Tired of losing your cat? Most cats are clever enough to find their way home, but sometimes they can stray away or become lost. A pet tracking device is easy to use and is either attached to your pet’s existing collar or comes with a special adjustable collar of its own.
Essential reading: Keep your dog safe with these collars
The American Pet Products Association estimates that we spend over $60bn on our pets annually. And big companies are taking note. They are coming out with an increasing number of high tech solutions designed specifically with pets in mind. Such devices gives you peace of mind because you’re aware of where your animal is at all times.
There are a few wearables that even double-up as activity/health trackers. Though a few extra pounds seem like they can’t hurt, obesity can be a life-threatening condition for your pet. Up to 60% of cats in the US are overweight, making it the most common nutritional disorder identified in veterinary practice. Your pet may be overweight, but you may not realize it.
A good wearable for your kitty should be comfortable and lightweight, so your furry friend doesn’t even realize it’s there. Don’t forget, though, in addition to the purchase price, many GPS pet trackers require a one-off activation fee and a monthly or yearly subscription.
We’ve rounded up a selection of our favorites for you to choose from.
Whistle claims to be the first device and app system that combines location-tracking and smart activity monitoring into one simple experience. The device attaches to your pet’s existing collar allowing you to keep track of them in real-time.
The latest version sports WiFi in addition to Bluetooth, GPS and 3G cellular data. With battery life of up to 7 days, you get live GPS tracking, location alerts and the ability to create a designated safe area so you only receive alerts (email, app or text notification), when something is up.
You can follow your pet’s location over the previous 24 hours to see where they went and when. Whistle creates a trip each time your pet leaves and returns to one of their places using Wi-Fi.
You can also keep track of your pet’s long-term health trends (such as the last vet appointment, dates of shots, and so on), and set custom goals and receive notifications if there are significant changes to their activity or sleep patterns.
Whistle the tracker itsself is priced affordably, there is a monthly fee of around $7-$10. Coverage is only in the US for now.
Tagg GPS Plus is a location tracking device that attaches to your pet’s collar so you can keep track of them wherever they go. If they ever wonder outside of the designated zone, the device sends text and email messages to let you know. You can then locate your pet on a map using the free mobile and web app.
The company has upgraded Tagg recently with several new features, including a temperature sensor which notifies you if your pet is in danger of overheating on a hot day, or freezing in chilly conditions. Tagg also monitors their activity and fitness levels during the day ensuring they stay active and healthy.
The Pawscout Smart Tag attaches to any collar and locates your cat within a 200-foot radius of any phone or tablet with the Pawscout app. This means that you can put your pet on a virtual leash and receive alerts if it strays. The tracker was developed in partnership with the SFSPCA to introduce a community-supported way to find lost pets and reunite them with their families.
You can invite friends, family, neighbors, dog walkers and pet sitters to install the free app to help protect your pet. If the worst happens and your pet goes missing, send out a digital “lost cat” flyer to all the animal lovers in your area and have the community searching for your pet at a moment’s notice.
Pawscout also offers a complete pet profile and a lifetime of protection for a one-time purchase. This is more convenient than microchip information which can get out of date, plus reading a microchip requires a trip to the vet.
Tabcat is an innovative tracking device that lets you keep on top of the whereabouts of your pet. Attaching easily to your cat’s collar, the device is lightweight (6 grams versus GPS tags which are normally 30+ grams), but robust enough to stay on whatever they get up to.
The directional handset picks up the signal from your kitty and then tells you which way to walk. A single red light tells you’re in range and then as you walk in the right direction and get closer lights go to amber and then green guiding you right to your cat.
Tabcat can track your cat up to 122 meters in clear line of sight and guide you right to their location, within 2.5cm. The company says, about 70% of customers they have spoken to said their cat learned to come back on its own when they pressed the locate button. Doing this activates a small beep on the tag. It seems you can train them to associate the beep with a treat.
Pod is a GPS tracker and activity monitor for cats and other animals designed so it can be attached to any size collar. It lets you locate your pet on demand, monitor their activity and record their adventures on your smartphone or computer.
The second generation device now has WiFi in addition to GPS, which helps deliver faster positions and offers the ability to locate indoors. The mobile app will display your cat’s current location on a map and you can also set up a virtual fence so that you get an alert if your pet strays.
Pod 2 is little 2.0-by-0.9-inch black cylinder that weighs about 1 ounce. You get the tracker, two batteries, a proprietary USB dongle battery charger, and two rubberized attachment straps.
The company has recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for Pod 3. It now has modular add-ons to track your specific needs in addition to 3G connectivity and a more advanced GPS chip.
Kippy is an Italian project, a collaboration among experts from the animal, technology and communication worlds. This is a live GPS tracker for cats and other animals.
Whenever your pet wears Kippy you can follow its movements directly from your smart phone, tablet, and computer. The small form factor and universal attachment means it can be easily attached to any collar.
As with many other trackers, the accompanying smartphone app allows you set up a virtual fence, and helps you locate and reach your pet. For now, you can use Kippy only in Europe, India, South Africa and Turkey.
Tractive GPS tracker for pets and other animals will always let you know where your pet is via an internet browser or the free mobile apps for iOS and Android.
The device enables you to set a Safe Zone for your kitty. As soon as your pet leaves the Safe Zone, you get an alert directly on your smartphone. With the Live Tracking Mode you will see the trace where your pet was and where it is headed right now. The integrated light not only helps to find missing pets in the dark, but also increases the visibility of your pet when going for a walk close to roads.
Tractive uses GPS and communicates through cell phone towers, which enable you to track your pet 24/7.
This is not a dedicated pet tracker. Rather, its a universal tag that makes it easy to keep track of your valuables.
TrackR has an app for both Apple and Android devices which allows you to easily track your lost items so you can always stay connected. The small, coin-sized device can also be attached to your pet’s collar or other valuable items. You can then monitor the location of the tab by ringing TrackR, using TrackR’s Distance Indicator or via Crowd GPS.
Weenect Cats lets you can find your cat at any time, no matter where they are. The GPS tracker is connected to your smartphone through a mobile app so that their location is displayed in real-time on a map.
You can locate and track your wandering pet with one of 3 modes: Map (Google Map), Compass and Radar. The tracker sends an updated position every 30 seconds whatever the distance. You can also get the GPS chip to ring from your phone or computer.
Weenect Cats is also the world’s first GPS phone for cats! Yes, its not a typo – if you’re not at home, call and reassure your cat from wherever you are.
The device is ultra-light, weighing only 25g. A full recharge only takes 3 hours and lasts 4 days in standby mode.
PawTrack is not just finding your cat when it’s lost- it’s about seeing where they go, and what they do without having to worry about constantly clicking buttons. The company originally raised funds via Kickstarter to develop the product, but its now available for retail sale.
The cat monitoring collar uses GPS & GLONASS for tracking and works in over 170 countries. Pawtrack takes a location fix every 10 minutes (and on request for live tracking). These positions are stored on the collar and are then uploaded automatically or on demand.
In addition, the collar is WiFi enabled and programmed to recognise your home internet network. Once your cat returns Pawtrack recognises the WiFi signal, tells the server he’s home, downloads the latest positions and switches GPS off. When your cat leaves home it starts up again.
A built in accelerometer recognises when your cat is sleeping, resting or lazing around and shuts the collar down to conserve battery (which typically lasts around 6 days).