Letting your cat leave the house for the first time can be scary, primarily for you, the owner! Where will your cat go? What will they do? How long will they be? When will they come back? All of these are common questions asked by cat owners who understandably anxious about their beloved pet roaming the streets alone.
Well cat owners please fret no more, as all of these questions can be answered with the use of a simple cat tracking attachment.
Below is a table showing what we believe are the top 10 Cat Trackers available in the UK, each one chosen and reviewed careful by us.
If you’re not quite sure what sort of a device you’re after please have a quick read through out buyers guide here which will help you work out what you need.
- Table of Cat Trackers
- 1 – The Pod 2 GPS Cat Tracker Review
- 2 – The Tabcat Tracker Review
- 3 – Novita – KIPPY Life – GPS Cat Tracker Review
- 4 – The Trax GPS Tracker
- 5 – The Tractive 2 GPS Tracker Review
- 6 – The Tristar Premium GPS Tracker Review
- 7 – The Girafus Pro-track-tor Radio Frequency Cat Tracker Review
- 8 – The Petkit Pet Activity Monitor
- 9 – The TrackR Bravo Review
- 10 – The Loveboat Bow Tie Cat Tracker Review
- The Buyers Guide:
- Our Hopes For the Future of Cat Trackers:
- Where has my cat gone?
Table of Cat Trackers
|Tracker Name||Mobile App?||Weight||Best Feature|
|Pod 2||Yes||29 grams||Wifi Connectivity to make it easier to find your cat in your home.|
|Tabcat Tracker||No||6 grams||Emit a beep sound which you can easily train your cat to come back to.|
|Novita Kippy Life||Yes||50 grams||Calorie Expenditure Tracking|
|Trax||Yes||27 grams||Augmented Reality app function|
|Tractive 2||Yes||35 grams||Built in Torch and clip loss alarm.|
|Tristar Premium||Yes||45 grams||Call in function so you can hear what your cat can hear|
|Girafus Pro-Track-Tor||No||4.2 grams||Tracks up to four cats|
|Petkit Activity Monitor||Yes||8 grams||Extensive cat activity tracking|
|TrackR Bravo||Yes||9 grams||Bluetooth Crowdsourcing|
|Loveboat Bow Tie Tracker||No||19 grams||MMS Video Function|
1 – The Pod 2 GPS Cat Tracker Review
Pod is a stylish tracking brand which is the result of a successful Indiegogo campaign from early 2016 which was launched when the founder of the Pod company lost his dog. A compelling story but one wonders why he didn’t just use one of the already existing pet trackers on the market. Anyway the guys behind Pod believe they have created a market leading device which beats every other pet tracker, we will let you make your own mind up though. This is the 2nd generation of Pod trackers and it’s definitely one of the best smart trackers available.
One of the great things about the Pod tracker is that the team behind it are very pro-active and are constantly looking for ways to improve and develop their tracking device, I recently received an email informing me that the launch of the Pod 3 is not far away and the great news is that anyone who has purchased a Pod 2 will get a significant discount on it!
At only 29 grams it is significantly lighter than it’s closest rivals. It is more or less the same sort of size as rival tracking tags at 23mm x 50mm. As with many of the leading cat tracking devices that is a bit bigger than is ideal for small cats. Some smaller cat owners who have used this reported that it got snagged in foliage and the cat slipped its collar (at least they’re easy to find though).
The cylindrical shape is a step away from the traditional rectangular tag. The shape minimises uncomfortable corners for your cat to potentially hurt themselves on if they were to fall awkwardly.
A cool feature that rivals didn’t think of was Wifi connectivity, the Pod 2 tracker can connect to your Wifi when your cat is at home. This allows for much more accurate location tracking which makes it very easy to find your cat when it has disappeared behind or beneath a piece of furniture in your house!
This cat tracker also provides plenty of data on the mileage your cat has covered, calories burnt and even what speeds your cat is travelling at!
There is a rolling fee with the Pod 2 cat tracker as they have a Global Telco deal with Vodafone (meaning that you can use the cat tracker it any country in the world where you can get signal) however this means that there is a £29 per year charge which you are free to cancel at any time.
The Lithium Polymer battery should last up to 5 days. Two batteries are provided so that while one is charging you can still track your cat. A small docking bay is provided which plugs into a USB port to allow you to charge the batteries, the batteries should charge fully within two hours.
The Pod 2 app is available on iPhone, Android and Windows Phone.
|Wifi connectivity to make it easier to find your cat in your house||£29 annual charge (after the first year)|
|Only 29 grams|
|Location history and virtual fence|
|No annual fees for first year after purchase.|
|50% discount on future models for all existing users|
2 – The Tabcat Tracker Review
The Tabcat is another Radio Frequency tracker. The stylish trans-receiver and small discreet tags look much better than the chunky Girafus RF model. The tags are the smallest we have seen at 32mm x 6mm making them perfect for any cat regardless of their size.
The Tabcat tracker does has a few drawbacks though, the trans-receiver can only pick up signal from the tags if they are within 122 metres. The Tabcat company insist that this will be sufficient, however in my experience it is not uncommon for a cat to travel much further than that if something catches their eye or nose!
The tags are also neither waterproof nor water resistant. They do sell additional covers which will protect the tag from water damage but the lack of built in water resistance does seem like a bit of an oversight.
One cool little feature of the Tabcat is that by pressing the button on the Trans-receiver you will make the tag beep. You can easily train your cat to associate that noise with a treat (simply press it and give your cat a treat a few times) so that when they hear the beep they will come running back!
This tracker is a lot noisier than a GPS tracker (which uses an app on your phone to locate your cat) as it uses a series of lights and beeps to guide you. The beeps increase in frequency as you get closer to your cat.
The Tabcat is a fairly simple system to use which requires very little setup and there is no annual subscription fee to pay as is the case for most GPS trackers.
|Small tags - ideal for smaller cats.||Range limited to 122m|
|No Annual Fees||No mobile app|
|Beep sound which you can easily train your cat to respond to.|
3 – Novita – KIPPY Life – GPS Cat Tracker Review
The Novita Kippy life GPS tracker is a full bells and whistles GPS tracker that does everything you need a tracker to do and far more. You can locate your pet anywhere at anytime by using the mobile or desktop app which gives real time tracking (not ten minute location updates as some trackers do). One of the problems with real time location tracking is that the battery is liable to run out quite quickly however Novita promise that their rechargeable batteries should last up to 20 days, though tests show that 16-17 days is a more realistic battery lifespan for an active pet.
One of the downsides to this tracker is that due to the power demands of live location tracking the batteries are quite large and therefore the tag is fairly bulky weighing 50 grams and measuring 600mm x 300mm x 200mm so this may not be suitable for a small cat but shouldn’t be a problem for a bigger cat.
One of the best features of the water resistant Novita Kippy Life Tracker is that it allows you to setup a virtual fence. To do this you just need to mark out an area of the map on the app, when your cat leaves that area you will receive an instant alert on your phone. You can track multiple pets using this tracker and can actually setup different virtual fences for different pets (it may be useful to have a close one setup for your dog and a further one setup for your cat).
You can also see your cats location history using the Novita Kippy Life app, which will give you a detailed map showing exactly where your cat has been exploring and where it’s favourite spots are.
It also allows you to track how much activity your cat has done (as in how many miles/kilometres a day your cat has travelled and estimated calories burnt), so if your vet has told you that your cat requires more exercise this is the perfect app to use to ensure that your cat gets in shape!
The tech lovers out there will also be pleased to know that the Novita Kippy Life uses clever telephone signalling triangulation methods to locate your pet when GPS signal is unavailable so even if the GPS let’s you will still be able to find your cat!
|Calorie expenditure tracking||Possibly too big for smaller cats to carry comfortably.|
|Long lasting rechargeable batteries|
|Real-time location tracking|
View the Novita – KIPPY Life on Amazon.
4 – The Trax GPS Tracker
Trax is one of the smaller tracking devices on the market weighing only 27 grams and measuring a diminutive 54mm x 38mm x 10mm it is perfect for small cats.
Trax is a real time tracker which comes with a built in SIM card that has two years of free data and data roaming on it, after two years of use a small rolling annual fee is required to keep it running. Trax works in over 30 countries and is one of the more durable tracking tags as it is water resistant and copes well in hot climates too.
The Trax app interface is very easy to use and easily connects to your Trax tag with no problems. The Trax app incorporates a few cool features which we haven’t seen on other cat tracking apps. One of these is augmented reality, the app will use your camera phone (a bit like Pokemon Go) to overlay directions onto your surroundings and indicate how far away your cat is.
Perhaps the only downside to this tracker is the battery life seems to be much shorter than on comparable trackers, often only lasting for a couple of days. This is probably the reason why it is so small as I imagine they have put a smaller battery in it in order to save on space.
The app has all the features you would expect from a smart phone tracking app including Geo-fencing. Their Geo-fencing also includes a scheduling feature so that you can turn your fences on or off at different times. For example if your cat is supposed to stay in the house whole you are at work you can set up alerts for if your cat leaves the house and then schedule that Geo-fence to turn off when you return home.
Another interesting feature of the Trax phone app is that it allows you to set up speed alerts. Part of the reason for this is that this tag can also be used for tracking children and parents may wish to set up alerts if their child suddenly gets into a car, this feature could be useful if you are particularly paranoid about a potential cat-napping!
|Free mobile data for the first two years||Very limited battery life|
5 – The Tractive 2 GPS Tracker Review
The Tractive 2 is a decent Cat Tracking device which starts at a very reasonable upfront price. However to offset this the annual GPS upkeep fees are considerably higher than alternative brands which means that if you were to stick with this device for four or more years you would probably end up paying more overall than you would if you went for a GPS tracker which had a more expensive upfront cost.
The Tractive 2 has all the features you would expect from a good quality digital GPS cat tracker. It has the fencing function which alerts you if your cat strays too far, it also tracks and records your cats adventures and total mileage.
One feature unique to the Tractive 2 is it’s ability to award points to your cat, much like the Fitbit, for calories expended, thus allowing cat owners to compete for bragging rights over who has the most physically fit cat!
Another unique feature is the variety of different covers available for the tag. Most Trackers only offer one style of tag but the Tractive 2 has a range of different designs. For example some include Swarovski Crystals embedded in them (for the more refined cat!) and others feature camouflage designs and are made from a more hard wearing material to suit more rough and ready cats and dogs!
The Tractive 2 also boasts a few extra features that I had never thought of before. One is a clip loss alarm, if the tag is removed from your cat’s collar you will be notified on your phone. Another very handy safety feature is the heat alarm, if the temperature gets too hot for your cat to safely function in your will also be alerted. The tag also has a built in torch which is automatically activated when it gets dark, this makes it much easier to spot your cat when you’re out and about looking for it!
|Clip loss alarm||Larger annual fee than most competitors|
|Built in torch||Quite bulky so perhaps better for larger cats|
|Over heating cat alarm|
|Awards your cat fitness points based on its level of activity|
6 – The Tristar Premium GPS Tracker Review
The Tristar GPS Tracker comes built into a pre-existing collar which is available in six different colours (orange, yellow, blue, black, green and red). Because it is designed and shaped to fit around the collar it seems to hide it’s size better than other tracking tags.
The tracker unit is 70 mm x 37 mm x 20 mm and weighs 45 grams (excluding the weight of the collar). As with most smart location trackers there is an annual fee to cover the cost of the SIM card data which is used for the GPRS service. The tracker requires a standard sized SIMcard.
The Tracking App (TKStar GPS Tracker Mobile App) is currently only available on the App store of the Google App store so you will require an iPhone or an Android phone.
The app has a lot of features which will be familiar to cat tracker users such as the geo-fencing features. As well as real time tracking. The real time tracking isn’t quite as live as other real time trackers but rather updates it’s location every two minutes, this does however have the benefit of saving battery and with care the battery can last up to ten days if you make use of the sleep mode when you don’t need to track your cat’s whereabouts.
The stand out feature of this cat tracker is that it has a call in function which allows you to call the tracker and listen in to what is going on wherever your cat is!
Another useful feature of this device is that if you have no mobile data available you can instead text the tracker and it will send you back co-ordinates to it’s location.
|Call in function so you can hear what your cat is up to||An annual fee is required|
|Can send you a text message with it's co-ordinates if you lose mobile data||Updates location every two minutes rather than real time (hence the battery lasts longer than most)|
|Long lasting battery life|
7 – The Girafus Pro-track-tor Radio Frequency Cat Tracker Review
The Girafus Pro-Track-tor is a great alternative to more expensive GPS trackers. The Girafus Cat Tracker uses Radio Frequency signals which your receiver box interprets to work out how far away your cat is and which direction the signals are coming from. One of the best things about Radio Frequency trackers is that there are no monthly fees that are common with GPS trackers.
However one problem with Radio Frequency tracking is that the range is limited to around 500m from your receiver box. This shouldn’t be a problem as most cats wont travel more than 500m from their home, however if your cat is particularly adventurous then a GPS tracker would be a more suitable choice.
If however you would rather avoid the monthly fees of GPS trackers but wauld still like to gather some data on what your cat gets up to then we recommend that you pair a Radio Frequency Tracker with a bluetooth activity tracker such as the PetKit Cat activity Monitor.
You can track up to four cats using the Girafus tracking device however you will have to buy additional tags for each of your cat, it is best to buy four at once as there are significant discounts for bulk buying them together, whereas if you buy them individually you can pay up to £25 per tag.
This is one of the lighter clip-on cat trackers, with the tags weighing only 4.2 grams your cat shouldn’t be bothered by the additional weight. However although the tags are very light they are larger than you would expect and can look quite cumbersome on a smaller cat, they measure 28mm by 38mm so aren’t particularly discreet.
The Girafus Tracker is very much a plug and play device requiring next to no setup, just clip the tag to your cat’s collar, turn on the tracking device and you are good to go! It is also splash proof so will be fine if your cat gets caught in the rain. It is not water-proof, but we all know cat’s hate swimming so that won’t be a problem!
|Cheap||Range limited to 500m|
|No Monthly Fee||No mobile tracking app|
|Track up to four cats||Large tag|
|Simple to setup|
8 – The Petkit Pet Activity Monitor
Before we get started on this one it is important to first draw attention to the fact that this is not a GPS tracker but rather a pet activity tracker so if your pet goes missing this wont be much use. When your pet returns however you will be able to download plenty of data about what they have been up to via bluetooth to your phone.
The Petkit Activity is an affordable starter tracker for anyone looking to get into cat activity tracking, the mobile Petkit app (available on iOS and Android) has a great user interface which also includes a chat option so you can chat option so you can chat directly with customer service staff from the app if you are having any technical problems with it. The interface is very simple to understand and navigate around a and has clear metric tracking functions which can give you loads of data on what exactly your cat is doing. It can track the amount of sleep sleep, calories burnt and general activity levels of your cat as well as being able to provide a rough measure of your cat’s overall health and estimated mood.
The collar tag itself is quite small weighing only 8 grams and at 31mm (diameter) x 8.9mm (thickness) it attaches nicely onto the collar like a name tag, the tags are available in either white or pink and is waterproof and dust-proof.
As this is not an actual tracker but rather a statistics recorder it could be a good affordable piece of kit to accompany a radio frequency tracker to provide all the data that you don’t get with those types of trackers.
|Makes a great & affordable addition to a Radio Frequency tracker for additional data with no rolling costs||Not a location tracker|
|Cheap and no ongoing fees|
9 – The TrackR Bravo Review
While this tracker has been marketed as more of an all around tracker (for your keys and wallet) it can also be used for tracking your cat.
At only 31mm x 3.5mm it is roughly the size of a £2 coin making it one of the smallest tracking tags we have seen.
This tracker has a few unique features including the ability to setup an alert on your phone if you leave the house without the tag, obviously this is a useful feature for your phone or keys but maybe not so useful for a cat as you may not wish to take your cat to work everyday! It also features a phone finder so that you can press the tag and your phone will ring, again not a feature that comes in particularly useful for tracking your cat but I thought it was worth mentioning!
The TrackR Bravo Tracker makes use of a fairly simple app which indicates roughly how close you are to your lost cat (or item) via a hotter or colder interface rather than exact location mapping.
This system doesn’t have any annual fee as it does not require a SIMcard nor does it make use of GPS tracking but instead works via Bluetooth. This is fine when you are in the house looking for your cat however when you are outside it then uses a system whereby the tag will connect to the Bluetooth of anyone who happens to use the same TrackR Bravo app and alert you to it’s location through the app.
This is potentially quite limiting particularly if you live in an area with fairly low population density as the chances of someone who is using the app walking past your cat are fairly low, also the app will only give you the last recorded location of your cat so by the time you get there chances are your cat will have moved on.
At the moment it is difficult to recommend this tracking device for anything other than finding your cat inside your own home but if that’s all you want it for then it is certainly up to the job!
|Very small and light||The use of crowd sourced bluetooth tracking means that this device is severely limited as a reliable tracker|
|Cheap and no ongoing fees|
View on Amazon.
10 – The Loveboat Bow Tie Cat Tracker Review
This unconventional cat tracker certainly packs in a lot of features for it’s relatively diminutive price!
Top of the list is it’s video functionality, simply send a text message to the Loveboat tracker and it will reply with a short video message, you can also use this function to receive audio messages too if you want to go easy on the mobile data.
One of the big drawbacks to this tracking device is that it doesn’t have an app but rather operates entirely through text messaging and multi-media messaging. If you want to know your cat’s location you simply text the tracker and it will reply with co-ordinates along with a link to google maps showing the current location. This can of course end up being quite expensive particularly if you make regular use of the MMS video service.
Another drawback is that as it uses GSM tracking only it will not work if no mobile signal is available, so while this shouldn’t be too much of a problem in built up areas if you live in a rural area where mobile signal is variable at best then maybe you should consider a different tracking device.
At 62mm x 33mm x 22mm and weighing only 19 grams it’s one of the lightest trackers we have yet seen though the bow tie shape does look a bit cumbersome on some smaller cats.
The battery also boasts a more robust life (due to the lack of app functionality) than most trackers, lasting up to 12 days in standby mode or 4-6 days when active.
|allows you to request an MMS video from the tracker||Will use a lot of mobile data particularly if you make regular use of the MMS video service|
|Cheap upfront cost||No mobile app, it functions through text messaging and MMS|
|One of the lightest trackers at only 19grams|
The Buyers Guide:
There are a number of important factors to consider when looking to purchase a cat tracking device. Below we break the factors down starting with the most important first:
GPS or Radio Frequency?
Radio Frequency trackers are much simpler and therefore much cheaper to both purchase and run, requiring no annual fees (as is common with GPS trackers). However they are limited in that they provide pretty much none of the trackable data which you get in abundance with GPS trackers. GPS trackers allow you to record all of your cat’s activity from the convenience of your phone. If you’re not fussed about having tons of data about what your cat does and where exactly he goes then a Radio Frequency tracker would be the logical choice. If you like to have loads of data and like to be able to pin point the exact location of your cat at any given moment then you should definitely invest in a GPS tracker.
There is a surprisingly large amount of variety in the battery life of different trackers, particular with the GPS trackers which record a lot of data. Some of the smaller trackers struggle to make it through a day without a recharge whereas bigger versions (presumably with bigger batteries) will happily last up to ten days. If you can’t be bothered perpetually charging yet another electronic device then make sure you opt for a tracker which isn’t quite as energy hungry! Pro-tip; Radio Frequency trackers use significantly less battery (they last for weeks!).
Most GPS trackers make use of mobile apps for ease of use. However some apps offer very basic functions such as location updates every two minutes and nothing else! Whereas more advanced apps such as the POD2 have a huge array of functions including virtual fencing, calorie tracking, distance covered, top speed and more! Don’t make the mistake of presuming that just because the tracker you bought has an app it is going to be able to do everything you could ever dream of, do your research first and make sure the app has all you need. Most apps can be downloaded from the app store or Google play before you purchase a device so it is a good idea to do this before investing to allow you to get a feel for the functions and usability of the device.
You can expect to pay between £60 – £150 upfront for a good Tracker depending on what you are looking for. However it is important to remember that most GPS trackers will charge an annual (or sometimes monthly fee) for mobile data usage, this can add up and easily add £30-£50 per year to your initial cost.
There is a vast range in size differences from one tracker to another. The smallest tracker featured on this page weighs only 4.2 grams, while the biggest weighs 50 grams. Most cats won’t notice 50 grams however if your cat is particularly small or young the bigger 50 gram tracker may obstruct your cat’s freedom of movement to a small extent.
Our Hopes For the Future of Cat Trackers:
All of the devices we have looked at on this page bring different things to the cat tracking table however we are already looking forward to the future of cat tracking and will be certain to keep this article updated with new devices and new innovations available in the UK’s cat tracking industry.
A few key areas which I personally think cat tracking devices should look to improve are:
- Significantly smaller tracking tags – The Trax is a reasonable size (due to it’s small battery) but most of the other trackers are quite bulky.
- Longer battery life, as with mobile phones battery life on these things quickly drains, particularly on the trackers which use mobile apps, even the more efficient ones rarely promise much more than ten days of battery life before a recharge is required.
- In built cameras. One or two trackers have experimented with this but none have had a good go at doing a great job of it. We would love to see a feature whereby you can turn the camera on from your phone and see what the cat can see live.
Where has my cat gone?
This is one good reason to get your cat neutered!
Changes in your home environment such as the arrival of a baby or a dog may seriously unsettle your cat and cause them to withdraw. Additionally if their environment is not ideal, i.e a dirty litter tray and irregular feeding then they may go and seek a more comfortable environment.
Thanks for reading our guide! If you have any questions at all about any of the trackers listed here or any suggestions as to new trackers which should be added please do leave a comment or get in touch via the contact form and I will be very happy to help.