The Licki Brush Struggles

Have you tried the Licki Brush? Do you think that loving cat owners are left out of the intimate bonding experience that occurs between cats when they groom each other with their tongue? Because if you don’t then you won’t agree with the Licki Brush. I don’t think this device works. It looks like a sex toy according to one of the participants on the video. I agree with them.

The point is this that you don’t need to artificially lick your cat with a brush this size, with 22 plastic spikes to bond with him/her. If you really like the device and want to use it you could simply use it with it in your hand because your cat won’t know the difference. Your cat will not gain any more intimacy with you if you use the device held in your hand rather than with it in your mouth in my opinion.

Better still, by petting your cat with your hand i.e. stroking your cat or gently scratching your cat around the cheeks and neck or the top of the head, you can create just as much emotional bonding as you can with a cumbersome device such as the Licki Brush.

I know the device was intended to allow cat loving people to mimic mutual grooming between cats which is called allogrooming. But it is a concept which, in my honest opinion, is fundamentally flawed for the reasons stated above.

In addition, you will note in the video that the three participants struggled quite a lot with making it work. That’s why I have called the post “The Licki Brush Struggles”. It’s a struggle to use it partly because the cats didn’t really want to cooperate.

There is an argument, by the way, that domestic cats have got used to being petted in the conventional way by their human companions. Remember that they have been domesticated for 10,000 years. It would not be fanciful to suggest that over that long period of time domestic cats have become used to being petted with the human hand and therefore they accept this as an alternative to mutual grooming feline friends.

It may be the case, that some cats find the device a little bit scary and back away from it. It may present as a barrier to intimacy rather than as a method to advance bonding.

Sorry, I don’t want to upset the manufacturers and the guys who designed it but standard petting is the best way as long as it is done appropriately i.e. with sufficient gentleness and at the areas which cats find enjoyable which are primarily around the forehead, cheeks, under the chin, neck, shoulders and back of head. The cat leads the way and should be respected.

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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