The 10 best tracking devices and smart collars for cats

A pet tracking device is either attached to your pet’s existing collar or it comes with a special adjustable collar of its own. Such devices are fairly easy to use and give you piece of mind.

There are a few gadgets 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.

Features to look for

-Size matters. A good tracker for your kitty should be comfortable and lightweight, so your furry friend doesn’t even realize it’s there. Other things to keep in mind include:

-Cost: many (but not all) GPS pet monitors require a one-off activation fee and a monthly or yearly subscription in addition to the purchase price.

-Virtual fence: This feature allows you to set boundaries for your cat. If the animal crosses out of the preset boundary the device will alert you. Some also use a tracking beacon to pinpoint the exact spot where the kitty is hiding.

-Countries where it can be used: This is an important one. Most devices will work in the US but for other countries you will need to make sure to read the small print. This is particularly important for those that come with a SIM card.

-Battery life: Let’s face it, we already spend too much time charging devices on a daily basis. You certainly don’t want to add a cat tracker to this list. Aim for a battery life of a minimum 2 weeks.

-Smartphone app or stand-alone device: The bulk of cat trackers work with an accompanying smartphone app. Make sure your phone is compatible. A select few, such as Girafus, come with a proprietary device of their own.

-Live tracking: Does the device offer real-time info on your pet’s movements? If not, you may want to look elsewhere. Also some trackers update more often than others, ranging from every few seconds to a few times per hour.

-Technology used: This could be anything from GPS, to WiFi and radio frequency signals. The best offer a combination of technologies. A mix is good as it allows you to track the animal both indoors and out.

-SIM card: Some cat trackers (such as Weenect and Tractive) require a SIM Card to work. These are the ones that come with a subscription plan. A few are sold with integrated SIM cards, others allow you to add a card of your own. The latter option offers more flexibility.

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