One of the things I get asked about all the time are cat trackers. If you have ever tracked your cat you will know that it is fun and reassuring to see what your kitty is up to without you. I bought a tracker for Chirpy when I had extreme anxiety about him going out after he went missing for 48 hours and I thought I would never see his sweet face again. I may have a slight obsession with cat trackers...
Trackers have to be worn on a collar because they require a battery that needs charging. There is no tracker that can be implanted into your cat. Depending on the tracker and your usage in tracking your cat, the battery will last for an average of 1-3 days.
Trackers usually weigh about 30 g and are worn on a collar. This weight is fine for most adult cats to carry, but if your cat is very small or is elderly and frail it may be too heavy and they are not suitable for kittens.
Without a doubt, your cat will lose their tracker at some point, but you can find it, it just may require you knocking on some neighbour's doors or searching through some vegetation. One of the biggest objections people have to using a tracker is that their cat will not keep a collar on. This will make it more difficult for sure, but even if your cat keeps their collar on for even half a day at a time you will still learn something about where your cat goes, so it should not stop you tracking your cat if you are keen to do so.
Most trackers work through GPS and use satellites to pinpoint your cat's location. Apple AirTags can also be used as cat trackers, but these do not rely on GPS, they rely on other Apple phones in the area to triangulate your cat's location - so if you live in a rural area this may not work well for you.
Trackers are relatively inexpensive, you can expect to pay £40-80 for your tracker. Some, but not all, trackers also require a monthly or yearly subscription cost that you will also need to factor into the purchase price. So some trackers may be more expensive upfront, but cost less overall if there is no ongoing subscription fee.
Trackers come with an app, and that is where you can see what your kitty is up to. With many trackers, you can also set boundaries and if your cat strays beyond those boundaries you get notified, so you know when you do, and don't, need to worry about where your cat is.
Finally, in my experience, trackers are a fantastic tool if you have anxiety about where your cat is going, or if you are curious about how much territory they cover. It is also great if you are out for long days... so is a camera, I'll tell you about mine in a couple of weeks time! I learned just how predictable Chirpy is, and how close to home he stayed. This gave me so much reassurance. For me, a tracker was absolutely priceless.