How To Choose The Right Pet Tracker For Your Cat
Picking the right cat tracker for your feline friend can be rather easy if you know what to look for. To help you make the best possible choice, we have designed this quick beginner-friendly guide that takes the guesswork out of cat tracker shopping. Here are the key characteristics that you should focus on when choosing the perfect tracking companion for your cat.
Size & Weight
The right cat tracker allows your friend to freely walk, run, jump, and play. If the tracker is too large or too heavy, it may cause discomfort or be bothersome to wear. Before exploring the other characteristics of the cat tracker you are interested in, be sure to check its size and weight to make sure it can fit your cat’s collar or harness. Further, you should check the recommended pet size, if provided. The recommended pet size is normally expressed in pounds, allowing you to discover whether the tracker in question is a good fit for your cat’s size and weight.
The general rule is that trackers weighing about 1 ounce are suitable for cats weighing 8 pounds or more. Smaller cats can wear trackers that weigh more than 1 ounce if the tracker is attached to a harness instead of a collar, so there is no neck discomfort. The width of the tracker is of great importance as well, as it should not be greater than the width of your cat’s neck and collar/harness.
A good cat tracker should remain functional even in wet conditions. It should be resistant to rain and light splashes, but it may happen that the tracker gets partially or fully submerged in water if your kitty gets thirsty or the collar slips and the tracker ends up in a puddle. Thus, you should always choose a cat tracker that is water-resistant, so you can be sure that it will work regardless of the conditions.
Regardless of whether your cat is a daredevil or prefers resting and napping, it is important for the cat tracker to be resistant to impact, so it does not get easily damaged. If the device is not impact-resistant, it may suffer from malfunctions even in case of a mild impact, which severely diminishes its functionality and usefulness.
The best cat trackers usually come with rechargeable batteries designed to last for several days with normal use and at least 6 hours in live tracking mode. If the battery cannot last for more than 1-2 hours during active search, the device may fail you when you need it the most and prevent you from successfully locating your cat. Thus, be sure to choose a cat tracker that has a long battery life, so you do not have to worry about the battery dying mid-search.
Locating your cat at night can be particularly difficult, which is why the best cat trackers come equipped with a night light, which can usually be remotely activated via the dedicated app. If your cat decides to go for a stroll after dusk, the night light can help you easily spot your friend even in pitch dark.
Due to the limitations of the technologies they use, cat trackers normally have limited coverage. They may work in some areas of one country or in multiple countries around the world. Some of the best cat trackers that do not rely on cellular networks can work anywhere on the planet. If you enjoy traveling with your cat or live in an area with spotty cellular coverage, it is important to check exactly where the cat tracker in question can work, so you can know it can be of use whether you are at home, visiting friends or planning a trip to a country halfway across the globe.
Some cat trackers can only work if your cat is nearby while others keep tracking your cat’s location even if your friend is miles away. Since a cat tracker becomes virtually useless if your cat is out of range, it is crucial to pick a cat tracker that can work over great distances, so you can successfully locate your cat even if you could not begin your search immediately.
Indoor & Outdoor Tracking
If your cat is hiding in an enclosed space, GPS tracking is not of particular use, as it can only provide your cat’s last known location in the open. That is why the best cat trackers use other technologies such as WiFi and Bluetooth to allow for indoor tracking. Only a cat tracker that can work both indoors and outdoors guarantees that you can find your cat, no matter where he or she may decide to go.
Location Update Frequency
Cat trackers greatly differ in terms of location update frequency. Some update location information every few seconds, allowing for real-time tracking, while others may provide updates every few minutes or even hours, depending on the settings. In order to allow you to locate your cat easily and quickly, the tracker should provide location updates at least every minute.
Cat trackers are never 100% accurate and their accuracy greatly depends on both the positioning technology used and the surroundings. However, that does not mean that you should settle for a cat tracker with an average error of over 100 feet. Most of the time, it is enough for the tracker to be accurate within 25 feet, which is the standard with GPS trackers.
The best cat trackers allow you to define areas where your cat is safe and does not need to be actively tracked. These areas are referred to as safe zones and they are usually defined to correspond to the size of your property. When your cat leaves the safe zone, you should be immediately alerted, so you can locate your friend before he or she gets lost.
While useful even when automatically set, safe zones should be customizable, so you can adjust them in accordance with your desires and surroundings. If the pre-set safe zone is too small or too large, you may get false alarms or you may not get alerted as soon as your cat crosses the boundaries of your property. Thus, we recommend opting for a cat tracker that does not only offer safe zones but allows you to customize them in accordance with your needs.
The importance of instant notifications cannot be overemphasized. If the cat tracker of your choice does not notify you as soon as your cat leaves the safe zone but instead sends an alert minutes later, it makes you lose precious time you could spend searching for your cat. If the notification arrives late, your cat may already be out of range, which makes it particularly difficult to successfully locate your friend.
The Location History feature allows you to discover not only where your cat is but where your cat has been in the past hour, day or week. It enables you to view your cat’s past locations displayed on a map, allowing you to trace your cat’s route. This can be useful if your cat is out of range and you need to know his or her last known location and the direction in which he or she is headed. It can also be useful in understanding your cat’s behavior.
Cat trackers allow you to keep track of your cat’s location even when you are away. However, if you are not close to home and your cat decides to go for a walk outside the safe zone, you may not be able to locate your friend in a timely manner. Interconnectivity allows you to share your cat’s location with your friends and family, so they can locate your friend when you are unable. Interconnectivity can also be useful if you want other individuals to join your search party.
Some of the best cat trackers available do not only keep track of your cat’s location but also provide activity monitoring features. They let you discover how much time your cat spent resting, playing, walking or running. They may allow you to custom-define daily activity goals for your cat or provide customized recommendations based on your cat’s breed, weight, and age. While activity monitoring does not help prevent your cat from becoming lost, it does help you take better care of your cat’s health.
Money-Back Guarantee & Warranty
You can never be sure that you have picked the right cat tracker until you try it out. The tracker may turn out to be too large or too heavy, it may not work as well as you expected or malfunctions may arise after just a few days of use. That is why it is crucial to pick a cat tracker that comes with a money-back guarantee and preferably a warranty, so you do not waste your money on a tracker that does not fit your cat, does not work properly or simply does not live up to your expectations.
Best Cat Trackers Of 2018
Now that you know what to look for in a cat tracker, it is time to learn more about our top picks and find out which one is the best match for your cat’s unique needs. View the mini-reviews below and quickly discover all the crucial facts about our top-rated cat trackers.
Findster Duo+ is a GPS cat tracker that does not rely on cellular networks, which is why it comes with no monthly fees. It consists of a pet module attached to your cat’s existing collar or harness and a guardian module that you should keep by your side. The pet module uses GPS to establish your cat’s location and employs proprietary MAZE technology to communicate location information to the guardian module. Location information is then transferred from the guardian module to your smartphone via Bluetooth. The information is available within the dedicated Findster smartphone app.
The pet module measures 2.1 inches in height by 2 inches in width by 0.5 inches in depth. It weighs 1.76 ounces, which makes it suitable for cats weighing 8+ pounds. If attached to a harness, the device can be safely worn by smaller cats. The device is resistant to impact and can withstand submersion in water of up to 3 feet. It features a LED light for tracking after nightfall. The battery can last up to 5 days with normal use and up to 12 hours in the live tracking mode.
Being independent of cellular networks, Findster Duo+ can work anywhere in the world, even in the most remote areas. It boasts a communication range of about 3 miles. It is normally accurate within 5-10 feet.
Findster Duo+ allows for true real-time tracking, as it updates location information every few seconds and provides instant notifications. Its feature set includes location history, 3 types of geofences (safe zone, danger zone, and virtual leash), activity monitoring, activity notifications, leaderboards, and activity badges. It provides detailed activity information, including data on distance walked, calories burned, and time spent resting. It allows you to share your cat’s location and activity information with your friends and family.
Findster Duo+ comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 1-year warranty.
Whistle 3 is a GPS cat tracker that consists of a small tracking unit attached to your pet’s existing collar or harness. It uses GPS to actively track your cat once he or she leaves the safe zone and sends location information to the dedicated smartphone app via AT&T cellular network. It employs Bluetooth technology to pair the tracking unit with your smartphone. Safe zones are created with the use of WiFi technology.
The tracking unit measures 1.82 inches in height by 1.45 inches in width by 0.6 inches in depth. It weighs 0.92 ounces while the attachment strap weighs 0.33 ounces. According to the manufacturer, the device can be safely worn by cats weighing at least 8 pounds. The device is resistant to dirt and impact and can withstand submersion in water of up to 3 feet for up to 30 minutes. With good WiFi and cellular coverage, the battery can last up to 7 days.
Whistle 3 works over any distance within AT&T cellular coverage. Its coverage map includes most parts of the US. It is normally accurate within 10 to 15 feet.
Whistle 3 provides 60-second location updates and sends notifications within 1-6 minutes. It allows you to custom-define multiple safe zones for your cat. Its most prominent features include 24-hour location history, 24-hour activity history, custom daily activity goals, and low battery and activity alerts. You can choose whether you want to receive alerts in the form of text, email and/or push notifications. The tracker allows you to share your cat’s location and activity information with your friends and family.
The device comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee.
Pod 3 is a GPS cat tracker that uses GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, and cellular technologies to keep track of your cat’s whereabouts. It comes in the form of a tracking unit attached to your cat’s existing collar or harness. It uses GPS technology for outdoor tracking and it is WiFi and Bluetooth enabled to allow for easy indoor tracking. Location information is transferred via 2G and 3G cellular networks. You can access location information via the dedicated smartphone app as well as the Pod 3 web app that can be accessed via a computer and mobile browsers.
The tracking unit is cylinder-shaped and measures 2 inches in length and 0.9 inches in diameter. It weighs 1.1 ounces, which makes it suitable for cats of different sizes. However, it may not be a good fit for small cats weighing fewer than 5 pounds. It is resistant to impact and can withstand submersion in water of up to 3 feet for up to 30 minutes. It features a night light for easier tracking after dusk. It comes with 2 interchangeable batteries, with battery life ranging from 8 hours to 5 days, depending on the location refresh rate.
Pod 3 boasts greater coverage that the majority of cellular GPS cat trackers. It works in more than 175 world countries, over any distance within cellular and WiFi coverage. The device’s average accuracy ranges between 10 and 90 feet. Its accuracy depends on whether it is using GPS, WiFi or Bluetooth to track your cat.
The tracker provides instant notifications and 10-second location updates. It allows you to custom-define multiple safe zones for your cat and trace his or her latest and past routes with location history. It does not only track your cat’s location but also allows for activity and movement monitoring. It lets you custom-define daily activity goals and record adventures. You can share your cat’s location with multiple users.
Pod 3 comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 12-month warranty.
Paw Tracker is a reliable GPS cat tracker consisting of a tracking unit that can be attached to your cat’s existing collar or harness. The tracker uses GPS technology for outdoor tracking and relies on WiFi technology for indoor tracking. It employs cellular technology to send location information to the dedicated Paw Tracker app, which is compatible with both Android and iOS smartphones.
The tracking unit comes in the shape of a paw and measures 47 mm x 50 mm x 14 mm (HWD). It fits collars and harnesses up to 1 inch wide and 0.25 inches thick. It weighs 1.41 ounces and is suitable for cats weighing 5 pounds or more. It is resistant to water and impact and features a nightlight. It comes with a rechargeable 400mAh battery that can last anywhere between 12 hours and 10 days, depending on location refresh rate.
Paw Tracker’s coverage map includes most parts of the US, Canada, and Mexico. The tracker can work over any distance, as long as there is a cellular network available. It is normally accurate within 25 feet.
With Paw Tracker, you can custom-define safe zones for your cat, view your friend’s past locations with location history, and switch between multiple map views during live tracking. You can share your cat’s location information with your friends and family.
The tracker provides near-instant notifications when your cat leaves the safe zone and alerts you when the device’s battery is low. It further allows you to choose the desired location refresh rate and decide whether you want to receive updates every 60 seconds, 10 minutes, 60 minutes or 12 hours.
The device comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 1-year warranty.
Find My Pet Nano
Find My Pet Nano is a GPS cat tracker that allows you to track your kitty both indoors and outdoors with the help of GPS, cellular, WiFi, and Bluetooth technologies. It comes in the form of a super-light tracking unit that can be attached to your cat’s existing collar or harness. In the outdoors, it relies on GPS to determine your cat’s location. If your friend wanders into an enclosed space, it uses WiFi and Bluetooth for location tracking. Location information is sent to the dedicated Find My Pet Nano app via GSM (2G) cellular network.
The Find My Pet Nano tracking unit is round, small, and incredibly lightweight. It measures 1.4 inches in diameter and weighs just 0.7 ounces. According to the manufacturer, the recommended pet size is 8+ pounds. However, due to its lightness, the device may be suitable for smaller cats. It is resistant to both water and impact and comes equipped with a LED light for easier tracking at night. Its battery can last up to 96 hours with normal use and up to 12 hours during active search.
Find My Pet Nano boasts great coverage, with its map including more than 80 world countries. It can work over any distance within cellular and WiFi coverage and it is normally accurate within 10 to 30 feet.
The tracker offers a number of useful location tracking features, including instant notifications, customizable safe zones, 60-second location updates, location history, and sharing notifications with your friends and family. The device does not only notify you when your cat leaves the safe zone but also provides speed alerts, low battery alerts, and SOS alarm.
Find My Pet Nano comes with a 100% guarantee and warranty, as stated on the manufacturer’s website.