If you have a cat who wanders around in the outdoors, you may have found yourself wondering where they go when they're away from the house. Cats are territorial creatures and generally stay within a certain boundary and often not too far from what they consider to be their home base (some reports show that most cats surveyed don't wander much farther than 300 feet from their own yards). That said, some cats tend to stay out for days at a time, which can cause a pet parent to worry, as would having a cat known to climb up trees, dart across roads, or burrow under buildings. If you would find more peace of mind in seeing your cat's whereabouts while they're out of the house, a GPS cat tracker or Bluetooth tracker can offer a bit of relief. Cat trackers are generally under a couple of ounces in weight, and come with a subscription or non-subscription service, which you can choose to your liking.
What to consider when purchasing a GPS cat tracker
Size: When shopping for a tracking device for your feline, you'll want to consider the size of your cat and opt for one that's small enough for them to wear comfortably. Ideally, a cat tracking device should be fairly unnoticed by your cat, and shouldn't be so big that it can get caught on things, like fencing or branches, or pose as a distraction that your cat might try to scratch or bite off of their collar.
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Weight: Similarly, the weight of your tracker should absolutely be considered and compared to the weight of your cat, as you don't want something so heavy that it's going to weigh them down. Generally, cat tracking devices don't weigh more than a couple of ounces, but if you see something listed only as "lightweight" you should look into the exact specs before buying, especially if you have a small cat.
Type: Many cat trackers use cellular service and GPS technology to pinpoint the exact location updates of your cat, but not all will keep tabs with such specific capability. Some cat trackers, particularly Bluetooth trackers, will only offer location data for a general area. This is often helpful enough for cat parents as cats don't tend to stray too far from their usual territory, but if you are looking for precise location information, consider a GPS option with a monthly plan.
Subscription: Cat trackers are offered either as part of a subscription service or without a subscription. Subscription services pull from nearby cellular networks to pull location data and use an app that connects to the device and allows you to track your cat. This makes tracking your cat much more precise than those that don't require a monthly service, however, those without monthly fees can still offer helpful information about your cat's location.
The best overall GPS cat tracker
If you're just starting to shop for a tracking device to use with your cat but aren't sure what to look for, a few criteria to keep in mind can make the experience a little less overwhelming. For most people and their cats, a tracker that's lightweight, waterproof, and easy to attach to a collar is a great place to start, and this one checks all of those boxes. Weighing 1.2 ounces, this rubber tracking device shares your pet's location using GPS technology, which is tracked with your iPhone, Android, or by using the web app on your computer. You can also create a geofence so the app notifies you if your cat has stepped out of your preferred boundary. This tracker does have a subscription plan needed to operate, which is available on monthly, annual, bi-annual, and five-year plans.
The best budget GPS cat tracker
If you're looking for an affordable way to keep tabs on your outdoor cat, this option by Pawscout allows you to do just that, so long as you don't require exact location tracking. Rather than using GPS tracking technology, this tracking system uses a smartphone app that allows you to build a community with other cat-tracking pet owners in your area. As long as your cat is wearing the tag, the app will alert anyone with the app when the cat is within 300 feet of them, and again when their cat wanders out of that boundary range. This tracker has no monthly subscription fees and allows you to create a medical profile for your pet on the app.
The best long-battery-life cat tracker
Battery life is a constant issue to keep up with when using cat trackers as the device could potentially be on a lot, depending on how much you use it. This tracker offers an impressive six-month battery life, however, the trade-off is that this won't offer your cat's exact location as it doesn't use GPS. This device is lightweight, waterproof, and durable thanks to silicone sleeves that protect it from damage, and will show the approximate distance your cat is from you with the option to receive notifications when they're nearby, or out of range. It has a 328-foot range and operates on a Bluetooth signal. The tracker doesn't require a subscription and comes with a free one-year warranty.
The best GPS cat tracker for real-time tracking
For anyone looking to keep super precise tabs on their cat when they wander outside of the house, a real-time tracking system is the best way to go. Using GPS tracking technology, this device will show you the real-time location of your cat via a smartphone app or desktop app from your computer. You can also set up boundary points and receive notifications if your cat has stepped out of range. This tracker is on the bigger size, weighing in at 2.4 ounces, so it may not be ideal for smaller cats, however, it is only one inch in width, and does come with a rechargeable battery to make maintenance a little easier. As this does connect to nearby cellular networks to function, monthly subscription fees apply to this tracker.
The best water-resistant GPS cat tracker
Cats are generally pretty water-averse animals, so you probably won't have to worry about your furry friend trekking through streams or swimming in ponds, but when anyone is outside for a period of time, the chance that they will get wet is always a possibility. This plastic tracking device is shock- and water-resistant and uses WiFi, Bluetooth, and GPS tracking to keep tabs on your feline without limiting you to a certain area. Additionally, this is one of the smallest tracking devices listed, weighing only 0.4 ounces and measuring 1.6 inches wide, and the battery in it lasts about seven days on a single charge.
The best GPS cat tracker with a monthly subscription
A GPS collar with a monthly subscription offers peace of mind through live tracking, which can show you the real-time location of your cat as long as the device is charged and connected to its app. This GPS tracker has a 30-day battery life and uses NB-IoT technology to keep tabs on your cat in areas where many 3G cellular networks won't reach if your cat wanders outside of the "safe zone" radius of your choosing. Live tracking refreshes the location data every 150 feet for an accurate real-time location, and the app even offers feeding recommendations based on how many calories your cat burned while they were out. This device comes with a one-month trial subscription that's included with your purchase and offers monthly rates as low as $2.99 after the trial period.
The best cat tracker without a monthly subscription
If monthly fees aren't your thing, or if you just don't need an exact location pinpointed when your cat roams, you can always opt for something without a subscription plan. This tracking device is very lightweight at only .14 ounces and comes with a silicone water-resistant case for added durability. It works indoors and outdoors up to about 2,000 feet using RF technology that works through an antenna and a reader to keep tabs on your cat. This cat tracker is a great option for anyone with multiple cats as one finder can support up to four tags, and each finder comes with two tags at purchase.
The best short-range cat tracker
Many people with cats who wander far from home have GPS trackers to offer them peace of mind. Some people, however, have cats who don't wander far from home but who could still use a little assistance, like cats with vision impairments or felines who have trouble getting down from high places. This waterproof, plastic tracker is a fairly low-cost option for anyone looking to track cats up to 200 feet away and is Bluetooth-compatible for easy use.
The best lightweight cat tracker
At just 0.28 ounces, this is an incredibly light tracking device, although it's not the lightest on this list. So why did we choose this one as the "best of" for this category? Because this one can track over long distances and for a lengthy amount of time before the battery dies, which is practical for any cat in need of a lightweight tracker as they are most likely to travel long and far. This activity monitor can track your furry friend's movements up to 1,600 feet away using RF technology, essentially turning your cat's collar into an antenna. Furthermore, this single finder can track up to four tags at a time, requires no monthly fee, doesn't rely on an app, and comes with a silicone splash-proof case for durable wear.