If you’ve ever stood outside your door calling your outdoor cat and waiting for them to come home, then you’ll be familiar with the worry of your cat not turning up when you expect them to. They might just have found something interesting to investigate, but if they’ve managed to get lost or trapped in a neighbor’s barn, then they can be much harder to locate.
Using a GPS tracker or collar is a great way to give you peace of mind. These devices sit on your cat’s collar and allow you to follow their location, usually via an app that’s linked to your smartphone. This makes it easier than ever to figure out exactly where your cat is — no more stressing as you wait for them to come home!
There are plenty of options to choose from, and it can be tricky to work out exactly which product is going to suit your cat best. Our reviews include information about each tracker or collar, as well as its pros and cons, making it easy for you to choose the best one for your cat.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Jiobit GPS Cat Location Monitor||
|Best Value||Cube Pro Bluetooth Tracker||
|Premium Choice||PetFon Pet GPS Tracker||
|Whistle Go Explore Pet Location Tracker||
|Tractive Cat GPS Tracker||
The 8 Best Cat GPS Trackers & Collars — Reviews 2021
1. Jiobit GPS Cat Location Monitor — Best Overall
The Jiobit GOS Cat Location Monitor takes the spot as our best overall choice. This lightweight tag attaches to your cat’s existing collar and uses a combination of GPS, cellular, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi to provide unrivaled location data. The unlimited range and long battery life mean even if your cat has decided to venture far from home, you’ll be able to see where they are.
Using the app, you can add geofenced areas, live tracking, location updates, and real-time alerts. You can set up an alert to let you know when your cat leaves home and when they return. The battery can last up to 7 days and can be recharged in 2-3 hours. The lightweight and small design means you can use this on any cat, although those under 4 pounds may find it less comfortable. It can be attached to their collar as a regular dangling tag or threaded through to sit horizontally in line with their collar.
2. Cube Pro Bluetooth Tracker — Best Value
If you want to track your cat while on a budget, then from all the best cat GPS trackers and collars for the money, we recommend the Cube Shadow Bluetooth Tracker. For the price, this offers good functionality, but do be aware that the Cube Pro doesn’t offer as many benefits as some of the more expensive GPS trackers.
If your cat wanders far from home, this tracker only uses Bluetooth, so the range from your linked device is only 200 feet. You can set up a separation alarm so if your cat nears the limit of this range, a loud alarm will sound. This tag is only 0.05 pounds, so your cat will barely notice it on their collar. The battery can last for up to 12 months, but it’s not rechargeable, so you’ll need to replace it when it runs out.
3. PetFon Pet GPS Tracker — Premium Choice
If you’re on the lookout for a premium GPS tracker, then the PetFon Pet GPS Tracker is a great choice. This tag uses Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, and long-distance wireless technologies to provide an accurate and real-time location for your cat. The range is up to 3.5 miles, but you can also set up a safety fence and receive alerts if your cat leaves this zone or approaches a pre-defined danger zone.
This tag works for 8-16 hours before needing to be recharged on the compact recharging station. The linked app offers a search feature that helps guide you toward your cat’s location if they do happen to get lost. It can also work as an activity monitor, tracking the amount of time that your cat has spent walking and resting, as well as showing how far they’ve traveled. You can also set it up to activate lights or a ringtone on the tag to help you find your cat even faster.
4. Whistle Go Explore Pet Location Tracker
The Whistle Go Explore Pet Location Tracker easily attaches to your cat’s collar. It uses cellular connections, GPS, and Wi-Fi to offer tracking and real-time location data. It can also be used as an activity tracker, so you can keep an eye on how much time your cat is spending exercising, which is a great addition if your cat needs to lose weight! As well as real-time data, you can see where your cat has been over the previous 24 hours.
This tracker has a safe space setting, allowing you to set pre-defined areas where your cat can safely roam. When your cat leaves this area, an alert will sound on the app. The Whistle Go uses long-lasting rechargeable batteries, which should last for up to 20 days between charges. This tracker can also monitor activities like licking or scratching and send a 30-day report to your vet if you’re worried that something may be bothering your cat.
5. Tractive Cat GPS Tracker
The Tractive Cat GPS Tracker can be used to monitor your cat’s real-time location, alert you when they leave a pre-defined area, and track their activity. When the LIVE mode is activated, you can receive location updates every 3 seconds. The battery can last up to 5 days and can be recharged back to full power in as little as 2 hours.
This tag is lightweight but quite bulky. Some cats won’t mind this, but others can get irritated by feeling this on their collar. You can share the tracking data from the app with friends and family or even create a public link to your cat’s location if they’re lost and you need help tracking them down. This can also be used as an activity monitor, tracking how many calories your cat burns in a day, as well as how much time they spend exercising.
6. TabCat Pet Tracking Cat Collar Tracker
The TabCat Pet Tracking Cat Collar uses a proprietary RF-based technology, which the manufacturers state makes this more accurate than the majority of other GPS cat trackers available. Rather than connect to an app, this includes a handset that can be activated to help locate your cat if they go missing. The handset uses beeps and color-coded lights to show you when you’re getting closer to your cat. It can also be used to activate a short beep on the collar tag, which you can train your cat to recognize as a cue to come home.
This system uses a CR2032 button battery to power the tag, and this can last for months before it needs to be replaced. The tag can be covered by a splash-proof silicon cover for bad weather, as well as to protect it from bumps and scrapes.
7. Girafus Cat Tracker
The Girafus Cat Tracker doesn’t actually use GPS, but it still made it onto our list due to the fact that it offers an excellent tracking accuracy at a great price point. This tag actually uses Radio Frequency (RF) signals to provide location data. This is fed back to the handset, which can then be used to locate your cat. The handset uses a series of audio-visual signals to show if your cat is far away or nearby.
If you have multiple cats, you can upgrade this set to include up to four color-coded tags, which can all be tracked on the same handset. This works indoors and outdoors, so if your cat happens to get trapped inside a neighbor’s garage, you’ll still be able to locate them. The range isn’t the best at only 500 yards, so you may need to walk farther away from home to locate a cat that’s wandered outside range, or consider a tracker with an unlimited range for those cats that love to travel far from home.
8. FitBark GPS Cat Tracker
The FitBark GPS Tracker can be used to track your cat’s location, as long as there is Wi-Fi or phone coverage where they’re located. The linked app provides 60-second refreshes on your cat’s current location. The battery lasts 10-20 days, although this will decrease the more time your cat spends outside of a Wi-Fi-safe space or far away from your phone.
This tracker can also be used to monitor activity, calories, and the overall health of your cat. You can also buy additional tags to add more cats to your app. If you live in a rural area or somewhere without much Verizon LTE-M coverage, then the link to your cat’s location will be lost and you won’t be able to track them.
We know that there are so many cat GOS trackers and collars out there, and trying to work out the differences and benefits of each one can feel like an uphill struggle. We’ve included our Buyer’s Guide to help you quickly figure out those differences.
Who needs a cat GPS tracker or collar?
If you’ve got a cat, you might decide that a GPS tracker is a great investment. Even indoor cats can slip outside if a friend comes visiting and leaves the door open a moment too long, or your cat decides to investigate a window that’s accidentally been left open.
If you’ve recently moved, then popping a GPS collar on your cat can give some peace of mind in case they get disoriented when exploring their new territory.
Some outdoor cats love to wander far from home, and it can get a little worrying if they don’t turn up for their dinner when you expect them to. In this case, using a GPS tracker with an unlimited range is a great idea, as you can quickly check on your cat’s real-time location. Some trackers even allow you to play a pre-recorded message to your cat, encouraging them to come home!
How to choose the best GPS tracker for your cat
There are a few different features to bear in mind when selecting the best GPS tracker for your cat. Here’s what to look for as you make your choice.
The first thing to figure out is the type of tracking method that each tracker uses. Some trackers use multiple methods, which can increase their range and accuracy. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Radio Frequency: Usually shortened to RF, these trackers emit a radio signal of a specific frequency, which can then be picked up to show the location of your cat.
- GPS: Cat trackers that use GPS connect to satellites to provide location data, exactly the same as Google Maps or your car’s satnav system.
- Bluetooth: These trackers connect to your phone using Bluetooth. They work great inside but usually have a much lower range than other trackers.
- Cellular networks: Trackers that use cellular networks aren’t technically GPS trackers, but many of them also use GPS signals. Trackers that use cellular networks have a great range, as they will work anywhere that there’s a mobile phone connection.
Weight and size of the tag
Some cats hate the feeling of something heavy around their neck, so the size and weight of a tag is something to bear in mind. Some systems are designed for both dogs and cats; these can be suitable for larger, mature cats but won’t work so well for smaller breeds or kittens.
You can buy GPS tracker tags that hang vertically from your cat’s collar, much like a traditional name tag. Others slide onto your cat’s collar and sit on them horizontally. These can be more secure, but some cats won’t tolerate them very well.
Always attach a GPS tag to a standard breakaway collar made specifically for cats, but check that the width of your chosen collar will fit through the attachment points on a tracker.
App or handheld remote
Many GPS trackers connect to their respective smartphone apps. These can display all sorts of different data, including real-time location, alerts if your cat leaves a “safe zone” that you’ve defined using the app, your cat’s activity levels, or the amount of time that they spend napping! Some will allow you to share a link to your cat’s location, which can be useful if they’ve gone missing and you need help searching a specific area where they were seen last. Others go so far as to monitor behaviors like scratching and create a 30-day breakdown of behaviors, which you can share with your vet.
The alternative to a smartphone-linked GPS tracker is one that uses a handheld remote to help locate your cat. These use radio frequency signals to track your cat, so the remote will alert you to the location of your cat using different-colored lights and audio signals. You may need to walk around for a while until you pick up the signal from your cat’s collar, and then you’ll need to follow the alerts from the remote as the signal increases or decreases in strength.
Many of the GPS trackers that link to your smartphone app require monthly subscriptions that you’ll need to sign up for in order to receive the location data for your cat.
Other trackers, usually those that use only Bluetooth or RF signals, don’t require any monthly subscriptions.
Make sure you know whether your preferred GPS tracker has a monthly subscription and if you’re happy to pay that as an ongoing expense, before you invest.
Most cats may not be keen on water, but it still makes sense to look for a tracker that’s at the least rainproof. Some trackers are completely waterproof, and this can be the best option if you have a breed like the Maine Coon that’s known for their love of water!
Some GPS tracker manufacturers suggest that the batteries in their trackers can last for up to a month; others may last for a matter of hours before needing to be recharged or replaced. Usually the simpler the tracker system, the longer the battery will last.
Choose a tracker with the battery life that best fits the routines of your cat. If your cat usually comes home like clockwork every night, you can choose a tracker that needs to be recharged daily or every other day. If your cat regularly stays away from home, then choose a simpler system with a longer-lasting battery.
Cat GPS trackers can be rechargeable or use replaceable batteries. If yours is the latter, be sure to keep a supply of spare batteries at hand!
You might not think that your outdoor cat wanders very far from home, but you could be surprised! One study found that while some cats do indeed stay close to home, others can travel up to 3 km away.
Some trackers only have a range of around 500 feet, which is fine if your cat really doesn’t stray far from home, but if they travel farther than this, you won’t be able to locate them. Some trackers allow you to set up an alert that notifies you when your cat leaves a pre-defined zone, which you can set up to be just within the limit of your tracker’s range, but if your cat quickly leaves this area, you may not be able to find them in time.
Choosing a GPS tracker with an unlimited range can offer peace of mind, especially if you already know that your cat loves to go exploring. GPS trackers that use a combination of location signals from cell coverage, RF, Wi-Fi, and GPS data usually have the best ranges, with some even offering unlimited range.
As the best GPS cat tracker out there, we selected the Jiobit GOS Cat Location Monitor. This uses a combination of GPS, cellular, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi to provide the most accurate location data of any tracker that we reviewed. The unlimited range makes this perfect for cats that love to wander far from home.
In terms of best value, we recommend the Cube Shadow Bluetooth Tracker. This offers great value for money, but the range is limited by the fact that this only uses Bluetooth to track your cat, so if they wander farther than 200 feet from home, your connection to their location will be lost.
We hope that our reviews have helped you figure out which tracker is going to suit your cat the best. From trackers with an unlimited range and real-time location data to basic trackers with a handset to help you locate your cat, you never need to worry about your cat missing their dinner time ever again. If you are concerned about your cat wandering too far from home or getting trapped or stuck somewhere, using a GPS tracker can give you peace of mind, as well as the fun of seeing exactly what your cat gets up to when they’re away from home!
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 8 Best Cat GPS Trackers & Collars — Reviews 2021
- 6. TabCat Pet Tracking Cat Collar Tracker
- Buyer’s Guide