In my last post, I explained how I set up the car to take a long distance trip with two cats, my main goals being: keep them two and my ears relatively happy.
However, there are other things I have been taking into consideration before even thinking about setting up the car.
One of the concerns I have about taking the cats on an international trip is: What happens if they run off or explore a new area and get lost?
With Simba, it’s easy. I just need to walk anywhere close to a source of food and he’ll magically appear out of the blue.
However, I can’t run the risk of losing them. Enter the jungle of GPS trackers for cats. Oh Lord.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT GPS TRACKER FOR YOUR CAT(S)
I’ve scouted the market for the best devices using criteria such as: battery life, size of the tracker, and tracking system.If you’re looking for a cat GPS tracker, here are you top choices:
Pros: Sends you Google Maps coordinates you can follow to find your MIA cat, attaches to collar and not too bulky
Cons: Set up seems rather fiddly, manual has poor translations into English (someone should tell them to hire a proper translation company!) and SMS function sometimes doesn’t work. Battery life not great.
Pros: Fits smaller cats, standalone collar, compatible with Windows and MacBook, mobile app, data transfer works in over 200 countries, real life map, not bulky
Cons: 3.95 € monthly subscription fee, not super accurate, battery drains too fast and only way to replace it is by attaching it to the device making it bulky
Pros: 90% positive feedback, tracks in real time, small device that attaches to collar, instant alerts, accurate, works everywhere and even off grid, free of monthly subscription fees
Cons: battery lasts up to a few days or 12 h with GPS always on, expensive! For 2 cats, I would have to spend 179 £.
MY PICK: Loc8tor Tabcat Pack Tracker:
Pros: Great price (bundle with 2 cat tags only 69.99 £), waterproof cover, attaches to collar, sturdy and extremely easy to set up, excellent battery life (up to months), small, no monthly subscription fees
Cons: Short distance (130 meters), no live tracking
The TabCat tracker doesn’t use GPS technology, but works with radio frequencies instead.
However, the battery life is extraordinary and I don’t have to worry about taking the thing off and on their collar every 12 hours. The way it works, with a remote that pinpoints the cat location with increasing or decreasing signal the closer or further away you can from the cat, is also quite funny. Check out this hilarious video I made the first time I used it to find Simba.
I like the idea of live tracking, however, before I spend any amount of big bucks on something like this, I’ll wait until better performing batteries hit the market.
TICKS AND OTHER NASTY THINGS
Next up: how to protect the fluffs from the nasty things of the outdoors.
Up until now I always used pipette treatments like Frontline’s. However, the vet told me they’re not as good anymore and prescribed a different brand whose name, for the life of me, I can’t remember.
While on the hunt for said treatment, I came across the Seresto collar. Wait, what? 35 £ each, lasts up to 8 months, reviews and vets say it’s effective and safe, and I can use it to attach my Loc8tor Tabcat Pack Tracker. Looks like THE deal to me.
Alternatively, I would have to spend 40 £ per month for the foreseeable many years of my cats’ life to buy pipette treatment, plus a collar and the TabCat tracker. Choosing the setup I went for was a no brainer.
If, however, your cats don’t take humans attaching things to their neck too well, you might have to go down the pipette route.
I must say I was very surprised neither Milù nor Simba tried to scratch their neck off after getting the collar + TabCat tag attached. There’s a bit of scratching here and there, but it falls under the normal scale.
More thumbs up for this set up: Anyone who comes across them will know right away they’re not strays. You can also stick a little label with your contact details on the tags, just in case your cats get out of sight and somebody else finds them.
All in all, a good solution.
VACCINATIONS FOR YOUR CAT
Last but not least, you’ll need to take your cats to the vet and check what kind of vaccinations they need.
Depending on the country / countries you want to take them to, requirements might vary, but the one thing they’ll need 100% is the vaccine against rabies.
You also need to have at least a 3 week interval from the date of initial rabies vaccination before travel, and keep up to date with boosters.
Read more about that here, but also check with your vet and on your government official’s website as rules may vary depending on the country. For example, Finland, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Malta require treatment for the parasite Echinococcus before entry.
Some countries – typically outside of the EU – will also require your pet to be quarantined, so they might not be the best choice for your trip.
COMING UP NEXT…
In the next post we’ll talk about microchipping your cats, getting the right documents and how Simba underwent gender reassignment THREE times within 6 months. (Don’t worry, it’s not as gruesome as you’re currently picturing it in your head.) Speak soon!