Track Your Cat Without a Smart Device or Satellite

Cat tracker by TabCat

As devoted cat parents, we understand the anxiety that arises when our beloved feline friends venture out into the vast outdoors. With the arrival of Spring and Summer, there’s the added worry of our cats accidentally getting trapped in sheds, garages, or other outbuildings. Every cat has an individual personality – some are adventurous wanderers, while others prefer to stay close to home. Regardless of their tendencies, ensuring the safety and well-being of our furry companions is paramount. Thankfully, there’s a solution that doesn’t rely on mobile phones or satellites: the TabCat cat tracker. Utilising innovative radio frequency technology, this device offers peace of mind by assisting in locating your cat, whether they’re exploring the great outdoors or simply lounging indoors. The device has an extra function that helps train your cat to come home.

In contrast to GPS trackers that depend on satellite and mobile phone connections to provide location updates, TabCat operates uniquely with radio frequency technology. This means it doesn’t require a SIM card or rely on GPS satellites or mobile networks for tracking. Instead, it utilises radio frequency signals to pinpoint your cat’s whereabouts within a range of up to 600 feet. Version 2 of TabCat ensures even more precise location tracking. The system has a lightweight homing tag attached to your cat’s collar. For households with multiple cats, up to four tags can be assigned to a single handheld device. The handheld receiver, about the size of a credit card, offers audio and visual cues when switched on, enabling you to locate your feline friend with remarkable precision, even in spaces as close as 2.5 centimetres (1 inch) away.

TabCat is globally compatible and engineered explicitly for tracking cats. Interestingly, some customers have also found it useful for monitoring their rabbits and small dogs. This versatility makes TabCat a perfect choice for pet owners hiking or travelling overseas with their pets.

With some simple training using food treats or tit-bits, you can get your cat to understand that when you press the button on the cat tracking handset to find them, that they will get some food. This is often enough for most cats to start their journey home, often meaning that you don’t even need to get up out of your armchair to call them in.

Tabcat – train your cat to come home

Customer Review: “Kitten girl was attacked by a stray … was stuck up a tree high up and collar ripped off and found the day after in the grass. TabCat helped us locate the collar, and our kitten was nearby up a tree in complete darkness.

Vineta – TabCat customer

Advantages of a radio frequency cat tracker

Tabcat cat outdoors easy to use tracker
Source: Emygee

Customer review – “We bought this after losing our cat returned after being missing for three weeks….The transmitters are small and light so the cat doesn’t notice it. We tried it three times and it works brilliantly. It tells you the direction (left-right and up-down) by the number of lights and the change in sound. This also changes according to the distance, so you know if the cat is moving. The collar transmitter buzzes and flashes when it’s being tracked and this makes it easy to find the animal in the dark or if its hidden behind something. Our cat soon learned the buzzing means we are looking for her and she comes running. A treat reinforces good behaviour.”

Crusty Camper – TabCat customer

The primary advantage of TabCat is its independence from GPS satellites, mobile networks, apps, or SIM cards, unlike GPS trackers. This means that its radio frequency technology is less prone to signal loss. TabCat doesn’t require a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, or an app downloaded onto the device, making it accessible to all pet owners, especially for those who aren’t tech-savvy. Not everyone has enough storage on smartphones for apps, so with TabCat, that’s not a concern.

The simple directional handset is particularly useful in scenarios where a cat might be trapped indoors or outdoors, as it can guide you to within 1 inch (2.5 cm) of their location, offering significant reassurance in such situations. Dixie was missing for a few hours, and I hadn’t realised she had climbed into a cupboard and curled up asleep at the back.

The homing tag is designed to attach easily to a collar and weighs only 5g, making it ideal for smaller cats. You might be interested in my article Considerations to Ponder Before Bringing a New Kitten Home. The homing tag is lightweight, ensuring comfort and reducing bulkiness, unlike GPS trackers weighing around 25g. The homing tag measures 3cm lenght x 2cm width x 0.9cm depth compared to Tractive 5.5cm x 2.8cm x 1.7cm.

TabCat includes batteries for the handset and homing tags. The only other financial outlay is batteries, which can be bought cheaply from The Factory Shop, eBay, Poundstretcher, etc. However, I recommend choosing Duracell batteries because they are longer-lasting, but their lifespan depends on how frequently you use the device. TaCat recommends silver oxide batteries. Amazon and shops have a range of different brands and the price will vary.

Buy a pack of 6 Duracell CR2032 batteries

Buy a pack of 2 Duracell SR1130 batteries

You can utilise these devices to train your cat to return home. Press the ‘locate’ button on the handset, and the homing tag emits a gentle beep. Tabcat recommends initiating the training indoors with treats and meals to create a positive association with the beep sound. You can gradually progress to outdoor training sessions as your cat becomes comfortable responding indoors.

TabCat say: “Tabcat still works through walls and doors and is designed to help find your cat in the house, neighbouring gardens, streets, or even stuck up a tree.” While some customers may praise its performance, one user expressed concerns about its signal strength. According to their experience, the tracker functions well through walls and doors but struggles when faced with multiple fences between gardens, which can obstruct the signal. They noted that pointing the handset upwards over the fence helps, as the beep guides you closer to your pet may be.


TabCat is designed to be used worldwide, thanks to its operation on the 2.45GHz frequency, making it an excellent choice for travellers. The latest version, version 2, boasts upgraded features such as an extended range of up to 600 feet. However, it’s worth mentioning that version 2 is incompatible with the older version 1 of the TabCat system.

My cat Tabitha is 16 now, nearly blind from Hypertension and nearly deaf, and outdoor time is supervised. Albert, aged 16, had dementia, with supervised outdoor time. However, I turned my back and within seconds he had wandered off. Luckily, he walked to a neighbour’s side door. I believe TabCat is useful for geriatric cats, even if they are outside in a secure garden. My articles can give more information about dementia – recognising the signs and what’s next after a veterinary diagnosis.

Exploring the drawbacks of radio frequency cat trackers: what you need to know

TabCat, despite its ability to locate a cat using radio frequency, lacks certain features that a GPS tracker has. For instance, it doesn’t provide real-time tracking of your cat’s whereabouts or offer insights into their territory or location history. TabCat doesn’t have a mobile app, so you can’t access these functionalities through a Smart device. Moreover, it doesn’t offer virtual fence warning alerts, which would notify you if your cat strays too far or approaches a potentially dangerous area like a road.

Similar to a GPS tracker, TabCat’s range can be diminished if obstructed by conductive materials like metal or penetrating water. Although TabCat can find your cat in a wooden shed or brick outbuilding, it is doubtful it would if your feline was trapped in a steel or metal shed or garage. Because TabCat can locate your cat within a defined range, cats that roam exceptionally long distances, if it jumped in a van and founds itself in another area, or stolen and moved out of its territory, then locating your cat would be unsuccessful. Therefore, before buying TabCat, consider these limitations and challenges within your surroundings or holidays. If I were hiking or walking with my cat, I would consider using TabCat as an emergency resource. You might be interested in my article about hiking with a cat.

The cost of TabCat over GPS trackers

Simple handset to track your missing cat. Tracker to find your missing cat or small dog
Source: TabCat

Investing in a cat tracker can become costly, especially considering the added expense of monthly subscriptions for full access to features. TabCat offers a solution with a one-time payment option because the tag doesn’t require a built-in SIM, unlike GPS trackers. Two bundles are available, enhancing its cost-effectiveness. Additionally, you can purchase extra homing tags or protective TabCases separately as needed.

Comparison of cat and dog tracker contents:

TabCat v2Tractive for catsTractive for dogs
#1 Handset, 2 homing tags, 2 TabCovers
£89.99 – £100
# 1 Tracker, 2 attachment clips, 1 collar £44.99 for one cat
Choose subscription after the purchase
# 1 Tracker, 1 charging cable, 1 rubber mount £39.99 – £59.99 depending on the size of dog.
Choose subscription after the purchase
#2 Handset, 4 homing tags, 4 TabCat covers
Includes a built-in SIM, hence a subscription. To operate, a subscription is requiredIncludes a built-in SIM, hence a subscription. To operate, a subscription is required
No subscription Basic includes various features:
£12 monthly, 1 year £6 per month, 2 years £4.50 per month
Basic includes various features:
£12 monthly, 1 year £6 per month, 2 years £4.50 per month
TabCase £9.98
Homing tag
Premium includes various features:
1 year £7 per month, 2 years £5 per month, 5 years £4 per month
Premium includes various features:
1 year £7 per month, 2 years £5 per month, 5 years £4 per month
*WEEE Policy Free tracker for lost or damaged device: 1 year £2 per month, 2 years £2 per month, 5 years £1 per monthFree tracker for lost or damaged device: 1 year £2 per month, 2 years £2 per month, 5 years £1 per month
*WEEE Policy (Waste and Electric Equipment Directive. TabCat will accept old devices back when you buy a new one.

Visit the TabCat store on Amazon

Visit the Tractive store on Amazon for 3kg +

Visit the Tractive store on Amazon for dogs 4kg +

Visit the Tractive store on Amazon for dogs 22kg +

How do the handset and homing tag locate my cat?

Cat tracker by TabCat
Source: NamastOm

Customer review – “It is highly accurate and performs brilliantly. It found my cat in someone else’s house. They said they didn’t have her, but said I could look round and there she was! I’d never have known without it. And she hasn’t batted an eyelid with it on her collar and she’s a very small cat. Definitely recommend.”

Yvinne – TabCat customer

TabCat operates through radio frequency communication between the handset and the homing tag, allowing efficient tracking. During the Spring and Summer seasons, cats risk getting trapped in sheds, garages, or other outdoor structures. The TabCat handset features a directional function, which guides you on foot to your cat’s precise location through a combination of coloured indicators and sounds upon connecting with the homing tag on your cat’s collar. Whether your cat is stuck in an outdoor building, up a tree, frightened and hiding, or wandering on a specific street, the TabCat system can assist in locating them. Both the handset and the homing tag have a tracking range from as close as 1 inch (2.5cm) to as far as 600 feet (182m).

TabCat colour system:

  • Red – Your cat is far away from you
  • Amber – You are getting closer
  • Green – You are getting very close

Although GPS trackers have more features, TabCat is simple to operate.

Can a cat tracker using radio frequency prevent cat theft?

Neither TabCat nor GPS cat trackers can prevent theft since thieves can easily remove the tag or collar. However, utilising the handset and homing tag can provide the last known location of the cat, hopefully aiding in recovery efforts.

In 2023, I interviewed the founder of DogLost, and you can read about the beginnings in my article. DogLost is a nationally recognised lost and found pet service and works closely with the Police, dog wardens, Highway, and other authorities. DogLost has a missing cat category.

Privacy concerns with a radio frequency cat tracker

Cat trackers utilising radio frequency do not transmit data via the internet or satellite, unlike GPS cat trackers. This characteristic alleviates some privacy concerns associated with data transmission.

Buy a TabCat UK tracker

Key takeaways:

  • One-off payment instead of monthly subscriptions
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • 2-year warranty
  • Affordable in a single or multi-cat household
  • Lightweight tags give better comfort to kittens and cats
  • Size of the tag: 3cm length x 2cm wide x 0.9cm depth
  • TabCases are made of silicone against minimal damage and splashes
  • App or mobile signal is not required
  • Easy to use
  • You can locate a cat in sheds and outbuildings
  • Finding your cat’s range is to 1″ of its location
  • Similar to GPS tracker, metal and water block signals
  • Similar to any device, it may lose a signal but less than a GPS tracker
  • The ideal system to train your cat to come home

Related questions:

Can I buy TabCat on the high street or in a shop?

At the moment TabCat, is currently available online only. It can be purchased from TabCat website or it’s Amazon store.

Will TabCat cause a problem with my microchip cat flap?

A cat flap operates in conjunction with your cat’s microchip only, not a TabCat device.

Can my cat’s tag and handset get confused with other handsets and tags?

No, because you register the homing tag and handset. No one can track your cat except you.

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Poppy’s Pets had a column in an East Yorkshire newspaper until its closure in 2023.


The reason I write and make YouTube videos is to help you and your pets from my experiences, and to take you through a journey of Green Living from worm composting and bokashi.

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