Did you know when cats go ‘missing,’ they often do not travel beyond the one-mile radius around their home? Cats can often stay out for days and then wander back home eventually.
But as a cat parent, you understandably do not want to be in such a situation. What if the cat is hiding in an unsafe place? What if your cat does not return home? Consider getting a cat tracker for your cat’s safety and your peace of mind.
Tabcat homing tags are a device set that can direct you toward your cat’s precise location. It is a combination of a handset you can keep on yourself and use for tracking. The tag device is attached to the cat’s collar.
The tracking is based on RF technology. The device claims to direct you within an inch of your cat’s location. It has a good battery life and no subscription fees.
The tracker is well-designed, and Tabcat makes several promising claims about its features and accuracy. But how well does the tracker perform? The article will take you through our testing experience and help you decide if Tabcat is worth investing in.
|Tabcat V2 Cat Tracker
|1.18 x 0.79 x 0.35 inches
|1 CR2032 battery
|2 SR1130 batteries for each tag
|RF2.45 GHz frequency band
|182 meters/ 600 feet
|0 ̊C to +55 ̊C
|-10 ̊C and +60 ̊C
|Starts from $99.99
|No subscription costs
|30 days money back guarantee, 2 years manufacturer warranty
|Web, Email, Phone
|4.3 out of 5
Tabcat specializes in offering tracking devices for cats. The trackers are based on their patented RF-based technology, guiding you to your pet’s precise location.
You can purchase Tabcat products from their website and authorized third-party vendors online.
You can contact their customer service team through the contact form on their website, email, and phone. You can also find detailed FAQs and user manuals under their help section.
Who is the Tabcat Homing Tags For?
The Tabcat tags are specially designed for cats. Tabcat offers another tracker called Loc8tor, which works the same way. But, the Loc8tor device is bigger and does not include any collar attachments.
The Tabcat tracker is slightly smaller in size and lightweight. It comes with silicone cases for extra protection. The cases also serve as a means to attach the tag device to your cat’s existing collar.
As the tag device is lightweight, your cats, small or big, can have them around their neck without discomfort.
The handset provides directions to walk towards depending on the signal strength from the tag. You have to be a minimum of 180 meters close to your cat. If there are obstacles like walls or trees, you must be much closer to detect a signal.
Thus, the tracker is suited for finding cats indoors, in the backyard, and around the neighborhood.
5 Important Factors We Tested the Tabcat Homing Tags On
We tested the two homing tags in different environments, such as indoors, in the backyard, around the neighborhood, and in the park. This was done to test the direction’s accuracy and device performance. We also looked at other parameters like build, setup, and usability.
Here is how the Tabcat tracker fared.
With your Tabcat purchase, you get one handset, two homing tags, and two splashproof cases. You will keep the handset on yourself and use it to track your cat. You will place the homing tag in the silicone case and attach it to your cat’s collar.
The handset has a thin credit card-like design. It has an on/off button on one side and a volume button on the other side. On the face of the handset, you will see four buttons. Each button is tied to a homing tag, meaning one handset can track up to four tags.
A small status light indicates if the handset is on or off. Then, at the center, you have multiple lights that can turn red, amber, and green. These lights tell you how far or close you are to the tag device.
The improved version of the homing tag is smaller in size and lightweight. Its dimensions are 1.18 x 0.79 x 0.35 inches and weigh only 0.17 ounces. The tag device has a light and a speaker that flashes and beeps to indicate its status.
You can insert the tag device into the silicone case provided with the box. You can then thread the cat’s collar through the two holes at the back of the case.
Apart from the clear silicone case, you can also buy them in charcoal, turquoise, and black colors.
The silicone cases are supposed to be splashproof. They can handle the occasional spills, but I recommend being careful. The device may not work if submerged in water.
One of the best aspects of using Bluetooth and RF-based trackers is significantly reduced battery consumption. If we consider GPS trackers, most need to be charged at least once to twice a week.
The Tabcat handset uses a CR2032 battery, and the tag device uses two SR1130 batteries. These batteries can last for a few months, depending on usage. Some users have reported the batteries to last up to a year.
According to Tabcat, you should consider replacing the batteries every four months if you use the tracker less frequently. If you use the tracker daily, then replace the batteries once every two months.
With the newer version of the Tabcat tracker, when not in use, the status light on the device will blink red twice, indicating low battery.
The handset’s battery compartment is at the bottom end of the device’s back. You can slide down the lid to open the compartment and replace the battery.
To replace the battery on the tag device, you can use your thumbnail or a non-metallic flat tool. Insert your nail or tool at the groove near the lanyard hole and twist. The tag lid should pop open.
Replace the batteries, ensuring the plus side is up near the lanyard hole and the plus side is down on the opposite end. Slide the lid back on, aligning with the hole. If the batteries are inserted correctly, the lid should easily snap back on.
The handset and the homing tags are self-sufficient devices that can help find your cat. You do not have to register, set up, or learn to use a new app. Everything you need to start locating your cat comes with your purchase.
To activate the handset, simply pull the strip at the back to activate the battery. Press the power button for two seconds, the handset will beep, and then the light will flash, meaning the device is on. If left idle, the handset will power down after 40 seconds.
To activate the tag, you must first pull out the white strip. The tag device will beep twice and also flash the red light twice. Next, you must register the tag device to one of the four buttons on the handset. At the time of registering, only one tag device must be near the handset.
Select the button on the handset you want to assign the tag to. Press the button for three seconds, the handset should beep, and then release the button. This will initiate the tag registration process. The tag device will flash rapidly at the beginning, and once registration is complete, it will beep and flash once.
I had to repeat the process a couple of times to get the tag registered.
I recommend you practice using the tracker so you are prepared when you have to actually look for your cat. If you do not know where your cat could be, you must move around 360° to catch a signal and move according to the signal strength.
Activating the handset and the tag is straightforward. You may take time to understand how to use the tracker initially, but it becomes easier from then on.
When you want to find your cat, first switch on the handset. Next, press the button the tag is registered to. The handset will start searching for the tag device.
If you know your cat’s hiding places, you can move the handset in those directions. If not, you must slowly move around the house or the neighborhood, searching for a signal.
When the handset detects the tag device, its lights will start flashing, and it will also start beeping. The closer you get to the cat, the frequency of flashing lights and beeps will increase.
You can turn down the volume on the handset as you get closer to your cat. This will help you listen to the beeps the tag device also makes.
The beeping of the tag device can be used to train your cat to return home. For example, you can train your cat to come to a specific area in the house when it hears a beep. You can give it food or a treat when it comes to that area.
So, if your cat wanders around the backyard in the evening, you can press the handset button, and the tag device will beep, letting the cat know it is time to return home.
Tabcat is one of the better RF-based trackers we have tested in terms of performance. The tracker works well indoors and outdoors. But note the devices are meant for short-range tracking.
For example, the tracking range offered by Tabcat is 182 meters. And factors like doors and walls can affect signal strength. So be prepared to search around for a signal. It will initially take some trial and error, but the tracker gets easier to use once you get the hang of it.
It may take you a few tries to register the tag device. Some users have mentioned this in their reviews as well. I recommend you keep the tag you are registering close to the handset and other tags far off in a different room.
The beeping sound from the tag device has a decent volume, not loud enough to scare the cat. If you intend to use the sound to train your dog, ensure you stick to one tag device only. The four tags can make slightly different beeping sounds. So, your cat can get confused if you use multiple tag devices.
What Sets the Tabcat Homing Tags Apart from its Competitors?
The price tag of $100 and above may seem a lot for an RF-based tracker. But the advantage of buying a Tabcat is that you can find multiple pets with a single purchase. The Tabcat handset can support up to four homing tags.
The box for the Tabcat tracker includes one handset and two homing tags. You can separately buy two additional homing tags. You do not have to pay subscription fees or use your smartphone or mobile data. You have to buy batteries every few months, but other than that, there are no hidden expenses.
The total cost of the Tabcat kit with four homing tags and silicone cases can be around $182. So, it would be a good investment, especially if you have multiple cats.
Should You Purchase the Tabcat Homing Tags?
If you are looking to track your indoor cat or a pet that occasionally ventures out, the Tabcat tracker could be a good purchase. It uses RF technology and is best suited for short-range tracking up to 182 meters.
You can track multiple pets with a single handset and different homing tags. You do not have to use any apps or pay monthly fees.
The tracker is lightweight and suits small and large cats.
If your cat tends to wander far from the house or you need features like geofencing, I recommend looking for GPS trackers.
Consider the pros and cons below before purchasing.
- The homing tag is lightweight, weighing 0.17 ounces.
- The RF-based technology provides precise location details.
- The tracker works indoors and outdoors.
- It has a long battery life.
- The tracker can be used worldwide.
- It can track over a short distance of 182 meters.
- It does not offer alerts like geofencing.
The listing price for the Tabcat homing tags is $119.99. At the time of writing, Amazon offered a discount wherein you get the tracker at $99.99.
You get one handset and two homing tags with your purchase. This one-time investment can help you find and protect your cat.
The handset and tags are sufficient to find your cat. They do not have a SIM. You do not have to use your smartphone or mobile data. Thus, you do not have to pay subscription fees, which is typical with GPS trackers.
You can separately buy additional homing tags and silicone cases. These can cost you around $9 to $50.
Yes. The Tabcat is an RF technology-based tracker that uses the 2.45GHz frequency band. This technology can be used worldwide. So you can track your cat when you are traveling or on vacation.
The Loc8tor and Tabcat are essentially the same devices working on the same technology. The difference is that Loc8tor comes with adhesive strips and keyring attachments that you can attach to your assets. Tabcat comes with protective cases that you can use to attach the tags to your cat’s collar.
It depends on usage. Some customers have used the tracker for up to a year without changing batteries. As per Tabcat’s recommendation, the battery should last up to two months if the tracker is used daily. If the tracker is used a few days a week, the battery should last up to four months.
With their RF-based technology, the Tabcat homing tags help you find your cat over a short distance. As no SIM or apps are involved, you can use the tracker anywhere in the world.
The tracker is a combination of a handset and homing tags. One handset can support up to four tags, which you can use on multiple pets or have as backups.
The tracker can take some time to get used to. It directs you where to walk to find your cat. The closer you get to the cat, the frequency of the lights flashing and beeping sounds on the handset increases.
The tracker is a good investment for indoor cats and those that typically stay in the neighborhood.
Carson Harris is a highly qualified author and expert in GPS tracking technology. With a background in electrical engineering and machine learning, he has established himself as a trusted source of information. Carson’s work experience at Garmin and Panasonic has further enhanced his expertise. He possesses creative skills in website design and AI applications. Known for his clear and concise communication, Carson’s articles on Trax Family’s website provide valuable insights on GPS trackers.