December 18, 2020
I have been tracking one of my outdoor rescue cats for years. He was originally an outdoor kitty I adopted, neutered, vaccinated, and tried to make an indoor cat. Unfortunately, he was too accustomed to being an outdoor kitty by the time we adopted him and he was not willing to accept his new lifestyle (ie, he still wanted to mark his territory inside the house and growl to be let outside). Rather than force the issue and have an unhappy cat (and unhappy daddy), I returned him to the wild; however, I still worry about him. He doesn't always come home for dinner or breakfast. Sometimes, when it is really frigid outside, I'd like to go find him and bring him inside for the evening (which he will usually tolerate until sunrise). Because of this I have him wear a GPS tracker anytime he is outside.
I've tried a couple of brands and the one I've settled on is Whistle. Like most pet GPS trackers, they work by communicating with nearby cell phone towers. Because of this they will require a subscription to their services (Whistle is an annual fee of about $80). The Whistle also communicates with Wifi and Bluetooth. When the pet is close enough to your house to connect to Wifi then it turns off the GPS in order to conserve battery. If your pet loses his collar in the woods, the Bluetooth comes in handy for narrowing down the exact location of the tracker (cell tower tracking is only within about 30 feet). The Whistle also has a night light on it you can turn on (via the mobile app) to help find it, or your pet, in the dark. With normal usage the GPS tracker battery will last about 3 or 4 days - plenty long enough if your pet doesn't come home for a regular recharge via USB. I also recommend a breakaway collar.
The mobile app is really easy to use. In addition to letting you know where your cat is located, it will also tell you the percentage of battery remaining, how many miles your cat has travelled in the past week, and it will even show where your cat's favorite hangouts are in the neighborhood. My cat usually hangs out around my house and the neighbor down the street who free-feeds the roaming cats =). I also see him hunting in the woods behind our house - most likely catching mice.
If you have any questions about the Whistle I'm happy to answer them - just send me an email through this website. If you are interested in purchasing one, here is a link to their website.
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