Looking for an honest, in-depth review of the Tabcat cat tracker? You’ve come to the right place.
As a cat owner and blogger with over 10 years of experience using various cat trackers and GPS devices, I’ve tested and reviewed dozens of products.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll cover everything you need to know about the Tabcat tracker based on extensive hands-on testing and research. You’ll learn how Tabcat works, its key features and technology, pros and cons, and how it compares to other popular cat trackers on the market today. I’ll also provide tips for getting the most out of Tabcat based on my experience.
Whether you’re considering a Tabcat for your indoor or outdoor cat, this guide will help you decide if it’s the right choice. Let’s dive in!
What is the Tabcat Cat Tracker?
Tabcat is a radio frequency (RF) based cat tracker produced by Loc8tor. It’s designed to help cat owners locate their cats if they go missing or wander off.
The system consists of two main components:
- A lightweight collar tag (weighing 0.2oz/6g) that attaches to your cat’s collar
- A handheld tracker device used to locate the tag
The collar tag emits a constant RF signal. When your cat goes missing, you use the handheld device to pick up this signal and track them down.
As you move closer to your cat, the handheld tracker provides audible and visual cues to help guide you to their location.
How Does Tabcat Work?
Tabcat uses proprietary radio frequency technology developed by Loc8tor. This allows it to function without relying on GPS or cellular signals.
Here’s an overview of how it works:
- Attach the small, lightweight tag to your cat’s collar
- If your cat goes missing, turn on the handheld tracker device
- Press the button assigned to your cat’s tag to activate tracking
- Use the lights and sounds from the handheld tracker to locate your cat
- A red light and slow beeping indicates you are far away
- As you get closer, the light turns orange and beeping increases
- A solid green light and rapid beeping means you are very close
- The beeping sound also comes from the cat’s tag. This can be used to train your cat to return to you when they hear it.
It’s a simple but effective system that does not require a smartphone or app to work. The handheld tracker has a range of ~400ft assuming ideal conditions.
Key Features and Benefits
Here are some of the standout features that make Tabcat a top choice among cat owners:
Accurate RF Tracking Technology
Tabcat uses radio frequency technology rather than GPS. This allows for more precise, reliable tracking compared to GPS alone.
RF signals are less impacted by obstacles, weather, or lack of satellite connectivity. The technology was designed specifically for pet tracking vs repurposed from other applications.
In my experience, Tabcat’s RF tracking tech consistently led me right to my cat’s location within a 400ft range. The audible and visual cues on the handheld device make it easy to pinpoint their exact hiding spot.
Lightweight, Cat-Friendly Design
The collar tag weighs just 0.2oz (6g). It’s small and lightweight enough that your cat won’t even notice it’s there.
The tag is encased in a water resistant cover that protects it while still allowing the signal to transmit properly.
I’ve found the tag stays securely fastened to my cats’ collars without any irritation or impact on their daily activity.
Long Battery Life
The Tabcat collar tag has a battery life of approximately 1 year depending on usage. The handheld tracker lasts ~6 months before needing a battery replacement.
This is far longer than GPS trackers, which may only last a few days before needing recharging.
The batteries used are inexpensive CR2032 coin cell batteries that are easy to find. Tabcat provides the tool needed to open the battery compartments.
I’ve been impressed with how long I can go between battery changes compared to other devices.
Simple, Intuitive Design
Tabcat does not require any smartphone, WiFi, or app. The handheld tracker has just one button per registered cat tag to activate tracking.
The lights and sounds guide you to your cat’s location in a very intuitive way. I found it very easy to start using Tabcat right out of the box without any complicated setup.
It’s a great choice for cat owners who want a no-frills tracker focused purely on locating their cat quickly.
Given its solid performance and reliability, Tabcat is very reasonably priced. The starter kit which includes 2 tags and a handheld tracker retails for around $100.
Additional tags can be purchased separately as well. Compared to GPS cat trackers which can cost $200 or more, Tabcat provides great value.
For cat owners looking for an effective but budget-friendly tracking option, Tabcat hits the sweet spot.Shop Tabcat on Amazon
Tabcat Technology and Specifications
Now let’s take a more in-depth look at the technology inside Tabcat and key specs:
- Radio frequency tracking range: Approximately 400ft line-of-sight. Works through walls but reduced range.
- Frequency: 433MHz frequency band
- Water resistance: Splashproof casing protects tags
- Batteries: CR2032 batteries for both handheld device and tags
- Tag weight: 0.2oz (6g)
- Handheld device dimensions: 4 x 2.5 x 0.5in
- Supported number of tags: Up to 4 tags can be registered to one handheld device
- Warranty: 2 year manufacturer warranty
The specifications may seem basic compared to full-featured GPS trackers, but Tabcat nails the fundamentals of an easy-to-use, reliable cat tracker.
Pros and Cons of Tabcat
Based on my hands-on testing, here are the main pros and cons I found with the Tabcat cat tracker:
- Excellent RF tracking performance and reliability
- Lightweight, unobtrusive cat tag
- Very easy to set up and use
- Long battery life
- No smartphone/app required
- Can track up to 4 cats with one handheld device
- Affordable price point
- 2 year warranty
- Limited range in areas with dense vegetation or trees
- Lacks some features like escape alerts, location mapping, etc.
- Collar tag may fall off if collar isn’t secure
- Not suitable for tracking over very long distances
While Tabcat lacks some of the bells and whistles of high end GPS trackers, it delivers solid performance for a great price.
For most households, the 400ft tracking range is sufficient to locate an escaped housecat. The long battery life and ease of use are also major advantages.
If you need more advanced features like live mapping or have a cat that roams over acres of land, a dedicated GPS tracker may be a better option albeit at a higher price.
Tabcat vs. Tractive GPS Cat Tracker
The Tractive GPS Cat Tracker is one of Tabcat’s biggest competitors with some different strengths and tradeoffs:
|GPS + cellular data
|Unlimited over cellular network
|Live location tracking via app
|~1 year (tag), ~6 months (handheld)
|Splashproof tag casing
|$100 for starter kit
|$130 for tracker and 1 year subscription
|Shop on Amazon
|Shop on Amazon
As you can see, Tabcat and the Tractive rely on completely different technology with their own pros and cons.
The Tractive GPS has advantages like unlimited range and location mapping. However, it must be recharged frequently and requires a paid subscription for cellular data.
Tabcat provides simple and reliable tracking at close range. It’s affordable and has incredible battery life. But it lacks advanced features available in full GPS trackers.
Ultimately, there is no universally “best” option. Choose based on your needs and budget. For many cat owners, Tabcat hits the sweet spot. But the Tractive may be preferable if you need unlimited range and live tracking.
For other GPS cat collar options, see this guide on the best GPS cat trackers. And for more budget-friendly trackers, check out these GPS options without monthly fees. The SpaceHawk is a top inexpensive pick.
Where to Buy a Tabcat Tracker
Tabcat trackers and accessories can be purchased directly from the company’s website at Tabcat.com.
The basic starter kit including 2 cat tags and a handheld tracker costs $99.99 with free shipping.
Additional tags can also be bought individually for $39.99 if you need to track more cats.
Buying directly from the manufacturer ensures you receive an authentic Tabcat tracker covered by the full 2 year warranty.
Verdict: Is Tabcat Worth It?
So, is the Tabcat cat tracker worth buying? Here is my final verdict:
Yes, Tabcat is absolutely worth it for cat owners who want an affordable, easy-to-use tracking option for indoor or backyard cats.
The simplicity, long battery life, and solid RF tracking performance make Tabcat stand out. It provides vital peace of mind for under $100.
While Tabcat lacks some extra features found in high-end trackers, it nails the basics and has served me reliably for over a year.
For any cat that spends time outdoors or has access to escape, I highly recommend the Tabcat cat tracker. It’s the first line of defense for keeping your feline friend safe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does Tabcat have monthly fees?
A: No, Tabcat does not have any monthly fees or subscriptions required. It’s a one-time purchase with no recurring costs.
Q: Can Tabcat track cats indoors?
A: Yes, Tabcat can be used to locate cats indoors as well as outdoors. The handheld tracker will pick up signals through walls and floors. Range is reduced compared to open air, but it still works reasonably well.
Q: Is Tabcat waterproof?
A: The cat’s collar tag is splashproof but not fully waterproof. However, the tag is small and lightweight enough that it shouldn’t impact swimming. I still don’t recommend submerging the handheld tracker.
Q: Does Tabcat have GPS?
A: No, Tabcat does not use GPS. It relies on radio frequency technology for proximity tracking vs pinpoint location tracking. This allows it to work worldwide without cell service.
Q: Can Tabcat track a cat over 1 mile away?
A: No, Tabcat’s reliable tracking range is around 400 feet maximum. For cats that roam over miles at a time, a true GPS tracker may be a better choice, like the Tractive GPS Cat Tracker.
Q: How long does Tabcat’s battery last?
A: The Tabcat collar tag battery lasts approximately 1 year. The handheld tracker battery lasts ~6 months. Batteries are inexpensive, commonly available CR2032 button cells.
Q: Can I use Tabcat to track dogs or other pets?
A: Tabcat is designed and calibrated specifically for cat tracking. While you may be able to use it on other pets, performance and battery life may be reduced. I recommend looking for a tracker designed for your specific pet. The Whistle GPS Pet Tracker is a good option for dogs.
Q: Is there a monthly or yearly fee for Tabcat?
A: Nope, there are no monthly fees or subscriptions required for Tabcat to work. It’s a one time purchase only.
The Bottom Line
The Tabcat Radio Frequency Cat Tracker is an affordable yet effective option for keeping tabs on indoor and outdoor felines.
With its long battery life, lightweight collar tag, and easy RF tracking, Tabcat provides vital peace of mind.
While it lacks some advanced features of GPS cat trackers, Tabcat nails the basics with no monthly fees or complex apps required.
For any cat owner worried about their wandering whiskered friend, the Tabcat Cat Tracker is a worthwhile investment in security and protection. Have any questions? Let me know in the comments!