Let’s face it. Our feline friends love to do the disappearing act. Every time your cat heads out, heaven only knows where they go or what other cats they hang around with.
As a cat owner, the first rule of keeping amicable peace is understanding your cat’s independent spirit. It’s common knowledge that cats can be trained, but if they choose not to listen, forget about it. They’ll do as they please. Still, as independent and headstrong as your cat may seem, you can’t help but worry when he or she heads out the door.
In this guide, we explore the different tracker options available to you, what you should consider, and review the best GPS cat trackers on the market.
Best Cat GPS Cat Trackers
We have compiled our favourite GPS trackers for cats. Our cat tracker reviews are based on a combination of reliability, durability, functionality and price.
In our opinion, this is best GPS cat tracker on the market, and one which we own ourselves. The leather collar is easy to fit and once active, the GPS tracker will send updates to the app every 2-3 seconds. The app is compatible with iOS and Android, and is simple to use, and great fun as the app tracks where your cat has been (you'll be amazed!). The app also allows you to set a fixed boundary, so the app can notify you when your cat goes beyond it. The app also tracks your cat’s nap schedule, activity levels, and how many calories they’ve burned. It is powered by a rechargeable battery which fully charges in 2 hours and can last 2-5 days. The collar is 100% waterproof, weighs less than 30 grams and we have found it very durable, and comfortable for our cats. You will have to pay a monthly (or annual) subscription starting from £3.75 per month, but for what you receive in return - peace of mind, great tracking features, and a quality product — it’s worth the money spent.
This tracker is the smallest GPS cat tracker on the market making it a great option for smaller cats. The tracker connects to an app on your phone (Android or iPhone) so you can track your cat from anywhere in the world. The app will send you live updates on your cat’s whereabouts whenever it is moving. When your cat is standing still or resting, this tracker turns off to save on battery. The app can trigger a noise, which you can use to train your cat to return home (in return for a treat of course!). The tracker has a battery life of between 2 and 4 days and fully recharges in about 2 hours. It is waterproof up to 1 metre and made to fit cats of any size or shape. You will have to pay a small monthly subscription fee to cover the cost of the GPS.
Best Cat Tracker With No Subscription
The Loc8tor Tabcat Cat Tracker uses radio frequencies, proven to be more accurate than GPS. This means the tracker is accurate to within an inch of your cats location. This tracker comes with its own handset (rather than an app) which helps guide you to their location with visual and audio clues. The handset features lights that turn from red to green to amber as it picks up your cat’s homing tab’s beacon. It has a range of 122 meters (400 feet) with a clear line of sight (less than a GPS tracker). There are no hidden charges or subscription costs, and the homing tag attaches to your cat’s collar (weighs only 6 grams). It is also encased in a protective silicon splash-proof case to keep it dry and alleviate shock from bumps and knocks.
Other Cat Tracker Reviews
These are some of the other cat trackers we reviewed.
The GPS tracker itself is small and lightweight and is encased in a splash puddle-proof protector. It has a superb battery life of three days when on standby mode, and its batteries are rechargeable. Using GPA, Wi-Fi, and LBS, the UBEE Cat GPS tracker lets you create a virtual geofence so you can keep tabs on your cat’s location history. After purchasing a monthly subscription for less than you would a cup of coffee, the app ensures complete GPS tracking capabilities across Europe.
Unlike most of the trackers in this guide, there are no monthly subscription fees for the Girafus Cat Tracker and it allows you to track up to four cats on one device. The device’s battery life is better than most alternatives with up to 30 days of life when on standby. A silicon splash-proof case encloses the tag module, while a hook and Velcro strap allows you to easily attach. This cat tracker comes with the base unit and up to four tags, batteries, and chargers, all without a subscription.
If you decide to fit your cat with a tracker, you’ll undoubtedly want the best for your pet. Trackers range from simple and practical to the technologically advanced. When looking at a tracker, however, you should look specifically for the following things:
- Positive testimonials about the product
- Smartphone application
- Tracking refresh rate
The best way to know if the technology works without purchasing it is to read what other’s experiences have been with the product. You also want to make sure that the smartphone app that accompanies the tracker is compatible with your smartphone’s operating system.
Knowing how often the tracker will update you on your cat’s movements is also important. It’s a tracker for a reason. The best cat trackers will provide statistics of your pet’s movements in real-time, allowing you to map your feline friend’s most frequented prowling locations. At a minimum, you should find a tracker that updates you every five minutes.
What To Look For
Outside of initial listing details, there are other product features you need to look out for. If you can find a cat tracker that hits all of these, then grab it if you can.
The cat tracker should be light and small enough to attach to your cat’s collar. GPS trackers, in particular, can be bulky and not suitable for small cats. Some use a cellular network and will let you insert your mobile SIM card at a pay as you go tariff.
Most cat trackers come with a rechargeable battery that will last between 2 and 5 days. Check your device comes with batteries included and that they are easy to charge (most will come with a charger).
You can get cat trackers that let you set a Geofence, a virtual perimeter that alerts you when your pet strays beyond its confines. Trackers with smartphone compatibility also vary in the user-interactive components of this functionality.
One of the biggest considerations with a cat tracker is the added cost if your tracker requires a subscription to use GPS tracking. Most subscriptions are available from £3.75 per month up to £7 per month and must be active for your tracker to work. In our opinion, paying for a subscription is worth its weight in gold as the service and products are generally more accurate and reliable.
The best cat trackers on the market will give you detailed monitoring statistics and options to personalise functionality. Some trackers will even keep a record of your cat’s sleeping habits and step count. All will offer basic cat tracking options, but offer a variety of support levels.
Your cat tracker should be user-friendly. While some will have straightforward instructions, other cat tracking devices may prove difficult to operate or make you feel like you’re trying to unscramble cryptic instruction manuals.
Proper customer support when dealing with any sort of technology is always a major bonus, especially if you think your cat has run away.
The Bottom Line
If your cat suddenly goes missing, don’t panic. With a cat tracker, you may find that your kitten is just hiding under the bed! Before this even happens, though, get yourself a tracker. It is more reliable than microchipping, and all you have to do is attach it to your cat’s collar.