Gear

Tractive GPS Cat Tracker Review

If your cat's an escape artist, an adventure cat, or loves to relax in the neighbor's garden, a tracking device can give you peace of mind when your furry friend is away from home. We review one of the best-selling trackers on the market in our Tractive GPS cat tracker review.

Tara Maurer holding cat smiling

Last Updated: February 6, 2024 | 5 min read

A cat wearing Tractive collar outside.

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One of the best parts of teaching my kitty to walk on a leash is that I can take them on adventures one day. However, I know that having an adventure buddy comes with risks. There will always be dangers of my pet getting lost or injured.

Trying to plan ahead, I began researching cat trackers—wearable tracking devices that give you real-time details on your pet’s location. While there are virtually infinite options on the market, I found that the Tractive GPS was suited for various situations, including around the neighborhood, in the house, and on the trails.

The Tractive GPS tracker and health monitor is an all-in-one solution for tracking your pet. This lightweight attachment connects to your kitty’s collar and sends you real-time location details via your smartphone, creating a map of your cat’s past routes.

The Tractive app also shares wellness markers, including sleep patterns and active minutes. Like my fitness-tracking watch, I can use Tractive to ensure my cat stays healthy and active.

6 Key Features

  1. Unlimited range worldwide
  2. LIVE tracking that updates every two to three seconds
  3. Virtual fences with escape alerts
  4. History and territory tracking
  5. Activity and sleep monitoring
  6. Health alerts reporting changes in cat’s routine

Tractive Brand History

The Tractive brand was founded in 2012 in Pasching, Austria, by a group of entrepreneurs looking to create a pet-specific GPS wearable. Tractive’s first tracker was for dogs, with a smaller, lighter tracker following for cats. Today, Tractive is one of the most popular tracking wearables for cats and dogs on the market.

Tractive GPS Cat Tracker Review

A cat wearing Tractive with app on phone screen.

Tractive currently offers two cat trackers: the Tractive CAT Mini and the Tractive GPS CAT 4. The CAT 4 is suitable for cats up to 8.8 pounds and has a battery life of up to 10 days when in power-saving mode. For smaller cats, the Mini offers less weight and reduced battery life (48 hours on average but up to seven days with power-saving mode).

When you open the box, you’ll find a safety collar (Tractive can also connect to your cat’s current collar), the tracker, a rubber mount, a clip mount, and a charger.

Setting up the tracker is easy. Download the Tractive iOS or Android app, create an account with your cat’s information, and pair it with your phone. When you turn on the tracker, the GPS module inside will calculate the device’s location (and, therefore, your pet’s) using data it receives from GPS satellites.

You’ll need to purchase one of Tractive’s subscription plans, which activates the SIM card built into the tracker. The tracker can then connect to local cellular networks and send your pet’s location information to the app on your phone.

How Does The Tractive GSP Tracker Work?

The tracker uses a combination of GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth technology to locate and monitor your pet. Tractive uses GPS satellites to determine your pet’s location when they’re further from home. The tracker shifts into Bluetooth mode when you’re closer to your kitty to help pinpoint their exact location using lights and sound. In Bluetooth mode, you can “ring” your cat’s collar to lead yourself to your wandering pet.

When closer to home, the tracker enters power-saving mode by connecting to trusted Wi-Fi networks. In power saving mode, live tracking and similar features pause to extend battery life.

10 Tractive Features

Tractive touts an impressive list of features:

  1. LIVE tracking: Use Tractive’s real-time location tracking to see your cat’s movements via your smartphone.
  2. Radar mode: To use this feature, tap the app’s Radar button to let you know when you’re moving closer to or further away from your feline. Lights and sounds help guide you to your pet’s location.
  3. Virtual fence: Set up to five virtual fences to receive alerts when your pet enters or exits a particular area.
  4. Wellness monitoring: Tractive’s wellness monitoring combines sleep, activity levels, and other insights to give your pet a wellness score. You can see how your pet performs compared to others by checking Tractive’s monthly leaderboard.
  5. Community leaderboards: Leaderboards compare your feline’s activity level vs. those around the world, in your neighborhood or friends list, or by breed.
  6. Health alerts: Receive email notifications notifying you of changes to your cat’s sleep and activity minutes.
  7. GPS data export: Create a tracking link in the app to share your cat’s location with others, including neighbors, friends, pet sitters, and others who do not have a Tractive account. This feature is only included in Tractive’s premium subscription plan.
  8. Family sharing: The Tractive premium subscription lets multiple users view tracking data when they create a free account.
  9. History: The premium subscription has a 1-year location history to see your cat’s past routes.
  10. Waterproof: Tractive says its trackers are “100% adventure and waterproof.” The tracker is protected in up to 1 meter water depth for 30 minutes.

Tractive Models For Cats

Tractive GPS CAT 4

Tractive GPS CAT 4.
  • Weight: 35 g (1.23 oz)
  • Dimensions: 71 x 28 x 17 mm
  • Suitable for cats weighing 8.8 lb and above
  • Can be attached to most collars
  • Battery life up to 10 days
  • Operating temperature: -4°F to 113°F

The Tractive GPS CAT 4 is a 100% waterproof GPS tracking device for all your cat’s outdoor adventures. Unlike Bluetooth trackers or Apple AirTags, this GPS tracker works no matter how far your pet is away from you.

Recommended for cats over 8.8 pounds, the weight of the GPS collar shouldn’t be much of an issue if you have a larger cat. For more petite kitties, Tractive introduced a mini model.

Tractive CAT Mini

Tractive GPS CAT 4.
  • Weight: 25 g (0.88 oz)
  • Dimensions: 55 x 28 x 17 mm
  • Suitable for adult cats weighing 6.6 lb and above
  • Can be attached to most collars
  • Battery life: 48 hours average
  • Operating temperature: -4°F to 113°F

The smaller Tractive CAT Mini includes all the features of the Tractive GPS CAT 4 in a small package. Weighing less than an ounce, it’s an excellent choice for smaller felines.

Keep in mind that with the smaller size comes reduced battery life. According to the manufacturer, the Tractive Mini averages a 48-hour battery life, though it’s extendable to seven days with the Power Saving Zone feature.

Tractive Subscription Plans

Tractive’s built-in SIM card requires paying for a monthly subscription plan. Tractive also offers the Tractive Care plan, which protects users against loss, damages, and theft, starting at $2 per month for a year.

Basic SubscriptionPremium Subscription
Monthly Cost$13/mo. $9/mo.
1 Year$8/mo. (billed annually)
2 Years$6/mo. (billed every 2 years)$7/mo. (billed every 2 years)
5 Years$5/mo. (billed every 5 years)
Regular Location UpdatesBlue checkmarkBlue checkmark
Unlimited LIVE TrackingBlue checkmarkBlue checkmark
Activity & SleepBlue checkmarkBlue checkmark
Family SharingBlue checkmark
Worldwide CoverageBlue checkmark
365-Day Location HistoryBlue checkmark
GPS Data ExportBlue checkmark

Is The Tractive GPS Cat Tracker Good?

The Tractive GPS Cat Tracker is a leader in the pet tracker market. We looked at all the cat trackers on the market, and Tractive was our top pick overall.

That being said, the Tractive GPS tracker may only work for some. If you are in a remote area with a poor cellular connection, a radio frequency tracker or a GPS tracker that doesn’t rely on a cell connection would be a better option. And, if your cat is exclusively indoors, a Bluetooth tracker would be a cheaper and more effective option.

If your cat stays within cellular range, the Tractive GPS cat tracker is a durable, reliable option for locating your kitty’s location.

Pros & Cons

ProsCons
Uses GPS, Wi-Fi, and BluetoothRequires monthly subscription
Geofencing to create virtual perimeterMust choose premium subscription for worldwide coverage, location history, family sharing, and GPS data export
Two sizes availableMay be less accurate indoors (possible GPS interference)
LightweightShort battery life (compared to other tracking technology like Bluetooth)
100% waterproof
Two-year warranty

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding the Tractive GPS cat tracker. Don’t see yours? Ask us in the comments.

Do You Need A Subscription For Tractive?

Tractive uses cell data, so it requires a monthly service subscription.

What Cell Provider Does Tractive Use?

Tractive connects with all major cellular providers in the 175 countries where it operates, including Verizon, U.S. Cellular, and AT&T. It doesn’t matter which mobile service you currently use because each Tractive is equipped with its own SIM card. Having its own SIM card means that the device operates on a cellular network separate from that of your mobile service provider.

Gear For Traveling With Your Cat

We review other gear for traveling with your pet, including cat strollers and travel litter boxes.

Why Trust Love Your Cat?

Tara has 25 years of experience with cats and spends countless hours researching and testing to provide in-depth detail on her topics. She currently lives with two nine-year-old domestic felines, Luna and Lucy, who have recently learned to walk on leashes. While off-leash adventuring may be a ways away, the Tractive GPS tracker would be Tara’s top choice to ensure her cats are always easily located.

A woman pointing finger at a cat sitting on ledge.

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