Want to know what the best cat GPS tracker is for 2020 but aren’t sure whether your cat needs one? What if we told you that approximately 10 million pets in the USA are lost or stolen every year. And of those, less than 25% of those are reunited with their owners. Still wondering whether your kitty needs a GPS tracking device?
But with so many pet trackers to choose from, how do you know which one best meets your needs? To make it easier for you to decide, we have selected five of what we think are the best cat trackers currently available. We also look at why you should definitely consider getting a cat tracker, what features to consider when deciding. As an added bonus, we answer your most common questions and concerns about these devices in our popular FAQ section.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
- Our Top 5 Picks of the best cat GPS tracker
- Our Reviews of the Best Cat Trackers in 2020
- Reasons Why You Need a GPS Tracking Device for Your Cat
- Important Features to Consider When Buying a Cat Tracker
- What distance does the tracker reach?
- How big is the tracking device?
- What kind of technology does the tracker use?
- How will your cat wear the tracking device?
- What is the battery life of the cat tracker?
- Does the tracking device have extra features?
- How much does it cost?
- Frequently Asked Questions about Cat Trackers
The Cat’s Whiskers – Overall Winner of the Best GPS Tracker for Cats
The Whistle 3 Dog & Cat GPS Tracker & Activity Monitor, for all intents and purposes, is our top pick for the best tracking devices. Of all the models we tried out, this one was accurate, alerted us quickly to Joey and Oscar’s location, and the battery life was exceptional. We love that you can set up safe zones around your home, and be alerted via a text, the mobile app, or an email whenever your cat leaves the designated area.
The Whistle 3 isn’t just a live tracking GPS device, it’s also an activity monitor that provides an in-depth look into what your cat gets up to during the day. At a glance, you can check how much running, playing, walking, or sleeping is done, and it even tallies up how many calories are burned. It also has a handy feature that allows you to set reminders for your cat’s next vet appointment, medication times, and even those all-important playdates.
The lightweight monitor attaches easily to your cat’s collar or harness, but only comes off with some deft handy work, including holding down a button and giving it a twist. It is also dust-tight and waterproof in up to one meter of water. There is some confusion about the device using the AT&T network, so we want to clear that up. This is for the tracker only, and not for your mobile phone. Regardless of the network, you’re on, as long as you have reception and mobile data, you will be able to track your cat’s whereabouts.
Although the tracker works using mobile data, it is recommended that you have a Wi-Fi connection for the best results. You will also need to sign up for a Whistle service plan that includes a monthly subscription fee.
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The Best Bluetooth Cat Tracker
What we really like about the Cube Bluetooth GPS Tracker is how easy it is to use. And for a very affordable price, you can track your cat’s whereabouts with a Bluetooth range of 100ft. Simply attach the cat tracker to your pet’s collar, sync it with the mobile app, and it’s good to go.
Should your cat wander off, all you need to do is ping the app on your phone, and Cube will let you know his last location. The Bluetooth signal gets stronger or weaker, depending on how near or far you are from your kitty, and best of all, it’s completely waterproof.
The Bluetooth tracker has a replaceable battery, and if the opportunity presents itself, it also works as a shutter button for your phone. However, we think selfies will be the last thing on your mind when searching for your missing cat. Remember, this is not a GPS tracking device, so you don’t have to worry about the additional cost of a subscription fee. But it is probably better suited to indoor cats that don’t venture too far from home.
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Best Cat Tracker on a Budget
The Tile Mate works similarly to the Cube Bluetooth tracker, but this updated model has a broader range of up to 150ft, and it’s got 50% more volume. The other upgrade we like is the replaceable battery that should last you for 12 months or so.
One negative, although definitely not a dealbreaker, is that the Tile Mate is a little bulkier than the Cube. This means if your kitty is on the smaller side, this won’t be the most comfortable option. The mobile app is free unless you want to go premium.
With this tracker, you’re also not alone. Should your cat go missing and you’re unable to begin the search immediately, you can anonymously ask for help from the 5 million strong Tile community. Tile Mate is a trusted name in the pet tracking industry, and this device is highly recommended.
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The Best Tracker with Added Features
This is one of the best GPS trackers available at the moment, albeit slightly on the pricey side. Having said that, knowing that your cat is safe at all times is priceless, so if you have the means, we say go for it. This is one of the smallest and most accurate pet trackers we reviewed, and it is completely waterproof. The tag clips easily on a collar and is so lightweight, your pet probably won’t even notice it.
Unlike the previous trackers we’ve mentioned that use GPS or Bluetooth, the Jiobit Dog & Cat Location Monitor combines GPS, cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth technology to keep an eye on your cat. You can set geofenced areas, get real-time alerts along with live-tracking. And something we particularly liked was the low-battery alert.
You will need to sign up for a monthly subscription when using this device, but unfortunately, as much as we thought it was a contender for the best cat tracking device title, it’s a little bit out of our budget.
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The Best Pet Tracker Activity Monitor
The DOGNESS Smart Light Bluetooth Motion Monitor is an excellent choice for owners with indoor cats who want to keep an eye on things when they’re away for the day. The pet tracker activity monitor can track your cat up to 150ft, and it also lets you know how much exercise he’s had and what his sleep patterns are like.
The tag easily attaches to your cat’s collar, and although it doesn’t give you live tracking information, it does have a QR code with a link to a database. Should anyone find your pet, they will have access to your relevant contact information. For absolute peace of mind when you have to be away from your cat for a few hours, the DOGNESS Motion Pet Monitor is an excellent option. However, we wouldn’t recommend it for cats that spend more time outside than in.
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Our Reviews of the Best Cat Trackers in 2020
One thing we found out when reviewing pet tracking devices was that they aren’t all created equal. Some come with all the bells and whistles, which is great if that’s what you’re after. Whatever your needs, your cat’s lifestyle, and most importantly, your budget, we’ve got a device that will help you track your cat.
Reasons Why You Need a GPS Tracking Device for Your Cat
Even if your cat has a microchip, we still think pet trackers are a good idea. For some people, it’s less trouble identifying a cat with a tag than it is taking it to the vet to get a microchip scanned. But there are other reasons too. Let’s take a look at the most obvious ones.
Cats like to roam
As much as cats won’t purposely wander too far from home, they do like to roam. If your cat spends a lot of time outdoors and you spend almost as much looking for him, then you need a GPS or Bluetooth tracker. Unlike a microchip, GPS trackers can track your pet in real-time and monitor their daily activity. They are the most efficient and reliable way to find your furry feline.
Peace of mind for you
Given the circumstances of how we came to be Joey and Oscar’s pawrents, we’re incredibly vigilant when it comes to their whereabouts. It was a no-brainer getting them microchipped and putting a GPS tracker on them for absolute peace of mind. When your cat is wearing a tracker of some sort, you know that even if they’re out of sight, they’re not out of range. And rather than searching blindly for hours at a time, you can set up a safe zone or find your cat’s location at the touch of a button.
Cats get stuck in precarious places
While curiosity might not kill your cat, where he ends up might. Unknowingly your cat could find himself stuck in a few places that might not necessarily be on your radar. A tracker helps you think like a cat, which means you have a better chance of finding him. Whether in your neighbor’s shed, a house down the road, or stuck up a tree in your back garden, a Bluetooth or GPS cat tracker will help you locate your pet, no matter where he is.
Cats want to be cats
Of course, prevention is often better than the cure, and some cat owners prefer keeping their cats indoors at all times. When they do go outdoors, it is supervised time, or their cat is safely inside a catio. Other cat owners allow their kitties to explore the great outdoors with the help of a harness. But let’s be honest, cats want to be cats, and will often bolt at the first sign of freedom. Investing in a reliable and accurate tracker will keep your cat safe, even in extreme situations.
Important Features to Consider When Buying a Cat Tracker
Although there aren’t many tracking devices available at the moment, as technology gets better, we can almost guarantee there will be more of a range to choose from, sooner rather than later.
To get the best cat tracker you can afford, there are a few essential features to keep in mind. These include the range the tracker covers, how it works, how easy it is to use, and whether it’s comfortable for your cat. It is also a good idea to focus on how and where you will be using the tracker. Knowing this, and sticking to it, will probably save you a lot of money and frustration down the line.
What distance does the tracker reach?
This is where you need to apply Carmen and Ross’ elementary law of logic. If your feline is a notorious wanderer and goes missing for days at a time, we suggest you get a GPS tracker that covers a wide range. While the further the better is often a good option, there’s little point if your cat never ventures further than a few feet from you.
A tracker that covers a larger distance requires more technology (read cost), more battery life (read cost), and a subscription fee of some sort (read cost). Choose a tracker that meets your needs, as well as your budget.
How big is the tracking device?
Trackers are available in different sizes, so it’s worth keeping this in mind when deciding on which one to buy. Some tags might be too big for a smaller cat, so it’s best to carefully check the product description. If no information is available on the website, try emailing the manufacturer before committing to buy.
What kind of technology does the tracker use?
Again, depending on your needs, and your cat’s roaming tendencies, different trackers use different technology. You can choose from a GPS cat tracker or one that works on Bluetooth. There are also cat trackers available that work using cellular data or regular radio frequency technology. All have their pros and cons, so you need to decide which technology will work best.
Unlike a Bluetooth device, a GPS cat tracker will be able to detect your pet’s location at a greater distance, and it will more than likely be in real-time. Some devices let you set up safe zones, while others double up as an activity tracker. If you’re a technophobe and hate the idea of faffing with apps and phones, then a simple tracker might be a better option.
How will your cat wear the tracking device?
All of the cat trackers featured in our reviews attach easily to your pet’s collar. However, there are also pet GPS tracker collars available. How your cat wears it won’t necessarily affect its efficacy but make sure it’s attached securely and can’t be removed easily.
What is the battery life of the cat tracker?
Something that you definitely need to consider is the battery life of the tracker you choose. Find out how long the battery lasts, and whether it can be charged or needs to be replaced. If road trips are a common occurrence with your catty companion, then a device with a long-lasting battery is the best option. Cat trackers that use cellular data or a SIM card are more likely to drain your phone’s battery, so they are better suited to tracking your cat in and around your home.
Does the tracking device have extra features?
A GPS pet tracker activity monitor will let you know what your cat gets up to during the day when you’re not there. But if you’re home all day, then there’s very little point to it. Extra features are nice, but you need to decide if they are all that necessary. Features we do think come in handy include:
A tracker with geofencing allows you to set up a safe zone for your cat. Should your cat cross this virtual boundary, you will be notified immediately.
A tracker that gives you live updates is crucial when your cat’s on the move. However, how often it updates is also essential. Some devices take between 3 and 5 minutes to update, and as you know, a cat on the loose can cover quite a distance in that amount of time.
Many devices have mobile apps that you need to download to track your cat. Make sure your phone is compatible with the model you choose.
Find out whether the tracker you want works with a SIM card. Tracking devices already have an integrated SIM card, while others might require you to purchase one separately. Also, some trackers only work with specific networks. Make sure you have this information up front, so you don’t have any unexpected (and expensive) surprises waiting for you, come the end of a month.
Some devices can provide you with a summary of your cat’s whereabouts over a specified period. Although this feature isn’t essential, it gives you a good idea of your kitty’s favorite spots.
How much does it cost?
For a lot of people, this is the first question that comes to mind, and it’s a very valid one. Some models need you to pay a monthly subscription fee or pay for an app’s premium features. If this isn’t in your budget, don’t stress. There are excellent options available that won’t leave you out of pocket.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cat Trackers
What is a cat tracking device, and how does it work?
A cat tracking device helps you track your cat’s whereabouts and lets you find him in the event he gets lost or goes missing. Currently, the range of products is somewhat limited; however, we expect that to change in the future. In most cases, trackers sync via a mobile app on your phone that alerts you when your pet has left his safe zone or has wandered off, out of range.
Depending on your needs, you can choose a tracking system that gives you live updates, lets you set reminders for vet appointments, and monitors your cat’s daily activity. Other devices simply use a QR code that links you to a database with your contact information.
Is there a monthly subscription fee?
If you get a Bluetooth tracking device, chances are you won’t need to worry about monthly subscriptions. But if you prefer a tracker that uses GPS technology, you will need to sign up and pay a monthly fee. The costs range between $2 and $10 a month, depending on the brand you choose.
Does my cat really need a tracking device?
Part of being a responsible pet owner is knowing where your cat or dog is, but let’s face it, that isn’t always possible. Even outdoor cats won’t travel too far from home. But should they get a fright or be chased from their territory, cats can become disoriented and not be able to find their way back. And they don’t only get lost. According to PetFBI, more than 2 million pets are stolen every year, which means no matter how well you look after your cat or dog, there is a chance it will go missing.
Won’t my cat home on its own?
Absolutely. If your cat is used to wandering the streets, there’s a very good chance he’ll be able to make his way home. But trackers come in handy when your cat’s been missing longer than usual. This could be because he’s gotten stuck in someone’s outbuilding, their house, or garage. Or even in a tree somewhere nearby. For absolute peace of mind, we recommend getting a cat tracker so that you know where your pet is any time of the day or night.
Why isn’t a microchip good enough?
Microchips have reunited many owners with their lost pet, but it’s usually after a vet or shelter has gotten involved. On the other hand, a tracking device helps you locate your pet soon after it has gone missing. In our opinion microchipping your pet goes hand in hand with a tracking tag or collar, increasing the chances of you finding your furry family member. Did we mention June is National Microchipping Month as well as Adopt a Shelter Cat Month here in the good old US of A?
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