Many of you probably know that I have a cat named Lionel who I'm mildly obsessed with. He's an adorable little furry character who's smart, vocal, and sometimes likes to trip people. And as I'm sure many of you are aware, he's my favorite subject when I'm not working as a RI family photographer, photographing my clients' families.
This past spring, after an incident where Lionel was gone outdoors for much longer than usual, I started to wonder if there was such a thing as cat GPS. Surely other people must wonder where their cats are going, and as someone who's had a previous cat just never come back, I'm a little nuts about Lionel's whereabouts at all times.
I found out that there actually IS such a thing as cat (and dog) GPS! There are more options than I expected to find, though many are geared more towards dogs.
After a lot of research, I decided to purchase the Pawtrack device. It contains a GPS in a small collar which is easy for cats to wear (unlike some other devices which can be used with cats and dogs, and are very large on cats). There is an app that you can download on your phone and get your cat's location whenever you'd like.
When it came, setup was fairly easy using the directions on the website. I've had a few glitches which customer service has responded to (customer service seems to be just one guy...this collar started as a Kickstarter and has taken off). It's pretty neat to stalk my cat during the day.
SO IS IT WORTH IT?
Yes. There are some pros and cons, listed below. But overall I do recommend it. It's made this cat parent's mind a little more at ease, and I know there are lots of you out there with cats who might like something similar.
- Super small and comfortable for cat, especially compared to other GPS devices for cats.
- Tracking included in price (others have separate fee)
- Easy setup
- Two batteries included, so you always have a fresh one
- Hooks up to your home's wifi when cat is home, which saves battery life
- GPS location is pretty accurate
- App is incredibly fun to use. You can lose hours of your day stalking your cat. Don't say I didn't warn you.
- Customer service is responsive, especially given that it seems to be only one person.
- The collar works on GPS, so the cat doesn't have to be only a specific location from your home or a base for it to work.
- GPS connection can be glitchy and sometimes it isn't able to connect. I've found that when the cat is in certain specific places that are very densely wooded or right next to my house, there are issues. Note that the collar runs on a T mobile signal. If T Mobile coverage in your area isn't good (ours is overall), you may have more issues with collar connecting.
- My collar wouldn't connect to wifi at all initially. Customer service was able to finally get the information through to the collar.
- At $160, it's not inexpensive; however tracking service is included, and for me, the peace of mind was worth it.
Do you think your cat would benefit from a GPS collar? Let me know in the comments!