Most people reading this post will have microchipped their cat – so do you need cat tracking collars? The answer to that question depends on multiple factors.
Find out what factors you should consider when deciding about getting a tracking cat collar as well as what other devices are available to keep track of your kitty in my post.
- 1 7 Best Cat Tracking Collars
- 2 How do I know if I need a Cat Tracking Collar?
- 3 Cat Breed and Personality – and your Personality!
- 4 Your Home
- 5 10 Things to think about when choosing a Cat Tracking Collar
- 6 2. Battery Life
7 Best Cat Tracking Collars
1. Tractive GPS Cat collar
Tractive is an all-in-one cat tracker with a leather collar. The collar can be linked to your smartphone or browser. Once you have purchased the collar sign up for a monthly subscription plan and download the Tractive app.
Tractive features the following:
- Live Tracking – location updates every 2-3 seconds and there are no distance limitations
- Virtual Fence
- Worldwide Coverage through a mobile network
- Is 100% waterproof
- Up to 5 days of battery life
- Lighter than 30g
This GPS cat collar also offers activity monitoring to see how long your cat spends napping (which could be concerning) and how much time it spends moving around. It also keeps your cat’s location history and has a heat map.
The design is quite sleek and comfortable for cats. And there is no way that the cat can turn the GPS off. The tracker clips onto the collar. Tractive is well known for having a very simple setup and being super easy to use. Monthly subscription plans start at £3.75.
There is an option in the app to press the button and the tracking collar will beep and light up. This is a great option for indoor cats who like to explore.
Tractive is particularly good for adventurous kitties. If you live in a more rural area or the UK the waterproof feature is a big positive. Live tracking is good for cats who spend a lot of time on the move eg if they go missing you can track them moving.
The battery life will be used up quickly if you keep it on live tracking mode. It is best to keep the system on normal mode and only switch to live to track when you need to find your cat.
Tractive is not so well suited if you own more than one cat, as it does not track multiple cats. Also, the tracking is only as good as the mobile signal in your area so if you have a poor signal where you live this may not be the best option for you.
Finally, Tractive is recommended for cats 4kg and over so it is not appropriate for kittens and small cats.
Pawtrack says that it is the only tracking device that was designed exclusively for cats. The collar is available in 3 different sizes to suit your cat as well as being adjustable. It also unfastens if your cat gets stuck.
This GPS cat collar takes regular GPS positions and tracking on demand. The GPS tracker has been placed so it will sit at the back of your cat’s neck – quite a few of the other options have the tracker under your cat’s chin which means it isn’t as effective. And it comes with an app as well as browser access.
There are three ways to look at what your cat has been up to – playback, heatmap, and path. Pawtrack is the only cat gps collar that operates on 4 tracking systems – cellular, GPS, Beacon and wifi. As a result, it claims to have the most accurate tracking.
- Regular and on demand tracking
- Virtual Fence
- Worldwide Coverage through a mobile network
- Up to 2 days battery life
- Weighs 35gms
This collar also includes a Wi-fi antenna. That means it can detect when your home wifi system can be accessed. Once it has detected your home wifi it will put itself to sleep apart from regular checks to make sure your cat is still within the home wifi signal. This is great for battery life.
Pawtrack is particularly good if you have a kitten or a smaller cat. Quite a few of the other GPS cat collars are also available for dogs and tend to require a larger animal to be effective.
Tabcat is different from most other cat tracking collars because it uses radio frequency. This means it can help you locate your cat no matter where it is. GPS and cellular will struggle to find your cat within your home.
Tabcat’s range is 122 metres. If you are looking for your cat press the locate button on the remote control which comes with Tabcat. The cat’s collar will beep. Ideally, cats can be trained to return home or to a set area based on the alarm beeping.
The remote control/handset uses a light system to help guide you to where the signal is strongest and hopefully the location of your favourite feline.
Tabcat says that the large majority of cats don’t wander more than its 120 metres from home. However, if you happen to have a super adventurous cat this may not be the best option for you.
This is also the smallest cat tracker option – weighing in at just 6 grams. However, it is not waterproof or water resistant. And it has a longer battery life than a GPS tracker. And it can track up to 4 cats.
Of course, this means that Tabcat does not have an app – nor does it have a monthly subscription plan as it is based on radio frequency so unlike the other options in this post the only cost is the initial purchase price.
Pawfit is a tracker designed for dogs but it can be used for cats who are 3.5kg and heavier. It has a fantastic unique feature which is its Audio ID tag. This tag converts information about your cat into audio content that can be broadcast if you think someone has found your cat.
The tag uses the latest text-to-speech technology and you can also use the voice function to help to train your cat. You can even tell your cat to come home when you’re not there!
This tracker also comes with alerts for when your cat is in more extreme weather conditions, as well as an alert when your cat’s tracker is removed.
Weenect claims to be the smallest GPS for cats whilst still allowing for real time tracking and no distance limits. And you can track multiple animals with Weenect.
One of its main points of difference is that it offers a training module. The collar can be set to vibrate or ring at meal times. This may well then associate the ring or vibration with food, meaning when it is enacted, your cat will quickly head to you!
Weenect allows you to keep track of your cat in 3 different ways: classic maps or satellite view, compass or radar. This means you should always be able to find out exactly where your cat is – and you can ring your cat’s collar if you can’t quite figure it out.
And this does mean that you can actually ring your cat! There is a microphone and you will receive up to 10 minutes of talk time a month. So your cat will hear your voice – and you will be able to hear your cat.
As with most of the other GPS Cat collars in this article, Weenect comes with a geofence. The tracker weighs 25 grams and can be attached to your cat’s collar.
The battery lasts up to 3 days in stand by mode and takes 3 hours to fully charge.
PetTracer uses GPS, motion sensors and radio technologies to keep track of your cat. So it has a considerable advantage in areas with no or weak GPS signals. This also makes it a great option if you have a cat that loves to curl up and disappear in indoor areas like garages.
It doesn’t come with its own app but you can keep track of your cat on any browser. And the PetTracer is a dedicated collar rather than a tracker that clips onto your cat’s collar. Unlike some of the other trackers in this post, the PetTracer has been specifically designed for cats so the collar is lighter and it also has a safety buckle.
This GPS cat collar tracker also has the longest battery life of any GPS cat device on the market – a whopping 30 days. And you’ll even get an email when your collar only has 2.5 hours of battery life left.
There are several different search options available. These depend on whether your cat is active or not and then vary by frequency of search. The collar is waterproof and comes with an LED light. And as it is GPS it requires a subscription.
7. Tail it Tracker
Tail It promotes itself as being the smallest and thinnest tracker in the world. It also comes with an easy release collar so if your kitty gets caught up on something it will be able to break free.
Tail it has an impressive 2-week battery life based on a single charge and is fully waterproof. Under the live tracking option, it will update your cat’s position every 5 seconds. So this tracker only checks your cat’s location when you want it to thus extending battery life.
The live tracking every 5 seconds option can last 5 minutes and you will then be prompted and asked if you require further use.
This GPS tracker comes with both light and sound to help you to find your kitty. Tail it uses GPS, wifi and GSM antennas to track. It also comes with an app and requires a monthly subscription plan. And the tracker is encrypted so your cat’s movements have cyber security protection.
How do I know if I need a Cat Tracking Collar?
GPS or radio frequency are two different technologies that can track the location of your cat. This can be useful in several circumstances. The first and most obvious situation is if your cat goes missing. Nearly 1/3 of cats will go missing throughout their lifetime!
Many missing cats are found through their microchip but remember this requires someone to take your cat somewhere to have the microchip read. And it also requires you to ensure that all of your contact details linked to that microchip are up to date.
The second reason for tracking your cat is that you may wish to know how far your cat travels for health reasons eg how much exercise is your cat getting or is it stopping somewhere and perhaps getting an extra meal?
The third reason is simple curiosity. Our cats can be quite enigmatic. In particular, I wonder what my cat gets up to at night. A tracking device will help unravel some of your cat’s mysteries!
Cat Breed and Personality – and your Personality!
Some cat breeds tend to be more adventurous than others. For example, Alexei is a siberian cat. This means that his back legs are longer than his front legs. This allows him to jump higher and farther and he is a natural explorer.
Different cats have different personalities. Your cat may be more of a quiet homebody and therefore you are unlikely to need to keep track of its whereabouts. However, if your gregarious kitty is the life of the party and always jumping at windows you may want to be able to track him or her.
If your cat has not been neutered, it may also be more likely to head out to meet a potential partner for mating.
A critical factor is your personality as a cat owner. Are you a worrier? A planner? In those cases, you may well want to get a tracking device for your cat for your own peace of mind.
Indoor cats are, of course, unlikely to need a tracking device – unless you have a concern that they would like to try the outside world. And for outside cats it may seem natural to get some kind of tracking device. But what if your cat is younger or inbetween?
If your home means it could be quite easy for your cat to get out, then a tracking cat collar may be a good idea. For example, I have a balcony that Alexei can jump up on. Once he is up it is only a couple of jumps to an adjoining wall and then to the roof of neighbor’s. I try to keep Alexei off the balcony but can’t always succeed and he is fast!
A change in your cat’s world
Changes to the world around your cat may make them more interested in exploring the outdoors. This is particularly relevant if you have moved. Of course, if you have moved, your cat won’t be so familiar with the new area and is more likely to get lost.
Changes within the home can also trigger exploring in your cat. A new baby or the introduction of another pet may leave your cat feeling neglected and keen to seek other options for attention. Or if your cat has been used to company or entertainment and then is withdrawn eg returning to work after a lockdown your cat may seek to explore to relieve boredom.
10 Things to think about when choosing a Cat Tracking Collar
There are several factors to consider when purchasing a tracking collar for your cat:
As we know from our phones and laptops, technology is constantly changing and this is also true for the technology used in tracking cats. Most modern trackers use GPS satellite signals and the mobile phone network. Some trackers still use radio signals and others may use bluetooth.
2. Battery Life
Battery life can vary quite a bit across different cat tracking devices. Remember, the battery will need to be effective for your cat to be found. And like all your electronic devices, the tracker will need to be charged regularly. Many of the GPS cat collars come with two batteries so you can still be using one whilst you are charging the other.
Think about your cat’s habits and where you live. How long does your cat spend outside? How far do you think your cat would travel? This will help you with choosing the right battery life.
3. Location History
If you are curious about what your kitty gets up to then you’ll be interested in tracking your kitty no matter where they go. However, being able to see where your cat has gone in the past could be very helpful if your cat went missing eg you can visit their most common haunts first.
4. Update Frequency
How frequently does the device update? Most of these devices won’t be “live” 24/7. Again, does your cat like to keep exploring, or does it tend to find somewhere cozy to relax?
If your cat likes to move you will want a greater frequency of updates. Tracking your cat’s location history can help with making this decision.
Ideally, your cat tracker will minimize draining battery life when it is at home or somewhere safe. If the tracker is constantly turned on, battery life will be used up quickly. It is ideal for switching to live frequency only when you are looking for your cat.
Is the device linked with an app? Does it require an app for its use? And if so is this an app that is available to your phone type and network?
Some devices come with geofences. This means you can set it to notify you if your cat passes a certain boundary eg a gate or door. Again, how helpful a geofence is will depend on the type of property your live in and your cat’s habits.
7. SIM card
Does the device come with its own SIM card or do you need to purchase a separate SIM card? And what are the plan options?
8. Value for Money
Of course, this is a given but particularly when it comes to technology purchases. The cat tracking collar options available vary markedly in price. That is why it is even more important to review the factors in this list to make sure that you are not spending too much on features you may well not use.
It doesn’t matter how good the technology – if the cat tracker is too large your cat may well end up playing with it and become keen to dislodge it. Also, the collar and the manner in which the tracker is adhered needs to be comfortable and ideally light. The perfect world is that your cat doesn’t even know its tracking collar is there.
10. Light and Sound
Trackers that can light up and/or make a sound when required can be very useful – particularly if you have a cat that likes to curl up in dark and distant parts of your home.
Technology has made amazing strides in things like cat tracking collars. Do be aware that if your favorite feline likes to hide indoors a cat tracking collar may not be the best option for you.
However, if, like most cats your kitty likes to explore the outside world then a cat tracking collar can help to keep your favourite feline safe and help you to be more relaxed about him exploring the world.
Please Note: This cat tracking collars post contains affiliate links. That means if you click through on most of the links and end up making a purchase I will receive a small commission. This will not effect the price that you pay. I wanted to make sure that you were aware of this.
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