Electronic tracking devices for cats

Written by daniel j. gansle
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Electronic tracking devices for cats
Cat tracking systems allow pet owners to locate their pet at any time of the day or night. (kitten image by AGphotographer from Fotolia.com)

Many pet owners allow their cats to roam the neighbourhood at night. However, kitty's nocturnal wanderings have been a longtime mystery. Today, we have the technology to track pets, animals and even people with GPS and other services. For cats, pet owners can choose between a variety of electronic tracking devices including GPS tracking harnesses, mobile phone and SMS tracking and subdermal RFID microchips.

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GPS Tracking Harnesses

Global Positioning System is widely used in military and civilian activities. For those with a GPS-enabled vehicle or a mobile phone, you can use GPS to pinpoint your location and get directions to your destination. To track your cat using GPS, simply place a GPS-enabled harness on kitty's back to track her nocturnal excursions. This way, you will never lose your pet.

Mobile Phone and SMS Tracking

GPS can also be combined with Global System for Mobile Communications to track kitty during her wanderings. In short, pet owners can discover their cat's whereabouts via mobile phone. Here's how it works: kitty's collar is affixed with a GPS/GSM device. The cat owner then calls the GPS/GSM's special telephone number, which sends you an SMS text message via GSM. Within the United States, this cat tracking system works on the 900MHz and 1900MHz GSM network. The main drawback to this cat tracking system is that the GPS collar unit must be within an area covered by a GSM network. Furthermore, the receiver must be positioned on kitty in such a way that the satellite antenna can read signals from at least four satellites.

RFID Tracking Chips

Radio Frequency Identification remains controversial for its insertion of a computer chip just under the skin. It is not only used for tracking objects and livestock, but it is also the tracking device of choice among veterinarians for cats and dogs. This way, pet owners will always know where the cat is, thereby avoiding those "Lost Dog" or "Lost Cat" signs you see stapled on telephone trees and notice boards. However, concern is rising that microchips may cause sores, swelling and even cancerous lumps on pets over time. While statistically the chances are low, cat owners are advised to check for swelling and/or lumps at the injection site.

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