Does your cat tend to wander off? Do you have a difficult time finding its hiding spot? Or you are curious about what your cat is up to when you are at work.
A GPS tracker is a device that can be helpful in the above scenarios. One such device we will review today is the Tractive GPS tracker.
Tractive is a well-known brand in the tracking space. These trackers are specially designed for pets. I have previously reviewed the tracker meant for dogs and was impressed by what the device could offer.
So when my friend shared her concerns about her pet cat wandering about at all times of the day, we decided to test the Tractive GPS device designed for cats.
The tracker provides location updates, live tracking, and wellness monitoring. The article will go through the tracker’s design, features, and performance.
|Tractive GPS Tracker for Cats
|2.8 x 1.1 x 0.6 inches
|Cats above 9 lbs
|RechargeableLast up to 8 days
|LTE/4G, Bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, GLONASS, Galileo
|Worldwide (with premium plan)
|Android 9.0+, iOS 14+
|Starts from $29.99
|Starts from $5 to $13/month
|Support portalSubmit request through websiteChat
|3.8 out of 5
Tractive specializes in offering tracking and health monitoring solutions for dogs and cats. The company was founded in October 2012. It first released its dog tracker prototype in 2013.
Today, the company offers different-sized trackers for dogs and cats. It also offers accessories like colored and patterned tracker cases, charging cables, and safety collars.
You can contact Tractive’s customer team by submitting a request through their website or chat. You can visit their informative support portal to learn more about the tracker and its features.
Who is the Tractive GPS Tracker For?
Tractive GPS is unlike other pet trackers in the market. Most trackers are designed for dogs, but they may also be used for cats. But this model by Tractive is specially designed for cats.
It is suitable for cats weighing 9 lbs and above. You should have a compatible device with Android 9.0+ or iOS 14+. It fits most standard cat collars.
The tracker updates every two minutes to an hour, depending on your cat’s activity. You can track your cat in real time. As the tracker uses a mix of connectivity technologies, it can provide location updates outdoors and indoors.
You can get worldwide coverage with a premium plan. Tractive charges a flat fee through its subscription plan; you do not have to pay extra roaming charges.
Tractive also offers insights into your cat’s sleep and activity levels. Any unusual activity, which could indicate a health issue, is reported to you.
5 Important Factors We Tested the Tractive GPS Tracker on
We tested the tracker with the help of my friend’s adorable pet cat, whom we call Luna. Now, Luna likes to wander quite a lot. She would be lounging on the sofa, and in the next instant, you would find her on the porch. So, I would dare say she makes an ideal candidate for testing a GPS tracker.
We looked at the tracker’s build quality, setup, usability, and features. Here is how Tractive GPS performed.
The regular-sized Tractive tracker is meant for cats weighing over 9 lbs. It is a lightweight device weighing 1.2 ounces. Its dimensions are 2.8 x 1.1 x 0.6 inches. It fits most standard collars. You can buy a Rogz safety collar separately.
On average, cats weigh around 8 to 12 lbs. So, the tracker should fit comfortably on most cats. If you own a small cat or your pet is finicky, you can opt for the Tractive Cat Mini, which is smaller in size and weighs less than an ounce.
The tracker has an IPX7 waterproof rating, which helps protect the device when your cat wanders off on its adventures. Inside the box, you will receive a rubber sleeve for additional protection and increased durability.
The power button is at the top of the tracker. It is well-placed into the device casing. Its design ensures your cat does not accidentally turn off the device.
You will see an LED on the face of the tracker. The LED can turn green, red, purple, white, and blue. For example, the tracker will flash green when turned on, or when the battery is low, it will flash red.
Overall, I found the tracker to be sturdy and durable. Its curved design ensures it sits comfortably around your cat’s neck.
The tracker comes with a rechargeable battery. Its average battery life is three and a half days, and with power-saving modes, it can extend to up to eight days.
The tracker can be charged using the magnetic cable you receive in the box. You will need your own adapter. It takes about three hours for the tracker to get a full charge.
The cable provided is short in length. The magnetic charging point also detaches easily. You must be careful with tracker placement, or the cable will keep falling off during charging.
I found attaching the cable to my laptop the most convenient way to charge the device. This can take longer, but it is better than leaving the device hanging from the wall adapter.
The red light will be on the tracker will be on during charging. And once done, the light will turn green.
As for battery life, it works as advertised. The tracker lasted four days during our testing, even with features like live tracking.
You can maximize the battery life by using power-saving zones. This zone connects to the WiFi and provides less frequent updates on your pet. For example, you can add your home as a power-saving zone, helping the tracker connect to the home WiFi and preserve battery.
When your cat starts moving out of the WiFi range, the tracker will switch to GPS and cellular tracking mode.
You should charge the Tractive device for two hours before starting the setup process. The tracker should automatically turn on while charging and remain on until you manually turn it off.
You must download the Tractive GPS app and register. You can activate the device through the Tractive website as well. Activate the tracker by providing the 8-character ID on the back of the device.
Select and pay for a subscription plan. Once activated, you can personalize the tracker to suit your pet’s needs. For example, start with building your pet’s profile.
In terms of tracking, I would suggest you use the app rather than the website. Some features might be missing on the website. And the app has the upper hand in design and user experience.
You can track your cat in three map modes – standard, satellite, and OpenStreetMap.
In the default tracking mode, the tracker provides updates once every 2 to 60 minutes. In live tracking mode, you can see updates once every 2 to 3 seconds.
Overall, the Tractive GPS app has an intuitive design and is easy to use.
Virtual fences are a feature that most GPS trackers offer. With Tractive, you can create up to five virtual fences. For example, if you set a fence around your home, you can know when your cat wanders outside and when it returns home.
The distinguishing aspect of the feature is that you can create fences of different shapes and sizes. For example, you can create a circle, rectangular, or custom-shaped fence with Tractive. To avoid false alerts, the fences should cover 50 to 100 m from the center point.
When you get an alert saying the cat has ventured outside, you can switch to live tracking mode to know where your cat is.
If your cat likes hiding inside the house or outside on the property, you can switch to Bluetooth mode to get their location. When near the tracker, you can play a sound or light on the device to find your pet quickly.
If you have a partner, friend, family member, or pet-sitter watching after your cat, you can share the tracker’s location with them. With the Tractive GPS app, they can access features like live tracking, activity monitoring, and light and sound.
They will not be able to view your account or payment details. But you can get their help to take better care of your cat.
You can access up to a year of the tracker’s historical data. This can provide insights into your cat’s favorite lounging and hiding spots.
Family sharing and location history features are available with only a premium subscription.
In terms of design, the tracker is on the bigger side but lightweight. It has a curved design to fit the cat’s neck. Our cat did not mind having the tracker around, but if your cat is on the slender side, opt for the cat mini tracker.
The location updates are pretty impressive and accurate. The live tracking mode also does not disappoint. With GPS, the accuracy will be a few feet off, but that is to be expected with the technology.
There were a few cases where the tracker lost GPS connection, and there was a lag in location updates. This can especially happen indoors or in places with tall trees around.
If you need the precise location of the tracker, Bluetooth can help. But with this mode, you must be close to the device for the app to detect it. You can then play light and sound on the tracker.
The ringer volume is tailored not to scare your pet but is not human-friendly. You must pay close attention, or you could easily miss the tracker.
One of the things I liked the most about the tracker is the wealth of information it provides. For example, where your cat has been or where it spends the most time. I can see how much exercise my cat gets and its sleep quality.
What Sets the Tractive GPS Tracker Apart from its Competitors?
Tractive GPS is more than a location tracker. It also provides insights into your cat’s sleep and activity levels with its wellness monitoring feature.
You must have a detailed pet profile set. For example, you must add details like your pet’s breed, sex, weight, measurements, and spayed status. Then, set an activity goal. If you do not specify a goal, Tractive will set one according to the statistical average of your pet type.
The tracker will then monitor your pet’s activity levels. For example, the time your cat spends walking, running, or playing. It will estimate the calories the cat burns with these activities.
The tracker also monitors your cat’s sleep quality and interruptions through the night. Based on all these parameters, the app generates a wellness score. You can see the score once you use the tracker for seven days.
You can enable Tractive health alerts, which will notify you of unusual changes in your cat’s sleep or activity levels over a longer period. You can use these metrics to better care for your cat and proactively handle health issues.
Should You Purchase the Tractive GPS Tracker?
The Tractive tracker is specially designed for cats. This in itself is a distinguishing factor from most portable GPS trackers out there.
It provides reliable location updates. You can view your cat’s location in real-time. It can track your cat’s well-being. Charging the tracker can be tricky, but it has a good battery life.
If you want worldwide coverage or have other caregivers track your cat, you must pay for a premium subscription.
Here are some pros and cons that may help with your buying decision.
- You can track over an unlimited distance.
- It provides accurate and reliable location data.
- You get unlimited live tracking regardless of the subscription plan.
- You can set up to five virtual fences.
- You can track your cat’s sleep and activity levels.
- It supports Bluetooth and WiFi technology for indoor tracking.
- Worldwide coverage is available with a premium subscription only.
- The ringer volume needs to be louder.
The Tractive GPS tracker for cats has a list price of $49.99. At the time of writing, you could get the tracker for $29.99 on Amazon.
The tracker needs a subscription plan, as it is equipped with a SIM that works in over 175 countries. The two plans on offer are Basic and Premium.
Here are the Basic plan prices and payment frequency.
|$8/month$96 billed yearly
|$6/month$114 billed every two years
Here are the Premium plan prices and payment frequency.
|$9/month$108 billed yearly
|$7/month$168 billed every two years
|$5/month$300 billed every five years
With a premium plan, you get additional services like family sharing, worldwide coverage, and access to a year of location history.
The Tractive device uses GPS to get location data and includes a SIM that can send the data in real-time, so the tracker has no distance limitation. Tractive offers coverage in 175 countries around the world.
Yes, you can track all your pets using the same account on the Tractive GPS app. Please note you will need a separate tracker and a subscription for each pet.
Yes, Tractive offers two tracker models that are specifically designed for dogs. Depending on your furry friend’s size and weight, you can choose between DOG 4 and DOG XL.
The Tractive GPS tracker is one of the better devices designed especially for cats. With its GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth technology, it does what a tracker is supposed to do – that is, it provides reliable location updates.
It has a good battery life. You get unlimited live tracking regardless of the subscription plan you choose. You can play sounds and lights on the device through the app. You can track your cat’s sleep and activity levels.
With a premium plan, you can use the tracker worldwide in over 175 countries. You can share the tracker’s location with family members and access historical data for up to a year.
If your cat is above 9 lbs, and you own a compatible Android or Apple device, then the Tractive GPS is a good investment.
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.