Happy Inside: The Goal of IKEA Home Furnishings – Remembering Their Unique Feline Experiment

Beautiful white cat

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats
The other day I ran across a post on Facebook made by one of my real-life feline-loving friends. It reminded me of one of the most interesting “feline experiments” made by IKEA Home Furnishing. The experiment was geared to find out what made people and their cats happy. Although this experiment was made four years ago, after re-watching the incredibly fascinating videos, I was inspired to write about it. It seems that there are some things that can still hold our interest and never get dull or boring.

Feline aficionados will no doubt agree that cats are the epitome of comfort seekers. Whether it be snuggling with you in bed, curling up into a ball on the sofa, hanging out in a high bookcase shelf for a better view of their surroundings or lounging lazily in a soft, plushy armchair; once they find their treasured spot they will generally claim it, relax, settle in, communicating their pleasure and happiness by purring loudly right before they drift off into dreamland.

Since pets are considered family members, for most animal lovers keeping the family pet entertained and comfortable is a priority. Feline guardians often will go to extremes to provide their beloved kitties with an enriched environment; often with furniture designed especially for cats.

Apparently IKEA, one of the world’s largest and most popular furniture outlets is committed to making people’s homes both attractive and comfortable. With the goal of facilitating people’s happiness, prior to launching their 2011 CATeLog, they decided to try an extremely unique experiment with the intention of gleaning information about what kind of furniture is not only appealing to their human customers, but what might also attract and delight the family cats.

So, in 2010, one evening after the store was closed; a Northwest London IKEA branch set loose 100 cats and gave them free rein to freely roam throughout the store and to explore the many home decor items that were available to them. IKEA was interested in observing how the cats would react to each other and to these items; and perhaps even gain some insight into the furnishing that were most appealing to them.

The cats featured in the video were not trained performers. Unless they were already “housemates” they had never encountered one another. All of the kitties belonged to the staff who had volunteered their cats to participate in the experiment. While some of the older cats behaved in a typically territorial manner, the kittens appeared to care less and just played freely. However, since the cats’ safety was a top priority, a team of animal wranglers were on hand in order to prevent major disasters from occurring.

To dispel any concern about what happened to the kitties, I am happy to announce that the experiment’s outcome was outstanding. The “Wembley Cats” became a commercial that brought to life the theme, “Happy Inside” to life. Additionally Mara Carl’s haunting music of Mara adds a purrfectly beautiful touch to highlight the graceful and often humorous feline action.

Watch and enjoy the delightful IKEA Feline Experiment video uploaded to YouTube by motherlondon.


What was your reaction to the video? Share your thoughts in a comment.


Photo credit: Flickr User hewy

Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

10 thoughts on “Happy Inside: The Goal of IKEA Home Furnishings – Remembering Their Unique Feline Experiment”

  1. Ruth aka Kattaddorra

    Such beautiful cats. I’d have liked to see some scratching posts and pads around, it would have been lovely to see cats enjoying their claws.

  2. I love this video too.
    What a playground! My crew would have a ball.
    I was a little surprised that so many glass objects were around though. Crashing good fun.

  3. Elizabeth,

    Purrhaps any furnishings damaged would be donated to the staff who donated their cats for the big event. I can watch this video a million times!

  4. Always a treat to see this — we’re huge IKEA fans (most of our furniture comes from there) and yes, the clowder loves it! especially the king-size MALM bed 😉

  5. Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

    I loved that commercial almost as much as the cat herding one. I wonder how many of the pieces of furniture survived fit for sale!

  6. I watched a behind the scenes video of this ad. Very interesting. Loved the commercial. Unfortunately there are no IKEA stores in our area. The closest one would be in Canada. I love their approach at showing what a Home is all about.

  7. LOL Michael!

    From what I gather, cats love hanging out and admiring all of their furnishings. That’s what I found so “cool” about the kitties roaming through the store.

    Purrhaps IKEA will come out with some “cat only” furniture just for them- which, naturally will be awesomely beautiful.

  8. I have been to this store. It is very large and it is next to the world’s most expensive football stadium and probably the most famous football stadium: Wembley Stadium.

    The size of this IKEA store is similar to the classic America industrial style out of town stores. Probably larger in fact.

    It is on a well know road called the “North Circular”. A ring road around London – always jam packed with traffic.

    I love the video and the music is beautiful. I thought it was going to be more about cat furniture but no 😉

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