Which GPS cat collar is best?
Whether you own an adventurous outdoor cat or an indoor escape artist, a GPS cat collar can offer great peace of mind when you’re unable to locate your pet. These tracking devices are typically attached to your cat’s collar and allow you to see where they are from an app on your phone.
When your beloved pet goes missing, the last thing you want is an unreliable GPS collar. The Petfon GPS Real-Time Pet Tracker is the top pick because it has a long range and requires no monthly fee.
What to know before you buy a GPS cat collar
How GPS collars work
The Global Positioning System, or GPS, works by using satellites in Earth’s orbit. These satellites share longitude, latitude and other factors with one another to precisely determine your location. A cat collar that uses GPS technology can accurately report your cat’s location at all times. Most of these tracking devices let you set a specific “safe zone” around your home or neighborhood and will alert you if your cat decides to venture beyond its bounds. Once this happens, live tracking usually begins so you can quickly locate your pet and bring them home.
GPS vs. Bluetooth tracking
Many pet tracking collars use Bluetooth technology instead of GPS. Bluetooth is very precise but has a limited range, usually only about 50-100 feet from your phone, which is why it’s more commonly used to find lost items such as car keys. On the other hand, Bluetooth devices are more affordable and typically have longer battery lives than GPS trackers.
The decision between Bluetooth and GPS comes down to your pet’s behavior and whether you think they will stay close to home in the event of an escape. The long range and peace of mind offered by a GPS collar is usually enough to make the decision for pet owners.
What to look for in a quality GPS cat collar
Keep an eye out for subscription fees when selecting a GPS cat collar. These devices are usually relatively inexpensive when initially purchased, but the costs add up once you start paying for the monthly subscription. On the plus side, GPS trackers with a monthly fee may offer regular system updates, high-tech features and superior customer service, so it could be worth it.
If your cat really likes to explore the great outdoors, consider a waterproof or water-resistant tracking device. Collars with this feature continue to function even if it rains or your cat decides to go for a swim.
The technology behind tracking collars has advanced quite a bit over the years, but many of these collars are still a bit large and clunky. A collar that’s too big may be uncomfortable for your cat, so look for one that balances a compact size with functionality.
Many high-tech GPS cat collars come with additional functions such as step counters, mileage reports and even a tool that shows how many calories your cat is burning on their adventures outside. Other devices may glow in the dark or feature a flashing light so your pet is easier to see in low-light environments.
How much you can expect to spend on a GPS cat collar
The price of a GPS cat collar usually depends on its size and whether or not it comes with a monthly subscription fee. Most devices cost $20-$120, with subscription fees averaging around $5-$15 a month.
GPS cat collar FAQ
What is the max range of a GPS cat collar?
A. The max tracking range of a GPS collar usually depends on the quality of the device and the network coverage in your area. A high-quality collar may track for miles in a large city, but may only have a range of about 1,000 feet if you live in a remote area with limited cell service.
Does a microchipped cat still need a GPS cat collar?
A. Microchipping is used to identify cats, not track them down if they’re missing. If you have a cat, the safest solution is to both microchip them and invest in a GPS cat collar.
What’s the best GPS cat collar to buy?
Top GPS cat collar
Petfon GPS Real-Time Pet Tracker
What you need to know: This popular pet tracker is lightweight, powerful and comes with no monthly fees.
What you’ll love: The device is compact and water-resistant, and it has an estimated range of 3.5 miles in most areas. You can store voice recordings in the device and there’s a built-in light so you can see your cat at night.
What you should consider: Some users reported that their device had a short battery life.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top GPS cat collar for the money
Apple AirTag Bluetooth Tracker 4-Pack
What you need to know: Although it’s technically powered by Bluetooth technology, this device is a solid tool for tracking down a nearby pet.
What you’ll love: Backed by Apple’s reputation, these Bluetooth tracking devices are easy to use and relatively affordable. Simply download the companion app on your Apple device and you’ll be able to track your cat’s location.
What you should consider: These devices only work if you’re within Bluetooth range (about 100 feet), and they’re only compatible with the Apple iPhone.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
Whistle Go Explore GPS Tracker
What you need to know: This high-tech tracking collar comes with a long battery life and advanced fitness features.
What you’ll love: The GPS device pulls information from both AT&T and Google’s network so you get accurate live tracking at all times. The tracker monitors your pet’s weight and alerts you if they’re exhibiting signs of a health issue.
What you should consider: This device is expensive and requires a monthly subscription fee after the first month.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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