10 Best Cat Trackers – We Tested Them All

55 Comments on 10 Best Cat Trackers – We Tested Them All Share Email Pinterest Linkedin Twitter Facebook

Our Review Process

Our reviews are based on extensive research and, when possible, hands-on testing. Each time you make a purchase through one of our independently-chosen links, we’ll receive a percentage of the proceeds. Read more about how we’re supported here.

After researching the market, reading product roundups, scouring customer reviews, and testing the top pet trackers, we’ve chosen the Pawtrack GPS Tracking Collar as the best cat tracker you can buy.

This GPS tracker is specifically designed for cats and offers excellent reliability when compared to the other trackers we researched. It offers four different levels of tracking for both indoor and outdoor use. Plus, it’s affordably priced under $50 with a $7.99 monthly subscription.

At A Glance: 10 Best Cat Trackers To Buy

Clock
1200
hours of
research
Eye
12
brands
vetted
Check
10
features
reviewed
Star
10
top
picks

Want a quick look at the products reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

Best GPS Tracker Overall
10.0
Picked by 31 people today!

Pawtrack GPS Tracking Collar

  • Specifically designed for cats
  • Affordably priced under $50
  • Multi-cat tracking available
Best Budget GPS Tracker
9.8
Picked by 31 people today!

Tractive 3G GPS Tracker

  • No distance or range limitations
  • Virtual fence to keep cat protected
  • Affordably priced
Best GPS Tracker Without Monthly Fees
9.5
Picked by 25 people today!

Findster Duo+ GPS Tracker

  • Pick up signal from 3 miles away
  • Doesn’t require monthly plan
  • Accurate real-time tracking
Best Radio Frequency Tracker
9.4
Picked by 21 people today!

Eureka Marco Polo Advanced Pet Tracker

  • Track multiple pets with ease
  • No monthly charge to use
  • Self-contained, no GPS or cell network needed
Best Budget RF Tracker
9.4
Picked by 18 people today!

Loc8tor Tabcat RF Tracker

  • Easy to attach, activate, and use
  • Provides accurate directional info
  • Works both indoors and outdoors
Best Bluetooth Cat Tracker
9.3
Picked by 31 people today!

Cat Tailer Bluetooth Tracker

  • Very small and lightweight
  • Extremely easy-to-use app
  • Find your cat in the house/yard
Best for Indoor Cats
9.2
Picked by 31 people today!

Tile Mate Bluetooth Tracker

  • Works indoors and outside
  • One of the cheapest options
  • Reliable and accurate indoors
Best Cat Tracker in the UK
9.0
Picked by 25 people today!

Weenect 2 GPS Tracker

  • Shows location in real time
  • View activity level, location history, and distance traveled
  • Long battery life up to 72 hours
Best Multi-Pet RF Tracker
8.8
Picked by 21 people today!

Girafus Pro-Track-Tor RF Tracker

  • Exceptional 1,600ft range
  • Battery life up to 30 days
  • High level of accuracy
Best Lightweight Tracker
8.5
Picked by 18 people today!

Fitbark GPS Tracker

  • Weighs only 17 grams
  • Battery life lasts 10-20 days
  • Includes 24/7 health monitoring

Top Picks Explained

Before we review the Pawtrack GPS Tracking Collar and the rest of our top recommendations.

What To Look For In A Cat Tracker

Reliable, accurate tracking is essential.

Though they’re not a substitute for microchipping and close supervision, cat trackers can help you keep tabs on your cat when he’s out of sight. With a reliable, accurate tracker, you’ll know when your cat strays from home, where he’s gone, and which direction you need to go to find him.

The best cat trackers have long battery lives, reliable connections, and ranges large enough to help you find your cat whether he’s lounging on the porch or exploring blocks away.

The best trackers have functional, intuitive apps or receivers.

Great trackers make it easy to keep tabs on your cat. Whether in the form of a phone app or a standalone handheld module, the receiver should be straightforward and easy to use.

The trackers we tested earned extra points for systems that included night lights, behavior change alerts, and other fun features, but some in-app features are indispensable.

For example, GPS tracking apps need virtual fences or safe zones. These alert you when your cat wanders too far from home or out of a designated area. Ideally, these fences are customizable, allowing you to set up safety zones that follow the lines of your backyard or other areas.

They’re small, lightweight, and attach easily to your cat’s collar or harness.

Most cat trackers are made with dogs in mind, so they’re often clunky, heavy, or built into collars that don’t feature quick-release buckles. Whether designed specifically for cats or not, the best trackers are lightweight enough for your cat’s comfort and compatible with his collar or harness.

Cat trackers use one of three tracking technologies: GPS, radio frequency, or Bluetooth.

GPS Cat Trackers

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a global navigation system that uses satellites to provide location data to receivers around the planet.

Of the types of cat trackers available, GPS trackers provide the strongest visual location data—they display your cat’s general location on a map and have the longest detection range out of all the products on the market. Many GPS trackers can transmit signals to your phone from miles away.

These trackers connect to an app in your phone, through which you can create safe zones, watch your cat’s activity over time, view your cat’s real-time location on a map, and, with some trackers, gain insights into your cat’s health. Some trackers act like fitness trackers, giving you reports about your cat’s daily calorie burn, hours of rest per day, and more.

As exciting as GPS trackers are, they’re not perfect on all counts.

Because they rely on satellite transmissions, they don’t work if something is blocking their connection to the sky. GPS trackers don’t work indoors, and they might be unreliable under the cover of thick brush, trees, or even heavy clouds.

GPS trackers tend to be larger and heavier than other trackers as well, so they may be uncomfortable for some cats. Most are rated for cats weighing 8 lbs. or more.
Additionally, GPS trackers are the most expensive type of pet tracker you can buy, with most costing between $70 and $200. Plus, most of them require a data plan, which will cost up to $10 per month.

Radio Frequency (RF) Cat Trackers

RF trackers feature a radio transmitter that attaches to your cat and a receiver that you’ll carry. When the receiver detects your cat’s radio transmission, it will start beeping and lighting up, telling you the transmitter is within range. As you move closer to your cat, the signal changes, telling you you’re headed in the right direction.

While GPS trackers can estimate a cat’s location to within a few yards, a radio frequency tracker will pinpoint your cat’s location down to a few centimeters. These trackers work both indoors and outside and have no problem transmitting through dense undergrowth, floorboards, or walls. They’re lightweight, streamlined, and have long-lasting batteries that should stay strong for months.

But for all the strengths of such a straightforward locating system, RF trackers look like rudimentary tools compared to GPS trackers.

They won’t alert you if your cat goes missing. They won’t give you a visual overlay of your cat’s location on a map. Worst of all, they seldom detect anything further than 1,600 feet away, demanding a slow, steady trial-and-error approach to finding a lost cat.

Most radio frequency cat trackers go for around $100.

Bluetooth Cat Trackers

Bluetooth cat trackers have a few great qualities. They’re cheap, lightweight, and measure battery life in months rather than hours. But those are the only things they have going for them.

Bluetooth trackers are the weakest option available. With a range of no more than 300 feet, Bluetooth trackers will help you find your cat when she’s hiding under the bed or playing on the deck, but if your cat gets lost, a Bluetooth tracker isn’t usually much more helpful than your own pair of eyes.

Cat Tracker Lineup

Cat Tracker Lineup

After researching cat trackers and reading customer reviews, we chose the following six trackers for hands-on testing.

Our six candidates are popular products that have generated a lot of conversation on the web. They include products from all three tracker categories – two GPS trackers, two RF trackers, and two that rely on Bluetooth.

Those six cat trackers are:

  1. Tractive 3G GPS Tracker
  2. Findster Duo+ GPS Tracker
  3. Girafus Pro-Track-Tor RF Tracker
  4. Loc8tor Tabcat RF Tracker
  5. Cat Tailer Bluetooth Tracker
  6. Tile Mate Bluetooth Tracker

Best 6 Cat Trackers Comparison Chart

Product Name

Type of DeviceWeightBattery LifeIncludes AppAccuracy LevelPriceWarranty
Tractive 3G GPS TrackerGPS1.76 ounces2-5 daysYesMidCheck Price1-year
Findster Duo+ GPS TrackerGPS0.8 ounces1-5 daysYesHighCheck Price1-year
Eureka Marco Polo TrackerSelf-Contained0.8 ouncesUp to 45 daysNoHigh$209.0590 days
Loc8tor Tabcat RF TrackerRadio Frequency6 grams4-12 monthsYesHighCheck Price2-year
Cat Tailer Bluetooth TrackerBluetooth7.9 grams6 monthsYesLow $62.711-year
Tile Mate Bluetooth TrackerBluetooth6.1 grams12 monthsYesLow $59.00

1-year

After receiving the trackers, I subjected them to a series of tests.

Ease of Setup

Ease of Setup

First, I tested their ease of assembly and setup.

I ran a stopwatch while getting the trackers set up.

While assembly, app installation, and setup were effortless, the GPS trackers had the longest wait time before they were ready to use. All of them needed to charge for a few hours before they would work.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Tile Mate Bluetooth Tracker took the shortest time from unboxing to cat tracking. With a visit to the Google Play store and the press of a button, the Mate was ready to go within a few minutes.

Next, I let my cats try the trackers on to test their comfort and security.

Cat Comfort Test

Cat Comfort Test

Like harnesses, collars, and clothes, I was concerned that the tracking devices might overwhelm a feline wearer.

Of our test trackers, only two were made specifically with cats in mind. The others are primarily geared towards dogs, or in the case of the Tile, keys and other inanimate objects.

To test the trackers’ comfort and cat-friendliness, I enlisted the help of my two cats, Forest and Wessie. Forest is a 7-lb lightweight, while Wessie weighs 13 lbs. Neither of them wears collars around the house, so I didn’t know how they’d react to having a tracker strapped to their necks.

To my surprise, neither cat seemed to mind—or even notice—the trackers. From the bottle cap-sized Cat Tailer to the clunky 1.2-ounce Tractive, none of the trackers slowed them down.

Were the trackers easy to put on and secure enough to stay attached to a collar?

Whether they used key rings, plastic mounts, or rubber attachment loops, all of the trackers attached securely and easily.

Finally, I subjected the trackers to two field tests.

Cat Tracker Field Testing 2

Cat Tracker Field Testing

After watching my cats wear their trackers around the house, setting up data plans, and getting familiar with the apps and receivers, it was time to put the trackers to the test. I tested the trackers in a rural, partially forested area with decent cell coverage.

First, I tested the GPS trackers’ ability to keep track of movement by carrying all the trackers in my pocket and going for a walk.

Because it updated frequently and provided accurate location data on the app, the Findster Duo+ was the clear winner of this GPS field tracker test.

The other GPS tracker didn’t update as frequently, so it lost some ground and failed to give an accurate location on the map. While the Findster Duo+ tracked the entire walk accurately, the other was still loading, refreshing, or trying to get a connection.

The Findster Duo+ was the clear winner in this GPS tracker test but keeping tabs on your cat isn’t always as straightforward as taking a planned walk with your cat outside. I wanted to know what would happen if my cat escaped the house or wandered out of sight while wearing each of the trackers.

To test the trackers’ ability to come to the rescue in a surprise escape scenario, I played a game of cat tracker hide-and-seek.

Tracking Test 1 Side by Side

In this test, one person held the receiver—or smartphone, in the case of the GPS trackers—while another played the role of a runaway cat, taking the trackers to secret spots outdoors.

Only three of the trackers were able to locate the “lost cat.”

The Girafus Pro-Track-Tor and Findster Duo+ did well in this test, each reuniting tracker and receiver within six minutes.

By the time the Tabcat started alerting, I’d already spotted my test partner through the woods. Though it quickly brought me to the target once it was within the 400-foot range, it’s hard to say what would have happened if I’d been searching for a small, frightened cat.

Our two Bluetooth-powered competitors did the worst in this test.

After two minutes out of sight, my testing partner had moved out of the Bluetooth range and I had nothing to work with—they wouldn’t connect until the tracker was within my line of sight. While the Cat Tailer sends notifications when your cat leaves the Bluetooth range, the connection was so inconsistent that I wouldn’t be able to differentiate between a bad connection and a cause for alarm.

Though it worked well in our initial tracking test, the Findster Duo+ simply isn’t made for door dashes.

The device is designed for walks, so it doesn’t track your cat unless you’ve started a walk in the app. If you haven’t started a walk, a cat wandering two meters or more from the app will disconnect, leaving you without any way to monitor your cat’s activity.

Based on field testing, I wasn’t satisfied that the six options I tested were the overall best, so I conducted a little more research.

While the pet trackers I tested performed pretty well in the field tests, I had concerns that none were specifically designed for cats. This brought me to the Pawtrack GPS Cat Collar which features four different levels of tracking (GPS, GNSS, Galileo, and Wifi) which makes it one of the most advanced and most accurate tracking systems I’ve reviewed.

Here’s a quick overview of the Pawtrack GPS Cat Collar’s specs:

Product NameType of DeviceWeightBattery LifeIncludes AppAccuracy LevelPriceWarranty
Pawtrack GPS Cat TrackerGPS35 grams2 daysYesHighCheck Price1-year

After comparing the features of the Pawtrack to the other GPS trackers I tested, and after reading a number of customer reviews, I was convinced it should be my top pick.

That brings us to my top pick for the best radiofrequency tracker, the Eureka Marco Polo Tracker.

This pet tracker is designed with a self-contained system that doesn’t require GPS or a cellular network to use it. It features a durable construction, a long 45-day battery life, and the ability to work with more than one pet. We also appreciated that it doesn’t require a monthly subscription fee.

Now, let’s take a closer look at my top 10 overall picks for the best cat tracker.

Best Cat Trackers: Our Top 10 Picks Reviewed

#1 Best GPS Tracker Overall: Pawtrack GPS Tracking Collar

Buy On Pawtrack.com

Overview:

  • Type of Device: GPS
  • Weight: 35 grams
  • Battery Life: 2 days
  • Includes App: Yes
  • Accuracy Level: High
  • Warranty: 1-year

Though most of the pet trackers I reviewed were designed for dogs, the Pawtrack GPS Cat Collar is specifically designed with cats in mind. It comes in three collar sizes and is affordably priced at just $49.99 plus a $7.99/month subscription fee per collar.

In addition to being designed specifically for cat owners to use, the Pawtrack GPS Cat Collar is one of the most advanced pet tracking systems we reviewed. This model features four levels of tracking – GPS, GNSS, Galileo, and Wifi. By combining these pet tracking methods, the Pawtrack enables you to pinpoint your cat’s location both indoors and outdoors – this makes it great for both indoor and outdoor cats.

The Pawtrack GPS Cat Collar itself comes in three sizes – small, medium, and large – which can be adjusted to fit your cat comfortably. The collar is made from strong plastic and durable webbing for long-lasting toughness, and it comes with two batteries. Each battery only lasts about 2 days on a single charge, but you can easily swap out the rechargeable battery to provide continuous tracking.

Not only does this GPS cat collar offer strong location tracking for your feline friend, but you’ll enjoy additional features in the smartphone app such as activity monitoring and setting up a geofence area so you can receive phone alerts when your cat leaves the designated area. Some customer reviews mention that the location data is not always accurate, though some of these users lived in rural areas.

Overall, the Pawtrack GPS Cat Collar is an affordable pet tracker designed specifically for cats that offers four levels of tracking. These benefits make it our top overall pick.

What We Liked:

  • Specifically designed for cats, 3 collar sizes
  • Affordably priced around $50 plus $8/month
  • Four levels of tracking (GPS, GNSS, Galileo, Wifi)
  • Set up geofence to get alerts when cat leaves the yard
  • Comes with 2 rechargeable batteries

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Each battery only lasts about 2 days on one charge
  • Requires a monthly subscription fee of $7.99 per collar
  • Some customers find the location data inaccurate

#2 Best Budget GPS Tracker: Tractive 3G GPS Pet Tracker

Tractive 3G GPS Pet Tracker

Buy On Tractive.com

Overview:

  • Type of Device: GPS
  • Weight: 1.76 ounces
  • Battery Life: 2-5 days
  • Includes App: Yes
  • Accuracy Level: Mid
  • Price: $92.80
  • Warranty: 1-year

Tractive.Wessie

Tractive 3G GPS Pet Tracker

The Tractive GPS tracker uses AT&T 3G cellular technology to track your cat’s location via GPS. It has all the features we look for in a good GPS tracker, like the ability to create custom fences and receive alerts when your cat strays outside of them.

Its app is functional, intuitive, and readable. One of the interesting functions of the device is a remote-activated LED. When you press a button in the app, a light on the tracker will turn on. This function is helpful when you’re searching for your cat in the dark.

The Tractive says that it updates once every two to sixty minutes in default tracking mode and

every two to three seconds in live mode. The problem, however, is that, depending on your network connectivity, the Tractive may take more than two to three seconds to enter live mode.  Connectivity issues were a constant in our tests.

During our lost cat test, the Tractive lost connection while still within the virtual fence, then failed to update or establish a live connection until 40 minutes later. That was after I’d given up and tracked down my test partners on my own. Once we established a connection, the Tractive worked well, mapping the tracker within a couple dozen feet of its actual location.

Overall, the Tractive had the most inconsistent connectivity of the trackers we tested, making it difficult to initiate live tracking when it mattered most. According to customer reviews, this tracker can work well—especially if you have strong cellular coverage—but it wasn’t a good match for my situation.

What We Liked:

  • Works over any range with no distance limitations
  • Uses virtual fences to keep your cat protected
  • One of the most affordable GPS trackers
  • Has an LED light for finding your cat at night or in dark places

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Only works in areas with cell coverage
  • Tends to take a long time to connect and refresh GPS signal
  • You have to pay for a data plan, which costs at least $5.99 per month
  • Had the shortest battery life of the GPS trackers we tested

#3 Best GPS Tracker Without Monthly Fees: Findster Duo+ GPS Pet Tracker

Findster Duo+ GPS Pet Tracker

Buy On Chewy

Overview:

  • Type of Device: GPS
  • Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Battery Life: 1-5 days
  • Includes App: Yes
  • Accuracy Level: High
  • Warranty: 1-year

FindsterDuo.Wessie

Findster Duo+ GPS Pet Tracker

The Findster Duo+ is an interesting addition to the GPS cat tracker market. With no monthly fees and an extra module that you hang on your keychain, the Duo aims to solve the problems that are common among GPS trackers.

While most GPS trackers rely on a cell connection, MAZE technology gives Findster an independent communication system. Because it doesn’t need cell coverage, you don’t pay a monthly subscription, saving you up to $120 per year. The benefits of MAZE go beyond savings. Unlike most GPS trackers, the Findster works everywhere, from city streets to the wilderness. Its location updating is also lightning-fast, so you can feel confident monitoring your cat’s movement in real time.

In my initial tests of its tracking accuracy, the Findster Duo+ outdid the other two GPS trackers. The Findster’s map updated every few seconds, while the other trackers loaded, lagged, or lost contact.

When it was time to simulate a cat running out the door, the Findster Duo+ fell flat. Because the device is made for walks—you start real-time tracking by hitting the “start walk” button in the app—it doesn’t track your cat unless you tell it to. You can’t start a walk unless your cat’s within 2 meters of the Guardian, so the device can’t help you much if your cat goes for an unexpected walk of his own. You could run your Findster Duo+ in walk mode all the time, but given the resulting drain on the battery, it wouldn’t be a practical choice.

After I connected the modules and started a walk, the Findster Duo+ brought me within 60 feet of the tracker, then started showing the tracking module on the opposite side of the street from its actual location.

To help make up for the looseness of GPS location, the Findster has a secondary tracking feature—radar. A swipe away from the standard map screen, the radar map helps you to identify where your cat is in relation to your smartphone.

Overall, the Findster Duo+ isn’t perfect, but it’s among the best trackers you can buy. If you regularly go for walks with your cat, hate the idea of monthly fees, and are willing to keep up with regularly charging both your phone and tracker, the Duo+ could be a great option.

What We Liked:

  • Once connected, it can pick up your cat’s signal from up to 3 miles away
  • One of the only GPS trackers that doesn’t require a monthly plan
  • MAZE technology updates more frequently than other trackers, giving you accurate real-time location tracking
  • Features a radar tracking screen to help you narrow down your search
  • Works everywhere, including places without cell service

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Only tracks your cat when “on a walk”, limiting you to planned outings
  • A large tracker that may be uncomfortable for small or sensitive cats

#4 Best Radio Frequency Tracker: Eureka Marco Polo Advanced Pet Tracker

Buy On Amazon

Overview:

  • Type of Device: Self-contained
  • Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Battery Life: Up to 45 days
  • Includes App: No
  • Accuracy Level: High
  • Warranty: 90 days

The Eureka Marco Polo Tracker is one of the most unique options we’ve reviewed. This pet tracker is different because it is a self-contained system that doesn’t require GPS or a cellular network to use. This means no monthly contracts and it works well for traveling with your pet.

This pet tracker comes in a single-pet or multi-pet system, and you can always add more pets simply by purchasing a new tracking tag. These tags are durably constructed, designed to withstand both rough terrain and submersion in water. It attaches to your cat’s collar using a rugged ballistic nylon holder that protects the device and keeps it securely in place. It has roughly a 45-day batter life.

With the Eureka Marco Polo Tracker, you can monitor your pet’s location in reference to four programmable safety zones or activate the lost pet feature to track your cat using real-time distance and direction feedback.

Unlike many GPS trackers which use a smartphone app, the Eureka Marco Polo Tracker utilizes a handset locator that acts like a personal radar system with a range of up to 2 miles in open conditions. This means if your cat is outside the system’s range you’ll have to walk or drive around to find him, but it works well if your cat doesn’t tend to wander too far.

Overall, the Eureka Marco Polo Tracker is a good option if you want to keep tabs on your cat’s location fairly close to home. Because this system doesn’t use GPS or cellular technology, your cat will need to be within 2 miles of the locator to find him, and rough terrain or weather could further limit that range. What makes this system unique is that you can travel with it and set up new safe zones anywhere you go. Plus, you’ll save money on monthly subscription fees.

What We Liked:

  • Generous battery life up to 45 days on a single charge
  • Set four “safety zones” to keep track of your pet
  • Doesn’t require wifi, GPS, or cellular network
  • Can be used with multiple pets, simply purchase additional tags
  • One-time purchase price, no monthly subscription fees

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Tracking system has a limited range
  • Rough terrain and obstructions may further limit range

#5 Best Budget RF Tracker: Loc8tor Tabcat RF Cat Tracker

Loc8tor Tabcat RF Cat Tracker

Buy On TabCat

Read Customer Reviews

Overview:

  • Type of Device: Radio Frequency
  • Weight: 4.2 grams
  • Battery Life: 4-12 months
  • Includes App: No
  • Accuracy Level: High
  • Warranty: 2-year

TabCat.Wessie

Loc8tor Tabcat RF Cat Tracker

The Loc8tor Tabcat is a small, lightweight radio frequency tracker that’s made specifically for cats. The tracker module sits in a rubber case and slips onto your cat’s collar, where it transmits to a handheld receiver device.

The handset’s strip of color-coded lights and beeping tone indicates whether you’re in range and how close you are to your cat. One handset pairs with up to four trackers, so it’s easy to outfit your entire fur family with Tabcat trackers.

After a quick activation process, the tracker was ready to use. Using the handset was straightforward and intuitive, proving consistent and accurate in several tests around the house. During outdoor tests, it was less useful. Unlike a GPS tracker, which starts helping you navigate as soon as you’re ready to search, the Tabcat’s 400-foot range means that you’ll have to do some searching on your own before you get a reading.

Once it got into range, however, the Tabcat was spot-on, never failing to give an accurate reading.

What We Liked:

  • Easy to attach, activate, and use
  • Provides accurate directional information
  • One handset works with up to four tracking modules
  • One of the cheapest cat trackers you can buy
  • Works both indoors and outside

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Has a measly 400-foot range

#6 Best Bluetooth Cat Tracker: Cat Tailer Bluetooth Cat Tracker

Cat Tailer Bluetooth Cat Tracker

Buy On Amazon

Read Customer Reviews

Overview:

  • Type of Device: Bluetooth
  • Weight: 7.9 grams
  • Battery Life: 6 months
  • Includes App: Yes
  • Accuracy Level: Low
  • Price: $59.00
  • Warranty: 1-year

CatTailer.Forest

Cat Tailer Bluetooth Cat Tracker

This device is the cat-specific equivalent of the Tile Mate. The Tailer looks like a deep bottle cap and weighs about the same amount as one, making it a good option for cats who won’t tolerate anything larger strapped to their neck. Like the Tile tracker, it’s limited to a very small detection range and won’t be of much help if your cat dashes out the door.

The Cat Tailer’s 328-foot range is broad for a Bluetooth tracker, but weak compared to other devices. While it can help you once you enter that range, you’ll still have to wander around your cat’s usual haunts until you pick up a signal.

During outdoor tests, the Tailer wasn’t much more helpful than my eyes and ears, losing connection after my testing partner had been out of sight for two minutes. The interface doesn’t give you directional information, so any distance metrics only give you a radius. You’ll have to use trial-and-error to get on the right path.

Even when I did pick up a signal, the Tailer’s location detection was relatively unreliable.

Even though the tracker was sitting on a shelf, the app fluctuated by about thirty feet between scans—as if the Cat Tailer was jumping back and forth across the room. The Tailer’s connection was unsteady, too, sending notifications that the unit had left the tracking range even though I could reach out and touch it.

The Cat Tailer is best-suited to indoor use and cats who tend to behave predictably outside. As long as you’re able to get within range by searching your cat’s favorite haunts, the 328-foot Bluetooth range can help you to narrow things down.

What We Liked:

  • A very small, lightweight cat tracker ideal for small cats and kittens
  • Extremely easy-to-use app interface
  • Can help you to find your cat inside the house or yard

What We Didn’t Like:

  • One of the smallest detection ranges of any pet tracker on the market
  • Bluetooth signal tends to be inconsistent

#7 Best For Indoor Cats: Tile Mate Bluetooth Tracker

Tile Mate Bluetooth Tracker

Buy On Amazon

Read Customer Reviews

Overview:

  • Type of Device: Bluetooth
  • Weight: 6.1 grams
  • Battery Life: 12 months
  • Includes App: Yes
  • Accuracy Level: Low
  • Price: $62.71
  • Warranty: N/A

Findster Duo+ GPS Pet Tracker

Findster Duo+ GPS Pet Tracker

Though not designed for pets, the Tile Mate is an all-purpose Bluetooth tracker that helps you locate lost objects. When attached to your cat’s collar, the Tile Mate can help you to find your cat by connecting to any Tile app within 150 feet.

That’s about half the range of our next-most-limited tracker, the Cat Tailer. A 150-foot tracking area could help you to find your cat and give you some degree of confidence, but it’s barely better than your eyes.

In theory, the Tile Mate’s range can expand if it connects to other people’s Tile apps, allowing you to locate your Tile when it comes into the range of any Tile receptor on the planet. It’s reassuring to have the support of the world’s largest lost-and-found community, but not particularly helpful given that you won’t have any idea where your cat went after registering in the Tile system.

While the Tile was reliable and helpful for tracking down cats inside of the house, it didn’t perform so well in our lost cat simulation. The Tile app couldn’t connect and didn’t share any information about where the tracking unit was last seen.

Subscribing to Tile Premium will buy you a few more helpful features, like smart alerts when your cat leaves the range and access to a 30-day location history.

What We Liked:

  • Connects to the Tile user network, which may help you to find your cat if he gets lost
  • One of the cheapest tracking options you can buy
  • Reliable and accurate for indoor tracking
  • Works both indoors and outside

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Tile’s use of location services will drain your phone’s battery
  • Extremely short tracking range makes it almost useless if your cat roams far from home

Other Cat Trackers We Liked

Though the seven pet trackers reviewed above are by far our top picks, there are a few others we like based on testing, research, and customer reviews.

Here are three more cat trackers we liked:

  1. Weenect 2 GPS Cat Tracker
  2. Girafus Pro-Track-Tor RF Tracker
  3. Fitbark GPS Tracker
Product NameType of DeviceWeightBattery LifeIncludes AppAccuracy LevelPriceWarranty
Weenect 2 GPS Cat TrackerGPS25 grams3 daysYesHighCheck Price2-years
Girafus Pro-Track-Tor RF TrackerRadio Frequency4.2 grams30 daysYesHigh$90.99N/A
Fitbark GPS TrackerGPS17 grams10-20 daysYesMid$66.581-year

#8 Best Cat Tracker in the UK: Weenect 2

Weenect Cats 2

Buy on Weenect.com

Overview:

  • Type: GPS
  • Weight: 25 grams
  • Battery Life: 3 days
  • Includes App: Yes
  • Accuracy Level: High
  • Price: €49.90
  • Warranty: 2-year

Cat wearing tracker

The Weenect 2 is a GPS tracker that enables you to track your cat’s location in real time with no distance limit. No matter where your cat goes, you will always be able to find him.

Priced around €50, the Weenect 2 is an affordable option but you will have to pay an additional monthly subscription fee for use. This device tracks your cat’s location in real time using a multi-network SIM card that allows it to operate even in the countryside. It won’t, however, work if there’s no cellular service available in your area.

In addition to live tracking, the Weenect 2 offers a variety of monitoring features like territory analysis, location history, and time spent sleeping or playing.

If you ever need to find your cat, simply use the smartphone app to view the GPS location of your cat in one of several modes: maps (classic or satellite view), compass, or radar. What we really love about the Weenect 2, however, is that it incorporates a training module so you can teach your cat to return home when called. Using the app, you can vibrate or ring the tracker at mealtime and your cat will learn to associate the two events and come running.

Speaking practically, the Weenect 2 performs well and it stood up to most of the promises made on the website. The 3-day battery life isn’t as long as some of the models we tested and while the device was very lightweight, we can see how it might be a little big on very small cats.
Overall, we were impressed with the Weenect 2 app and the training feature, though we’d love to see a longer battery life. It’s a great option if you want to be know where your cat is at all times.

What We Liked:

  • Complete tracking system that shows GPS location in real time
  • View activity level, location history, and distance traveled
  • Long battery life up to 72 hours on a single charge
  • The world’s smallest GPS tracker for cats, includes multi-network SIM card
  • Silicone case for waterproof protection, fits any collar or harness

What We Didn’t Like:

  • May be too big for some cats to wear comfortably
  • Battery life could be longer, only lasts about 3 days
  • Requires you to purchase a monthly subscription

#9 Best Multi-Pet RF Tracker: Girafus Pro-Track-Tor RF Finder

Girafus Pro-Track-Tor RF Finder

Buy On Amazon

Read Customer Reviews

Overview:

  • Type of Device: Radio Frequency
  • Weight: 4.2 grams
  • Battery Life: 30 days
  • Includes App: No
  • Accuracy Level: High
  • Price: $90.99
  • Warranty: N/A

ProTrackTor.Wessie

Girafus Pro-Track-Tor RF Finder

The Girafus RF tracker is among the longest-range radio frequency trackers on the market, allowing you to receive signals from up to 1,600 feet away.

Of the trackers we reviewed, the Girafus Pro-Track-Tor demanded the most hands-on assembly time. Between inserting batteries into the tracker and receiver, struggling to snap the case back together, handling tiny screws, and learning how to start a tracking session, it took 18 minutes to put everything together.

The tracker’s silicone case slips over a slim collar—it includes velcro straps for attaching to larger collars—and sits lightly against the neck. Of the trackers we tested, the Girafus had the lowest profile and was best-suited to small cats.

After setup, operating the tracker was straightforward. First, you’ll calibrate the tracker by doing several 360-degree turns. Once the tracker starts picking up a signal, it starts sounding a high-pitched tone and using multicolored lights to indicate the distance between itself and the tracker.

Both indoors and out, the Girafus worked consistently well. In the lost cat simulation, I used it to locate the tracker hidden in the woods and later, when the Bluetooth trackers couldn’t catch a signal, the Girafus Pro-Track-Tor saved the day.

What We Liked:

  • The tracker’s 1,600-foot range is exceptional among RF trackers
  • Has a battery life of up to 30 days
  • Works without any monthly payments
  • High level of accuracy
  • The smallest, most-cat-friendly tracker on this list
  • One handset is compatible with up to 4 trackers

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Some customers say that the battery gets loose inside of the tracker, leading to inconsistent performance
  • The receiver is clunky and won’t fit in smaller pockets

#10 Best Lightweight Tracker: Fitbark GPS Tracker

Buy On Amazon

Overview:

  • Type of Device: GPS
  • Weight: 17 grams
  • Battery Life: 10 – 20 days
  • Includes App: Yes
  • Accuracy Level: Mid
  • Warranty: 1-year

The Fitbark GPS tracker is one of the lightest pet trackers on the market, weighing just 17 grams. You can attach it to your cat’s collar using two zipties (included), so you don’t have to buy a new collar.

This pet tracker uses GPS and cellular technology to track your pet’s location. Using the smartphone app, you can view your pet’s location (updated by the minute) and monitor other aspects of your pet’s health. This tracker requires both wifi and Verizon LTE-M coverage to work.

In addition to tracking your pet’s location, the Fitbark GPS Tracker sends you phone alerts when your cat enters or exits the designated Wifi zone. Not only will you know when your cat leaves home, but you’ll get a notification when he returns as well. You also have the option to create other safety zones such as a friend or family member’s house.

Like many pet trackers, the Fitbark GPS tracker also functions as an activity monitor. You can track your cat’s activity by the minute and keep tabs on things like sleep quality, calories burned, distance traveled, and overall health or behavior. In order to make the most of this function, you should select “Other Pet” when setting up your Fitbark to indicate that your pet is not a dog.

Overall, the Fitbark GPS Tracker is a great option for cat owners if you want real-time alerts on your cat’s location. With the iPhone or Android app, you’ll be notified when your cat leaves the designated safe zone and you’ll get up-to-the-minute live-tracking as well. Plus, it works with multiple pets and you can link the Fitbark to your own activity monitor or smart watch.

What We Liked:

  • One of the lightest pet trackers on the market (17g)
  • Accurate live tracking on Verizon LTE cellular network
  • Long battery life, lasts 10 to 20 days on a single charge
  • Monitor your cat’s activity and fitness

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Location tracking only updates once per minute
  • Requires $9.95 monthly subscription fee for GPS

How do you know which tracker is right for you?

While reading customer reviews, researching the market, and testing trackers with my own cats, the reality of cat trackers was obvious. There is no perfect cat tracker. From GPS to Bluetooth and high-priced to cheap, every tracker has something that will disqualify it for someone.

Think about your cat first—will he be comfortable with a large, heavy GPS tracker? Does he roam far away or are you confident he’ll stay within the yard? Is he an indoor-only cat but tends to hide in the closet? These questions will help you decide if your cat needs a GPS tracker, RF tracker, or a small-range device that relies on Bluetooth.

Before you make a decision, think about the cell coverage in your area. If it’s spotty, an RF or network-independent tracker might work best. Also factor in the network provider that the tracker uses. If it relies on Verizon, for example, your tracker won’t work in an area that’s not covered by Verizon.

Finally, factor in price. You’ll find trackers of every category at a wide range of prices, so look for one that fits your budget both upfront and over time.

Relevant Content:

About the author


Mallory Crusta is a writer and adventurecat enthusiast on a mission to make cats’ lives extraordinary. She’s one of the founders of Wildernesscat – a site for happy, healthy, and adventurous cats who are fueled by nature. Visit Wildernesscat for radically natural cat nutrition, home remedies, and lifestyle inspiration.

55 thoughts on “10 Best Cat Trackers – We Tested Them All

    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Laurene,

      That’s a great question and a difficult one to answer. We know that low levels of radiation like those emitted by cat trackers may have harmful effects, but those effects haven’t been established or proven. Without enough information available to give a definitive answer, it looks like the best you can do is decide if the potential benefits of tracking your cat outweigh the potential—and yet unknown—risks of exposing your cat to more radiation.

      Best,

      Mallory

      Reply
  1. Sean Mamo

    hey – great review. just wondering your thoughts between the Loc8tor and the Eureka Technology… reason is they seem very similar however the Eureka give a longer range.

    I was about to purchase the Loc8tor but have seen a few complaints about the range on it.. The Eureka seems to be great too however as a “con” you said the battery life isn’t good.. The battery lasts 3 months which seems decent.

    Any thoughts would be great..

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Sean,

      While the two devices both use RF technology, the Loc8tor has a significantly smaller detection range. It’s limited to just 400 feet. In contrast, the Eureka has a range of 1/2 of a mile up to 2 miles.

      You’re right that the Eureka system does have a decent battery life. According to their FAQ page, the battery lasts for up to 6 weeks and up to 3 days of continuous tracking. The Loc8tor system, however, has an estimated battery life of 4-12 months.

      Altogether, I think the Eureka tracker is a much stronger product and is the one to buy if you’re serious about tracking your cat over long distances. But if tracking range isn’t a priority and you want to save money, the Loc8tor system is the one to try.

      Hope this answers your questions!

      Best,

      Mallory

      Reply
    1. All About Cats

      Hi David,

      Good catch, we’ve updated the product info to reflect the 1yr battery life.

      Thanks!

      Pedro

      Reply
  2. Marilyn Wickee

    Very helpful thanks. I would like to know how cats adapt, if the devices can come off, or wear down at attachment. Also do the GPS/ Radio Frequencies transmitting all the time harm the cat’s health, or do they heat up like a mobile phone? I like the look of one incorporated in a reflective collar that I saw, but would need to see if it has a quick release in collar.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Marilyn,

      Thanks for your questions! We just updated the review to include answers to questions like yours. If you’re still in the market for a cat tracker, you may want to check out the updated guide.

      To give you a quick answer, the comfort factor really depends on the tracker and the cat. Both of my cats—one a petite 7 lbs and the other weighing about 13—seemed comfortable with all of the trackers we reviewed. Your cats may react differently. We recommend trackers that attach to your cat’s existing collar rather than those built into a collar. Most tracking collars are made for dogs and therefore don’t have breakaway mechanisms.

      All of them appear to be sturdy and secure with no wear at the attachment point. A breakaway collar, of course, will increase the risk of your cat losing the tracker. It’s worth the safety investment, though, and the tracker should be easy to find if it goes missing.

      Finally, it’s not clear whether or not cat trackers pose a health risk. GPS trackers don’t transmit any EMF, but RF and Bluetooth trackers do emit low levels of radiation. It’s possible—but not confirmed—that this radiation could cause negative health risks. However, those risks are ambiguous and unconfirmed. Remember that trackers don’t transmit signals constantly, so you’re not exposing your cat to constant radiation. Instead, that radiation is usually limited to the duration of your search.

      Hope this helps!

      Best,

      Mallory

      Reply
  3. David Livingston

    RF Trackers. Anyone with a smart phone should be well versed with the GPS system and what it does. What does an RF tracker give you that helps you locate your animal. GPS overlay with Google maps shows you exactly where your target is. Do RF trackers “show” you where the target is or do they point you in the right direction of where the target is by signal strength? I don’t like the expense or battery life / weight / network requirements / over kill of information of the GPS units, but at the same time want something that locates the target with a high percentage of accuracy. Will it tell your target is within 100 ft. and do you have to look though that 100 ft. to find the target or will it guide you to it? Great articular, plenty of info, just no nuts and bolts as to exactly what info the device gives you as information on location.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi David,

      Great question. The article was recently updated to go into more depth on the type of information you’re asking about. To give you a short answer, RF trackers don’t give you visual information on where the target is located. Instead, they use light and sound indicators to point you in the right direction. Again, you’re just listening to beeps and you won’t get a specific distance, i.e. a readout telling you that your cat is “100 feet away”. It’s like playing a game of “Hot and Cold”—the tracker tells you if you’re getting “warmer” until you’re right on target. RF trackers are extremely accurate and consistent, with the ability to pinpoint your cat’s location within a few centimeters.

      Hope this helps!

      Best,

      Mallory

      Reply
  4. Blair

    Dear Mallory,

    Thanks for such useful information. I wrote to you earlier today via YouTube but wanted to circle back now that I’ve done some further reading. I have narrowed the field to: 1) Eureka Technology MARCOPOLO 2) Girafus Pro-Track-Tor and 3) Whistle GO GPS Tracker and wondered what you thought. My main concern is that my 9 lbs, 13 year old American tabby cat who is accustomed to living inside of an apartment may be curious about leaving our new home which has an indoor/outdoor living design. It’s a big home and the doors will sometimes be open we live by the water so I want a tracker that both tracks well inside the house as well as outside the home should she happen to venture out. But, I’d like to be able to set limits so that she can actually have the freedom to walk out to the yard (but not beyond) and receive an alert if she goes beyond. I don’t want to wait to have to find out that she went. Lastly, since we travel frequently, I would feel most comfortable if we could check in (either on our phone via an app/or directly with the cat sitter/or some other way) and track her whereabouts live. I can imagine that no one device will do all that I’m asking for but wondered if you thought anyone of my top choices might most fill my needs. Our dog passed away this past year so now our lives pretty much revolve around our cat. I couldn’t bear for her to go missing when we move into the new house in a few months.

    Infinite thanks to you!

    Blair

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Blair,

      Sorry about the late reply—it’s good to hear from you again!

      Given this additional information, I’m thinking that the Whistle tracker would be the closest fit. It sounds like it’s vital for you to have some added security while on vacation and neither of the RF trackers will do that. With a radio frequency tracker, you’ll be 100% reliant on your sitter’s ability to notice if your cat’s gone out of sight and use the tracking system on his or her own. It’s a lot better than going without a tracker, but it might not give you the peace of mind you’re hoping for.

      The most comprehensive solution would be to invest in two trackers—a good RF tracker for when you’re at home and want to keep tabs of your cat whether she’s outside or in the house and a GPS tracker for when you’re on vacation.

      Wishing you the best in your search and the move!

      Best,

      Mallory

      Reply
      1. Blair

        Again, thanks so much Mallory! After much due consideration, I am going to move forward with purchasing the Girafus Pro-Track-Tor for daily use and the Whistle Go Explorer for when we travel just in case she gets out while the cat sitter is on duty. Thanks for your terrific video and advice!

        Reply
  5. keld

    came across your review. we are looking for a tracker. our cat is a 24 hours outdoor cat (only take her in case of bad weather). she is not feral she just prefers outdoor. she is a small 9 lbs toitoise.

    we are looking for a tracker where we can see where she goes at nighttime (we don’t think she wanders far – maybe 1500 feet from our house) and also where we can find her when need to, especially if she does not show up for her breakfast or dinner.

    suggestions?

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Keld, thanks for your comment. If you’d like to track your cat’s movement outdoors, a GPS tracker may be the best option for you. In addition to letting you see where she goes at night, a GPS tracker will help you to find her when you need to. We recommend the Whistle GO as a reliable GPS tracker for cats. Hope this helps!

      Reply
  6. Jen Morrill

    Hi Mallory! I have actually kept this page saved on my computer for some time as I keep debating which tracker would work best for me. I have a multi-cat household (usually between 4-6), and they are all primarily indoor cats with access to a fenced in backyard. What spurred my desire to have some kind of tracker was that a few years ago my HOA landscapers went into the backyard and didn’t bother to close the gate behind them. Many of my cats got out of the yard but thankfully all but one returned fairly soon. Sadly, that one completely disappeared, and despite my spending hundreds of hours and dollars over the ensuing months searching for him, I’ve never seen him again, which continues to be heartbreaking. Since then I’ve wished he had had a tracker of some kind, as I may well have gotten him back quickly, and I certainly don’t want that to ever happen again. I’ve already tried a couple of trackers, including the Cat Tailer and the PawScout. My experience with the Cat Tailer was exactly as you described: battery life was great but actual tracking was terrible. I would have a cat right next to me on the couch and it would tell me he was 20 feet away, and it would also keep changing as if he was moving. I just couldn’t see that really helping me find a cat that was actually lost and probably hiding. I loved the tracking ability of the PawScout, but the battery life was ridiculous – often as short as a few days even though they only went around the house, plus it frequently lost tracking ability entirely, again even though the cat hadn’t gone anywhere. So I have eagerly looked through your reviews hoping to find something that will work for us, but there obviously still isn’t a perfect answer. I like the accuracy of GPS trackers but battery life for any of those seems to make them unusable with multiple cats. I really don’t need to track them in the house or yard, it would only be in the case of them actually getting out of the yard. I’ve kind of been leaning toward the Loc8or or the Girafus..? But I would really love to know what you would suggest. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Jen, I’m so glad you decided to come back and leave a comment!

      It’s no surprise that you’d be interested in finding a good tracker after what happened to your cat a few years ago. Based on what you’ve described, I’d agree that an RF tracker like the Loc8tor or Girafus would be your best bet. Either one would probably help you out if one of your cats got out of the yard, but the Girafus will give you a greater range. If you’re looking for something even more powerful, I might think about the Marco Polo tracking system from Eureka Technology. It’s significantly more expensive than the two on this list, but it can pick up a signal from up to 2 miles away—a significant upgrade from anything else on the market.

      Hope this helps you to narrow down your options and brings you a bit closer to finding the tracker that’s right for you.

      Best,

      Mallory

      Reply
  7. Lisa

    What about putting a small gps tracker such as finster and a small rf one on the same collar or harness? Will that interfere with signals?

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Lisa,

      Good question! Doing that wouldn’t interfere with the signals of either tracker and could certainly be a way to fill in the gaps presented by each system. I’d think your biggest concern would be ensuring that your cat is comfortable and not weighed down by both of the trackers on their collar or harness.

      Hope this answers your question!

      Best,

      Mallory

      Reply
  8. Amy Johnson

    I have a question about the Whistle Go – where did you get the harness it is attached to? They are not for sale on the Whistle website. Thanks!

    Reply
  9. May

    Hi! Thanks for great review.
    Have you tested PetFon or know anything reliable compared to ones listed here?

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi May, we haven’t tested PetFon or done any in-depth research, but based on a preliminary search, it looks like it could be a good, reliable option with no monthly fees. Other customers seem to like it, too, so I’d definitely consider giving it a try. Hope this helped a bit! – Mallory

      Reply
  10. Kirk

    Why did you not include the Pawtracker it seems to be the best of all of them but nobody is reviewing it?

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Kirk, we weren’t aware of the Pawtracker at the time this review was written, but we will consider it for future updates. Thank you for contributing! – Mallory

      Reply
  11. Jen

    Aww…bummer! I loved this info and your video. Very informative, and I love that you actually tried them all. Unfortunately, I was all set to buy the Girafus one but it’s out of stock at Amazon. 🙁 The Findster looks like an okay option for us if we could go out when the cat does, start the walk, and then go back inside, but I’m not sure if it would keep working then. We don’t want to go on an adventure with our cat; we just want to be able to locate him when he’s away for longer than usual. Oh, well. I’ll keep checking back on Amazon for the Girafus and hope it comes back soon. Thanks for the reviews!

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hey Jen, thanks for the comment! You may be able to buy the Girafus tracker from their store: https://www.girafus-shop.com/girafus-pro-track-tor-haustier-hund-katze-kleintier-finder-sucher-ortung-mit-varianten/ortung/a-10162
      It’s shipped from Germany and your shipping expense will be higher, but it may be a good solution. Alternatively, there’s another RF tracker not mentioned on this list that seems to be an excellent choice: the Marco Polo tracking system from Eureka technology. It has an outstanding range and a lot of useful features. Here’s a link in case you want to learn more: https://eurekaproducts.com/

      Hope you’re able to find a tracker that works for you and your cat!

      Best,
      Mallory

      Reply
  12. Dan Stein

    Thanks very much for the very thorough reviews! We’ve been wanting a good cat tracker for some time, but I needed help making a decision. Your field tests were exactly what I needed. I especially like the “lost cat” test, which is really the most germane scenario. Our guy disappears for a few days on end, and while we’re not too concerned about his being on an adventure, we really do worry about his being trapped somewhere.

    I bought the Whistle Go from your Amazon link. I hope it works and you get a commission – you deserve it!

    Reply
  13. Susan Pollich

    Thank you for the in depth reviews. However, I still need your advice. I have a blind cat that comes outside with us inside a fenced in yard. Sometimes I can turn my back for a split second and she jumps the fence. Of course I panic. I’m thinking a GPS model is best because it can alert when she is out of her safe zone. Which would be most reliable and quickest to alert? Then if it takes a minute to see which direction she went in, which is best to locate? She doesn’t go far, but I need everything to be quick.
    I’m thinking the Findstar…..

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hey Susan, of the GPS trackers reviewed here, I found that the Whistle Go was the fastest to send an alert when my cat left the safe zone. That said, since this article was written, I’ve discovered another tracker that combines multiple technologies to give you alerts when your cat leaves the safe zone while also being able to provide the nuanced locating information of an RF tracker.

      Reply
  14. Amanda

    Have you tested the Tractive LTE tracker? According to their website, the 3G cat tracker does not work in the US (at least not anymore). I was just wondering if the newer LTE tracker is better or if there is another tracker that is not on the list that you would recommend. I go between two houses in two different states and I am most concerned about finding my cat at my house in CA because he has gotten out a couple of times before. However, there is not great cell coverage and I have a lot of bushes and trees in the backyard and surrounding area so I am not sure how well a standard GPS tracker will work vs an RF tracker. I am hesitant to go with the Whistle Go because it does seem to have a significant amount of negative reviews. Thank you for your article, it has helped a lot.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hello Amanda, unfortunately, we haven’t tried the LTE version of the tracker and I can’t comment on the experience. That said, we have since discovered another tracker that seems to perform as well or better than the others on this list: the Pawtrack. This one includes both RF and GPS technology to allow you to find your cat regardless of the environment. This seems like it would be very helpful for your house in California. It’s also well-sized for kitties. Here’s a link for you: https://pawtrack.com/
      Hope this helps!

      Reply
  15. Eric Grimsey

    Hi,
    We have used both the Loc8tor and a GPS tracker (Pod 3, now unavailable) on our cats. I have no hesitation in recommending the Loc8tor. It is light (for both user and cats), simple to use and 100% reliable, and with long battery life. Our backyard is large with numerous hiding spots but we can always rapidly find our cats with the Loc8tor. Occasionally they jump the fence. Again, easy to find. Range has not been an issue since if necessary we just walk around the neighbourhood to find the signal. A great feature of the Loc8tor is that when activated, the unit on the cats collar gives out a low level beep. We have used this to train our new kitten (a fence jumper) to come when signalled, by providing treats when we detected her using the Loc8tor. Now she just appears (often from over the fence) when we activate the unit. The GPS tracker was useful GPS tracker but not especially accurate and sometimes indicated that a cat was remotely located when in fact it was home. Also not nearly as useful when trying to quickly locate the cat. Have used the Loc8tor for 6+ years now. Gives great peace of mind. 10./10
    Eric (Australia)

    Reply
  16. Jim

    I have tried a variety of cat trackers including bluetooth, GPS and RFID on my two cats. Hands down my go to favorite is the Loc8tor series. GPS is great…when it works. The battery life of GPS systems is abysmal – usually at absolute best 2-3 days. If your cat disappears when the battery is low the system rapidly becomes useless. In addition cats are very good at losing collars. If your cat drops his/her collar and you are unable to retrieve the collar before the battery goes dead you are out a considerable sum. The tags also tend to be large and clunky. Subscriptions are awful as the costs add up quickly often costing several times the original price of the system.

    Bluetooth systems have a much better battery life but short range and no directionality. If however the cat loses the collar its not to expensive to replace.

    The RFID systems of the Locator is still one of the best on the market despite being over 10 years old. In my experience the 6+ month battery life of the RFID systesm along with their very usable range of 400-600 ft is by far their greatest advantage Also no #^$%& subscription!

    Thanks to their small size, reliability and long battery life Loc8tor systems are also popular in the RC aircraft and model rocketry crowd. These folks have developed various tricks and tips to improve the Loc8tor system:

    1) A combination of the older, silver handset and the newer round tags give the best overall performance by far. The older handset has a backlit alphanumeric display, can store 32 tags (as opposed to the black handset’s four) and is 100% compatible with the newer round tags which offer a battery life twice that of the original oval tags or up to a year. The range is roughly doubled as well. In a side by side, real world, open field comparison of this combination of Locator and Girafus I found the performance pretty much identical.

    2) An external antenna can DRAMATICALLY improve the range. The Loc8tor system uses a frequency of 2.4GHz which is the same as most home wifi systems including bluetooth. There are videos showing how to mount a loc8tor handset to an antenna without any modifications to the handset. The Locator uses a three element YAGI antenna (one reflector, two passive elements) Basically you put the dipole antenna of the handset in the focal plane of the external antenna. This shapes the beam into a very narrow ( and very polarized) beam with a much longer but narrower “reach”. In my own testing I was able to lock a signal 820 meters away (line of sight) using a 24dB parabolic antenna. Sounds good but the signal was highly polarized and dropped to zero when the antenna was rotated 90 degrees so in a practical sense this may not be all that except in the most desperate situations.

    3) The Brickhouse Child locator is a rebranded original “good” silver handset Loc8tor system that can often be purchased used (or better yet new-old stock) for a fraction of the cost of an identical Loc8tor system. I picked up a few NOS ones on Ebay for under $20 shipped. These are functionally identical to the Loc8tor silver handsets and are 100% compatible with the round Loc8tor/Tabcat tags..

    A significant weakness IMO of these systems is that the tags can only be paired to a single handset. Had Loc8tor designed these to be paired to multiple handsets they could have made finding lost pets much easier as the entire household could have split up to cover more ground. Fortunately the tags are small and light enough that a cat can carry two tags without a problem. This is the system I currently use – two tags/cat with two handsets for redundancy.

    REAL WORLD experiences: I purchased my first Locator set after my cat went missing for over a week. I searched high and low, I enlisted the help of the neighborhood children (while int he presence AND with the consent of their parents). I put up posters I did everything I could to find my cat earning a reputation as the crazy neighborhood cat person. Eventually a neighbor found my cat, hiding in her garage attic two doors away.
    Had I had a loc8tor tracker on my cat at that time I am very confident I could have found my cat within a few minutes instead of over a week. I have replicated this exact scenario many times and had no problems tracking the tag even in an attic from the sidewalk.

    After this scare I bought my first Loc8tor and have used it to successfully find my wayward cats ever since. Because they are indoor/outdoor cats they know the neighborhood well and the neighbors know them. At one point however one cat went missing for more than a couple of days. He had gone well out of his normal territory. I scoured the neighborhood and after almost a week I eventually got a signal. I traced it to a dilapidated, flat tired car parked on a driveway. He was standing under the car and was so filthy I didn’t see him even as I was looking RIGHT at him. He didn’t even look like a cat – rather a pile of debris. That is another huge advantage of the Loc8tor – cats are GREAT at hiding so if your cat doesn’t want to be found a visual search can fail even when you are looking right at your cat. Many times I have tracked my cat to his favorite outdoor perch, a neighbor’s dense juniper bush, impossible to see inside but I knew he was happy in there just watching the world go by.

    Summary: Get a combination of old silver Loc8tor/Brickhouse handset with newer round Loc8tor/Tabcat tags for the best overall results.

    Reply
  17. Elsa

    Hi Mallory,
    Thanks for your great work. I am thinking of buying a findster duo+. My cat is young (6 months) and I want him to be able to go out and spend his energy, get exercise, be happy. I live in an urban residential neighborhood (3 stories buildings mostly). But my neighborhood is always full of lost cat posters, and I don’t want to be one of those people. My first question is this one: you’ve performed a lost cat simulation in the woods, but how do you think it would have worked in an environment like mine? Second question: cat collars are made to be easily removable in case they get hung or caught (since cats crawl in tight places, climb trees, slip under fences, etc.).. So… What’s your experience with this issue? What kind of collars do you use for your cats? If the cat loses its collar, obviously you lose the cat, and the tracker if the battery dies before you can find it. What do you think is the best approach? Thanks in advance!!

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hello Elsa, thank you for commenting! I believe that the Findster should work a bit better in your residential area compared to the woods, because any tree cover will obstruct the satellite signal. You’ll still have to contend with roofs, bushes, trees, and other barriers, but my guess is that the accuracy is going to be a bit higher in your neighborhood. As for your second question, I’ve not encountered an issue with my cats removing the trackers, but of course, they only wore them for a few hours for the sake of this review. I would expect it’s more likely that your cat’s breakaway collar would pop off (and you should be using a breakaway collar!) than the tracker itself, in which case, you’d have to track down the abandoned tracker just as if it were your cat. Again, a breakaway collar is the only appropriate option, even if you’re using an expensive tracker that you don’t want to lose. It’s better to lose the tracker than to have your cat get it caught on something and not be able to get away. And with the tracker on the collar, I’d think there’s an increased risk of snagging, twisting, and the bad outcomes that non-breakaway collars are known to lead to. I know it’s a weird decision, especially since the battery may die before you’re able to find it, but the alternative isn’t any better. This is a key part of why, ultimately, I don’t think that trackers are the best solution for cats.
      Personally, I think your cat sounds like a good candidate for a harness and leash. He’s young and probably quite trainable, and once you get the training down, I think that going for walks will be a solution that gets out that energy without giving him as much of a chance of something going wrong.
      Hope this helps! – Mallory

      Reply
  18. Nancy

    Hello Mallory,

    Thank you for your excellent review of these products! Your cat is too cute.

    I am leaning toward the Girafus for our kitten. Sadly, we lost our last kitten who accidentally got out of the house. I am trying to find a tracker that will alert us as soon as our kitten leaves the house. I am assuming I will need a tracker with a virtual fence? I am also looking for the smallest option since our kitten is small.

    I look forward to hearing your advice.

    Thank you!
    Nancy

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Nancy, I am sorry to hear that you lost your last kitten. Yes, one with a virtual fence would work best. We hope to update this article soon with more products, one of which will be the Pawtrack. With multiple tracking technologies and a streamlined cat-oriented design, the Pawtrack seems like it could be the best match for your kitten’s needs. Check it out here: https://pawtrack.com/

      Reply
  19. Sally

    Thank you for all your information about cat trackers. My elderly cat stays indoors but likes to escape whenever he can to wander the neighborhood. I worry about his safety and am thinking of purchasing a cat tracker. Based on your video and reading comments from others, I thought I’d get the Whistle Go. But you also referred to the Pawtracker, PetFon, and Marco Polo. Have you tested these other trackers? If so, which would you now recommend? I value your opinion. Also, will all of these work if we have Verizon?

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Sally, thanks for commenting. We plan to release an updated version of this article in the near future. As you’ve noticed, I’ve discovered some other trackers that should have a place in this article. When re-doing this article, believe I would rank the Marco Polo as the best RF tracker given its larger range and excellent reputation. The Pawtrack also seems to be an excellent option with multiple tracking technologies to allow you to find your cat just about anywhere. The Whistle GO still looks like a strong GPS tracker, though, so unless you appreciate the features of the Pawtrack, you may want to go with your initial intuition.

      Reply
  20. Beth McGown

    Question
    I live in a rural area with plenty of coyotes and other potential predators. my shelter rescue cat is kept strictly indoors but she likes to make a break for it when doors are accidentally open. I need a very light weight tracker (my cat is maybe 10 pounds) with a beeper and a strong light. I would be happy to wander around until I got a signal so don’t necessarily need GPS. but that beeping and reasonably strong light would be very important. What do you recommend

    Reply
  21. Carl

    Thanks for your review. But wondering what happened to Whistle Go? It was your top-rated tracker in the video, but seems to have been removed from the list.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Carl, that’s a good question. We’ve partnered with a number of the brands mentioned here to gather affiliate commissions, and Whistle was one of them. Earlier this year, we were told to remove the Whistle Go review from this article because the company didn’t approve of us mentioning the Whistle Go’s health monitoring features in a cat-specific review. While I stand by all of the observations made in the video review, I no longer think that it’s necessarily the best on the market. In the next update of the video review, I’ll mirror this article’s placement of the Pawtrack in the number one spot, not because of the issues with the Whistle company, but because this tracker is cat-oriented with multiple tracking technologies that make it a flexible, highly functional choice for felines. I know it’s a bit of a complex answer, but I hope it gives you some clarity. Best, Mallory

      Reply
  22. Bernardo

    Hi! I am searching for a tracker to my cats that needs no cellphone coverage, since my interest is to use it while on my familys farm. The cats love to go around there and i would love to see what they are up to.
    I understand the best one for that is the findster? I loved the pawtrack though…
    My concern is that they are always going out, so i wouldnt be able to turn it on always. How long the battery lasts if i just leave it on? Im happy if its only 12h, for example

    Reply
  23. Rosie

    Hi,
    I just wanted to let you know that it is by now impossible to get a Findster. They are discontinuing the product and all orders that are still open are being cancelled and refunded. Maybe you should add a note to your article about this so that other people don’t have to go through the process of ordering and waiting 4-6 weeks for a refund…

    Reply
  24. Lorie Perry

    Pawtrack works great when it works. Worked great all last summer, but then it couldn’t connect to GPS. Their customer service has gone way downhill in past 6 months, not just my experience but I’ve seen many unhappy customers on their Facebook page. I wish it wasn’t so, but maybe check that out before you recommend them.

    Reply
  25. Elaine Y

    Thank you for all this research. We have Lucy, a small (6.3 lb) 10-month old kitten who we’d like have to stay within our fenced yard when not indoors. Unfortunately, she loves to wander the fence tops and is a true “houdini” cat in our urban/residential neighborhood. We’re 3/4’s done cat-proofing our yard and Lucy just recovered from some ear surgery, so we gave her some yard time today for the first time in 3 weeks. Of course, she disappeared for over an hour (I suspect through a small spot under the fence, most likely to our neighbor’s yard, that will be fixed tomorrow). Although it would be nice to be alerted if she gets out, I’m leaning towards RF tracking. My reasons: she has never gone farther than adjacent backyards so far and there are lots of buildings/ fences, etc, around here to obscure GPS. Plus I’d like to avoid monthly fees. I hope that once our cat-proofing is finished and she realizes the limits, things will settle down with her. I’m heavily leaning towards the Girafus Cat Tracker. My question is: Lucy doesn’t normally wear a collar (she’s microchipped). She’s very petite, playful, & adventuresome, always wrestling with her feline step-brother so I don’t know how long a collar will stay on. For that reason, I was thinking of only putting the collar/tracker on during the day when she’s outside. Is that a feasible strategy? And would that save the battery at all? I’d welcome any feedback you have. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Elaine, sorry about the late reply. You know, cat trackers are tricky because they stick to your cat’s collar, they can get lost, and they’re often not the best solution for cats who may slip outside. In your case, I think that the Girafus is about as close to ideal as you’re going to get. It’s small, lightweight, and as you said, it will work in areas where the GPS signal might be blocked. Since it sounds like she only goes outside when you want her to, I think that it would be a feasible strategy to only put it on while she’s outside. And yes, that would save battery, too. As for the concern of the collar falling off, that’s a legitimate issue and not one that I see a good solution to. You don’t want to use anything but a breakaway collar, and while the tracker will help you out with recovery, a tracker abandoned in a neighbor’s yard may not exactly be easy to retrieve. In summary, I don’t think you’ll ever find something perfect—you just have to weigh the pros and cons and decide what amount of imperfect protection is worth it for you.

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *