Cat gps trackers are certainly difficult to find today -- especially in the US. For some reason most of the cat tracking collars that use GPS technology seems to come out of the UK.
Part of the reason, I suspect, is that in the UK and much of Europe GSM technology is much more prevalent than in the US where CDMA is currently the dominant cellular phone network.
Here is a chart showing GSM versus CDMA carriers in the US.
So why is this significant to cat gps tracking collar development? I think it's because with a GSM phone you can easily move it's SIM card from one phone to another. Or in the case of your cat, from any GSM phone to your cat's collar. That keeps the buyer's cost lower since they can always "reuse" the SIM card and not have to buy another cell phone.
To develop a cat tracking collar based on CDMA technology in the US, your cat's tracking collar basically has to be a standalone and dedicated cell phone that only your cat can use. This adds to the consumer's cost.
Another reason why GPS cat collars are difficult to find in general is because the technology is still being developed. Many GPS cat tracking collars in the UK that use GSM tend to be either large and clunky or lacking any feasible battery life.
Some GPS cat locating devices only last 15 hours before your have to recharge the battery. That makes it a chore to have to remember to charge the cat's collar all the time.
Among the three limiting factors -- GSM coverage in US, cellular phone operation costs, and short battery life -- I believe the short battery life is the more critical. Because the current GPS technology still draws a lot of battery power for transmitting the collar's coordinates, the extra battery requirements make the pet tracker that much more bulky.
Alternatively, the only way to make the unit smaller is to give it less battery life which can make the usage much shorter and operation barely tolerable due to the frequency of recharging that would be required.
So what can you do for locating your lost cat if you live the US?
The best alternative today is to use a radio cat tracking collar. These radio frequency, or "RF", cat collars are typically short range collars which makes the electronics smaller and more lightweight for your cat.
Also, short range RF uses less battery power so that also lends itself well to longer operation and lighter weight as well.
The downside to radio cat tracking devices? No exact positioning data like GPS. However, since cats tend to roam much slower and with less range than dogs the lack of exact live positioning is manageable.
Following is one very popular radio cat tracking collar that you can buy in the US. Best prices seem to come from reputable sellers on eBay.
|Loc8tor PLUS Pet Handheld Pet Finder Pet Locator Open Box||US $134.95||28d 2h 11m|
This pet tracking device utilizes a small "homing tag" that you can attach to your pet's collar. Since it's so small, it can easily be carried by a cat or even a kitten.
And since the RF power requirements are low, you can use fairly small batteries that need not be replaced as frequently as the GPS cat tracking collars.
So until GPS cat tracking technology becomes a little more advanced, your best option for now is to stick with a radio cat tracking collar.