Hello, Random Tuesday
Guess what!? We made it through Monday and soon we will be on the hump of the week! Today I wanted to give my review on a device I have used for almost 6 months, as well as the backstory on why I decided to get one in the first place. Back in November 2015, I purchased a “Tractive GPS” so I could keep track of my cat Grace. I decided to do this after she didn’t come home again for a few days and I got worried. Grace was born in Ft. Lauderdale, FL in 2004, and has lived in north Louisiana, south Mississippi, and back in Louisiana. She is my ‘fur’-baby. 😛
Longest Week Ever:
Back in 2012 she didn’t make it home for over a week as she managed to get herself trapped in someone’s spare garage and after passing out flyers, walking the entire neighborhood, making numerous trips to the pet stores, vets, and pounds in my area only to find her literally next door in a spare garage was not a great feeling. It made me very sad and upset that I thought I had lost my fur-baby forever. Though with my window open every night and I swore up and down that I could hear her, I still couldn’t find her. 🙁
It actually wasn’t until my cousins were in the field in front of the said garage of when they heard and saw her in the window which was luckily up so air could flow through the screen. After knock and ringing the doorbell continuously for what seemed like forever with nobody answering, someone finally pulled up and we were able to get her out.
After thinking about it, I probably should have gotten a GPS tracker after the second bad (and probably worse thing) that happened. Back in 2014, after I got back from joining the gym down the street, I came home to Grace not greeting me at the back door like she usually does when she’s outside, especially when she is right there on her cat tower. When I realized she wasn’t moving, I realized something was wrong. I went to pick her up and her front left leg was just kinda hanging there.
Long story short — Dr. did surgery and put a cast on it but for whatever reason, it didn’t heal correctly so Dr. had to amputate. 🙁 So my Gracie baby is now a “Tripawd.” I’ll probably post from time to time pictures and whatnot of her but if you want to know more about her recovery you can visit her Facebook Page here.
You’ll probably wondering why I didn’t get a tracker when she went missing back in 2012? I still lived in my beach apartment going to school so since at the apartment we had a balcony where she wasn’t going to be roaming around everywhere there was not reason. Now, however, she loves being outside just like at our apartment, only there’s no balcony and yes she can still jump over the fence despite being one-legged in the front.
So, back in November 2015, I researched pet GPS’ and decided to make my purchase on Amazon.com. I ended up purchases the Tractive GPS device. It clips on any collar and is small enough for I would say most cats, though I would not purchase one for a kitten. Grace is about 9 pounds. Unless I’m out of town, I took the device off each night for 2 reasons. First, so I could turn it off and preserve the battery and secondly, to turn off the light up battery operated collar she has been wearing for years now.
Up until a few weeks ago I absolutely LOVED this GPS device! At first, I wasn’t so sure since every 5 seconds it seemed/literally sometimes it would tell me “Grace has left the safe zone” or “Grace has entered the safe zone,” even though she was sitting right in front of me or the device was on its charger. After a week I was about ready to send it back for a refund but luckily I didn’t and I was able to keep an “eye” on my baby.
How the Tractive GPS works:
The GPS device gets its signal off a satellite and cellular signals. Both has to be working for it to work correctly. Before purchasing, make sure you have great T-Mobile 2G service in the area it will be used. You can access the device information either through logging in on any computer or smartphone with the free app.
On the app, you can click the Live button and it will show the “about” location of where the device is and then you can click the Light button, causing the light to come on located on the device. At the beginning of using the GPS device, as soon as I turn that light on, Grace would be home within 5-10 minutes depending on where she was. I would turn the Live tracking on at the same time to see where she was and to confirm she was heading back so I could be at the door to meet her.
There were a few times her collar got stuck in some bushes or she managed to it off (and she is very much able to somehow — SMART Kitty Alert!! LOL). The first time I was devastated, as I had only had it for a few months and spent all this money on it (remember I worked at a zoo, which didn’t pay much). Any-who, I used the free app on my iPhone to search for the GPS as usual and it showed it was in the backyard of the house diagonally behind us. After looking in the backyard (because it was late) without entering the backyard without the owners’ permission, I still couldn’t see it so I was skeptical.
Finally, after a few more days went by someone answered and I had permission to enter their backyard to look for the GPS device. Sure enough, it was in the backyard. I couldn’t ever see it because it was right behind a tree <— go figure right?! That’s when I realized this thing works like a charm and I LOVE IT!
A few things they could change:
The battery for me lasted roughly 4 days after I came to the point of not checking it every 5 minutes. It would really be nice if they could make it last at least 7 days like my Fitbit. Another thing that would be nice is the size. Though the device fits my cat fine, it would probably be a bit more comfortable on her if it was a bit smaller. Anything can be made smaller and still work just as well so there really shouldn’t be an issue.
Change of Service:
At this point, you are probably asking another question. Why isn’t Grace wearing the GPS anymore? As of yesterday (ironically I had already planned to write this and then this happened), I found out this area isn’t T-Mobile 2G friendly anymore. See when Grace lost her GPS in the backyard she was in I contacted the company’s customer service (through Facebook) and told them it was lost and wasn’t sure I would ever get it back since no one was answering, etc. So they sent me a link to purchase an exchange device for half the price.
I purchased 2 of them for a just in case so I wouldn’t have to wait for another one to come in the mail cause hey I have a spoiled tripawd cat who loves being outside every day all day. 😛 So a few weeks ago this current GPS wasn’t showing up with her location and had an exclamation mark in the bottom right-hand corner. So I message customer service again and asked them to switch over to one of the exchange devices. When I tested it before putting it on her, it worked perfectly fine, where it show the location within the app and everything. Unfortunately, when I checked the app for location after putting her collar on and letting her outside, it no longer worked.
After talking to customer service, again, nobody could tell me what the issue was and I’d about had it with the device. So, once again, I had them change the devices where I was now on my 3rd GPS tracker. Of course, it too was still not working! This time customer service talked to their developer and technician about my issue. Turns out there were network changes in my area causing the GPS tracker to no longer work. 🙁
Check it out for Yourself:
So there you have it my review of the Tractive GPS device made for animals. As much as I absolutely loved this device I am at this time waiting for a new GPS from a new company to come in today. This one takes a SIM card of your choice so we will see how it works. I’ll write a post or 2 within the next few months on it and let y’all know. But in the meantime, find out if you have T-Mobile 2G service in your area and make your purchase here (no affiliation) for your Tractive GPS. For more research on the device itself, you can visit their website here (no affiliation).
Truly hope you enjoyed my backstory and review for the Tractive GPS tracking device.
Thanks for visiting. Hope to see you back here again. If you have any questions or comments feel free to contact me.
Have a great day!!
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