Petco had tons of Hanukkah pet toys and other holiday items, while PetSmart had a smaller selection.
I preferred Petco's wider selection of cat and Hanukkah items.
My first stop on my hunt for a holiday present for my cat was the Petco near Union Square in New York City.
There are several Petco locations around Manhattan, but I chose this once since it was a short walk away from a PetSmart store. In total, Petco has more than 1,500 locations across the US, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, including some with veterinary hospitals.
The holiday pet toys were located right at the front of the store — just as one might expect for late November.
Petco had holiday-themed pet outfits like Santa costumes on display.
I was impressed by the wide selection of holiday toys across the store.
There were plenty of snowman and gingerbread man-shaped toys for both dogs and cats.
These pickle-shaped cat toys looked delightful.
Hiding pickles on the tree is an American Christmas tradition, but there are conflicting theories about how it got started. Whatever the reason, these toys were very cute.
Even the dog food buffet was decked out in tinsel and ribbon.
Petco also featured a deli with fresh refrigerated dog food.
The lower level of Petco featured supplies for fish and birds, as well as a grooming salon for dogs.
The railings of the staircase between the floors were also decorated with tinsel.
As I walked further into Petco, I was so excited to find a large shelf full of Hanukkah-themed pet toys.
I celebrate Hanukkah, and I am always thrilled when it's represented in holiday displays with more than just a token menorah.
This wasn't just a few Hanukkah items — it was a three-sided display shelf full of different toys to choose from.
In particular, I loved the latke and jelly doughnut-shaped catnip toys.
Fried foods like latkes and jelly doughnuts are traditionally eaten on Hanukkah.
I got a gefilte fish wand toy and a Hanukkah-themed set that included a mouse wearing a yarmulke.
The set also featured a stuffed piece of gelt (chocolate coin) and a ball with a bell inside. Each toy cost $6.99, bringing the total with tax to $15.22.
My next stop was PetSmart, located about an eight-minute walk from Petco.
As far as I could tell, this Flatiron location is the only PetSmart store in Manhattan.
There are 1,500 stores in the US, with some offering services including boarding, grooming, and veterinary care.
The holiday-themed pet products weren't situated at the entrance of the store.
Instead, there was pet food and an advertisement for PetSmart grooming services.
PetSmart had a solid holiday collection, but not as wide of a selection as Petco.
Santa, wreath, and Christmas tree-shaped plush toys were on display.
While the holiday selection at PetSmart wasn't as large, they did have a few unique items, like a cardboard cat-sized gingerbread house.
The gingerbread house retailed for $19.99.
PetSmart also had some cute dog-friendly holiday cookies, which I hadn't seen at the Petco I visited.
While they weren't any cookies for cats, dog owners might enjoy gifting their pets a festive treat.
However, PetSmart's Hanukkah section was much smaller than Petco's.
All of the Hanukkah items on PetSmart's one Hanukkah shelf — bandanas, plush toys, and tennis balls — were designed for dogs.
The checkout line at PetSmart featured more plush holiday toys.
Again, most of them were designed for dogs and not cats.
Since there were no Hanukkah cat items, I bought similar Christmas-themed toys as I had at Petco: a snowman wand toy and a set that included a toy mouse and balls.
Both items came out to $17.45 — slightly more expensive than Petco, but the toy set included more pieces.
I preferred holiday shopping at Petco because of its wide selection, including more cat and Hanukkah-themed items.
If you're looking for more unique items, like dog holiday cookies or cat gingerbread houses, then PetSmart would be the way to go. But for my purposes, Petco had more options for cats and a Hanukkah section that made my day.
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