Saturday, December 31, 2016

It's Caturday! Here's Some Cat Wearables!

Whilst researching dog GPS trackers, I found a variety of nifty gadgets you can use to find your cat. Loosely referred to as "wearables", these wearable bits of technology are sort of like a smart watch for your cat. Or maybe like one of those radio tracking collars they put on bears and mountain lions before releasing them into the wild. Either way, here are some high-tech ways to keep track of your tiny murder-machine:


Intended for locating your cat over relatively short distances, the best description I've found is that TabCat is a Geiger counter for cats. You know that nifty device in old movies that they wave around, and it makes more or less noise based on the presence of radiation? This radio tracking device works just like that. You put the tag on your cat, and use the little handset to play a game of hot and cold to figure out where he's hiding. This is made by the UK-based Loc8tor company.
Pros: The device comes with one handset and two tags. Highly accurate over fairly small spaces, maximum range is 400'. The tag itself beeps when you start tracking it, and many cats learn to run home when they hear it. Does not require a subscription or service plan.
Cons: Facebook and Amazon are filled with customer complaints of durability issues, and batteries sliding away from contacts inside the devices. Notably absent is any sort of customer service response. Basically, TabCat may or may not work, and may or may not fall apart within a few weeks of using it, and if something goes wrong, the company won't care.

Marco Polo

This is a pricier radio tracking system that seems to be much more durable than TabCat, though it has a hefty price tag. Marco Polo includes some features found in GPS tracking devices, like a programmable safe zone and alerts if your pet leaves that zone.
Pros: No subscriptions or additional fees. Range of up to two miles.
Cons: The price of a system is over $200. Must have the handset with you to receive alerts that your pet is outside the safe zone.


The Pod tracker is super tiny, small enough for cats and even birds to wear. This is a cellular+GPS tracker. It comes with two batteries, so you can always have one on your pet while the other is charging. Pod seems to have very responsive customer service, and they are actively improving their product with discounts for customers who want to upgrade. Unfortunately, they only use 2G cellular networks, so there's an ever-increasing lack of coverage for this device.
Pros: Requires a service plan, but comes with a year of free service. Small and unobtrusive. Allows you to set a safe zone and be alerted if your cat leaves that zone.
Cons: No 3G coverage, so won't work in many places as networks shut off their 2G.

On the Horizon...


The first 2G and 3G cellular GPS tracker just for cats...probably. Currently shipping in January 2017 if everything goes according to plan. Like Whistle, but for cats. Pretty pricey at $225 for the 3G version. Not sure why they're even offering a 2G version given that pretty much every network is planning to kill 2G by 2020. It's basically a product with a death date.


This German-based smart collar for cats was fully funded on Indiegogo two years ago. It looks cool, but I'm not holding out a lot of hope for its eventual release.

Weenect Cats

The only GPS device I've seen so far that actually lets you call your cat up and talk to him. This one appears to have been available sometime in 2015, but is not currently available for sale anywhere. You can preorder it from the website, but no ship date is given so who knows? Also there is a glowing Danish review of this product using pictures of the journalist's cat and touting the product as waaaaay better than Pod. That exact same cat is splashed all over Weenect's website, which gives me unpleasant feelings about this company and their marketing tactics.


Funded by Kickstarter, this is a GPS device intended to be small enough for even tiny cats. Shipping was supposed to happen this month, but has been delayed due to unsatisfactory results from preliminary testers. They're doing a mighty fine job of keeping their backers informed though, so I have a lot of hope for this one.


  1. Hi Rachel, very happy that you saw the benefits of Tabcat; small size, very low weight, no ongoing cost etc., not so happy about the customer service perception. Very sadly we had an issue with an early production run of a new design of tag. We've been working very hard to get the quality back to the levels we and our customers expect. We also had a slight blip with respect to responding to customers which we're not proud of! This is now all behind us and we'd be very happy to send you a Tabcat to test and see why all but a very small number of our customers have had a great experience with Tabcat. Best Tabcat

    1. Wow, I would love to try out a TabCat for myself! How do I get in touch?

    2. Hi. Drop your details to sales@mytabcat.com and mention my name Andrew and we'll get one out to you. Best