeping your dedicated veterinary clients from grooming cats with their tongues-or keeping you from doing it, if that's your jam-is the hygiene and hairballs … PROBLEM. SOLVED.

The company responsible for the SHRU, an “intelligent cat companion” (a battery-powered cat toy), has passed its funding goal on Kickstarter.com for the LICKI Brush.

You can see the prototypes in action in the video below:

We reached out to a few of our favorite folks in the feline veterinary world for their take. The American Association of Feline Practitioners declined to comment, but two of their past presidents shared their thoughts:

“Cats have adapted to human behavior such that our stroking them in whatever way they tell us they like (Tummy? … No tummy? … Feet? … No feet?) is the same as allogrooming. The other part of that behavior is exchange of scents. I find this 'tool' kind of silly. I say that with my cat sitting in my lap making sure I massage his head.”

- Elizabeth Colleran, DVM, DABVP, practice owner

“The outcomes of these interactive products that mimic prey and play behavior and allogrooming by affiliates have yet to be proven. Does it have merit? As with any interaction with cats, for a cat to accept the ‘advance' there has to be slow introduction, familiarity and trust of anything and anyone. I wonder what would happen if someone put a cucumber in their mouth.”

- Jane Brunt, DVM, practice owner and executive director of CATalyst Council

OK, OK. You wanna buy your own. Kickstarter ended June 26 with $52,179. But you can preorder one right here. Tell us how you lick it…err, like it.