After the successful launch of their very first cat-specific GPS tracker CAT during CES at the beginning of the year, Tractive, the world market leader in GPS tracking
for dogs and cats has debuted the next generation tracker for felines at this year’s IFA in Berlin, Germany. Feedback from several 10,000 of customers had helped redesign the tracker. The result is an innovative device that meets the customers’ requirements even better.
By chance i bumped into the booth at IFA 2019 and had a brief chat with the team. As a result they have been kind enough to send over a unit for me to track my cat “Haggis” and see where he goes for 23 hours a day – It turns out Haggis really hates wearing a collar so I ended up testing the tracker with my car, it was really cool visualising the routes i take on a daily and weekly basis. This, I’m sure would have been equally as exciting if i could have tracked my cat.
First impressions are that the trackers for both dog and cat seem to be the same size and weight but are super light and by no means bulky. They have redesigned the cat collar to be a more adaptable “clip on” version so you can attach it to your existing collar boasting that it can be attached to virtually any pet collar independent of its
size or width. Setup was very simple, by entering the tracker’s identification code into the website you are instantly setup and forwarded to the relevant place in the the online dashboard.
Tractive GPS use a small tracker unit (pictured above) that communicates location information to the Tractive GPS app via GPS data transmitted over a cellular network, you can then access the location of individual or multiple trackers on any device. The tracker allows you to define zones within which your pet can freely move and it sends an instant notification when your pet steps outside the defined range. Once you receive the notification, you can start tracking your pet via the Tractive GPS app in the live tracking mode – you receive your pet’s location information in real time, with data refreshed every two seconds. If the live tracking mode is not on, the location update frequency depends on your pet’s level of activity and information is not updated in real time. When tracking your pet, you follow a map provided in the app. You can view both your pet’s current position and his or her previous locations. Due to Tractive GPS’ high accuracy and update speed, you should be able to locate your pet in no time.
The tracker uses cellular GPS and works in the US, Europe and everywhere else in between. The tracker is equipped with its own SIM card and it does not matter which mobile service provider you have for your mobile device making it perfect for tracking without worry of losing signal. It also means there is one less thing to arrange so you can be ready to track straight out the box.
The Tractive trackers come in 3 equally attractive versions. A single device weighs just 35 grams, fits most collars and is attached with collar clips provided in the box. The versions differ in terms of colour and pattern you’ll find navy, white and camouflage versions for dogs and white for cats there is a Hunter’s edition too. The device is small, lightweight, and unobtrusive, so your pet should have no trouble getting used to it. However, it is important to note that the recommended pet size for Tractive GPS is around 5kg. If your pet weighs more than 44 pounds, you should opt for Tractive GPS XL, which possesses the same key features, is unsurprisingly larger has a longer battery life of up to a whopping 6 weeks, other features include:
Shockproof: The tracker is highly durable and resistant to impact. With claims of being virtually indestructible. I’ll admit I have dropped mine a couple of time and as yet it has not failed or shown any signs of wear/damage.
Waterproof: Rated to IPX7, which means that it is not only resistant to water, but that it can withstand immersion of up to 3 feet (1 meter) for up to 30 minutes.
Battery: The battery is rechargeable battery. The average battery life is 2 to 5 days with normal use but decreases significantly when live tracking is on. Still, you can expect it to last for about 8 hours in the live tracking mode. If you plump for the Tracker XL you will not be disappointed with the up to 6 week lifespan.
Range: The device has a built-in GPS antenna and uses GPS satellites to calculate its GPS position. Its communication range is only limited by the possibility to establish communication with GPS satellites. It can work over any range but does rely on cell network coverage.
Accuracy: Accuracy may vary depending on how many GPS satellites the device can detect. It needs to establish the distances to no less than 4 satellites; the more satellites it detects, the greater the accuracy. If all is well, accuracy is generally between 10 and 5 metres.
LED Light & Beeper: The device comes equipped with a LED light, making it easier for you to track your pet after dusk. The light can also communicate important information about the network and GPS status of the tracker. Tractive GPS contains a built-in speaker that can be remotely activated using the app. Upon activation, the device emits buzzer-like sound, which is supposed to allow you to find the device more easily if it is lost. However, due to legal restrictions, the buzzer function has been disabled for US users.
Device Compatibility: Unlike many other pet trackers, Tractive GPS provides both a smartphone app and a web app. The smartphone app works on Android and iOS phones and requires Android 4.1 and up and iOS 9.3 or later. The web app works on any device with access to the Internet and you can access it by logging in at my.tractive.com.
The price of your Tractive tracking device depends on the version you choose. The basic versions for either cat or dog costs €49.99 per tracker – which in my opinion makes this a very attractive gadget purchase.
The Tractive GPS XL cost €79.99 per device. In the package, you receive a GPS tracker, a charger, collar clips, and a user manual. Tractive GPS and Tractive GPS XL come with a 12-month warranty and qualify for Tractive CARE, which guarantees that your device will be replaced if lost, damaged or stolen during the service period.
As expected basic package does not come with worldwide coverage (you can only use it in your home country), does not allow sharing, and does not include Premium features like Altitude and Speed, Premium customer support, unlimited location history, and location history exporting. It costs €7.99 (around $8.76) per month for the monthly subscription, €4.16 (around $4.80) per month with the yearly subscription, and €3.75 (around $4.33) per month with the 2-year subscription.
If you opt for the Premium subscription, you get all the benefits Tractive GPS offers, but you cannot opt for the monthly subscription. You pay €4.99 (around $5.76) per month with the yearly subscription and €4.16 (around $4.80) per month with the 2-year subscription.
If nothing else these trackers are both extremely useful and fun. As things go I am using mine to track my car and caravan when i leave them unattended, but as an animal tracker these are the perfect gift for the conscientious pet owner. You shouldn’t be dissuaded from ordering one of these if you had say a horse or wanted to keep tabs on your award winning cattle.
I’d recommend picking one up – You’ll currently find them discounted on the Amazon.fr but it might be worth trying your local site for the best prices. Trackers are available direct but the best prices I’ve seen come from Amazon or a quick google search.