The ULTIMATE Beginners Guide on Cat Trackers

Ultimate Beginners Guide on Cat Trackers

The ULTIMATE Beginners Guide on Cat Trackers

NEW, FREE resource that tells you all you need to know about cat trackers.

Whether you consider yourself an expert, or a complete beginner, you are guaranteed to be more knowledgeable at the end of this.

Start scrolling now to learn more.

Table of Content

What is a Cat Tracker?

Your cat goes missing. You are unsure of where it is. You begin to worry. This is a typical scenario for us cat owners.

Luckily for us, there is a solution to this problem. A solution that will put our worries to rest. This solution is a cat tracker.

A cat tracker is a piece of technology that allows us to track where our cat goes.

Simple, right?

It’s almost like the name gives it away.

How do Cat Trackers Work?

Within the current cat tracker market, there are two different types of trackers: GPS and Radio Frequency.

Keep reading to discover the differences between the two and also their pros and cons

GPS Cat Trackers

The concept of a GPS cat tracker is very easy to understand when we compare it to a mobile phone.

Inside your mobile phone, you have a SIM card. This SIM card allows your phone to operate, store data and transmit location signals.

When you use the maps application on your phone to pinpoint exactly where you are, where you need to get to, or where you have been, this is all done through GPS mechanisms.

Now, enough about phones, how does this apply to GPS cat trackers?

A GPS cat tracker is a device that requires a SIM card to operate. Once the SIM card is activated, the device becomes a location transmitter. This is done through 2G/3G connections.

Are you connecting the dots yet?

When your cat is out on the move, the device will be sending constant location signals, to nearby cellular towers, that allow its whereabouts to be revealed. You can then use your computer, tablet or phone to connect to this device and track where your cat is or has been.

As well as this, you can also set up virtual barriers, often referred to as geo-fences. You do this on a mobile app on a map interface. If your cat leaves this virtual barrier you have created, you will instantly receive a notification on your phone to alert you of their whereabouts.

No longer will your cats’ wanders be a mystery to you.

Hold on, it doesn’t stop there.

Not only are you able to track the whereabouts of your cat, but you can also gain an incredible amount of insight into their lives too.

Remember we said that the SIM card in your phone stores data? Well, this is the same for the GPS cat tracker too.

You will be able to see data about your cats’ activity throughout the day, and much, much more.

So… GPS cat trackers sound incredible, right? We’ll have to agree with you there. In theory, they solve all of our problems and much more.

However, while it is enjoyable to focus only on the positives, we have to be honest and open with you.

There are many problems with the current state of the GPS cat tracker market.

Returning back to the mobile phone comparison, we have all experienced the frustration of not having any cellular service. Well, this is very much a reality for GPS cat trackers too. If the location signals are obstructed by any type of major infrastructure, or there are no cellular towers nearby, then this will severely impact the functionality of the tracker.

The most off-putting disadvantage of GPS cat tracker products is their size and weight. Currently, most of the trackers are large box-type devices that hang off of cat collars. This can impact the mobility and comfort of your cat, causing them distress.

If you are already unhappy about paying a monthly subscription for your mobile phone, then maybe this type of tracker is not for you. All GPS trackers that operate on a SIM card require monthly subscriptions.

Lastly, since GPS cat trackers operate almost like phones, it means they require constant recharging due to continuous signalling and data collection. This is something to bear in mind, as without charge it will be of no use to you.

Here we have provided you with a description of what a GPS cat tracker is, what you can gain from having one, and the negatives of those currently in the market. This is not an exhaustive list.

Below is a table summary of the pros and cons:

pros and cons of GPS Cat Trackers

Radio Frequency Cat Trackers

Radio frequency cat trackers operate differently to GPS cat trackers.

There are two components: a handset and a tag.

There is a radio frequency wave sent out that communicates between the handset and the tag.

The stronger the radio frequency wave between the handset and the tag, the closer you are to your cat.

By this description, if you are thinking that you have to get up and go looking for your cat with a compass-like device, then you are absolutely correct.

Despite this, it is often said that radio frequency technology is significantly more accurate than GPS. GPS technology often shows within a 5-10 metre range, whereas radio frequency can leave just 2cm to spare after you have been pointed in the right direction.

Another upside to radio frequency technology is that the battery life for these devices significantly outlasts those of GPS. Although, this is at the cost of no data collection.

Expanding on the above point, since there is no data collection, there is also no SIM card required. Therefore, no monthly subscription is needed, and you only have to pay an upfront cost.

Since there is no data collection, this means that the device that attaches to your cats’ collar is significantly smaller and lighter than GPS trackers. This is much more comfortable, and less invasive, for your cat.

The most significant downside to radio frequency is that its distance span is significantly shorter compared to GPS. This is because it relies on wave transmission and not satellite signalling. Therefore, if your cat has roamed far and wide, you will be at a disadvantage.

Here we have provided a brief description of what a radio frequency tracker is, some of its beneficial uses and some of its disadvantages.

Below is a table summary of the pros and cons:

pros and cons of Radio Frequency Cat Trackers

GPS vs Radio Frequency Comparison Table

GPS vs Radio Frequency Comparison Table

Are Cat Trackers Any Good?

Before expanding on this question, there are two things we must say:

First, each person’s experience with cat trackers will differ immensely. This comes down to factors such as customers experience with technology, the location of the customer and being sent faulty products, to name a few.

Second, the experience people have with cat trackers is dependent on their expectations beforehand. For example, we have already stated that for GPS cat trackers there is much to improve on. Bearing this in mind, customers should be more accepting of where the current stage of the technology is at, and be more open to some of the issues they may come across. Most of the companies have excellent customer service support for this reason.

Here at CatTrackers.com, we believe that cat trackers are a great piece of technology. The principle behind them is to make sure that you know where your cat is or have the option to go and find where they are.

It is estimated that 1 in 3 pets go missing at some stage in their life. Speaking from experience, this can be very stressful and upsetting.

While there are still many flaws in the current state of cat trackers, we should be grateful for the fact that we have the opportunity to track our loved ones down and bring them back to safety. With technology advancing faster than ever before, we can expect, soon, that the reliability of these trackers will increase, as with their design too.

Which Countries Can You Use Cat Trackers In?

Cat trackers can be used worldwide. Most GPS products support 100+ countries, and Radio Frequency can be used anywhere.

It is more important to assess your surrounding area, especially when using GPS cat trackers.

If you live far out in the countryside, where there is a lack of infrastructure and a lot of connectivity issues, then you are likely to experience difficulties with GPS tracking.

The best way to confront this issue is to look at the company’s website of the product you wish to purchase, and scout out whether they have a cellular coverage map (e.g. https://www.podtrackers.com/#coverage).

Another way to deal with this, more so for when the product arrives, is to purchase only a single month’s subscription and field-test the coverage yourself.

This means that if you come across service issues early on in your product experience:

  1.  You are not contracted into a year’s payment plan, and
  2.  You can contact customer service and send the product back – assuming there are no damages

Which Countries Are Cat Trackers Most Useful In?

Cat trackers are arguably useful in any country they can operate in. There are no requirements that a country has to have for a cat tracker to be useful. However, some countries are hotspots for cat trackers to be used in.

Countries like America, Australia and Canada have large numbers of pet cats. It is also commonly known, in these three countries, that the wildlife can be extremely threatening to the life of the cats.

The geofencing feature of GPS cat trackers is particularly useful in this instance. You will be notified if your cat is crossing into dangerous territory, which will allow you to take necessary action.

Therefore, having the ability to find out where your cat is, especially if they haven’t returned in a long while, can be reassuring for those who know the dangers of the wild.

How Much Are Cat Trackers?

Short answer: £/ €/ $60 – 120

Cat trackers can vary in price depending on how feature packed you want the device to be.

If you are deciding on a radio frequency cat tracker you are going to pay a singular upfront price. However, for those who own multiple cats, you may find yourself having to order more tags.

The GPS cat trackers are where the higher prices come to play. Most have a high upfront cost as well as a continuous monthly subscription plan.

It should be mentioned that despite recurring themes of GPS trackers demanding higher prices throughout this article, you need to take a step back and be aware of these points:

  1. Your cat(s) bring you happiness every day
  2. Your cat’s safety is important to you
  3. Most people would often say their cat(s) is invaluable to them

After being reminded of these points, you should be more receptive as to how useful and protective these GPS cat trackers are. No one wants to never see their cat again, so investing some money into their safety can more often than not be one of your best decisions.

It is easy to overlook where else costs can come from. Accessories such as custom designed cases, waterproof covers, cat collars and charging docks can all add extra costs.

Overall, cat trackers are looking to cost you around $60-120 upfront, regardless of whether it is a radio frequency or GPS device. The extra costs come from subscription services, added accessories and replacements.

Cat Trackers: The Next Step

At present, cat trackers are somewhat mediocre when discussing them wholly.

Some customers find that their purchase decision is extremely beneficial to them and has even saved the lives of their cats.

Others find that their cat tracker has broken within weeks of using it and that all their trust for these types of products has gone out the window.

Taking a step back from cat trackers, we find that this is the case with most products in general.

So, here is where we begin to focus on the future of cat trackers and what needs to be done next:

  1. Size, weight and design

We are somewhat there with the technological side of things. However, the current size and weight of most top end products is not beneficial to that of a cat.

  1. Battery life

While radio frequency trackers are fine on this point, the future lies in GPS cat trackers and this point is directed towards them. The current life-span of an active GPS tracker is around 1 day. This needs to improve for the benefit of the consumers. While it is easy for us to charge our phones, it can become a tricky situation trying to recharge the battery before your cat wanders off again.

  1. Cat-specific company

For us cat owners, we have a lot of products that are aimed specifically for us and our cats. However, this side of the market is relatively undeveloped. The ideal scenario would be for a company to innovate a small, lightweight cat tracker with a long battery life and high app functionality. This is very much a niche product area.

We have reached the end of the cat trackers guide. We have covered: what a cat tracker is, what the difference between a GPS tracker and a Radio Frequency tracker is, whether or not cat trackers are good and the factors that feed into the opinion, which countries cat trackers can be used in and are most useful in, the cost range of cat trackers currently on the market, and finally the future direction that cat trackers need to head in.

By now you should be fully aware of the current state of cat trackers and what they are all about. Now it is over to you. How are you going to use this information and will your cat benefit from it? Are you going to put your worries to rest?

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