Hey, pet parents! I know that keeping your pets safe, healthy, and well is at the very forefront of your mind, so it’s time for us to have a little chat about GPS trackers. Technological advancements mean that you can monitor your cats or dogs at all times, in real time, no matter where they are – and all from a small device that sits around their necks, just like a collar.

Emerging as a vital tool in the pet parenting box, it’s hardly any wonder that every pet-focused company has chosen to jump on the GPS bandwagon. Today, we’re going to put two big names in the world of pet trackers to the test: Petcube and Tractive.

Let’s dive in and compare the two, shall we?

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  1. Features of GPS Trackers
  2. Dimensions of GPS Trackers
  3. Cost and Subscription Plans
  4. How Long Does the Battery Last
  5. Conclusion

Features of GPS Trackers

According to the Animal Humane Society, more than 10 million pets go missing each year in the US, which amounts to approximately one-in-three pets. If you are in a room with two other pet owners, at least one of you will likely face a missing pet: that’s the reality of it.

Microchipping helps in many cases, of course; but that only works if everything is kept updated with the correct information, and when you/someone has access to a chip scanner. Statistics show that only 58.1% of all microchipped pets are properly registered, with all information up-to-date.

Thankfully, modern technology has made pet parenthood a much easier, safe, and stress-free way of living, especially when it comes to GPS trackers. Worn in the same way as a collar, trackers give you the opportunity to check on your pet at any time of the day or night, pinpointing their exact location in real time. As far as features go, the tracker in itself is a mind-soother, but many devices offer so much more than that.

Let’s compare two popular models: Petcube GPS Tracker vs Tractive GPS Tracker for pets.

Petcube GPS Tracker

There are several helpful features with the GPS Tracker from Petcube, including the fact that it’s essentially one-size-fits-all. The silicone case that keeps the device safe and secure, can be easily fitted onto any kind or size of collar, and the device itself is water-resistant (IP67 certified) and durable.

Here are a few more features that you might find super handy:

  • Unlimited 4G/LTE connectivity (* with subscription);
  • Real-time, live pet tracking and location;
  • LED flashlight (for safety and locating in the dark);
  • Buzzer for sound alerts;
  • Lost Dog Mode for fast recovery and retrieval;
  • Virtual Fences – alerts when your dog leaves the predetermined distance boundary;
  • Fitness goals for your pet (and you!);
  • Heat Map displaying most-visited spots;
  • 24/7 health services and vet access (* with Premium);
  • Glow-in-the-dark silicone case;
  • Compatible with iOS 14+ and Android 7.1.2+ devices.

Tractive GPS

With Tractive GPS trackers for pets, you’ll get a wide range of features depending on the model you select. They’re all 100% waterproof and adventure-safe, offer real-time tracking with no distance limit, provide health alerts following changes to regular routine and activity, the option to set up ‘safe spaces,’ and compatibility with both iOS (15+) and Android (9.0+.)

The DOG XL and Adventure models are reinforced with fiberglass to make them super strong, and they’re easy to see when you’re active with your pet at night, with both lights and sounds. You’ll never lose them in the dark again!

Dimensions of GPS Trackers

You might not think that size matters when it comes to GPS trackers for pets, but a large and bulky device will simply make your pet feel uncomfortable and, in turn, unhappy. You’ll also have a much harder time trying to attach a large device than you will a small, compact one.

Your cat or dog is probably going to be active at some point during their GPS journey, so a larger device would be more likely to get bashed or knocked off. The larger devices are more obvious, too. Other people, including potential thieves, are going to notice larger models immediately.

It’s also important to remember that your pet is more likely to go missing during the summer, which is also incidentally when they are more likely to wander outside. Research shows that June, July, and August are the highest risk months. You’ve still got time to get your pet a tracker before the sunny season comes around!

Petcube GPS Tracker

As with many other aspects of pet care, Petcube likes to keep things nice and simple. There is such a thing as too many options, right? The Petcube GPS Tracker is one simple device that slips onto your pet’s regular collar. You don’t need to get them comfortable with something new; it’ll just be like adding a new tag.

The device sits in a small case, which has loops. All you need to do is slide your pet’s collar through the loops, then pop the device inside. You don’t need to take the whole thing off to charge it up; just take the device out, then pop it back in when it’s been fully charged up again.

The silicone case is flexible but durable, and it even glows in the dark. It’s lightweight, too, so your pet won’t even know it’s there.

Tractive GPS

Tractive offers quite a range of trackers for both dogs and cats – DOG 4, DOG XL, AND DOG XL Adventure, increasing with technology, size, and features. There is only one cat model available: GPS Tracker for Cats. Cats tend to come in a smaller range of sizes than dogs, right?

The outside world can be super dangerous to dogs and cats, and even common garden flowers can cause an insurmountable amount of harm to their health. As pet vet Dr. Crocker states on TikTok: “Easter = Lily toxicity cats in the Pet ER.”

Model Size Weight Pet Weight Collar Size
Tractive DOG 4 71 x 28 x 17 mm 35g Dogs 4kg+ Up to 1.1in/2.8 cm
Tractive DOG XL 89 x 51 x 24 mm 90g Dogs 22kg+ Up to 1.6 in/4 cm
Tractive DOG XL Adventure* 97 x 51 x 24 mm 115g Dogs 22kg+ Up to 1.6 in/4 cm
Tractive for Cats 55 x 28 x 17 mm 25g Cats 3kg+ Up to 2 cm
Petcube GPS Tracker 60 x 25 x 20 mm 29g All pets All sizes

*extended battery life

Cost and Subscription Plans

GPS trackers for pets come with built-in sim cards, which enable the trackers to use mobile networks. This comes with a subscription fee, much the same as cell phone packages. You can usually pay for them monthly, annually, or every two/five years, with the biggest discounts seen on the longer term contracts.

You will need to factor this cost in when purchasing a GPS tracker for your pet, and you’ll likely find that most, if not all trackers will require a mobile network-connected system.

Let’s dive into the costs you can expect from Petcube and Tractive trackers.

Petcube GPS Tracker

The Petcube GPS Tracker (device itself) costs $52.99, but if you head on over and take a peek right now, you’ll see that it’s on special offer for just $31.99! Who doesn’t love a good sale?

Tracker Basic from Petcube offers live location tracing via GPS and mobile connectivity, plus location history for a maximum of 7 days. You’ll also get 7 days of wellness and activity information, too – such as when your pet sleeps, moves around the house, and other physical or movement changes.

Petcube’s Tracker Basic plan costs $12/$7/$5 per month, depending on whether you purchase a monthly, yearly, or two-yearly subscription.

The Premium versions gives you everything that the Basic version offers, plus a lifetime warranty on the device, anytime chats with certified vets (24/7,) and instead of 7 days’ worth of location, activity, and wellness history, you’ll get completely unlimited.

Tracker Premium costs $8/$6/$5 per month, depending on whether you purchase monthly, yearly, or five-yearly.

Tractive GPS

There are two packages to choose from with Tractive: Basic and Premium. Basic gives you location updates on your pet every 2 to 60 minutes, with completely unlimited location tracking, updated every few seconds. There’s also wellness features, plus activity and sleep tracking.

Basic costs $13/$8/$6 per month, paying monthly, annually, and two-yearly, respectively.

The Premium package gives you all the same things as Basic, plus a few more things. This includes the ability to export your pet’s GPS data, location history up to 365 days, the option to allow the whole family (multiple people) to track your pet(s), and coverage around the world – in up to 175 different countries!

Premium costs $9/$7/$5 per month, paying monthly, annually, and two-yearly, respectively.

There are often sales on the device costs (like, right now) but the base line costs for Tractive GPS pet trackers are:

  • Tractive Dog 4: $49.99
  • DOG XL: $69.99
  • DOG XL Adventure: $99.99
  • GPS Tracker for Cats: $49.99

How Long Does the Battery Last

The longer your pet is missing, the less of a chance you have of finding them. That’s a bleak statement, but statistics show that only around 34% of pet parents found their cats alive after being missing for a week. 74% of missing cats are found safe and well within 2 days. Essentially, the quicker you can find them, the better the outcome. A GPS tracker will definitely make that process a lot easier.

For some pet parents, the battery lifespan is particularly important – and there’s quite the range on offer. As you’ll see, some of the smaller models give you approximately 10 days of use before recharging, with the larger ones offering 30 days or more.

Petcube GPS Tracker

You’ll get 30 days of power with power save tracking mode turned on, which essentially reduces tracking and device function when your pet is sleeping or resting. The mighty device charges in a flash – only around an hour. You can take it off, charge it up, and pop it back on again before your pet even wants to leave the house.

Tractive GPS

With so many models on offer, there’s a range of battery lifespans to suit you and your pet. The GPS Tracker for Cats, for example, boasts of a “battery built for the everyday,” using Power Saving Zones to give you up to 7 days of battery life.

Tractive DOG 4 offers up to 10 days without charging, and both DOG XL and XL Adventure gives you up to one month of use before charging – although the Adventure model promises up to 3-times the battery life for “big adventures.”


The best way to work out which GPS tracker for pets is best for you, you’ll first need to work out what you actually need. Petcube’s GPS Tracker is the obvious choice for simplicity, but Tractive’s larger XL Adventure would be the best choice for longer-term battery life. Because of that, it also comes with a much higher price tag.

The best GPS tracker for dogs and cats will be the one that best suits you and your pet’s needs. So… what do you and your pet need?

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