Is Airtag for Cat the Best Option out There? – Is There a Better Alternative?

Airtag for cats

The Apple Airtag is a tracking device that helps you locate lost items. Recently, people have been considering using this device to track their pets.

However, the Airtag has many restrictions that, in my opinion, make it pretty unsuitable and unreliable for tracking your kitty – unless they are in a nearby location.

They basically have to stay within the Bluetooth connection distance of an Apple product for you to find them.

I think the Tractive GPS tracker is a million times better than the Airtag to monitor your pet. It gives precise real-time details on your pet’s exact location, no matter how far they adventure. It also has a bunch of other smart features and alerts that give it a huge advantage over the Airtag.

Read the rest of this review to find out how Airtags work, what makes them not so ideal for cat tracking, and why I think the Tractive is a superior cat-tracking device!

GPS Tracker for Cats

The price of “GPS Tracker for Cats” varies, so check the latest price at

What Is Apple Airtag for Cats?

Apple air tag

The Apple Airtag is a type of GPS tracker device used to monitor the location of objects, or in this case – cats.

The Airtag connects to Apple products in the area and uses a Bluetooth signal to detect their location.

While the Airtag can be used for cats, as I’ll explain later, limitations of the technology make it not very suitable for this use – and there are better GPS tracking products out there which are more accurate for locating your cat’s last position.

Important Specs of the Airtag

  • Size: 0.31″ thickness, 1.26″ diameter
  • Weight: 11g (0.340z)
  • Range: Bluetooth is around 30m, but the “lost mode” works differently and doesn’t have a specific amount (I’ll explain this later)
  • Battery life: On average, it lasts for 1 year – although it can be replaced
  • Water resistance: Rated with up to 3.3ft (1m) waterproofness, up to 30 minutes
  • Price: You can pick this under 50$

Can You Use Apple Airtag for Cats?

Apple’s Airtag is not specifically designed to be used with cats and other animals, but it can be used for pets with a few accessories – although it might not work as well.

The Air Tag was designed more to be used for stationary, inanimate objects like keys, wallets, and laptops.

Also, due to the shape of the Air Tag, you will need an accessory collar or harness to attach it to your cat (or dog)to use as a cat tracker.

Because of how the tracking works, it also isn’t ideal for precision finding animals at long range. Sure – it will help you find your cat if they are in Bluetooth proximity, but if they travel too far from your connected device, then it doesn’t work as well as other GPS trackers.

How Does Airtag Perform Function?

The core system powering the Airtag is Bluetooth technology. The Airtag connects to your iPhone or another apple product through Bluetooth, then you use the Find My App to get an arrow that points you to the general location of the connected tag.

The app on your phone also displays the rough distance between your phone and the airtag.

best airtags for cats

If your device isn’t in Bluetooth range of the connected Airtag, then it uses other devices (laptops, iPads, etc.) on your Find My Network to detect the airtag’s location.

What’s more, is that Airtags connect with other phones – not even yours.

So if you have no nearby devices, the airtag can communicate with any other nearby apple device and give you information about the location.

Don’t worry, this system is completely encrypted, so nobody will be able to locate your airtag tracker – it’s just an anonymous system that uses other Apple products to help track yours when none of your own Apple products are in range.

A further feature is the ability of the Airtag to emit a ringing alert sound. You can use this to help you track it down. If you know you’re close but cannot see it, use this sound feature to give you a clue as to where it is. However, this noise can upset more anxious cats.

It’s also worth noting that Airtags can only work with iPhone, iPad, iMac, or other apple products – so it won’t be of any use to Android users.

Real-Time Location Accuracy of Airtag

To be honest, I didn’t find the real-time location tracking of the Airtag to be that accurate. Because of how the Airtag works (via Bluetooth rather than true GPS), it only gives a rough location, which might not be reliable enough to get the precision you need.

For example, if your cat wanders into a forest or field where there are no other apple devices in close range, it won’t help track down your adventurous kitty.

It gives you a weak signal message, so it isn’t super helpful if you’re trying to search for your cats or dogs in a place without many apple devices nearby.

Proper Airtag Cat Collar Attachment Is Required

air tag

On its own, you can’t attach an Airtag to a cat – unless you’re going to be evil and glue it to its back.

It’s not the end of the world, though, as you can find Airtag cat collar and harness accessories that are designed to work as Airtag holders for cats. A silicone collar attachment is the most popular.

Personally, I feel safer using harnesses rather than collars. If your animal gets stuck by their collar, it could potentially be strangled – which is something you want to avoid at all costs.

Harnesses are safer for cats, although they are bulkier and more expensive.

What Is Lost Mode in Airtag for Cats?

apple airtags for cats

The Lost Mode feature for Airtags can be pretty handy if your cat wanders too far from your property. While it doesn’t give you a direct GPS location, it sends you alerts whenever your cat comes close to another apple device – and puts a marker on your map showing the last known location.

Imagine this situation – your cat just ran off chasing mice, and it’s been running all over the neighborhood and out of the limited range of your iPhone connection. All you need to do is enable Lost Mode and let the airtag do its magic.

At some point, the tracking device of your cat comes within Bluetooth range of somebody else’s iPhone on the other side of town.

You’ll get an email or notification that alerts you of your cat’s movements and puts a pin on the map. So, thanks to these Bluetooth trackers, you can still hunt her down and bring her home when your cat leaves the area.

Pros and Cons of Using an Airtag


  • Works well if your cat is in the local area or hiding in your house.
  • Still performs well if your cat is in a location where there are lots of other Iphones or Apple devices to connect to
  • Relatively affordable


  • It doesn’t work well in areas where there are no nearby apple products, like fields, woods, and other uninhabited areas
  • Doesn’t give particularly good real-time tracking
  • Doesn’t have the same radius as other cat trackers.
  • Need to buy additional airtag cat collars

Tractive, Best Alternative to Airtag

apple airtag for cat

While the Airtag may work slightly well for tracking cats, there are much better cat trackers out there. The airtag wasn’t designed for animals, but the Tractive GPS tracker ($49) is specifically designed to help you locate animals no matter where they go.

The Tractive GPS tracker is by far one of the best cat trackers I’ve ever used.

While it requires a subscription, it’s still worth the purchase if you want to keep track of outdoor cats no matter where they wander. It also has a bunch of other really cool, helpful features.

To start with, this cat tracker works using GPS in real-time. This means you can instantly track the precise coordinates of the tracker anywhere in the world and at any time. You can follow your cat’s every move with the app, and it also stores the history so you can see the paths they take.

Another feature I love about this device is the ability to create a “Virtual Fence.” Using the app, you can draw out territories on a map that act as safe zones. Any time your cat is detected leaving this safe zone, you’ll be immediately alerted with a notification to your phone.

cat airtag collar

You’ll also get a notification when they re-enter the zone. I like to use the Virtual Fence function to fence off my local areas – I usually put the boundaries to alert me when my car gets close to busy roads or areas where I know there are unfriendly dogs, foxes, or other cats.

The fact that this cat tracker works with GPS gives it a huge advantage over the Airtag, which I find fairly limited in terms of accuracy and tracking.

This lightweight cat collar is far more effective at tracking cats than Airtags or most other pet tracker gadgets on the market. It’s only $20 more expensive than an airtag, but I’d say it offers 10 times the amount of functionality. Also, you need to buy an extra collar for the airtag, so the prices work out basically the same.

If you’re considering an Airtag, I’d say go for the Tractive; instead, you won’t regret it.

GPS Tracker for Cats

The price of “GPS Tracker for Cats” varies, so check the latest price at

Is Airtag Worth Buying for Cats?

To be honest, I wouldn’t recommend buying an Apple Airtag for your cat. Sure, it’s great for keys, wallets, and other inanimate objects, but I just don’t think it makes the grade for animals that move around.

The whole design of the airtag has too many limitations that restrict the accuracy and reliability of the tracking features.

I would suggest you go for the Tractive GPS tracker instead. It has much better accuracy, works in real-time, and can keep track of your cat no matter how far they travel from your house. The app has more features, and this thing is literally designed to be a GPS cat’s collar.

The Tractive costs $49, which is more expensive than the $29 Airtag, however – you need to buy an additional collar Airtag holder, which will set you back $10-20 anyway.


Is Airtag Too Heavy for Cats?

Weighing only 11 grams, an Apple Airtag won’t be too heavy for your cat, although it isn’t the best product out there to track pets.

Can You Put an Airtag on a Cat’s Collar?

Airtags can be attached to a cat’s collar, although you will need a specific type of collar – not just any old one. You can find many types of Apple Airtag cat collars and harnesses recommended for use with the Airtag.

Are Airtags Good for Cats?

Airtags are not really that good for cats. In some situations, they can save some time when it comes to hunting them down – but only if they are close to home, like in your yard or hiding under your bed at night.

The Tractive GPS tracker is a much better choice when it comes to finding your cats.

Final Thoughts

Now you understand the reasons why the Tractive GPS tracker is a better choice for monitoring your cat’s movements than an Apple Airtag. In a pinch, an Airtag can work, although the range limits make it obsolete in many situations.

The Tractive collar is specifically designed as a cat tracker and works much more effectively and accurately when giving details about your cat’s location. It has a bunch of other cool features. With the Tractive, you can track your lost cat no matter how far from home it wanders!

Noah Feasey-Kemp
Noah is a writer and animal lover. He loves all animals but has a soft spot for cats. He’s currently living in a house with six furballs - you can see three of them in the image. He spends most of his time writing (when the cats aren’t climbing over his keyboard). He’s always loved animals and has lived with most species of pets at some point. Writing is the career he is focused on, and he enjoys writing for different websites helping them to provide educational and entertaining material for readers. He’s worked professionally as a writer for over 4 years and has a large range of experience. He spends a lot of time researching animal welfare and different products that make pet owners’ lives easier. Noah has also volunteered at different animal sanctuaries and centers. His favorite activity is lying down on the sofa under a pile of cats.

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