The 4 Best GPS Cat Collars (and Why You Might Want One)

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We love our kitties and never want to go through the nightmarish scenario of losing sight of our favorite fur ball. And yet, it also happens with indoor cats: they can disappear during a move or when guests or contractors leave the door open. That’s why we protect them with microchips, identification collars and cat GPS collars.

Devices that use satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS) technology are ubiquitous today. GPS is used in everything from navigation software to package tracking. Just like you can use your phone to see where the UPS truck is, you can now see if your cat is in the neighbors’ backyard and which way it’s going.

Jiobit GPS Tracker

Jiobit GPS tracker for dogs and cats

The Jiobit is a very popular option for tracking dogs, cats and children. Its lightweight profile and user-friendly technology make it a favorite, so much so that it sometimes wears out.

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How do GPS cat collars work?

GPS cat collars are simply a tracking device that attaches to your cat. The company you buy the gear from can track your cat’s unique tracking device and show its location on a map that you can view online or with a smartphone app. You can usually define a “safe zone” for your cat (like your house or a block in your neighborhood); If the cat collar tracker sends signals from outside of this range, the tracking company will text or email you.

Cat GPS Chartplotter Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to cat collars with GPS tracking technology, you may have many questions, we have the answers.

What is the range of the tracker? Satellite GPS is theoretically global. In practice, however, GPS cat collars work best in areas with good GPS and cell phone coverage. If your cat got on a plane and flew from San Francisco to Chicago, you could probably be sitting in your San Francisco apartment and following your cat across the country to a building in Chicago. However, if your cat gets lost in a remote forest or in an area with an incompatible cellular network, the cat’s device may not be able to connect to a network.

What information do I get? Most GPS trackers for cat collars require you to subscribe to the tracking service to get information. Once you sign up, you can track your cat’s journey through the company’s website or app. Most services allow you to set a “safe zone” for your cat to be in. If your cat leaves the safety zone, the tracking service notifies you immediately by email or SMS. The smartphone app is an important part of the tracking system that allows you to move around while following your cat around the neighborhood. Therefore, before purchasing, make sure that the company’s application is available in the app store used by your smartphone (Apple, Android, etc.).

Do GPS cat collars need to be charged? Absolutely. GPS cat collars have lithium batteries that need to be charged often. (The device will send you an alert when it runs out of power.) It can take anywhere from a few days to two weeks to charge, depending on the brand of GPS tracker you choose. So if you forget to charge the collar and your cat runs out the door, you may only have a day or two to track them down before the collar comes off.

The good news is that you can also connect many GPS cat collar devices to your home Wi-Fi network. you have to do this As long as your cat is being tracked by your WiFi, your GPS device will not send periodic signals to the GPS or cellular system, which saves battery life.

Are GPS trackers for cat collars heavy? The first generations of GPS trackers were heavy and more practical for dogs than for small cats. Now there are trackers that weigh less than an ounce. When buying, pay attention to the weight of the device. While some devices are built into entire collars, most new cat collar GPS trackers are snap-on accessories that attach to your cat’s existing collar. Remember that if your cat wears a detachable collar for safety reasons (good!) and loses the collar (bad!), the device can also be lost.

Are GPS collars for cats reliable? Read the reviews and make sure you read the cat reviews, not the dog reviews. When GPS trackers don’t work, it’s often because they’re being used in a remote area, the dog bit them, the pet’s parents don’t understand the software, or someone forgot to charge the tracker. With cats, the main problem seems to be cats slipping off the collar and losing the tracker. This eliminates the cost of the device and often the cost of an annual subscription.

Cat on the roof with GPS collar
Nils Jacobi/iStock

The best GPS collars for cats

While finding the right cat GPS collar can be a little tricky, it’s worth looking for. Once you have one, finding your cat will be a lot easier. Here are three main options for cat-friendly trackers, plus a suggested RF (radio frequency) tracker:

The Jiobit GPS Cat Collar Tracker is discreet and lightweight (less than 30g), making it a good choice for your cat’s comfort. We were thrilled when Mr. Tippy, a true escapist, quickly adapted to wearing the Jiobit charm on his breakout necklace. Jiobit uses cellular, GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth technology to monitor your cat’s location and alert them when they leave the “trusted zone” you set up in the app. Additionally, there is a “ringtone” feature that allows you to use the tracker to “call” your cat to get their attention. Jiobit can be used in more than 140 countries. This popular monitor is in such high demand that it’s sometimes marked as “temporarily out of stock,” but we think it’s worth the wait.

Main Features:

  • Attaches to an existing collar with a clip or pouch (included).
  • It is extremely thin and light, measuring 1.45 x 1.96 x 0.47 inches and weighing only 0.64 ounces.
  • Multiple users can access the tracking software
  • Requires a monthly subscription
  • Durable and waterproof
  • The estimated battery life is seven days.
Jiobit GPS Tracker

Jiobit GPS tracker for dogs and cats

The Jiobit is a very popular option for tracking dogs, cats and children. Its lightweight profile and user-friendly technology make it a favorite, so much so that it sometimes wears out.

This award-winning cat collar tracker uses GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular technology to track your furry friend in real time. Plus, it simply snaps onto your existing collar, making installation easy. It’s also an activity tracker that allows you to monitor your cat’s daily activities (including the time she sleeps and walks). You can receive updates via SMS, smartphone app or email when the cat leaves your allowed area. We love that this GPS cat collar tracker also has a long-lasting battery – a single charge lasts seven to 10 days.

Main Features:

  • It comes with clips that attach to your cat’s regular collar.
  • The device measures 1.8 x 1.4 x 0.6 inches; 0.96 ounces (good for pets 8 pounds and over)
  • Requires a monthly or annual subscription
  • Multiple users can access tracking information
  • resistant and waterproof
  • Available in a choice of three subtle colors.
  • Uses Google Maps tracking system and AT&T cellular network (USA and Canada)
GPS tracker with green whistle

Whistle Go Explore Pet GPS Tracker and Activity Monitor

This small tracker informs you about your cat’s activities and location via SMS, smartphone or email.

The Tractive is marketed primarily for dogs, but it also works well on adult cat collars (the device is a bit bulky but weighs a modest 1.28 ounces). Not only does it track your pet’s location, but it also monitors activity so you know how far your cat is moving and where and when it’s napping.

main properties:

  • Clips to an existing necklace.
  • for dogs and cats
  • The device measures 2.83 x 1.14 x 0.63 inches; 1.28 ounces
  • It is both a GPS and an activity tracker.
  • Global location tracking that you can use in 150+ countries
  • The subscription plan requires a one-year upfront payment
Traactive GPS collar

Tractive LTE GPS tracker for dogs and cats

Affordable and comprehensive, the Tractive LTE tells you where your cat is and when it’s moving.

Need a cheaper way to track your cat? The Girafus Cat Tracker is not a GPS cat collar tracker, but we’re adding it to the list because it’s so effective for locating a cat that has wandered beyond the bounds of your home’s Bluetooth or WiFi network. You don’t have to pay for a subscription service; uses outdated radio frequency (RF) technology. Your cat wears a small collar (0.28 ounces) and you carry a battery-powered phone with flashing indicators that let you know when you’re near the tagged cat. (A charger for the batteries is included.) The range of the system can be up to 500 m in an area without too many obstacles.

main properties:

  • No subscription required
  • Buy one, two, three or four tags (for multiple cats or more in case your cat loses her collar)
  • The tag weighs 0.28 ounces and screws onto your cat’s existing collar.
  • The system uses an RF (radio frequency) tracking system
  • The system includes a charger for the CR2302 lithium battery on the label.

Girafus Cat Tracker RF tracking device

Low tech but very effective. Just turn on the tracking device and use it to find your tagged cat.

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Other ways to track down your adventurous cat

If going outside is not a viable (or safe) option for your cat, there are other great ways to get your cat outside. Check out these articles on cat-friendly strollers, backpacks, leashes and catios.

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