Cats are notoriously independent. While a dog will barrel toward you the moment you step through your front door as if you just came back from a extended tour of duty overseas, a cat will act aloof whether or not you’re home. That’s part of their charm.
But it can also be worrying if you haven’t seen them for a few hours, especially if your cat enjoys spending time outdoors.
Fortunately, modern pet wearables can give you the peace of mind of knowing exactly where they are — and what they’ve been up to. Here are the best GPS cat trackers on the market right now, plus one non-GPS tracker that uses another way to locate your cat.
Pod 3 GPS Tracker
The Pod 3 is the latest tracking device from Pod Trackers. It can be attached to just about any sized collar. In addition to real-time tracking, you can also see the last 24 hours of activity, so you can discover where your cat has been roaming.
Don’t like your cat wandering too far from home? Set up a geofence around a particular area and get alerted if your cat moves outside of it. For an extra layer of safety, you can add a light or sound module, so the Pod 3 will light up or beep if you have trouble locating your cat.
In addition to the tracking features, this device has activity tracking so you can see how active your pet is throughout the day. It’s also waterproof, though this isn’t a huge feature for most water-phobic cats. The Pod 3 sells for $129, but it requires an ongoing subscription to connect to cellular networks.
Tractive Pet Tracker
The Tractive is a straightforward pet tracker. It gives you the basics, such as real-time pet tracking, 24-hour history, and the ability to establish ”safe zones” through geofencing.
The Tractive runs for $79.99, and like other GPS tracking devices, it communicates using cellular networks. The company offers two plans: a basic plan for $6.99 a month and a premium plan for $9.99 a month. The basic plan gives you live GPS tracking, while the premium plan gives you some extra features, such the ability to track your pet in 80 different countries (for the well-traveled cat lover), unlimited position history, and the ability to share your cat’s position through the app.
Nuzzle Pet Tracker
The Nuzzle comes with everything you’d expect from a GPS pet tracker: there’s geofencing, real time GPS tracking, and history tracking. But it also can monitor temperature, to see if your cat is feeling comfortable (though they may like to nap in a hot patch of sunlight.) It features collision monitoring, which can tell you if their cat-like agility failed them and they took a nasty fall.
The Nuzzle comes with an easy-to-use app that can indicate if your cat is resting, playing, or exploring at any given time. With this device, you can see just how much your cat lounges around while you’re not home.
The Nuzzle is a little pricier than other models, running at $189.99. But if you’re worried that your rough-and-tumble feline might damage your GPS sensor, then getting this extra-durable tracker might be worth the investment.
Pawtrack GPS Cat Tracker
The Kickstarter-funded Pawtrack is all about keeping a watchful eye on your mouser. One of the few GPS pet trackers that designed only for cats the Pawtrack uses GPS to monitor your cat in over 170 locations. It can tell you your pet’s movement history in 10-minute increments, or it can display live locationinformation. It also includes an accelerometer that detects your cat's movement — or lack thereof. Pawtrack is available for pre-order and is priced at $150 in the United States.
Tabcat Cat Tracker
Want a less fancy, low-tech way to find your cat? The Tabcat has you covered.
It doesn’t feature GPS tracking like the other trackers on this list. Instead, it uses old-school radio frequency-based technology to tell you how close you are to your cat. Simply put the receiver on your cat’s collar. If you lose track of your little house lion, then pull out the directional handset. When the lights are red, that means you’re cold. A yellow means the cat is closer, and green means you’re very close. The big benefit of this system is that it requires a one-time payment of $99.99, so you don’t have to worry about monthly fees.