Owning a pet is a great pleasure. If only we knew what they are thinking and feeling! And if only we could ensure that they would never get lost! Pets deserve our attention as they have needs and feelings. Wouldn’t it be ideal if they could communicate with us? So, what if we told you there is a pet collar which gives your pet a voice?
KYON smart collar is a multifunctional pet tracker that helps you communicate with your pet and simultaneously protects it from getting lost.
KYON is a stylish wearable device of highly advanced technology supporting a GPS and a GSM technology accompanied by an LED display where you can project the messages you want. Along with a Basestation and an easy-to-use mobile application that audits and receives alerts or info regarding your pets’ condition, KYON brings you closer to your best friend.
KYON smart collar tells you the exact location of your pet while it notifies you if your pet runs away from a specific distance approximately 300ft, a “safe zone” which can be extended by adding a SIM card for an extra $4.99 per month.
With its Sense technology, the KYON collar lets pet owners feel their pets’ mood. For example, there is an embedded 9- axis accelerometer which updates you about your pet’s activity levels (if feeling happy or sleepy) when you are not at home. Moreover, KYON collar has a heat sensor which informs you whether your pet is feeling too hot or too cold. It holds as well a water sensor that operates like a “lifeguard” by notifying the owner when it detects water.
KYON smart collar, offers some additional exciting features which along with the aforementioned guarantee that it is the smartest collar there is. The collar helps you avoid dangerous dog fights with its pacifying technology that uses a high frequency sound that calms your pet. Tip: When two pets of contradictory breeds are both wearing a KYON collar, then the pacifier feature is activated automatically. Barking can be sometimes risky and annoying. KYON prevents your beloved “yeller” from barking with its “Shhh…!” feature.
In addition, with KYON you can also in-flight monitor you pet and thanks to KYON’s vet appointment and annual vaccination as well as walk reminder your pet’s needs won’t be forgotten.
KYON has a 30 day life rechargeable battery (depends on usage). It is designed for pets with 25 to 50cm neck perimeter and its leash clip can support over 30 kg and it operates in 120 countries worldwide. Details, finally, can make the difference, hence KYON smart collar is offered in a variety of colors in order to make the choice you prefer.
KYON pet collar is a KICKSTARTER project which has launched its campaign in March and aims to be funded by the 15th of May 2016 (5:35 PM +03:00). If you want to be part of this initiative, then, don’t hesitate: Make your pet the perfect gift!
Humane cage traps and enclosure traps are effective methods for catching escaped indoor-only cats, outdoor-access cats lost away from home and skittish lost dogs. However, monitoring a trap is often very labor intensive, especially when set away from your home. Checking the trap frequently (such as every four hours in good weather) is important not only for the well-being of any trapped animal, but also because any time that a non-target animal is caught in the trap is a missed opportunity for catching your own missing pet. For this reason I recommend the use of wireless wildlife cameras or trap alarms. These will alert you when an animal is caught in the trap and you can either release the non-target animal or bring your lost pet home quickly.
Wireless Wildlife Cameras
Regular wildlife cameras (a.k.a. trail cameras) save their pictures to an SD card in the camera that you then need to retrieve to view the photos. There are now a variety of wireless trail cameras available. These cameras will send a picture to your phone or email (almost) every time one is taken by the camera. Some of them require an AT & T or TMobile account, but most now allow you to purchase a pre-paid phone card such as the Go Phone plan from AT & T for only $10/month. Be warned that you may need to talk to several sales associates before you find one that understands what you need to purchase to make the camera work, and don’t let them convince you that you need to purchase a plan that includes minutes. In order for these to work, the camera must be set up somewhere with cell phone coverage. A signal booster may be used in areas with weak signals.
When the camera is directed at a trap, you will start receiving photos via email or text as soon as an animal is caught in the trap. These work well both with humane cage-type traps and larger enclosure traps. These can also help you monitor a trap at night. If you have a smart phone, you can set it up so that the incoming message alert wakes you up and/or you could set you alarm to go off every 2-4 hours to check for any new photos.
Covert Special Ops Code Black
Check out this review from Trailcampro.com. This is the one wireless trail camera that I have used, and it worked quite well.
HCO UWay and Panda Wireless Cameras
Moultrie Game Cameras
Moultrie offers a pay as you go wireless service for several of their cameras. You also need to purchase the Moultrie Spy Game Management System. For more information, visit the Moultrie website.
This camera does not require a monthly subscription plan. However, it is only able to transmit up to 250 feet, where it stores a copy of the pictures on a separate device (the “black box”). This would work best if you are trapping around your home and could place the black box in your home. If trapping away from home, you could still put one of these cameras at the trap and then check the pictures from a distance without disturbing the trapping site.
Other Wireless and Cellular Cameras
I am continuing to research other cameras, but most of them appear very expensive.
If you are tech savvy, then you might consider building your own wireless trail camera. Check out these instructions from eHow.com.
Trap Alarms for Trapping Lost Pets Around Your Home
If your lost dog or cat is close to your home (as is often the case with escaped indoor-only cats), you may be able to use one of these cheaper motion alarms. Some people even use a basic audio or video baby monitor set close to the trap. These type of alarms can be quite useful when trapping at night (when most lost indoor-only cats are active) because they are loud enough to wake you up when an animal is caught in the trap.
These are the trap alarms that I use most frequently.
There are various cheap versions of driveway alarms. I used to use Driveway Patrol, but it is no longer manufactured.
This driveway alarm has a short detection range, so it can only be used if you are trapping immediately around your home. The specifications say that it works up to 400 feet, but I have found that some only work to 50 feet. I have found that you do get what you pay for with these alarms, and they may not last for more than a year. You may be able to find something similar to this alarm at a hardware store such as Harbor Freight Tools.
Chamberlain Wireless Motion Alert
This alarm is supposed to work for up to 1/2 mile, so it should have a reliable range of at least half that. In the city I have found that it may only work for a few hundred feet. You can also purchase additional Add-on Sensors to use with one receiver. Here is a video of my dog entering a trap that is armed with a motion alarm.
In this case, I attached the alarm to a piece of wood and angled it downward. This way the alarm should not go off when an animal walks around the outside of the trap. For the video, I placed the alarm receiver next to the video camera, so you could hear when it beeped, but normally the receiver would be in the house with you and the trapped animal wouldn’t hear it. Though a bit more pricey, I find these alarms much more reliable than the Driveway Patrol.
SpyPoint Wireless Motion Detector
SpyPoint also sells some good quality trail cameras including at least one wireless camera.
GPS Trap Alarms
There are also commercially available GPS enabled trap alarms that don’t have the range limitations of these wireless models. However, they are probably prohibitively expensive for most people since they start around $500. These, like GPS locators and wireless cameras, also require a monthly subscription plan. A few models are the:
This information is taken from my Online Lost Pet Recovery Instructions. They also include more detailed instructions on using surveillance (e.g. wildlife cameras) and traps to catch lost dogs and cats. Access to these password protected instructions is currently available for only $20 and can be purchased from the Lost Pet Research Store.
There are basically two different kinds of GPS trackers for dogs. The more popular design uses a GPS tracker, which is attached to your dog’s collar, and requires a monthly subscription plan to actually track your dog’s location. Many of these allow you to place a virtual boundary around your yard, and if your dog leaves this area, a text or email alert is sent to you. If your dog goes missing, you can track their location with texts to your cell phone or maps on a smartphone or computer.
The other design uses a GPS tracker, which is usually built into a specially designed collar, and has a portable receiver. The receiver provides you with either a map (e.g. Garmin Astro) or just an arrow with distance (e.g. RoamEO), and you use this to track down your dog. The receivers have a maximum distance of 7-9 miles and perhaps a minimum distance of 1 mile. No activation fee or subscription is necessary. The shortcomings of this design are the limited range and short battery life, and you always have to carry the receiver on you to find your dog.
There are a few companies in the UK such as PawTrax, Snooper and Loc8tor Pet that have developed a pay per use GPS tracker. These are similar in design to the GPS trackers that require a monthly fee, but instead you prepay for a certain number of locations. PawTrax may now be available for purchase in the US. Email email@example.com for more information.
For a more complete list of all the GPS trackers currently available for dogs and cats, check out this Comparison of GPS Pet Trackers. If you know of any that I have missed, please let me know. In February I purchased Tagg the Pet Tracker for my own dog, and I plan to write a review on this particular tracker. Overall, I am happy with the purchase and it seems to work quite well though I have fortunately never had the chance to try it out for real.
The secretive nature of cats makes it nearly impossible to observe their natural behavior when outdoors. Likewise, few cat owners know where their cats travel or what they do when allowed outside. A new study conducted in Britain used GPS loggers to map the travel of outdoor-access house cats. What makes this study more innovative than most is that they also used a small video camera attached to the cat’s collar (i.e. a cat-cam) to see exactly where the cat was traveling and what they were doing. The project was led by world renowned cat behavior expert Roger Tabor. Here’s a preview of the documentary and a link to the report summary: The Secret Lives of Cats.
I haven’t yet been able to find a copy of the full documentary so I don’t know if it’s even available yet. If you want to look for it, it’s produced by BBC and not to be confused with the “Secret Life of Cats” by National Geographic. The report summary is interesting, but I’m really hoping that they actually publish some of their results in a scientific journal.
Another exciting aspect of this study is that it could easily be replicated by anyone who wants to learn more about outdoor-access cat behavior. They used the Pat4Cats GPS logger from PawTrax, and this is nearly identical to the i-gotU GT-120 GPS logger.
Both GPS loggers use the @trip PC software. Here’s an example track from my dog Dante with me on a mountain bike ride. Please be aware that a GPS logger is not the same as a GPS tracker. The logger will record and save locations that can later be downloaded to your computer, but it will not send a live location to your cell phone or internet should your cat go missing. The cat-cam that they used is the Eyenimal Cat Video Camera. However, after doing a little research, I found that the Mr Petcam may be a better design and at half the price. I am planning on purchasing a cat-cam myself to learn more about the habitat use and movement patterns of outdoor-access and stray cats in New England. Understanding normal outdoor cat behavior is an important step toward understanding lost cat behavior.
Here’s a fun example of another cat-cam video. This one was done using Mr. Lee’s CatCam.
There are both GPS trackers and radio-tracking devices available to help you find your cat if they ever go missing. This article explains how both types of devices work and their pros and cons for use with cats, especially since many of them are designed for dogs. All of the devices described here must be attached to either a collar or harness. Several research studies have found that the risk of cats getting injured by a collar is highly exaggerated, and your cat is at a much higher risk of becoming lost and never found. Contrary to the belief of some lost pet owners, microchips do not have any tracking abilities. In order for your cat to be found with a microchip, they must be caught and brought into a vet or animal shelter where they can be scanned (and the microchip must be registered and have up-to-date contact information).
GPS trackers rely on satellite signals and can remotely tell you where you cat is located as long as it can pick up a signal. The location can often be transmitted to your computer or cell phone. One main drawback to GPS trackers is that they may not be able to transmit a signal if your cat is in a building or underground or sometimes even if the sky is heavily overcast. However, some GPS trackers also use cellular signals and this can increase reliability depending on coverage. These are called A-GPS or Assisted GPS. There is usually some error in the transmitted location and you will probably have to physically search an area to find out exactly where your cat is located. GPS trackers also require payment of a monthly service fee or prepay program similar to cell phones.
Perhaps the biggest drawback of the GPS is its relatively short battery life. I use Tagg the Pet Tracker on my dog, and I have to recharge it every 1-2 weeks. As long as your pet remains within the home area the tracker will remain in power-saving mode and could last up to a month (in theory). However, when I travel away from home with my dog, the GPS battery dies within 2-3 days. The Tagg tracker will text or email you an alert when the battery level is low.
There are numerous dog GPS trackers but most are too heavy for a cat. The recommended maximum weight for a cat to carry is 40 grams or approximately 1.5 ounces. There are several GPS trackers designed for cats that are available in the US, but even these are generally only recommended for cats weighing 10 lbs or more. These include the GPS CatTrack Live (TK201) available from Mr. Lee’s CatTrack and Whistle (formerly Tagg the Pet Tracker). PawTrax, which offers a pre-payment plan rather than a monthly fee, may now be available for purchase in the US. Pawtrack created a new GPS tracker in 2015 designed specifically for cats that looks very promising. Many GPS collars are bulky and dangle from the cats collar, but Pawtrack’s is integrated into the cat’s collar.
With a radio-tracking device, your cat wears a small transmitter on his/her collar, and you have to walk around with a receiver to try and locate the cat. The basic principal is that the receiver will beep louder the closer you get to your cat. Radio-trackers can transmit signals through buildings, so you can still locate your cat if s/he was trapped in a shed or basement. The main drawback to radio-collars is that they usually have a limited range, generally anywhere from 100 feet to 1 mile depending on the strength of the signal and the terrain you are searching. The signal will travel much farther in open areas compared to wooded areas or through buildings. You may need to practice a lot with your radio-tracker to become proficient with using it.
There are currently several radio-tracking collars available in the US: TabCat (formerly Loc8tor Pet) and the LoCATor. TabCat costs around $100 (for 2 transmitters and 1 receiver) and has a maximum range of 100-400 feet. The LoCATor costs $50 per radio-collar and $250 for the receiver and antenna, and it has a maximum signal range of 600 feet (city) to 1 mile (open country). To operate the LoCATor you are also legally required to obtain an Amateur Radio Operators license from the FCC.
Radio-tracking devices are a good option for finding a lost cat for several reasons:
Most lost indoor-only cats do not travel more than 500 feet from where they go missing and nearly all of them are found within 1/4 mile. (Lost outdoor-access cats may travel a mile or more from home so adding a GPS would be the safest option if you can afford it.)
Lost cats have a greater tendency to get lost and trapped within their own homes or outside in sheds, garages, and basements.
Cats are excellent hiders and a lost cat will frequently run and hide even from their owners. A radio-tracker allows you to track down the exact location of your cat while a GPS tracker will just give you a general area.
Radio-trackers are much smaller than GPS trackers and can easily be attached to a break-away cat collar. Also if your cat loses their collar, you should still be able to locate the collar and tracking transmitter.
Batteries will often last 4-6 months (at least in the Loc8tor Pet) before requiring replacement. (However, unlike the Tagg GPS, they will not warn you when the battery level is low.)
I originally wrote this article in 2011 and have updated it over the years (most recently in 2016). At this point, I still recommend the Loc8tor Pet (now called TabCat) for indoor-only cats, but for outdoor-access cats, I actually recommend both a GPS collar and radio-tracking device if you want to be extra-safe. I’ve had several outdoor-access cats go missing while wearing the Loc8tor Pet and it was difficult to locate them. In both cases, posters had to be used to generate sightings and then the Loc8tor was used to track down the cat at the sighting. At this point, most of my experience is with the Loc8tor Pet and Tagg the Pet Tracker. However, I am hoping to purchase and try out the Pawtrack GPS in the near future.
See also my review of the Loc8tor Pet (now redesigned as TabCat).