Whether it’s Christmas time and you’re looking for a special gift for your furry, four-legged feline friend, or you’re just looking for something to brighten his or her day a little, there are pros and cons when shopping for your cat. There are great products out there but some you need to be careful about because not everything made for kitties is exactly what they’re advertised to be. Here are the pros and cons of shopping for your cat
Online shopping pros
The internet offers thousands of really cool e-commerce stores that specialize in cool cat-centric items. There is a wider assortment of things to choose from. If you’re familiar with the brands and the products, then it’s a virtual haven for finding items that will please your cat immensely. You’ll find a variety of toys that will stimulate your kitty’s curiosity and provide hours of fun and enjoyment. They also sell a variety of toys filled with catnip and other things that cats thoroughly enjoy. You can also find a great selection of comfortable kitty beds and cool houses for your cat to play inside. The sky is the limit and there are more products specific to your cat’s enjoyment and good health coming out every year.
The cons of online shopping for kitty
The real downside of buying toys and supplies for your cat online is that you’re not able to visually inspect them. You must rely on the manufacturer’s description and any information that they supply that gives you clues to the safety and quality. Wh. ile these are useful for helping you find appropriate toys, the best advice we can give when shopping online for your cat is to check the customer reviews before you purchase a brand or item that you haven’t had personal experience with. This can help give you an idea of whether or not the item will hold up under rowdy kitty play, if it contains dangerous materials or if it poses a choking danger.
Brick and mortar store shopping
There are also some great pet stores that offer some cool kitty toys, beds and other accessories such as enhanced litter boxes and unique scratching posts. We’ve found in general that most physical pet supply retailers are more dog-centric and they don’t supply as many options for buying gifts for your cat as they do for dogs. When it comes to the smaller specialty stores, the pickings are usually slim, and the larger ones offer a little more, but it’s not really a big improvement when it comes to the selection. Our assessment is that your odds of finding a variety of gifts for your cat are better online than they are at brick and mortar stores.
A few pros about shopping at your local retailers
When you shop at a physical location, there is a better chance that you can return items that are defective. It’s always a good idea to check the store’s policies on defects and returned items. Also, if you make a mistake and purchase an item that is either too small or too large, you’ll want to deal with a store that accepts returns. For example, if you purchase a litter box that is too small and you don’t realize it until you take it home, most retailers will allow you to exchange it for a larger one if it is unused and you keep your receipts. The smaller retailers are the most likely to be able to take the time to answer your questions about a particular product while larger retailers are harder to get an immediate response from. These are just a few observations that we’ve made.
Be aware of online policies on shipping and returns
When it comes to shopping for your cat online, you should also read up on the policies of the vendors you’re dealing with about returns or defective items. It’s also a good idea to check out their shipping policies and find out what the charges are and how long it will take to ship the items that you order. Larger online shopping venues such as Amazon.com have their policies posted on the site and they also have an FAQ section that can be very helpful. If you can’t find the policies section on a particular website then you might want to try chatting with their customer service department. If they don’t have one then it might be a good idea to pass on the site and find one that does.
Whichever you decide, there are pros and cons to both online and brick and mortar shopping. The key is to be aware of them. This will help you to be a savvy shopper and get the best deals for your kitty on Christmas and all through the year.