GPS seems to be integrated in to everything these days, from our phones to our cars. It is surprising that we have waited this long before adding GPS to our pets!
The idea is simple, attach a GPS enabled collar to your cat and track their movements day and night. No more worrying about where Felix has disappeared to, or spending hours searching for them to realise they were napping in a shoebox in the cupboard. One such collar – which boasts being the world’s first GPS cat tracking collar, is the Pawtrack.
Pawtrack allows you to locate your cat via GPS with an accuracy of 3m. Every 10 minutes, the GPS enabled collar sends its location to the internet. You can then head online and a see exactly where your cat is. Information is stored on Pawtrack’s servers for 30 days which means you can follow your cat’s location history and discover their favourite places to hang out.
Pawtrack works with Google maps, meaning you can even use the infamous street view to determine the exact whereabouts of your kitty! There is even an option to create a set area or ‘boundary’ and if your cat wanders past this boundary, you will receive an email alert notifying you about this.
The Pawtrack lasts for around 5 days on a single charge and weighs around 50g. The collar is elasticated like most other cat collars, for your pet’s safety. So if your cat likes to climb, there is no need to worry about them getting stuck as the elastic means they can wriggle free – the fit is tight enough to ensure they the collar remains attached during normal use though.
The Pawtrack has been developed in the UK and is being launched initially in the UK only, however they do intend to expand in to other areas, with mainland Europe being next on their list. Because the Pawtrack works via the mobile network, you will need a mobile phone SIM to use the product. International users will require an international SIM.
For more information relating to Pawtrack, visit their website. Currently, they are not shipping and as such no price is available – but if you are interested there is a number on the website which you can call for more information.
Benefits of Tracking Your Cat’s Position
The primary benefit of tracking your cat’s location is surely the fact that you are much more likely to recover them should they ever disappear. Also because you can access the location information via the internet, you can check up on your cat should you go on holiday and leave your pet with a friend.
If you explained to your pet insurance provider that you were using a GPS tracking product, you might even be able to get reduced premiums!
The Pawtrack and likely future competitors come with a few features to tackle some possible criticisms – for example the collar is elasticated for safety and the collar also alerts you when the battery is low.
Possible Downsides to Tracking Your Cat’s Position
The Pawtrack sounds like a good idea and in some cases it is probably going to prove that it is a life saving product, but you have to consider whether it is for you. If you have an indoor cat, your are unlikely to need GPS tracking as the signal indoors will be weak and there isn’t really many places a cat can wonder off to in a house. Arguably, these cats may need the collar the most, as should they manage to leave the house they may become disorientated outside and become lost.
You also have to consider the design of the collar, whilst 50g isn’t too heavy, how is long term use going to affect your cat? What about the long term effects of rain, wear and tear. Looking at the collar you can clearly tell that it isn’t your ordinary cat collar, if your cat is particularly friendly, is there the possibility that people may attempt to steal the collar as it appears to have value? At least if this was the case you would be able to track the culprits down!
A GPS enable collar could truly be an innovation, but as the product is relatively new and yet to ship to the masses, we will have to wait to see what early adopters think of the device. It has the potential to prevent the need for ‘Lost Pet’ sites but we will have to wait to see how early trials of the product in a consumer environment go.
Would you use a GPS product such as this? Do you think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks? Have you got any further pros or cons? Let us know in the comments below