GPS pet tracking systems are the new way to locate lost and stolen pets. While these systems work very well for dogs, they may not be quite as valuable for cats.
About GPS Technology
GPS is short for global positioning system. GPS has been used in automobiles for decades. Recently, the system has been used to keep track of pets by adding a tracking device to the pet's collar. In theory, the system can pinpoint the location of the collar and reunite you with your pet if she is lost or stolen
The GPS system works by using satellites. There is a transmitter on the GPS unit in the collar, and it sends out signals constantly. The satellite picks it up and can instantly send your pet's location to a computer. Many of these systems allow you to track your pet via cell phone, Internet or customer service centers. You can even set boundaries for your animal, and the system will notify you when your pet steps outside those boundaries.
The advantages are obvious. You will always know where your pet is and be able to find her quickly if she is lost.
Disadvantages of a GPS Pet Tracking System
While there are many advantages to this system, it may not be a wise choice for cat fanciers. The GPS systems available at the present time are designed for medium to large dogs. The technology is not in place for a system small enough to fit comfortably on the collars of small dogs or cats.
In addition, cats are especially good at slipping out of their collars. You may be able to find the collar, but the lost cat could be miles away. While it is possible to fit a large cat with a GPS collar, it may not be a viable alternative for an average size cat.
Alternatives to GPS
The best alternative to the GPS system is a simple microchip that is injected into your pet by the veterinarian. The cost is about $50.00.
The microchip cannot be tracked by satellite, but it can be scanned. If your pet is lost and ends up at a shelter, the scanner can pull up your name and other information off of the microchip. Unfortunately, not all shelters have these scanners.
Another alternative is to track your cat by radio frequencies. Although very expensive, your cat wears a collar with this system that emits a certain frequency. There is a sensor that beeps when you get within a certain distance of your feline, and this can help you locate her.
Some Available GPS Systems
If you want to look further into getting a GPS system for tracking your cat, there are several on the market. Remember that they are not normally labeled for cats or dogs, but the same unit is used for both.
Be sure to ask questions. Many of these devices require you to pay a monthly fee to stay connected with the service even after you purchase the system.
The Pet Detective
The Pet Detective unit receives the signal from your cat's collar to a tabletop unit in your home. Once your pet goes beyond the 300 yard mark, the unit begins to track your pet from the satellite and sends a message to alert you that your pet is outside of the boundaries.
This device locates up to three pets within a mile radius and displays the location on your computer screen. If the pet goes more than a mile away, it can't track the signal. Since there is no third party involved, there is no monthly fee.
The information from your pet's collar is transmitted via VHF radio signals. The transmitter is attached to the collar of your pet and uses satellite technology to keep track of your cat's location. You can track up to ten animals at a distance of up to five miles.
- Pet Cell
- Pet Tracker
- Global Pet Finder
It is best if you try to find these systems at a local retailer so that you can see the size and judge whether or not they would work for you and your cat. Be sure to ask a lot of questions and make sure you understand the limitations of these GPS pet tracking systems. If you do lose your pet, consider consulting a pet recovery service.