If petting, brushing, snuggling and hiking with your cat have yet to help develop the intrinsic bond you crave with the feline species, you may be interested in the LICKI brush.

Developed by American couple Jason and Tara O’Mara, the LICKI is essentially a giant rubber-studded tongue that you hold in your mouth and, well, "lick" your cat with. It sounds ridiculous and it looks hilariously silly, but the O'Maras insist the accessory is not only meditative, but will also further the social bond between owners and pets.

"We are seriously always thinking of ways to improve the quality of cat lives," they wrote on the Kickstarter. "The creation of LICKI was an act of love, as we strived to provide a more fulfilling environment for our own cats. When we started seeing the immediate benefits of mutual grooming, we knew we couldn't keep LICKI to ourselves."

With cats one of the more beloved domesticated species, it took only two weeks for the LICKI to shatter its own fundraising goal of $36,500. At the end of the campaign, they had successfully raised more than $52,000 from 2002 backers.

Naturally, the LICKI has received its fair share of backlash from the web.

“The LICKI Brush is definitely a different market and different angle. We’ve developed a thick skin so now we find a lot of humor in the comments,” Tara O'Mara told News.com.au. “We’re trying to bring joy to people’s lives, and if we’re doing that then we are accomplishing our goal."

The LICKI brush is set to launch in January, allowing the more than 3,000 people who have pre-ordered the product to ring in the New Year with some close and personal kitty time. You can watch the official Kickstarter video, showing how the LICKI works, below.

Michael d'Estries ( @michaeldestries ) covers science, technology, art, and the beautiful, unusual corners of our incredible world.

Licking your cat will become much easier in 2017
The LICKI brush, a giant rubber tongue designed to bring you closer to your beloved feline, will ship in January.