Sunday, March 18, 2012

New GPS Tracker Designed Specifically for Cats


There are dozens of trackers designed for dogs and kids and everything in between, but many of them are too large to comfortably fit a cat. Multi-purpose trackers are often marketed to dog owners, but as any cat lover will tell you, our feline furry friends travel quite a bit differently than their canine cousins and heavy rectangular trackers simply won’t work for fussy kitties.

Introducing Pawtrack, a GPS collar designed specifically for cats. The tracker is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter with a little over two weeks left, more than half of the goal pledged and an expected launch date this November.

The unique design of this tracker is what caught my eye. Unlike most trackers (which usually consist of a small box strapped around your pet’s neck), Pawtrack is designed as a comfortable collar and will not hang down under your cat’s neck but instead rest comfortably on the back of their neck with a clear view of the sky for a better fix. Creator Jeremy Price explained that this design is especially important on kitties, who tend to hide under brush and other cover when exploring away from home. Also, the collar is light, weighing only 50 grams.

According to the site, Pawtrack has an expected battery life of six days, depending on energy-saving settings and other factors. It is charged with a simple USB plug and is designed for minimal fuss for the owner. Simply charge it and put the collar on your cat and she is free to wander while you’re free from worry.

Pawtrack automatically shuts down to conserve battery when kitty is simply lounging safely at home.

Pawtrack automatically shuts down to conserve battery when kitty is simply lounging safely at home.

The tracker is compatible with both GPS and GLONASS signals, allowing for a more accurate fix while you kitty is wandering. When at home, the device can detect your WiFi network and will send you an alert and then shut down to conserve battery while your cat sleeps and lounges about the house (as all cats do!). Then, when kitty decides it’s time to go exploring again, the collar will wake up and begin tracking movements for your peace of mind. The collar features traditional tracking functions like geofencing and you can see their location on your computer at any time. A tracking app for Pawtrack is in the works and expected to be launched early next year.

The device does require a monthly subscription of $9.99/month with a 12 month contract. However, Kickstarter funders can get their first year free with the purchase of a collar. On Kickstarter you can purchase the collar with the free year’s subscription for $166. Once the product is launched, it will market for $124.99 plus the monthly subscription. It comes with a 7 day refund policy and one year mechanical failure warranty.

The Kickstarter page states that this device has been about five years in the making and looking at the clever design, I can certainly see why. As a cat lover myself, I think this device is a great idea for giving peace of mind to the parents of gallivanting felines and it’s nice to finally see something marketed towards the smaller of our furry friends.

For more information, be sure to check out their website, Kickstarter page and this video they have posted on Kickstarter, explaining some of the features of the collar:

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