The Tractive Cat Tracker may be bulky and requires regular charging, but the peace of mind it brings to nervous cat owners is unmatched.
Up to five days of battery life
Relies on good mobile network
Requires a subscription plan
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Having a cat is a balancing act. On one hand, you want them to go out and explore and do all the things cats like to do. On the other, it’s tempting to keep them locked inside so you know they’re always safe. A good solution to the problem is to consider getting one of the best pet trackers, and the Tractive GPS cat tracker is a certainly a strong option.
Many cat owners can relate to the feeling of dread when their cat hasn’t come home for a few days. Your imagination can run wild and you start to assume the worst, when really, Felix is just down the road trying to catch a fly.
The Tractive Cat Tracker allows you to see where your cat is at all times, allowing for peace of mind while you go about your day.
The GPS tracker’s live mode updates every two to three seconds. It works by connecting to the best available mobile network, just like your phone, so you can see location data wherever your cat roams.
The tracker, when synced up to an app, allows you to keep an eye on your cat so it doesn’t go missing, and can alert you when they wander off into areas you know aren’t so cat-friendly, and helps you locate them you need them to come indoors.
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Tractive Cat Tracker: Features
The Tractive cat tracker works by tracking your cat from a GPS tracker fitted to a Hunter leather collar with cat-safe buckle, to which the tracker fits. You can follow the tracker on an app, and see your cat’s movements in real time.
The GPS tracker provides accuracy up to seven meters in good conditions, but if your cat is roaming around under trees and bushes, this can affect the accuracy.
Tractive says the collar is cat-friendly, and is designed to fit comfortably around a cat’s neck.
It has a cat-safe power button, which prevents them from easily turning it off as they go about their day. It’s also waterproof, shock-resistant and lightweight. It’s recommended for cats weighing 4kg and above.
The Tractive Cat tracker can save cat owners a lot of worry – and can prevent cats from getting into trouble. It has a virtual fence – as soon as your cat leaves a designated safe area, you’ll instantly receive a notification on your phone.
You can buy extra features for your tracker, including activity and fitness tracking, to see how much time your cat spends napping and moving around, and spot any changes to their normal behavior and activity levels.
The tracker has up to five days’ battery life, with an interchangeable battery so you can swap with another one while it charges. You can purchase additional batteries, as well as spare USB chargers.
The battery life, however, can be influenced by several factors, including mobile coverage, GPS availability, your cat’s activity level, and even the temperature. Also, the live-tracking mode will drain the battery more quickly. The tracker will let you know when the batteries need charging.
To activate the GPS, customers are required to sigh up to a subscription plan. You Can choose between the basic plan, which starts at £3.75 per month, or the premium plan, which costs £10 extra a year. The premium plan allows you to share your data with family, enjoy worldwide coverage, and unlimited location history, so you can see where your cat has been roaming over time. With the basic subscription, location history is only available for 24 hours.
There aren’t many cat trackers on the market, especially not compared to dog trackers. However, competitors are similarly priced or more expensive. Paw Track, for example, is a similar price and with similar features, but Tractive has a slight advantage when it comes to popularity and customer reviews.
Tractive Cat Tracker: User reviews
The Tractive Cat Tracker is very well reviewed across different consumer websites. Tractive’s Trust Pilot reviews come in at 4.4 out of 5, with more than 4,000 reviews. Although, bear in mind this includes customers’ review of Tractive’s dog tracker, too.
Many customers praise the app for being very user friendly, and many note that their cats don't seem to mind the devices on their collar. They also praise Tractive’s customer service for when issues do arise.
For some, the device is helpful in rather more unexpected ways; some customers say they use the device to see when their cat is waiting outside to come in.
But there are a few common issues that customers have, too. A few point out that the device is too big and heavy for their cats, and some cats have even managed to lose the device on their adventures.
One common complaint is the tracker’s reliance on network signal; since the GPS tracker requires mobile data, some customers say the signal is weaker where they live, often in rural areas, and this affects the tracker’s ability to track their cats. Some report a time lag when using the live mode, and say their cats can outrun the device.
However, this isn’t the case for everyone who lives in areas of poor connection. One reviewer writes:
“I live in the Highlands and I have not had any mobile connection or GPS problems that other people have complained of.”
The battery life is quite a common complaint, with several customers saying it doesn’t last as long as the five days Tractive claims it does. In a blog post, one reviewer counteracts claims the tracker’s battery life is closer to two days, but recommends charging it overnight.
But many owners say the tracker brought them peace of mind. One reviewer writes:
“I have a Tractive device for both of my cats. I've always worried so much about letting them outside but Tractive has eased all of my fears. The app works great and the GPS is precise enough that I can find the cats when needed. The batteries last a long time and I've had one of my devices for 4 years now and it still works perfectly.”
Should you buy the Tractive Cat Tracker?
If you and your cat are both out of the house for most of the day, the Tractive Cat Tracker is probably a sensible purchase.
There are more expensive options on the market, but this tracker covers everything you’ll need, especially if you opt for the premium plan.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind where you live. If you’re in a rural area, perhaps do some basic research on the network coverage in your area first.
Tractive says its main value is to strengthen the bond between animals and their owners. It seems, for many customers, this is true.
Jessica is a freelance features journalist. When she isn't writing, she's chasing after strangers' dogs in the park.