Locating your own cat is an exciting thing: where does the cat go when you let it out? Where does she sleep all day? Does she go to the neighbors? Just a few of the questions cat owners often ask themselves. The only question is: how do you locate your cat? One possibility is Apple’s AirTags, but how well does that work?
We compared cat AirTag collars and tell you if you can track your cat with AirTags.
What is an AirTag?
AirTags are distributed by Apple and can only be used with iPhones. If you use an Android device accordingly, this tracking option is out of the question for you. AirTags are tracked over Apple’s Find My network with every halfway up-to-date iPhone on the planet. In addition to cats, you can also bug your own bunch of keys and find them again if they get lost.
Bluetooth is used for rough localization, with iPhones from the iPhone 11 onwards Ultra Wideband can also be used to display the exact distance and direction when you are nearby.
At this point it is important to know: An AirTag is waterproof , so you don’t have to pay attention to the weather, if your cat goes outside, the AirTag will do it too. The battery life is specified by Apple as one year , since the product has not yet been on the market for a year, this cannot be conclusively assessed. So far we have assumed that with moderate use the battery will not have to be replaced for a longer period of time. In order to use the AirTag, you don’t need a paid subscription , just a current iPhone with iOS 14 / 15 or newer.
AirTags are available individually or in packs of four. If you buy the AirTags yourself from Apple, you can have them engraved for free .
- Keep track of your belongings and your other devices and find them in the Find My app.
- Just one tap is all it takes to pair your AirTag with your iPhone or iPad
- Play a tone with the built-in speaker and find your stuff. Or just ask Siri for help
- Precise Search uses ultra-wideband technology to guide you directly to your nearest AirTag (with select iPhone models)
- Find objects farther away with the help of hundreds of millions of Apple devices on the Find My network
AirTag collar for cats
To attach an AirTag to a cat, you need a collar. Different manufacturers have different products on offer, we compared two:
VEGERAW Airtag collar cat
The “VEGERAW Airtag collar cat” (identical to the model from GAGBK) is a collar made of very soft silicone. The overall texture is more reminiscent of a cheap smartwatch bracelet. In terms of length, it can be used by both cats and medium-sized dogs.
With a cat, it is particularly important that if the cat hangs itself with the collar, there is a safety catch that the cat can use to free itself. Although the manufacturer states that there is a predetermined breaking point in the material, this is by no means comparable to a real safety lock. A cat would hardly get the material severed.
At just under 10 euros, it is relatively cheap, but since important security functions are missing and the material appearance is more than just cheap, we strongly advise against buying it here .
LucyBalu cat collar NEMO
The LucyBalu cat collar NEMO with AirTag holder is much more suitable than the competition. The collar is much narrower and therefore definitely intended more for cats. There’s also a reasonable safety latch that doesn’t come off too easily, but still pops open if need be. The manufacturer speaks of an opening from approx. 2.5 kg pulling force.
The silicone collar can be adjusted on two sides, so that the fastener can always be at the back and the AirTag can always be in the middle at the front of your cat.
And what is supposedly best: The company that manufactures the collars is based in Munich and claims to produce in Germany. This is also noticeable in the processing quality, because both the silicone of the collar itself and the AirTag holder are of high quality.
The AirTag itself is attached to a fixed point in a kind of silicone buckle on the front. So it always sits perfectly on the cat’s neck and doesn’t swing back and forth.
Of course, the whole thing also has its price: the RRP is €30 for the collar, and you can sometimes get it cheaper.
- IDEAL FOR AIRTAG*: The collar was specially designed for the Apple AirTag. [The AirTag is not included]
- SUPER LIGHT AND CUDDLY: Pure minimalism. Discreet design with soft silicone strap ensures maximum comfort for the cat.
- CAT SAFETY FIRST: safety lock – opens when pulling forces exceed 2.5 kg, thus reducing the risk of strangulation.
- SIZE ADJUSTABLE: Fits a neck circumference between 20 and 31 cm. Recommended for adult cats weighing at least 3 kg.
- PREMIUM QUALITY: Hypoallergenic, waterproof and robust. The collar is made of 100% silicone and the safety housing for the AirTag is made of food-safe TPE.
Cloth collar and pendant
As an alternative to collars that already have an AirTag holder integrated, you can of course also attach an AirTag to a normal fabric collar with a safety lock like a “normal” key fob. The disadvantage here is that the AirTag can then move freely and swing back and forth. This may irritate your cat.
There are also buckles made of plastic, which can be attached to an existing collar. Pay attention to the width of your collar, more precisely the width of the buckle.
How good is the localization?
Now that we’ve figured out how to attach an AirTag to a cat without the cat getting caught or distracted by the AirTag, how well does the AirTag track the cat?
Due to the way it works, you can only rarely see a live location here, instead you will see the last location where any iPhone connected to your cat’s AirTag.
How good a tracking actually is depends extremely on where your cat hangs out and how many of your neighbors are at home and have an iPhone. One thing is clear: if your cat spends a lot of time in a lonely forest, for example, you will never get a location update. If you live in a densely populated residential area with many neighbors, who at best all have an iPhone, you can watch your cat very well through your neighborhood.
The AirTag is not only practical when your cat is out and about, it is also possible to let your iPhone inform you when the AirTag has been found, for example if the cat is sitting in front of the door and wants to come in. With the new iPhones being able to locate the AirTag in the room, you can also display the distance and direction in which your cat has already hidden itself. This is also very practical. Users with older iPhones only have the option of letting the AirTag ring, which may be a bit nasty for your cat.
Especially if you live in a rural area where there are not many neighbors with iPhones, tracking with an AirTag doesn’t work that well. But what are the alternatives then? The best-known alternative is a GPS tracker, but these also have some disadvantages compared to the AirTag.
As a rule, the purchase is significantly more expensive, the devices are larger and heavier and monthly subscriptions are often necessary. You can follow your cat live with a GPS tracker, which is not always possible with the AirTag.
Equipping your cat with an AirTag can make your life easier or tell you where your cat hangs out throughout the day. A prerequisite are many neighbors sitting at home with their iPhones. In contrast to a solution with GPS, a reasonably up-to-date tracking is still possible in very few cases, so finding the animal with your neighbors could still turn out to be difficult. But even in a rather sparsely populated neighborhood, an AirTag can be very useful: you can find the cat in the house if it’s hiding again, or you can be informed if the cat is sitting in front of the door and wants to come in.
When it comes to the collar, you should make sure that it meets all safety requirements despite the AirTag holder.
The good news is that even if you are not satisfied with the results of your cat’s AirTag, the AirTag can still be placed on your keychain, in your car or in a backpack or bag and used accordingly.
So if you have an iPhone, it’s definitely worth getting your cat an AirTag.