Tabcat is an accurate pet tracker and is one of the few available that doesn’t require a subscription or smartphone to use.
This is a radio frequency tracker rather than a GPS one so all you need is the handset and you can pinpoint your cat’s exact location. Take a look at our personal experience of the Tabcat tracker below.
While limited in functionality compared to GPS trackers the one thing that the Tabcat does very well is…find your cat!
Its accuracy is unrivaled, if you’re looking for a simple & effective tracker with no monthly fees the Tabcat is the perfect choice.
Tabcat Vs GPS Trackers
More data is better right? that’s the prevailing consensus amongst most people.
GPS trackers give you data on where your cat’s gone, its regular routes, how many calories it’s burned, and much more.
Yet when it comes down to the one key thing you need your cat tracker to do (find your cat!) I found that Tabcat radio tracker was actually far superior to GPS trackers.
GPS trackers show a very rough location whereas the Tabcat allows you to find exactly where your cat is.
Our video below how I found the Tabcat’s directional tracking to locate one of the sensors that my son had hidden in a field:
GPS trackers are excellent but they tend to be larger and heavier than RF trackers. GPS requires more maintenance as they need to be charged regularly and you often need to pay monthly subscriptions to cover ongoing costs.
However, GPS trackers do offer one clear advantage compared to the Tabcat: increased range. A GPS tracker can show where your cat is if they wander miles away from home while Tabcat quotes a guideline range of 600 feet (182m). While this is an important consideration, the majority of cats stay local to their homes so are unlikely to exceed this range.
The Tabcat is designed to be simple and effective so it’s not overburdened with unnecessary features:
1. Directional Technology
Tabcat tells you which direction your cat is in by using colour-coded lights and loud beeps.
It’s simple to use and understand as the lights show you which direction to go and indicate when you’re getting closer to your cat.
When you first turn the handset on, simply turn in a full circle to determine which direction gives the strongest signal and then follow this.
2. Small and Lightweight
The Tabcat tag is 3cm x 2cm x 0.9cm and weighs 5g.
The small size ensures it can be attached to a cat’s collar without being heavy or uncomfortable for them.
3. Range Of Up To 600ft (182m)
The range is quoted at 600ft but because it uses directional technology this range is often reduced if using the Tabcat in a house (or area where the signal may be blocked).
With that said, the tracker works well indoors and outdoors and pinpoints the tag location within 2.5cm.
While the limited range is arguably a downside to the Tabcat it is rare that cats go much further than this away from their home so in most cases it’s more than adequate.
4. Light & Sound On Tag
Each tag has a red flashing light and audibly beeps when in search mode to help owners find their cats with ease.
This is a particularly helpful feature when searching for your cat at night or when they are hiding nearby.
You can also use the tag beep to help train your cat to come home when they hear the sound.
5. Protective Cases
To protect the tags, they come with splash-proof cases.
These are soft silicone covers designed to handle the wear and tear of your cat’s adventures. The Tabcat tag remains sleek even with the case.
6. Connects To Up To 4 Tags
A great feature for multi-cat households is the ability to locate 4 tags using one handset.
Each tag has a corresponding button of the handset so you always know which tag you’re tracking.
What Comes In The Box?
When you open your Tabcat tracker you will find:
- 1 Tracking device
- 2 Sensors
- 2 Protective cases that can be attached to your cat’s collar.
- A charging wire
The video below shows my experience unboxing the Tabcat (note the charging wire doesn’t feature in this video but it is there…underneath the packaging):
How Accurate Is It?
The accuracy of Tabcat is impressive as it pinpoints your cat’s location to within 2cm. However, when using this tracker outside it can be difficult to pick up the signal at first. You may need to walk around a bit to get the signal.
Once you do have a signal, whether indoors or outdoors, it’s worth taking into account obstructions such as walls and trees as this can have an impact on the reading. After using the Tabcat a few times you’ll get the hang of how it works.
One of the main differences between Tabcat and a GPS tracker is that to locate your cat with Tabcat you’ll need to take the handset and physically walk following the signal until you find your cat.
Whereas on GPS trackers you can often go onto a smartphone app and see the general location of your cat. It’s less accurate but more convenient if you’re simply checking in on them.
How To Use The Tabcat Tracker
Step 1: Connect The Tag & Handset
First you’ll need to set up the Tabcat tracker by connecting the tags and the handset. Turn the handset on, place one tag next to the handset and then hold down one of the four buttons on the handset to connect the tag. Once connected, this is the button you will press to locate that specific tag.
The handset will make a long high pitched beep to indicate the tag has been registered and is ready to use. A low beep indicates the tag has not registered so try again.
You can connect up to four tags to one handset using the same process but a different button for each tag.
Step 2: Attach The Tag To Your Cat’s Collar
Now the tag is registered to the handset and it can be attached to your cat’s collar. Put the tag into the splash-proof case and then thread your cat’s collar through the case. Then, put the collar back onto your cat, ensuring it is comfortable.
Step 3: Turn The Handset On To Use
The Tabcat tracker is now ready to use. When you want to locate your cat, turn the handset on using the power button and then press the button connected to the tag you want to track.
Step 4: Determine The Direction Of The Tag
Once the handset is on and set to locate your cat, turn in a full circle to see which direction picks up the strongest signal. Follow this signal using the handset to guide you. If the handset has not picked up a signal, walk around until a signal is picked up.
Step 5: Pinpoint Your Cat’s Location
When all of the lights are illuminated, you have found your cat! You will probably be able to see/ hear your cat already, or if they are hiding you may be able to hear the beep of their Tabcat tag.
Pros & Cons
- Very accurate
- Small, lightweight and accurate
- Easy to use with audio and visual cues
- Ability to connect 4 tags to 1 handset
- Battery life lasts around 6 months without recharging
- Works indoors and outdoors
- Does not require a subscription
- Handset only (no app or smartphone option)
- Limited range compared to GPS
- Signals can be impacted by obstructions such as walls, trees etc.
Should I Buy A Tabcat Or A GPS Tracker?
The Tabcat is an excellent choice if your cat tends to stay local or you already know their usual roaming pattern.
The location accuracy is seriously impressive and the tag is comfortable for your cat to wear.
As Tabcat uses radio frequency it is a great choice for finding your cat close to home and even in the house/ garage.
If you’re worried your cat is going further afield and you want to be able to see their live or recent location on your smartphone, a GPS tracker would be a more suitable option for your situation.
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