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 Post subject: Pod Trackers
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:57 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:11 pm
Posts: 1165
Following our recent fright with Hendrix, we have now fitted trackers to the collars of our two boys. Just in case anyone else is looking at something like this, I thought I'd let you know how we are finding it.

They are pretty accurate as we took one on a drive and recorded it on the app and it was pretty precise as to where we had been.

This is what they look like when being worn as modelled by Jagger:

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They weigh 29g and it pretty much reminds me of a mountain rescue St Bernard with its cask of liquor round its neck!

Basically you can set a safe zone and if your pet goes out of that zone, you get a warning (as long as you have the safe zone turned on). This does use up the batteries, but it does last a working day and I have it on that setting all day. If they are indoors napping the Pod knows this and kind of shuts down, saving the battery life. You can also locate them at any time if you want to. There is also a function to record 'adventures' and then you can see exactly where they go which helps to set the safe zone. Whilst in this mode though you won't be notified if they go outside their safe zone and will only know where they've been when they're home and you can download the recording - the Pod needs to be within a few meters to do this. If I'm going to use this mode I do it at the weekend as that really uses the battery life up and it will need to be changed during the day. They come with two batteries each and a charger.

It also acts a bit like a Fitbit and will tell you how active they've been, how many minutes walking or running etc.

Its a god send for me right now while we look to move house - somewhere I can put up cat fencing as that isn't really possible where we are now for various reasons. This isn't the only reason we are looking to move though - that would make them very expensive pets :lol:

Hendrix made it very clear within two days of being home he wasn't staying indoors, as he managed to slip past me when I thought he was otherwise occupied and then had me chasing him around the garden with my dodgy knees. Little rascal.

So now, with the combination of my cameras indoors and these Pods, I can pretty much see where my boys are at any time.

I think they are really good - the only issue right now is Hendrix who is a bit stroppy about wearing it, but Jagger didn't blink an eye and is absolutely fine with wearing it. But Hendrix was like this with a harness, and was initially a toad about his collar as well - even though that collar pretty much saved his life!


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Clare
Hendrix and Jagger, Brown Marble Boys (born 18 August 2013)
Hampshire, UK


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 Post subject: Re: Pod Trackers
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:35 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8005
Clare, all of this ... does it make it worth having cats? Of course it does! You didn't say the brand of tracker that you have. Is it GPS or Bluetooth? Bluetooth ones have a limited range of 100 feet. GPS is a different ball game, but the device is much larger than what you are showing in the picture. I think the "out of range" would drive you crazy! Especially if you are at work and Hendrix and Jagger are outside. Plus, the collar can probably come off.

I've thought about something like this for the b/w cat who vanishes -- but I figure he spends a lot of time in the woods and would just lose the collar and I would be beside myself with worry as to where is was. I'd probably be awake all night tracking him.

I really, really, really want things to settle down for you! You're obviously letting your boys outside again. I know you want to have their outside area confined a little more! I hope somehow this device gives you more peace of mind than worry. Your family has been through so much with Hendrix's escapade. I know it's unusual for a cat to hop a ride 11 miles down the road, but, obviously, it does happen.

Keep us updated on how things go with this tracker.


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 Post subject: Re: Pod Trackers
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 5:56 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:11 pm
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Hi Sherry

Its GPS and accurate to within +/-10 meters I believe. I managed to find the collar yesterday with the tracker as when I checked it's position it was definitely indoors thank goodness. It is pretty good, I've been really impressed as I was very sceptical.

We're going to look at a house tomorrow with a wrap around garden that from what I can see will be very easy to put cat fencing around. Obviously we can't have that as our main priority (although secretly it is my main priority) - I want them to be able to enjoy the outside without me being totally stressed all the time they are out. The pods have definitely made me feel more relaxed about it all - before we had them their time outside was massively restricted. Mind you, Jon is home at the moment to keep an eye on them whilst I'm at work, so I'm not sure how I will be when he goes back to sea. They may find themselves shut in during the day regardless!

However, Hendrix has shown he has survival skills (he's definitely not as daft as he makes out!) and is determined to continue going out. With the pod, if he goes for another trip I will be able to find him provided the collar doesn't come off. However, I'm hoping he's learnt his lesson!

It really is the size in the photo - I haven't tried to make it look smaller!

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Clare
Hendrix and Jagger, Brown Marble Boys (born 18 August 2013)
Hampshire, UK


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 Post subject: Re: Pod Trackers
PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2016 6:50 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Clare,
When I was house hunting 5 years ago I imagined my then cat Madelyn in each scenario. When I found the house I eventually bought I told the realtor that my cat will love the screened in patio! My realtor asked to meet my cat once I moved in because she heard so much about her. Madelyn was quite old and sickly and spent the majority of her life in a high rise condo, so the move proved to be stressful for her and she never went out on the patio much at all. She did sit in the sunshine of all the windows and doors and look outside for the first time.

After Madelyn was gone I adopted my two fun loving girls and they take full advantage of the patio. I am so glad! I know one day I will need to downsize and move back into a condo or villa situation. I have already looked at some options always with a screened in patio wondering how they will feel about moving. Hopefully that change will come at least 5 years down the road.

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 Post subject: Re: Pod Trackers
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 10:54 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:11 pm
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Hi Jill

It's not just me then lol Having said that Jon is desperate to go somewhere semi-rural - on the basis that the cats would love it! I think that's just him trying to sell it to me though as I think with him being at sea for the next two years, I would find myself feeling a bit isolated - sometimes it's nice to know there are people near by!

Will be interesting to see the house we are viewing this pm, it seems very secluded, yet pretty close to the town centre and I've already earmarked a bedroom for the boys :lol:

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Clare
Hendrix and Jagger, Brown Marble Boys (born 18 August 2013)
Hampshire, UK


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 Post subject: Re: Pod Trackers
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:20 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Clare, what is the brand name of the pods? I wonder if they are available in the States. I believe you have to pay a monthly fee, don't you? I just wish these little adorable creatures would not put so much stress on our lives! I worry about the b/w cat when he is not here. Then I will look out the window and see him sleeping soundly in his bed. If only they understood what they are doing to us.

Jill, my hubby is hoping to retire next year. We currently live in a house with stairs. 13 from the garage up into the bonus room, 4 down to the kitchen, 8 up to the front door, 5 to the back door. We are getting much older and it's much more difficult to get up and down the steps. We'll have to move to a single level home at some point and the home will definitely have some feature that we can use for Raiden. Either we build another enclosure or it has a screened in porch! I'd love to return to Florida, but not sure we will end up back there. A high-rise condo would probably not suit us. I don't think Raiden would get used to an elevator, but maybe a villa would.


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 Post subject: Re: Pod Trackers
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 5:40 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat
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Sherry, no stairs was one of the main requirements I had when I was looking. I saw an incredible end unit town house, but it had a very high staircase up to the bedrooms. I loved the place, but looking toward the future I said no way. Screened in patios are very common in south Florida and perfect for kitties.

This morning I noticed one of my faux wicker lounge chairs is shredded on the top portion. I can just visualize Grace standing on the seat shredding the back rest (or chewing it) while looking out at wild kingdom. She is a piece of work.

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 Post subject: Re: Pod Trackers
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:13 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:11 pm
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The brand name is just Pod Trackers as far as I'm aware. The website is podtrackers.com. I'm pretty certain you can can get them in the US. There is no monthly fee for the first twelve months and I don't think the fee will be too bad when we do need to pay - peace of mind is priceless anyway!

The house viewing was a bit of a disappointment, great plot and really out of the way, but very dark inside and the stairs to the main bedroom were very steep. If I have a flare up I won't be able to get up them lol. We are currently in a bungalow (one level) at the moment which is perfect for me and its made my mind up that I don't want to go to a house with stairs now with inflammatory arthritis in my knees. And I'm only 45! Really restricts you when you're trying to move house. We will keep trying though.

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Clare
Hendrix and Jagger, Brown Marble Boys (born 18 August 2013)
Hampshire, UK


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 Post subject: Re: Pod Trackers
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:32 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:22 pm
Posts: 730
Hi Clare, I didn't realise you had problems with your knees. I have problems with my left knee and it's been extremely painful this past week I can hardly walk on it, can't sleep with the pain it's awful and very difficult to find any position that is comfortable. Mornings are bad as my knee is very stiff and painful. Does this sound similar to you?

I fell on my knee on a treadmill over 20 years ago and it's never been the same since but I find as I'm getting older it's flaring up more often.

Can I ask what pain relief you use? I tried using Nurofen which doesn't touch it!

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RIP my sweet baby Dexter, Snow Bengal 19/5/14 to 5/3/15 and my lovely dear old friend Muskey, Brown Burmese put to rest aged 15 on 14/11/15.

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 Post subject: Re: Pod Trackers
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 3:41 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

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Hi Debbie,

I've pm'd you! X

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Clare
Hendrix and Jagger, Brown Marble Boys (born 18 August 2013)
Hampshire, UK


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 Post subject: Re: Pod Trackers
PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2016 7:10 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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The Pod Tracker is interesting, but it appears to me that you have to realize your cat is missing almost immediately or you run out of battery power. That's probably because this a fairly new technology and they wanted to keep the unit small. But, some people don't think their cat is missing in 24 hours! Still, I guess if you have the tracker on, you are tracking them all the time. I would still worry about a breakaway collar and having to look for the tracker in the deep woods behind my house. Some of the area is impassable to humans, but cats and other small creatures can get underneath the brush! I'm so thankful you have something for your peace of mind, Clare. I know you will find a house that suits all of you.

Stairs can be a horrible obstacle when your knees aren't working properly -- or ankles. I have sprained my ankles more times than I can count on both hands and it is very difficult to get up and down steps. We've lived in our house nearly 23 years, so we were MUCH younger when we bought it. Didn't even think about what it would be like once we reached past our mid-60's. We can still climb fine -- but if you have to lug groceries up in several trips, it can really wear on you. Raiden, on the other hand, bounds up them like it's a piece of cake.

Jill, your beaver is back! What on earth can you do? Eventually, you may sit on a chair and fall to the floor! Has Grace's teeth been checked recently? Wonder if there is something going on there.


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 Post subject: Re: Pod Trackers
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 8:07 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:11 pm
Posts: 1165
I think if you are someone who is concerned enough about the location of their pet to purchase these, you would notice well before 24 hours have passed of your pet going AWOL. I knew Hendrix was missing by 6pm the same day and had started trying to find him.

The battery can last up to 5 days if you aren't recording adventures or have it on safe zone. I always have it on safe zone, I put fresh batteries on every morning at about 6 am, generally I take the collars off about 7 pm and they still have somewhere between 30% to 50% battery life left, depending on how active they've been and if I'd tried to locate them at any time during the day.

I don't think they'd work too well for Long Legs though if he spends so much time in the woods. Too much 'stuff' above and around such as tree canopies and dense undergrowth would make it a lot less accurate and you'd struggle to find it if the collar came off.

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Clare
Hendrix and Jagger, Brown Marble Boys (born 18 August 2013)
Hampshire, UK


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 Post subject: Re: Pod Trackers
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:33 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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I guess the tracker uses regular batteries? It's not rechargeable? Well, peace of mind has no cost! The unit is not cheap and then you add the batteries to it. Yeah, Long Legs is a roamer. I just don't know how far he might travel. Maybe not as far as I think, but it sure would have helped knowing he was locked in a garage for three days. He's currently sleeping in his box bed on the deck. I can breathe again! LOL


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 Post subject: Re: Pod Trackers
PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 7:10 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:11 pm
Posts: 1165
Each pod tracker comes with two rechargeable batteries and a charger. So I just swap them every day.

Hendrix managed to lose his collar again today, by the time Jon noticed I think a neighbour had found it and put it through our letterbox. Jon couldn't find it and I tried to locate it at work by which time someone had posted something else through the letterbox which landed on the pod and meant the signal was obscured!

Hendrix is such a ratbag! It's always him!

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Clare
Hendrix and Jagger, Brown Marble Boys (born 18 August 2013)
Hampshire, UK


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 Post subject: Re: Pod Trackers
PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:04 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
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Clare, it sounds as if this Pod Tracker is going to give you a heart attack. Actually, I think it's Hendrix! I hope you can find the perfect house that will allow you to contain him in a large area so he can be happy and you can be happy.


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