Best Cat Locators - TOP 10 Cat GPS Trackers in 2020

Should you invest in a GPS tracking collar for cats? This review has the answers you’re looking for. Find out which brand is the best bang for your buck.
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Remember in the movie, Meet the Parents, how Ben Stiller’s character, Greg, accidentally let his in-laws’ cat escape? If you do, you probably recall just how much he had to struggle and stress out in his search for poor Jinxy. The movie’s intention was comedic, but there’s nothing funny about losing your beloved pet. As any pet owner will tell you, the worst thing that can happen to a pet is if it’s lost, stolen or sick.

How do you find a lost cat? We won’t take Greg’s approach in this case — all he wanted to do was milk his in-laws for attention. So, we looked to the experts. A group of researchers in Australia surveyed and cataloged 1210 missing cats to get some insights into missing cat search strategies.

    Here’s what the study found:
  • 15% of cat owners lose their cat in a 5-year period and some are never found
  • 1 out of 3 cats are found alive within 7 days, with a decreasing chance of being found over a 2-month period
  • Most house cats don’t venture far from home — 75% were found within a 500 m (1640 ft) radius
  • And the most glaring finding — only 1 cat out of 1210 had a tracking collar!

We invest a lot of love and energy into our furry friends. And imagining your pet being trapped, alone and hungry can make even the coldest heart burn with fearful dread. But how can we prevent this from happening? Is there a way to improve your chances of finding a lost cat?

The answer is obvious, and the study confirms our logic — you need to think about getting a cat GPS collar or other type of tracking device. In this review, we’ll go over the top-10 and dissect exactly what makes a good tracking collar so if your pet ever gets lost, you won’t be worried or fear the worst.

What to Look for in a GPS Cat Collar and Other Types of Tracking Devices

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Tracking devices come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Some are more cumbersome, heavier and they may even make your cat uncomfortable. So one of the main things you have to look for is build quality — will the device be weatherproof and able to withstand a cat’s curiosity?

The next important factor is technology. There are three options: GPS, Bluetooth or RF (radiofrequency). Some devices on the market have a combination of 2 or more technologies, but we’ve found the battery life tradeoff isn’t worth it.

GPS trackers use a global navigation system that connects to satellites around the globe. They offer the widest detection range and usually come with an app you can use to get visual information and real-time tracking capabilities. One thing to consider is GPS trackers will likely require you to pay for a mobile data plan (2G/3G/LTE) because the device needs to connect to a mobile network to relay the location info to your phone.

Bluetooth trackers have hands-down the best battery life out of all three technologies. They’re also less expensive and come with an app like the GPS collars. However, they come with some serious caveats. While you’ll see many manufacturers claim a range of 300+ feet, the reality is — most don’t live up to those numbers. And what’s more — like we mentioned above, most cats are found within a 1640 ft radius, which is well out of Bluetooth range.

RF trackers are like homing beacons. Or, if you remember the kid’s game “Hot and Cold” — it’s very similar to that. Instead of an app, you get an RF receiver which detects when your pet is within range and either beeps, lights up or vibrates more intensely as you get “warmer” to your lost furball. RF devices are very affordable and the battery life is amazing. The range isn’t comparable to GPS, however, going off the study, some trackers will perform past 1640 ft.

Battery life is another deal maker or deal breaker. It becomes tedious if you have to charge the tracker every day and this is especially a concern if your cat is missing for more than a day. Ideally, the tracker should have a standby mode or like in some devices, battery-saving modes that connect to WiFi or Bluetooth instead of a mobile network.

Many trackers also include additional features like activity tracking, virtual fences (alerts you when your cat leaves the area you set up in the app), and two-way communication (yes, you can actually talk to your pet or try to attract the attention of a passersby).

Now that you have an understanding of what to look for, let’s dive into our top-10 tracking devices.

Here Are the Top 10 Сat Сollar with GPS in 2020:

Heads up — this list includes GPS, Bluetooth, RF devices and one special type of tracker that uses QR code technology. Prices range from just $10 to $235 (not including subscriptions).

Eureka Technology MARCOPOLO Advanced Pet Monitoring

Eureka Technology MARCOPOLO Advanced Pet Monitoring

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Eureka! This tracker made it to the top of our list for one major reason — it’s easily the most accurate, with pinpoint accuracy up to 2 miles. But it’s also the most expensive at $235. It uses RF-based technology, has rechargeable batteries (and great battery life, by the way — up to 1 month).

Whistle Go Explore

Whistle Go Explore

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Whistle Go is the best GPS tracker we’ve found. It has the ability to connect to your cat’s tag via WiFi or mobile network. And depending on whether your cat likes to roam around outside (out of WiFi range), battery life may vary. Rated IPX 8 — which is a plus if you have an aquatic kitty.

Furtrieve: The World's Most Comprehensive Pet Tracking System

Furtrieve: The World's Most Comprehensive Pet Tracking System

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Another great GPS tracker with a host of cool features — two-way voice communication, alert up to 10 contacts of your cat’s last known location, and an activity tracker to make sure your kitty is getting his/her daily steps in.

Loc8tor Pet Tracker (currently sold as Tabcat Pet Tracker)

Loc8tor Pet Tracker (currently sold as Tabcat Pet Tracker)

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Loc8tor is another RF-based technology device at a more affordable price point — just under $100. Super lightweight tag and receiver make this a great option for petite felines. Being an RF-tracker, battery life is, as expected, phenomenal (2-4 months depending on use).

CAT TAILER The Smallest and Lightest Bluetooth Waterproof Cat Tracker

CAT TAILER The Smallest and Lightest Bluetooth Waterproof Cat Tracker

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In our opinion, the top Bluetooth tracker on the market. Comes with a super intuitive app, a 6-month battery life and decent range of up to 328 ft. This tracker is a good option for indoor cats or for people with big yards or houses.

Findster Duo+ Pet Tracker

Findster Duo+ Pet Tracker

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A GPS tracker that costs $120 but doesn’t include subscription fees (unlike the Whistle). Findster doesn’t use a mobile network. Instead, it uses a proprietary technology called MAZE. It has impressive app features (virtual fence, activity monitoring) and it’s one of the most stylish trackers on our list.

PetTouchID Smart Pet ID Tag

PetTouchID Smart Pet ID Tag

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PetTouch is an outlier on this list because it’s neither Bluetooth, RF or GPS. This $10 tag uses “smart” technologies — the back of the tag has a scannable QR Code and NFC capabilities, so when someone finds your pet, they can simply scan the code and using the information you program into the tag via PetTouch’s app, they can return your cat.

Talis-us Pet GPS Tracker

Talis-us Pet GPS Tracker

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Tails-us is a GPS tracker that requires a prepaid SIM card. May be a deal breaker for some, however, it’s one of two trackers that can work outside the US. It includes a collar which is a big plus for people on a budget. The Tail-us tracker has most of the features you’d expect, like alerts, notifications and activity tracking. For the aquatically-inclined cats, Tails-us is a good fit as it’s waterproof.

Alliner Pet Tracking Collar for Cats

Alliner Pet Tracking Collar for Cats

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Alliner is a budget tracker that uses 2G (yikes!) and GPS. Like the Tails-us, it works outside the US, is waterproof, has custom notifications and includes a collar. Battery life is so-so, at up to 4 days on standby. It supports two-way communication and has a range of up to 5000 m (3 miles). One big downside, is it requires a SIM card (not included) in order to work.

PETKIT ACTBL P2 Smart Activity Monitor

PETKIT ACTBL P2 Smart Activity Monitor

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Petkit is at the bottom of our list because it doesn’t track location data. It’s a Bluetooth device with a user-friendly app that we believe could be a good addition to a tracker. It’s the best activity monitor we could find on the market. It’s like a fitness tracker for pets — monitor your pet’s activities 24/7, get reports, sleep analysis, and a nutrition + calorie tracker.

TOP 3 Cat Tracking Collar:

PetTouchID Smart Pet ID Tag

PetTouchID Smart Pet ID Tag

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PetTouch is an outlier on this list because it’s neither Bluetooth, RF or GPS. This $10 tag uses “smart” technologies — the back of the tag has a scannable QR Code and NFC capabilities, so when someone finds your pet, they can simply scan the code and using the information you program into the tag via PetTouch’s app, they can return your cat.

Type of Device: QR/NFC

Waterproof: Yes

Battery Life: N/A

Price: $10-15

Additional Fees: N/A

    Pros:
  • Budget-friendly
  • Online pet profile
  • SMS alerts when someone scans pet’s tag
  • GPS data of last known location sent to pet owner
  • Cloud-connected
    Cons:
  • No tracking
  • Limited features
Alliner Pet Tracking Collar for Cats

Alliner Pet Tracking Collar for Cats

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Alliner is a budget tracker that uses 2G (yikes!) and GPS. Like the Tails-us, it works outside the US, is waterproof, has custom notifications and includes a collar. Battery life is so-so, at up to 4 days on standby. It supports two-way communication and has a range of up to 5000 m (3 miles). One big downside, is it requires a SIM card (not included) in order to work.

Type of Device: GPS

Waterproof: IP67

Battery Life: 8-10 hours

Price: $50

Additional Fees: Depends on mobile network operator

    Pros:
  • GPS live tracking
  • Lots of features
  • Affordable
  • Includes collar
    Cons:
  • Lots of complaints about poor quality and unresponsive customer support
  • Looks like a cheap Chinese product
  • SIM card not included
PETKIT ACTBL P2 Smart Activity Monitor

PETKIT ACTBL P2 Smart Activity Monitor

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Petkit is at the bottom of our list because it doesn’t track location data. It’s a Bluetooth device with a user-friendly app that we believe could be a good addition to a tracker. It’s the best activity monitor we could find on the market. It’s like a fitness tracker for pets — monitor your pet’s activities 24/7, get reports, sleep analysis, and a nutrition + calorie tracker.

Type of Device: Bluetooth

Waterproof: Water-resistant

Battery Life: 4-6 months

Price: $54.29

Additional Fees: N/A

    Pros:
  • Feature-rich (sleep analysis, reports, nutrition tracking)
  • Affordable
  • Long battery life
  • Decent accuracy
  • Great user-friendly app
    Cons:
  • No tracking
  • For the price, it’s probably better to invest in an actual tracking device

TOP 3 GPS Chips for Cats:

Whistle Go Explore

Whistle Go Explore

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Whistle Go is the best GPS tracker we’ve found. It has the ability to connect to your cat’s tag via WiFi or mobile network. And depending on whether your cat likes to roam around outside (out of WiFi range), battery life may vary. Rated IPX 8 — which is a plus if you have an aquatic kitty.

Type of Device: GPS

Waterproof: IPX8

Battery Life: 10-20 days

Price: $129.95

Additional Fees: $6.95-$9.95/month

    Pros:
  • Live GPS tracking
  • Highly accurate
  • Stylish, comes in different colors
  • Easily attachable to any collar
  • Excellent battery life
    Cons:
  • Additional subscription fees for mobile network
  • May be heavy/uncomfortable for some cats
Findster Duo+ Pet Tracker

Findster Duo+ Pet Tracker

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A GPS tracker that costs $120 but doesn’t include subscription fees (unlike the Whistle). Findster doesn’t use a mobile network. Instead, it uses a proprietary technology called MAZE. It has impressive app features (virtual fence, activity monitoring) and it’s one of the most stylish trackers on our list.

Type of Device: GPS

Waterproof: Up to 3 feet

Battery Life: Up to 10 days

Price: $149.99

Additional Fees: No

    Pros:
  • Proprietary technology (MAZE)
  • Impressive range of 3 miles
  • Loads of built-in features
  • No subscription fees
    Cons:
  • For some reason, the app only starts tracking if you activate “Walk” mode
  • Compared to the Whistle, the Findster falls short.
  • May be heavy/uncomfortable for some cats
Furtrieve: The World's Most Comprehensive Pet Tracking System

Furtrieve: The World's Most Comprehensive Pet Tracking System

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Another great GPS tracker with a host of cool features — two-way voice communication, alert up to 10 contacts of your cat’s last known location, and an activity tracker to make sure your kitty is getting his/her daily steps in.

Type of Device: GPS

Waterproof: IP66

Battery Life: 3-5 days

Price: $109.00

Additional Fees: $8-$10/month

    Pros:
  • Built with pet owners in mind
  • Includes a host of features on its intuitive app
  • Comes with a special collar tailor-made for the device
  • Two-way voice communication
  • Virtual fence
    Cons:
  • Fairly expensive subscription fees
  • Compared to the Whistle, falls short in accuracy
  • Furtrieve recommends charging the device every night — a deal breaker if you’re the forgetful type (like us).
  • May be heavy/uncomfortable for some cats
Eureka Technology MARCOPOLO Advanced Pet Monitoring

Eureka Technology MARCOPOLO Advanced Pet Monitoring

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Eureka! This tracker made it to the top of our list for one major reason — it’s easily the most accurate, with pinpoint accuracy up to 2 miles. But it’s also the most expensive at $235. It uses RF-based technology, has rechargeable batteries (and great battery life, by the way — up to 1 month).

Type of Device: RF-based

Waterproof: IPX7

Battery Life: 30 days (90 days in Monitoring mode)

Price: $234.95

Additional Fees: No

    Pros:
  • Real-time on-screen hints
  • Self-contained, doesn’t require mobile network or GPS to work
  • 6-week continuous monitoring
  • Impressive range
  • Highly accurate
  • No subscription fees
  • Excellent battery life
    Cons:
  • Requires a special receiver unit that needs to be charged separately.
  • On the high-end side of the price scale
Loc8tor Pet Tracker (currently sold as Tabcat Pet Tracker)

Loc8tor Pet Tracker (currently sold as Tabcat Pet Tracker)

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Loc8tor is another RF-based technology device at a more affordable price point — just under $100. Super lightweight tag and receiver make this a great option for petite felines. Being an RF-tracker, battery life is, as expected, phenomenal (2-4 months depending on use).

Type of Device: RF-based

Waterproof: No (waterproof cover sold separately, included if you buy Tabcat pack)

Battery Life: up to 1 year

Price: $96.00 (£77 GBP)

Additional Fees: No

    Pros:
  • Budget-friendly RF-based option
  • Extremely easy-to-use
  • Track up to 4 pets from a single mini-TV remote sized gadget
  • Tabcat pack comes with 2 homing tags and 2 protective covers for $96
  • Lightweight
  • Long battery life
    Cons:
  • Poor range (up to 400 ft)
CAT TAILER The Smallest and Lightest Bluetooth Waterproof Cat Tracker

CAT TAILER The Smallest and Lightest Bluetooth Waterproof Cat Tracker

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In our opinion, the top Bluetooth tracker on the market. Comes with a super intuitive app, a 6-month battery life and decent range of up to 328 ft. This tracker is a good option for indoor cats or for people with big yards or houses.

Type of Device: Bluetooth

Waterproof: Yes (IP rating unclear)

Battery Life: 6-12 months

Price: $59.00

Additional Fees: No

    Pros:
  • Lightweight
  • Budget-friendly
  • User-friendly app
  • Made in the USA
    Cons:
  • Unclear waterproof rating may be a deal-breaker
  • Accuracy isn’t consistent

The Verdict - So What is the Best Cat Tracker?

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Security is more about peace of mind than a guarantee. For pet safety, there’s no foolproof option and no manufacturer offers a money-back guarantee that your pet will be found using a tracker. But we feel that for additional peace of mind, check out these three options that we believe tick all the boxes for build quality, affordability, accuracy and features.

Eureka Marco Polo — The most expensive out of all 10 reviewed trackers, but unmatched for range and accuracy. An impressive battery life and easy-to-understand interface.

Whistle Go Explore — The best and most popular GPS tracker on the market today. Whistle’s build quality, stunning 20 day battery life and customer support blow the rest out of the water.

PetTouchID — The simplest, most affordable tracker. Syncs your contact information with the Cloud and makes it easy for whoever finds your pet to contact you.

Which tracking collar for cats is right for you?

Preview
  1. If you live in a rural area with spotty mobile coverage — RF-based is the way to go.
  2. For urban areas — GPS or RF.
  3. For pet owners on a budget — PetTouch ID or Tabcat.
  4. If you have an indoor cat and a big yard/house — Bluetooth.
  5. For small or finicky finicky — Bluetooth trackers are generally smaller and more comfortable.

To sum it all up — if Greg Focker had had access to Whistle Go Explore or something as simple as the PetTouch ID tag, he wouldn’t have “focked” up so badly.

FAQ

paw background image
What's a cat GPS tracker?

It's a small device you attach to the cat's collar to help you locate her when she wanders off or is lost. It's not the same as a cat microchip!

Can I track my kitty by her chip?

No, you can't. Microchips usually contain contact info to help shelters find the homes of the lost animals. For now, chips do not possess GPS tracking capabilities, so you can only wait and hope someone will return your tabby home unless you get a tracker.

What's the range of the cat GPS trackers?

Bluetooth-powered trackers have a range of over 300 feet and can help you find the kitty if you're in her general vicinity. Full-on GPS trackers connect to your phone and don't have range limitations as long as they have enough battery charge.

How long do GPS tracker batteries last?

The answer depends on the technology used and the frequency of use. It can be anywhere from a couple of days to months. Read the tracker manual for details and set up a recharging schedule to ensure the batteries are always full.

What's the difference between cat and dog trackers?

GPS trackers for cats are usually smaller and lighter for your kitty's comfort. Besides, cat trackers usually rely on Bluetooth or radiofrequency to locate the wandering pet, while dog trackers often use cellular or GPS technology.

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