The Tabcat cat locator is a small, accurate cat tracking device that helps you keep an eye on your cat inside or outside.
Read on for the most comprehensive review which answers a lot of questions that I know you will want answers to. NOTE: the Loc8tor Tabcat works as a small dog tracker too. No need for smartphone tracking or a GPS tracker.
- Updated March 2019: Our Tabcat Trackers are still going strong with no issues at all. I would love to try a cat GPS tracker but at the moment they are still too big for most cats.
Tabcat is one of our most popular cat product reviews ever.
Dash Kitten received a complimentary Tabcat Tracker cat locator collar set for review. The opinions here are 100% our own and we are responsible for the content of this post. We only share news and products we feel are relevant to our readers and believe us, you will want to hear about the Tabcat!
Finding Lost and Missing Cats
Cats need to be identifiable, and locatable, inside and outside, as much as possible. Yes, indoor cats can disappear for what seems like forever too. A tracker and also microchipping can play a critical part in locating your pet if they stray further away from home.
We want to introduce you to one of the most exciting cat developments in cat locators. For every pet parent who has real cat ‘finding’ issues, the best cat tracking device is this one. It has a good garden, or house range and really works.
- NOTE: New Zealand is including cutting edge facial recognition technology in its goal to locate and reunite more missing pets.
There are 3 types of technologies currently used to help find or identify pets.
- Microchip implants and trackers (RFID)
- Radio Frequency 2.4GHZ (Zigbee)
- Global Positioning System (GPS) & GSM
What is the Tabcat Cat Locator?
The RFID Tabcat location system is sophisticated technology on a friendly and human scale. This is most definitely not an interactive cat toy, it is a serious piece of safety equipment every pet parent will be interested in for cats who wander.
This is not a substitute for a microchip, it is another defence for cat parents against missing cats or theft. Please, ensure your cat is microchipped. I am still looking for a good cat chip tracker to report on for readers.
- Tabcat simple to set up, and super easy to use. A big bonus with this pet tracker is no monthly fee.
Each tag is linked to the handset in a simple one-step procedure, and there is room for up to four tags (4 cats or 4 items) on one handset.
For an idea of the dimensions, and a fun sample of how successful cat location works, check our video here!
The basic Tabcat set contains:-
- A slimline Handset. The handset is about the size of a credit card – slender and lightweight. We keep ours by the back door.
- Two Tags
- Showerproof Covers for the tags. These also attach the tags to collars and we have found them really useful.
- An illustrated User Guide that is easy to use, with an online copy on Tabcat Cat Locator website.
Note:- Spare tags, and a Tabcat replacement case or two are available for a modest extra cost.
How the Tabcat Cat Locator Can Help You
Here’s an example of when a Tabcat could have saved worry and stress. It’s our experience with our much-loved senior cat Peanut, a couple of years ago.:-
Peanut, (18) went out into the garden and took a wrong turn. Thankfully the weather was warm BUT when we realised she had gone, we were frantic with worry. Disorientated, Peanut was discovered behind the garage safe and well! BUT With a Tabcat locator, we would have discovered Peanut in less than a minute!
A similar scenario might play out in a multi-level house, or an apartment with several rooms and plenty of hiding places. This lightweight radio frequency tracker is worth its weight in pure top grade catnip.
[ Silver wearing his Tabcat Tag fitted to his collar.
Isn’t the homing tag big for a cat?
This was our first question when fitting the tags to Silver, Jack (ginger) and Natasha (tuxedo) who appear in the video. Each has a tag on their collar, and none of them shows any sign of irritation, or even acknowledging the tag is there. It’s business as usual for them.
This quote from MyTabCat gives you an idea of how much a cat tracking device should weigh:-
“A study** carried out in New Zealand and published in 2015, looked at the impact of collar-mounted track devices on domestic cats. They recorded cats wearing GPS tracking devices weighing between 30g and 130g and looked to understand the devices impact behaviour and movement. They concluded that GPS collars on cats; “should be no more than 2% of body mass”. For an average cat weighing 4kg, this equates to 8g.“ – Tabcat **
A Tabcat Cat Tracker tag is only 6 grams, so a GPS Cat Tracking device at 30g is approximately five times the weight of the Tabcat Tag. [US weight conversion 4kg – 8.8 pounds approx.]
How does the Tabcat finder work?
The handset is an RF Tracker. This means ‘Radio Frequency’ (2.4ghz).
It is very accurate and sends a direct signal between you and the tag when you operate the handset. This close transmission signal keeps battery use low, so the tag battery lasts a lot longer.
The increased accuracy of radio frequency tracking to within 2.5cms/1 inch means you will locate a cat trapped in a cupboard or small space quickly. By contrast, GPS devices need charging more often as the device triangulates with at least three satellites 12,000 miles, or 19,000 km away.
How Far Can Tabcat Cat Locator Reach?
The tracker signal reaches about 120 mts/400 feet, and, unlike many GPS units, it can scan through a house or a wall.
We have been able to successfully locate Silver and Natasha by standing still, turning on the tracker handset, and then turning in a slow circle until we find their tag signal. This works inside and outside our home.
The tracker reaches across neighbouring gardens, through trees and bush. It will not reach through a hill – this is too solid, which seems reasonable to us!
Are we happy with our Tabcat Cat Locator?
Yes, definitely! The technology is human-friendly and easy to use, yet it is amazingly sophisticated. We are so happy we have the Tabcat. We could not be more impressed, and reassured!
The Tabcat is everything you need, for an economical, low maintenance price. The Tabcat packaging is also amongst the best we have come across, robust and secure. The box will keep your tags super safe until they reach your home.
Most importantly for us as cat owners, Tabcat allows our garden-loving cats to be located with ease and speed. On a dark night, standing in the garden we can’t see much, but with the Tabcat tracker, the cats become easier to locate. We no longer have to scrabble through flower beds to find a missing fur family member who does not want to come indoors!
Bonus Cat Tracking Movie
I am including our bonus report on the Tabcat in action. I actually needed to use it to find a missing collar, although thankfully Natasha is fine.
A collar went missing, no big deal you say, except it was outdoors girl Natasha. She was wearing a collar from our friends the Cool Cat Collar Company with a Tabcat tag attached!
So, of course, I had to go into the garden and find it! It turned out to be a useful learning experience, and I thought we would share what I learned while searching for the Tabcat tag.
On the trail with the Tabcat Tracker!
I knew from our original assessment of the Tabcat, that it is great to help find a missing feline, but could we find the smaller tag on its own? Our garden backs on to the tree-filled bush, and stream.
This was not the easiest of places to find a collar and tag, as you can see in the video of Natasha’s playground!
Tips For When You Are Locating a Tag
My experience hunting for Natasha’s tag, and finding it, has allowed me to note tips you might find helpful. While these refer to my cat, they can also be applied to any inanimate item you have attached a Tag too.
- The key is to start calmly and quietly. Take a breath. Scan around you carefully, until you get a signal.
- Be patient, be quiet, and listen to your handset.
- When you start getting a signal, walk in that direction. Stop and correct if your signal begins to fade.
- When you reach a full set of lights on the handset, stop and look carefully around. The object of your search is nearby.
- It took a few attempts to locate the cat tag on its own. Why? Because it was not attached to a larger object, Natasha!
- With patient searching, the tag and collar were found.
There is a difference between doing a well-staged ‘demo’ as we did this genuine ‘in the field’ example.
You are not looking for camera angles to make sure readers get a clear message, you are searching in real time for a real object. This is why we took the decision to do a second ‘update’ post on our Tabcat.
We hope you enjoy Natasha’s video, we had a lot of fun making it.
The Cost of the Best Tracker for Pets?
- Basic and Expanded Handset with tags and waterproof cases with both USA and British ordering options. This is our special affiliate link for Loc8tor Amazon.
We hope you have enjoyed our Tabcat review, and find the whole concept as exciting as we do. This is the best cat tracker ever and a worthwhile investment for every cat parent.
Sources used:-**Weighed down by science: do collar-mounted devices affect domestic cat behaviour and movement? Cayley E. Coughlin and Yolanda van Heezik Department of Zoology, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand. Published in Wildlife Research 20/03/15.