We are in the era of GPS cat and dog trackers. There is no need for a cat or dog to be lost. Relative to the monthly expenses of a typical family either in the UK or USA, the expense of running a cat GPS tracker system is low. Think about it: according to the American Humane website about 10 million companion animals are lost in the United States each year. Only 2% of cats in shelters without ID tags or microchips are reunited with their owners. In the UK Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance say that around 60 cats or dogs go missing every hour.
The Lost Pet Research and Recovery website (USA) tells us that at least 15% of cat owners lose their companion animal in a five year period. One third of them are found after seven days and 61% are found after one year. Thirty-four percent are not found, 0.2% are found dead and 64% are found alive. Of those found alive, 4% were found in their own home, 11% were found in a neighbour’s home, 2% were found in a public building and 5% in shelters.
The type of identification that the lost cat carried when they were missing were: 15% microchip, 21% licence (I don’t know what this means), 25% personalised identification, 27% rabies tag, 56% no identification. As these figures add up to more than 100% they must come from more than one study, please note. The age of lost cats was: 24% senior, 66% adult and 10% kittens.
On the same website they quote a study (Weiss et al. 2012) in which it was found that between 12 and 18% of cats are likely to go missing at least once in five years. Another study (Lord et al. 2007a) found that 41% of missing cats were indoor-only cats. Comment: this can only mean that the cats either (1) escaped the home and whether lost or (2) were lost in the home which is unlikely.
The studies about lost cats produce varying figures but the Weiss et al. study found that 75% of missing cats were found and statistically 63-84% of lost cats in the US are found.
The numbers are quite high and slightly disturbing if you are concerned about cat welfare. Depending on your viewpoint you might even say that the numbers are very high and when a cat is lost and ends up in a shelter there is a good chance that the cat will be euthanised.
The emotional distress and expense incurred when trying to find a lost cat are substantial provided you have the normal human-to-cat close relationship.
THERE IS A SELECTION OF ARTICLES ON LOST CATS AT THE BASE OF THE PAGE.
I am edging towards a conclusion, and the conclusion is that if you are worried about your cat being lost, and if you have adequate disposable income, it would make a lot of sense to purchase a GPS Tracker system.
I suspect that what a lot of people don’t like about the system is that you pay for the product, which is modestly priced, and then you have to pay for a monthly subscription. People don’t like that monthly subscription element. But taking one example: Weenect Cats 2, which gets very good reports, the device that you fit on a collar costs £49.99 p. The subscription starts from €3.75 per month.
I don’t think that that is an awful lot although I suspect that the normal amount you pay in a subscription is higher than that. But it is peace of mind and that’s worth money. And this device allows you to do more than simply track your cat on your smartphone. You can train your cat to come at meal times or on demand. This is because the tracker has a ring or vibrate system and you can train your cat to come home when the device vibrates using positive reinforcement training.
You can also find out where your pet spends most of their time and the boundaries of their territory. You will understand a lot more about what your cat does when they are outside. And you will never lose your cat. I am not paid to recommend this product by the way.
I would buy this device if I needed to. However, although my cat goes outside, I know that he sticks to a set routine and I know where he goes because I have used a radio collar tracking system. This is less sophisticated but he can wear a radio transmitting device which is picked up by a receiver that I carry. It requires some effort from me but I know that he doesn’t go more than about 300 yards from my home and I know where he goes. Once you know where your cat goes over a period of a few days you will know that he goes to those places all the time and it does not vary because he is travelling within his territory which is described by experts as his “home range”. They confine themselves to this home range.
Although, if they don’t it is because, for example, they have jumped into a lorry, van or car and the vehicle has taken them many miles away. This would be a situation where the GPS tracking device comes into its own. It would completely solve the problem as to where your cat ended up, at a stroke.
USA GPS tracker review
I can’t vouch for the voracity and quality of this video but nonetheless I think it will prove useful to anybody who is considering getting a GPS tracker for their cat if they are living in America.
Note: videos on this site are typically made by people other than me and held on YouTube servers or the servers of other businesses (not the server storing this website). Sometimes the videos are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened I apologise but I have no control over it.