If you want to locate your cat, there are several options. Microchip, GPS collar for cats or by tracking device. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each method?
GPS collar or cat collar with address?
Probably the most harmless method for the cat is an implanted microchip. However, this does not allow the cat to be located in real time. However, if the cat is found and delivered to a vet or shelter, the microchip can be read with the stored contact information and you will get your cat back. The microchip has other advantages: The dangers of having a cat collar are eliminated. The cat flap and feeders can be programmed to the microchip and the microchip serves as proof that you are the owner of the cat.
One way to locate the cat is to use a GPS cat collar. The transmission is in real time through GPS even over long distances. You can see with the help of an app on the smartphone or PC, whether an emergency has occurred or where the nightly forays of the cat. It is currently not possible to implant a GPS tracker because a GPS tracker with GPS, antenna, circuit board and battery is much larger than a microchip. For example, Tractive GPS tracker measures 29x72x16 mm and weighs about 30 g. Therefore, the tracker is attached to the cat collar. Some models are waterproof, others are not. What are the dangers for the cat from a cat collar with GPS tracker? The cat can get caught somewhere with the collar and strangles or injures itself. If it is not found in this situation, it can lead to death. The battery of the GPS tracker must be recharged regularly every few days. To do this, the tracker must be removed from the collar. The use of GPS tracking depends on the mobile network. There may be a charge for tracking from the mobile network provider.
How does the GPS tracker work?
The tracker sends a signal to at least four satellites and uses it to calculate the distance to determine the current location. In principle, the technology is similar to the position determination of your navigation system in the car.
The Bluetooth Tracker for the Cat
Unlike a GPS cat collar, the batteries of Bluetooth trackers for the cat have a very long life of up to one year. There is no need to constantly change the battery. A Bluetooth tracker is also attached to the collar. However, it is by far not as large as a GPS tracker. The range is limited to about 60 meters and you have to activate Bluetooth on your phone to receive a signal. The signal can also be received by other smartphones. Due to its small size, animals might swallow the tracker.
Locating cats with a tracking device
Direction-finding transmitters work by radio waves rather than satellites. The range of a direction-finding transmitter varies from 100 to 500 meters. Unlike a GPS cat collar, a tracking device works indoors. Tracking devices are very flat and much smaller, so they barely stick out from the cat collar they are attached to. A tracking device has a weight of about 5.0 g. It is much more comfortable for the cat to wear than a GPS tracker. As batteries button cells are used like in watches. They last longer than with a GPS tracker. Tracking by direction finder works reliably. If the cat is in the vicinity, then a beep sounds on the receiver device. This intensifies the closer you get to the cat. Despite the small size, a cat collar results in a similar potential danger as a cat collar GPS: the cat could get caught somewhere and injure itself.
What else can a GPS cat collar do?
Some GPS trackers let you track the cat’s route. So you can see which path the cat has chosen to its current location. Some trackers offer a virtual fence. You will receive a beach direction on the smartphone when the cat leaves the previously defined area. Another extra, by monitoring the activities, is the determination of calorie consumption if the cat is a bit overweight. Because GPS is widely used around the world, the animal can be located even in other countries. Apps have additional programs that determine the location and define the actions that the animal is completing. Important: The weight of a cat collar GPS tracker should be significantly less than 100 g, so as not to put excessive strain on the joints and back of the cat and encourage malpositions. Often, manufacturers specify the weight for which the GPS tracker is suitable. The smaller the GPS tracker cat collar, the safer it is for the cat. For particularly small cats, you can find small GPS trackers from the manufacturer Petpointer. There are more and more cat collars with safety lock, which opens as soon as something pulls on it. The risk that the cat gets stuck somewhere and is then trapped is thereby reduced. And you can find the dropped GPS tracker on a cat collar with a safety clasp again using the app’s tracking function.
GPS collar for cats with and without cost
A GPS tracker for cat collar costs from 50 euros to 160 euros. The cheapest GPS tracker for cats currently costs just over 10 euros. With the additional costs incurred, the GPS tracker is the most expensive way to locate the cat. In order to connect to the smartphone, the GPS tracker requires a sim card, which must be inserted into the device. With some providers, the SIM card is already in the GPS cat collar. This involves additional monthly costs for tracking. There may also be a cost for an SMS that is sent to the smartphone. It is best to choose a flat rate so that there are no hidden costs. You can get by without any additional costs at all with a tracking device.
Cat collar with address
Give your cat some privacy! Completely without additional and hidden costs comes a cat collar with address. However, the address should not be hidden in a tag because of the risk of injury, but should be on the cat collar itself. There are several ways to do this.
- Cat collar embroidered nylon with name and phone number
- Cat collar nylon with stainless steel shield, contact details engraved with laser
- Cat collar reflective with safety clasp
- Cat collar rubber with felt underlay and writable leather strip on the back
An animal shelter usually advises against a collar with a bell. The little bell is supposed to warn the birds, which the cat likes to chase. However, the constant ringing is a torment for the cat’s ears, because they hear much finer than humans. If a cat collar with a name contains a bell, please remove the bell. Also make sure that a cat collar with address has a safety latch that opens if the cat gets caught somewhere with the collar.