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GPS Tracking?

Kaiser891

Savannah Adult
#1
Hey folks... I searched the forums but didn't find what I was looking for, so I thought I'd start a new thread about this to get the latest from all the experts. I'm in the market for a GOOD, low profile, comfortable tracking collar. Here's why...
My F3 Charlie ran away a few days ago. He is 100% indoor, except for the occasional car ride. The little guy snuck out an open door, we think, and disappeared for about 36 hours. We immediately put posters all over the neighborhood and went around the blocks several times calling his name. We did the Pet Amber Alert, a Craigslist post, called the local animal hospitals and shelters and the cops.
Started searching back yards, and sure enough, I walked up to a pile of junk with an old pickup cab on top, called his name, and he popped out and leapt into my arms. Kind of amazing. So, after a vet visit, we decided our next step was finding a tracking collar.
Charlie seems to want to bolt when he sees an open door. He's squeezed out two more times now, so just in case, we want to explore the market for GPS tracking collars or even radio collars... Anything that works, but it must be small (so its comfortable for Charlie). Anyone have any ideas?
 

Pam Flachs

Savannah Super Cat
#2
How scary...and so very glad you were able to find him after 3 days gone!

I don't have any knowledge of GPS collars, but I think a few people here on the forum have tried them. If I remember correctly, they are pretty bulky for cats and are easily slipped off. I have not heard of any underground fencing such as used for dogs that works for cats yet, either.

I would, however, suggest you work on trying to break him of the door bolting habit. Do you walk or carry him outside the doors on a regular basis? Cats that are carried out backwards in your arms or in a carrier through a door other than the main one, learn to not walk (or run) out on their own. This has to be done always to be effective. Others have used a leaf blower on the opposite side, or a broom outside to dissuade them from running out. Can you make an outdoor enclosure...even a small one...so Charlie can get a taste of the outdoors? There are lots of pics and ideas for catios and outdoor enclosures on this forum, and if you do make him one, I'd always bring him to it inside a carrier.

Some cats respond well to Scat Mats in front of the door; these emit a small electric jolt, but other cats might ignore it.

Since you say he went out an open door, if you don't have screen doors with pet proof screening, now is the time to install them. The temptation is too great for any cat to not want to wander outside...and next time you may not find him :(
 

Tort518

Savannah Super Cat
#3
Your are fortunate to have found him not too far afield. Good to know he is home safe.

Does anyone know if there is a microchip tracking app for smartphones?
 

Kaiser891

Savannah Adult
#4
Thanks for the fast reply, Pam. Charlie has a harness and we carry him outside when we take him in the car or try to walk him. He hasn't gotten used to the leash yet.
We're going to build an outdoor enclosure, and we usually always herd the cats away from the doors before we open them.
Honestly, he's usually scared when he goes outside. He's afraid of loud noises, moving cars, strangers... So I'm surprised he got as far away as he did. But he sure is a lovin cat... He's trying to put his forehead in my mouth right now. :)
Thanks for the advice :)
 

Pam Flachs

Savannah Super Cat
#5
Do you have a carrier? I'd start putting him in it to take him to the car, and even outside for walks. Carry him in the crate and you might even want to cover it with a small blanket or towel. You could even practice doing this, so he starts learning that he does not go outside ever unless he is in the carrier. Keep up with the herding away from the door; treats in another room work, too.

I hope you are able to get his enclosure built soon :)

Cats are curious, and something caught Charlie's eye to make him wander away even if he is usually a 'fraidy cat, lol.

Again, I am so glad you found him! How many gray hairs did you get over this episode? ;)
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#7
I hope that Charlie is microchipped. It's something that those of us in Rescue wish more people did! Cats may travel a long way when outside and even though we put up posters for blocks they can actually be miles away :-(

I have trialled collars for cats, I've tried the TAGG GPS locator which is kinda bulky and unless Charlie is a bulky LARGE type of F1 I doubt it works well. Even with that being on my 62.5% girl, she took it off every time she went through the pet door into our secure enclosure. So I feel it likely that if outside in the neighborhood it would come off pretty soon.

I also put the Loc8tor radio device on a collar on my next largest SV, Baz. It stayed on a bit better as it is smaller but the handheld device you use to locate it is limited in range and direction.

Neither were too satisfying, if I didn't feel my lot were secure inside (our front door is a double entry and back door opens onto our enclosure) I likely might use the Loc8tor on the cats. IF they would keep a collar on. I find that most of mine find it a huge game to snap the collars off each other. Cats need breakaway collars unlike dogs... and sadly some find this fun...
 

Kaiser891

Savannah Adult
#8
Yes, Charlie is microchipped. That was done on the way home from the breeder!
I'd really like to see a microchip type device that could be used as a GPS tracker. I'm sure it would be expensive (some kind of subscription necessary) but its the piece of mind I'm lacking right now. I agree, a big collar ain't gonna work.
 

admin

Paige
Staff member
#9
Yes, Charlie is microchipped. That was done on the way home from the breeder!
I'd really like to see a microchip type device that could be used as a GPS tracker. I'm sure it would be expensive (some kind of subscription necessary) but its the piece of mind I'm lacking right now. I agree, a big collar ain't gonna work.
Wow, I am so happy you found Charlie!

I think there is a microchip device on the horizon...Ihttp://www.kickstarter.com/projects/trax-gps-tracker/trax-gps-tracker-for-children-and-pets
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
#10
I think that most of the issue with a microchip GPS device is in the battery required to be sending out the signal... that limits it, of course with technology advancing hopefully one day it will be possible and I know many of us will be delighted!