What Happens When You Let 100 Cats Loose Inside An IKEA?

Who knows better than cats what the most comfortable and interesting spaces in your house are? That’s the idea behind a new commercial for IKEA. To get the crucial kitty footage, one hundred cats were–why not?–let loose inside the Wembley store after hours to romp and nap for the cameras.

Why cats? More importantly, why ordinary housepets not trained for film work? Agency Mother London explains:

“The idea behind the work is that cats know better than anything what makes them feel happy inside, they live their lives in pursuit of their own comfort,” said Feh Tarty, creative director at Mother. “So we released a hundred cats in to the Ikea Wembley store, for real, to see where they went and what furniture made them happy.”

The end result is dreamlike and cute, but not nearly as interesting as the making-of video that precedes it in the below YouTube clip.

Ikea ads switch from guerrillas to cats [The Guardian]


Edit Your Comment

  1. KillerBee says:

    All of their display models now smell like cat pee.

    • catnapped says:


    • Gstump says:

      -1 I don’t know what kind of cat you have but my normal cat and most normal cats will not pee everywhere, only in the litterbox

      • SixOfOne says:

        Thank you. My cats don’t even scratch the furniture, they have a cat tree for that.

      • selkie says:

        My cats don’t spray and are meticulous about using the litter box. However, the senior cat gets great joy in knocking things off tables in order to see what they sound like when they fall down and break, and is enough of a furry agent of chaoe that he would cheerfully take out entire shelves of open stock glassware.

    • Nighthawke says:

      Unneutered toms do, and some females that are in heat do so as well.

      Not to mention the claw marks on the wood items, the ravaged corners of sofas, bedding…

      What a mess.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        It takes much longer than a few hours for cats to destroy things. These are house pets, which means they are housetrained. They aren’t wild cats found on the street.

        • Julia789 says:

          When mixed with 99 other cats they do not know, in a strange environment that is not their territory and very nervous, they may quickly try to establish a nook of their own by marking it with urine, whether male or female.

          I hope they went through the store with a blacklight urine finder afterward.

    • Mr.Grieves says:

      And are covered in hair, everywhere. >

  2. femiwhat says:

    I wish I could live in an IKEA full of cats.

  3. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Hey! You got a kitteh in my ektorp!

  4. Phil James says:


  5. InsomniacZombie says:

    What happens when those with severe cat allergies (like myself) visit the store afterwards and it hasn’t properly been cleaned? This could cause problems and a potential suit.

    • msbask says:

      Welcome to the new America.

    • SonicPhoenix says:

      Dunno, what happens when someone who has cat hair on their coat brushes against you in a crowded place? Or when you sit in a chair that was previously occupied by a cat owner? Can you die or is it just unpleasant for a while?

      I’d probably suggest that if you’re that allergic you stay at home in your hermetically sealed environment for fear that a neighborhood cat might come up to you and trigger your allergy.

      Or you could just stop playing the martyr and recognize this for the cute sillyness that it is.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I agree. Even though you could say that there’s no reason to expect cat dander inside the IKEA store just because cats aren’t allowed, doesn’t mean lots of cat owners haven’t been tracking cat dander all over the store anyway.

      • bsh0544 says:

        If I went to Ikea and bought a pillow that a cat had spent a night snuggling on, and my wife used it, it’s possible she could die. It’s not a danger in public because she’s not likely to spend hours rubbing her face on a stranger’s clothes (I would hope), but when I buy something brand new at a store I expect it to be free of allergens.

        You could counter this with the argument that in all probability anything we’d bring home from Ikea is either sealed in plastic or kept in the warehouse in a box, and in either case is largely impossible to coat with allergens, but this is far from a guarantee.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          If something sold sealed in a box or plastic bag isn’t enough reassurance to you that it is free of cat dander, you must have a lot of difficulties in life. No, nothing is guaranteed – but it’s just ludicrous to suggest that sealed merchandise may have been adulterated by felines, then the package resealed by staff, resulting in a conspiracy perpetrated by the Swedes. Or, maybe the stock workers have cats. You should just stay home if you’re that paranoid.

        • myrna_minkoff says:

          There is no way your wife has a *fatal* cat allergy.

          • Kahn Soomer says:

            Confederacy of Dunces!

          • Rain says:

            Funny, my older sister had to spend a week in hospital recovering from an asthma attack triggered by her allergy to cats. They even stuck her in a special clean ward. This was after extended exposure as she didn’t realize that there was a cat in the house and stayed there until she began having problems breathing.

            I have no problem believing that a cat dander covered pillow could kill my sister.

            Although I do believe it’s cushions and the like that are unsealed on display at Ikea and not pillows intended for sleeping with.

    • thelauhingsun says:

      Yes, I was thinking the same thing exactly

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      Can’t they just put a sign up warning that cats were inside and to stay out if you’re severely allergic?

    • Harry Manback says:

      I’ve got pretty bad allergies to all things that grow (grass, weeds, trees, etc), so can I give the city a hard time when they plant a new tree? Or mow the grass? Or should I just realize that it’s MY problem and not everybody else’s and deal with it?

      • aloria says:

        Thank you. If the whiners with allergies had their way, we’d all be living in saran wrap.

        No, wait, we couldn’t do that either, because some people might be allergic to plastics.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      It looks like they did as good a job they could to clean the things. You can see them vacuuming the couches and what not at the end of the film.

      • Julia789 says:

        Yes that would remove most of the dander that causes the sneezing. They were there for a short time only, so the dander should be limited, on the surface, and easy to vacuum away.

        If the cats lived there, that is when dander would start getting “worked into” the furniture and surroundings over time, and harder to vacuum away.

    • Chmeeee says:

      A lawsuit because somebody had an allergy attack? Unless that allergy attack kills you, I would hope you would stay far away from a lawyer’s office. Well actually, even then, you’d probably stay away.

    • Ramona_Little says:

      That’s what I was wondering. My husband is severely allergic to cats. If we learned that our local Ikea had been letting cats walk around on the furniture, we’d refuse to shop there.

    • Zydia says:

      I was really impressed with the organization of the Ikea store I visited…it seems like they think of everything, I’d be surprised if they didn’t take your concern into account.

    • cmdr.sass says:

      whine whine whine

    • c!tizen says:

      I would assume the same thing that happens when you visit anywhere a cat has been… you sneeze, maybe get some water eyes, perhaps a little cough, then you’d use some common sense and leave without filing a lawsuit.

    • florsie says:

      If you have such severe cat allergy, you should be under treatment. What happens once you are under treatment, is that whenever you are in contact with cat dandruff (its not hair what make you allergic), you sneeze for a while but nothing too serious.

      I have cat allergies and guess what, I own 2 cats. My grandma has 3 cats, my cousin has 2 cats. I visit them very frequently and here I am, still alive.

      • MsElij says:

        Not entirely true. Mr.Elij is severely allergic to cats, and is certainly under treatment (multiple maintenance drugs, regular venom injections, rescue medicines always handy, and a nebulizer to boot), and if he’s around a cat or in a cat-friendly home for more than fifteen or so minutes, he can be laid out for the next several days. That’s why we don’t go over to certain friends’ houses, or relatives’. It sucks, but it’s what you do to avoid the environmental trigger.

    • Qantaqa says:

      I’m sincerely shocked by all the hate here. No one’s saying “cats are horrible, they should be banned from all public places and possibly killed in the most gruesome, violent way possible.” They’re just saying that some people (myself included) are severely allergic to very certain environmental triggers and it would be nice if someone were to at least put up a sign that said “Hey, many many cats have been here, if you’re going to have an asthma attack you might want to stay away.” People with peanut allergies don’t go to steakhouses just like I don’t go to an ASPCA or even to friend’s houses that have cats. However, unless I will have a reaction to funky, low-priced glassware, I can reasonably assume that IKEA is a place I can frequent without fear of having to use a sick day the next day.

      Someone with a cat that rubs against me in public is A LOT different than hundreds of cats released in an area with many things made of fabric.

      Not everyone likes cats, just like not everyone likes kids, but that doesn’t mean we’re advocating mass genocide. Er, catocide….Kittehcide? And not everyone with allergies is trying to remake the world as it suits them. Just trying to get along and live in it like everyone else.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        I know you’re referring to steakhouses that offer buckets of peanuts but I had a mental vision of a peanut-shaped steak when I read “People with peanut allergies don’t go to steakhouses.”

    • thekevinmonster says:

      What happens if someone covered in cat hair sits in a chair at IKEA, and then you sit down after them?

      I’m seriously asking. It’s not the same thing, but it still involves cat dander and hair.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      I have a sister-in-law that is ‘allergic’ to cats. Funny thing is, she never starts sneezing until she is told there was a cat. She’s fine for hours but as soon as someone mentions they have a cat she is sneezing uncontrollably.

      • ShadowFalls says:

        @ Happy Tinfoil Cat

        That is because the allergy is psychological. People with real allergies react whether they know something is there or not.

        • Clumber says:

          Possibly/probably but allergies can be more slippery to define than even that. I am pretty damn allergic to cats, however if I am around them regularly the symptoms are bearable. If I am away for a period of time >3 or 4 days, the symptoms attack me in force as soon as I get home. I tend to initially think I got a cold, then like an idiot, finally remember. When I am around someone else’s cats I get minor increased symptoms, but still not as bad as when I was away entirely for a few days.

          I worked for several years in the pet boarding biz as well as in veterinary hospitals. As long as I did the flonase shots every morning it was bearable. However, if I am bitten or scratched by a cat, any cat, the area immediately swells like crazy. When I have been bitten by a cat, my hands look like blown up latex gloves in about 3 minutes.

          We got a new kitten recently and I spent the 1st couple weeks thinking I had a cold again… but have now adjusted and last night the little dahlink slept on my face. AIR! I NEED AIR! Dreams of being strangled… by something warm and fluffy…. Comfy comfy strangulation… awww….

      • ghostberry says:

        I’ve read some studies that showed the majority of pet allergies were psychological, the person has to see the pet or their hair etc before they got symptoms.

    • DH405 says:

      Did you know that stray cats walk on public streets? Think about the untold deaths that they cause!

    • dg says:

      Tough shit. Stay home. Personally, I think it’d be great if those cats also had small bags of peanuts hanging from little cloth bags around their collars (complete w/breakaway cord to prevent choking hazards)…

      Yeah, can you tell that I believe that people should deal with their own allergies and leave the rest of us out of their misery?

    • suez says:

      Take it for what it’s worth, but I’m already severely allergic to something in IKEA stores. I only have to be there a few minutes and my hands start to swell and get itchy. My friends didn’t believe me until they came along and witnessed the visible symptoms. It’s the only time this happens to me, so I’m still unable to pin down what exactly causes it. I own several things from IKEA and yet don’t experience the symptoms at home. Go figure.

      Oh, and I do own two cats, so that isn’t it. ;^)

  6. Chmeeee says:

    I don’t know if cats are necessarily the best at finding comfortable places. Mine have a tendency to sleep on hardwood floors, half hanging off stairs, and dangling off the arms of chairs. None of those seem like comfortable places to me.

    • MDSasquatch says:

      My dad’s last cat had an affinity for sleeping on top of the refrigerator; didn’t seem very comfortable in my book.

      • webweazel says:

        It’s probably a warm spot, and cats like being in high places where they can survey their surroundings. It’s rare that they would actually sleep on the floor, rather than a couch or bed for example. We did have one, though. He would lay next to a wall, and roll over so the wall braced him up and his feet would stick up in the air. Cats do not sleep on their backs. Nobody told him that. He was weird anyway.

        • thekevinmonster says:

          My cats sleep on the floor all. the. time. In fact, I would say the vast majority of their sleepy time is spent on the floor, especially right in front of office chair wheels where they can’t be seen.

    • aggrazel says:

      In my cat’s opinion, the best place in the world to sit is on a piece of paper on the carpet.

      • SixOfOne says:

        Mine also likes paper, books, tile, laptops…and if you have it, then it must be the most comfortable thing ever.

      • DarthCoven says:

        My cat loves to wait until my wife starts working on a garment and then plops down right in the middle of the fabric she has laid out. He has also taken a liking to the chicken wire that covers our rabbit enclosure.

      • kc2idf says:

        Yours too, huh?

      • jvanbrecht says:

        In my cats opinion, the best place to sleep is on whatever your using or reading at the time :P especially laptop keyboards.

  7. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    As of today, 17 cats are still missing, presumed cuddly.

  8. segfault, registered cat offender says:

    I see that, after a few days-long hiatus, Consumerist has once again devolved into Catsumerist.

  9. syzygy says:

    I’m betting the cats were better behaved than the average human IKEA customer.

  10. diasdiem says:

    I M in ur IKEA
    Loosing ur allen rench.

  11. Kahn Soomer says:

    Absolutely gorgeous film clip!

  12. GameHen says:

    My cat will sleep on the hardwood floor. I don’t think his idea of comfort is the same as mine.

  13. quirkyrachel says:

    Ok, I love cats. I really do. But I’m not getting this as far as an ad goes. I mean, those final shots were cute and all, but you could’ve gotten those on a set much more easily…

  14. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    Oh hai. I upgraded ur Hemnes.

  15. Hoss says:

    Evette, why don’t we have meatballs today?

  16. shepd says:

    What happens when you let thousands of customers into a new Ikea:

  17. grapedog says:

    Cats are morons… why not just let 100 homeless people loose in the store for a night and see where they sleep and what is most comfy. It’s about as clean and useful…

  18. legolex says:

    I wish they would’ve shown more film-stuff instead of behind-the-scene stuff.

  19. mblitch says:

    Cute when the cat pulled the microphone cover, actually called a dead cat, at the :52 mark.

  20. tooluser says:

    Now let’s do that with monkeys.

  21. AngryK9 says:

    Cats are so much fun

  22. ninjatoddler says:

    WTF seriously. Did they forget that there are people who are allergic to cats and shop at IKEA?

  23. nitegracee says:

    Can anyone tell me where these cats came from, and what happened to them after the video?!
    I can’t help but wonder if they were taken from a “shelter”, used for marketing this product, then
    Anyone else wondering the same?
    IKEA, you owe an honest explanation to your potential customer.
    Thank you!