TabCat (also called Loc8tor Pet) is one of the smallest, affordable cat radio-tracking devices. The tracker comes with two transmitter tags and one receiver, and you can buy up to two additional tags. Easy to use; just turn on the small handheld receiver, select the missing cat’s tag, and start searching. Once the radio-tag’s signal is picked up, the receiver will begin to beep and flash, and the closer you get to your cat, the louder and brighter it will get. Once you are quite close, you can turn off the volume, and listen for the beeping of the radio-tag attached to your cat’s collar.
The biggest drawback of TabCat is its relatively short range of only 400 feet in open terrain. If your cat is outside of this range, then you need to search around until you pick up a signal. Realistically it will pick up a signal within 200-300 feet if your cat is in the woods or only 50 feet if your cat is stuck in a basement.
Even with its short range, TabCat often works well for escaped indoor-only cats since they usually hide nearby. I have had a few cases where it helped locate lost outdoor-access cats. First the general location of the cat was determined with posters, and then they were able to go to that location and quickly track down their cat with the locator. My own cats Lily and Violet are still wearing their Loc8tor Pet trackers, which I purchased in 2015.
- Splash-proof cover protects tags from the elements.
- Easy to use with just a little practice. Simply push the ON button, then select the tag for the missing cat and start searching.
- Batteries usually last several months. Uses replaceable CR2032 button cell batteries.
- There is no low battery indicator, so you need to remember to change the batteries every 4-6 months. I change mine every spring, when they are most likely to go outside.
- Detection range is only 400 feet. In suburban areas, the detection range is closer to 200-300 feet.
- If the device does not locate your cat within 45 seconds, it will beep and stop searching. You then need to re-press the search button to continue searching.