Pet Loc8tor woes(14 Posts)
So some people may have seen a thread earlier in the week where I was being all mother hen and panicky over letting my boys out post-moving house. Other than occasional stopping out later than I'd like and Monty deciding to cross the (quiet, but still) road to hang out over on the other side when there are perfectly good gardens here he wouldn't need to risk cars to snooze in, they've adjusted pretty well. But now I'm having some Loc8tor troubles and wondered if anyone had any advice.
I got a Pet Loc8tor tracker thing to assist with the post-move stress and help track them down at cat curfew time or if they got a bit lost, and it initially seemed pretty good. It's one of the trackers that uses radio signals so can be affected by things like walls and fences if it's in the line of sight. Monty lost his breakaway collar the first day but I walked around to the cul de sac backing on to our gardens where I suspected he'd been and located it with the tracker within five minutes - it was in a hedge in a back garden but the tracker beeped as I walked up the road. All good. But then Rolo lost his collar two days later and I never found it again - I walked all around the block, a couple of roads over one way and up the side roads the other way, a forty minute search tracking all the while. It's suburban Bristol and pretty dense housing. Not a blip.
I ordered a set of two replacement tags and fitted Rolo with another one on Friday, but now today Monty came home without his collar - and again I've walked around the block and all the places I've seen him or suspect he'd go and not a blip. So that's two tags lost in the space of a week. Since the first loss I also got a tag with my number and address on so someone may find it in their garden and stick it through my letter box, but I'm not holding my breath. Either the cats are roaming significantly further than I'd suspect, or the tags are getting lost far from the street and blocked in by things like walls, fences and hedges which restricts the signal. If a tag is e.g. tucked away between a hefty plant pot and a wall you'd probably have to be in the garden for it to activate.
I'm not keen to switch to even elasticated safety collars - they might be harder to lose but equally they're a lot more likely to lead to injury. And I'm not keen to keep forking out £28 for a set of two tags plus more for the rubber casings to attach them to collars. So do I just write off this tracking experiment as an expensive settling in tool? Does anyone else use any of the other sorts of trackers? In an ideal world I'd get something that uses GPS so I can log in to a website and see where they are "live", but all those sorts of trackers seem to cost a small fortune or need a monthly fee - which would be double for two cats. Should I just try to stop being paranoid and go back to non-tracking free range felines?
Let me put it this way, give. I think they're winning!
This is the problem I have too! I've spent more time looking for lost collars and tags than I have the lost cat!
I've currently given it up as a bad job, one of my cats is just far too good at losing collars to keep track of, and it is the one that tends to go missing.
I'd love to have a gps device, but when I looked in to them they were all too large for a cat to wear, so at the moment it's a case of fingers crossed they don't go missing.
Hmm, yeah fenneltea all the GPS trackers do look pretty bulky - the ones that just record and you view the results afterwards are pretty small but no use for tracking. I've often been tempted to try one as I'd love to see where the boys go but at their collar losing rate that would be £35 of tag lost within a couple of days! Come along technology, a few more years of development and maybe there will be smaller and cheaper trackers around.
Today I've had an evening visit from both cats and they still have their collars (huzzah!) but also a heck of a lot of grass seeds and shrub twigs stuck in their fur, so maybe they're making up for losing tags by bringing me interesting plants?
I reckon they've been trying new and inventive ways to remove their collars!
There is a new GPS collar for cats coming out so I will order as soon as available and report back here. I agree that loc8tors aren't best on built up areas. Have you got the collar on snugly? Mine kept losing them but I think they were too loose and snagging on bushes and branches. Since I tightened them (can still get fingers under them) they rarely lose them.
Tell us more about the new GPS collar, code. Brand name? Likely Price? Link to online coverage?
Thanks and apologies for desperate sounding tone in my post
It's by pawtrack.com. It weighs only 50g and costs £75 plus £5.99 pm for GPS. I thought it looked good o don't think they're available yet but you can pre-register.
Thanks, code. We will be rescued by NewKitten after summer hols and after jabs etc, I'm thinking we will be letting it out late winter/early spring (just so it remembers how lovely and cosy it is being at home ). I will keep my eyes open for reports about the Gps device.
I just spotted an Australian product called Podtracker. Think it's about 30 g - a bit lighter. A bit pricier but seems to be attachable to your preferred cat collar. Has anyone got any experience of using this one?
The Pod Tracker looks interesting but it is very new to the market, so I'd like to see some real life reviewers writing about their experiences. It seems to be $199 to buy including a year of use then $50 a year to pay after that. So about £130ish and £35 a year operating costs. I keep sucking my teeth at the costs and I then remember how much I fork out in Petplan insurance for the little beasts each month, and what my last zooplus order was!
And code - the collars may have been a little loose at first but I think I've got them about right now and they're still prone to slipping them. Both love hiding out in thick undergrowth and the time I found the missing collar it was snagged on the branch of a fairly hefty hedge I still don't quite know how he squeezed through - difficult to prevent no matter how snug the fitting is!
Someone messed up with the microchips really.
Collars are so easily lost, but if the microchip was traceable like a phone that'd be amazing!!
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