December 9, 2022
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Let me introduce you to Mr. Tippy. This is a cat who managed to get misplaced inside a automotive (he was wrapped across the steering column) and within the ceiling of our basement (it took the mixed efforts of two contractors, the native animal management people, and a witch to get him out). Mr. Tippy was a cat in dire want of a GPS locator system—particularly, the Jiobit for cats.

I acquired Mr. Tippy in 2015, two years after his proprietor died. He was used to dwelling outside and clearly anticipated some outside entry. We permit him out for a couple of hours mid-day.

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While our different cats are content material to lounge round in our yard, Mr. Tippy likes to discover the neighborhood. Mostly he comes residence when referred to as. Sometimes he doesn’t. We had been spending a number of time wandering the neighborhood ourselves—in search of Mr. Tippy. Not enjoyable.

We tried placing an RFID on Mr. Tippy, however his vary was too unpredictable for radio waves, and we regularly merely couldn’t decide up his sign from our base station.

No, Mr. Tippy wanted the GPS with mobile, wifi, Bluetooth, and a subscription to a real-time monitoring service. (Yes, it is a cat with points and a subscription.)

This overview provides a way of what the Jiobit for cats can and might’t do—together with what occurs when the cat loses their monitoring collar. (Oh, sure, this occurred. We’re speaking about Mr. Tippy right here.) We’ll stroll by means of the app, the monitoring gadget, and the charger—and Mr. Tippy. He’s a male calico cat, and sure, his ears had been trimmed to take away solar injury. But that’s one other story.

How the Jiobit for Cats Works

Devices utilizing satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS) expertise are in all places immediately, from navigational software program to package deal monitoring. Just as you should use your smartphone to see the place the supply truck is, now you can see in case your kitty is within the neighbors’ again yard—and which means they’re heading. Have a number of cats? The app can monitor a number of units.

The Jiobit works greatest when it will probably entry a number of knowledge methods: mobile knowledge methods (together with 5G), WiFi, and Bluetooth.

The short-range Bluetooth wi-fi expertise enables you to maintain monitor of a cat’s place inside your own home or in a close-by yard, whereas WiFi enables you to monitor a distant cat from your private home community (with out utilizing knowledge), and cell service permits you see your pet’s location regardless of the place you might be.

The monitoring gadget should be charged usually—a minimum of as soon as per week for the newest Jiobit mannequin. You’ll must cost extra usually in case you are utilizing the Jiobit in Live Mode (which streams real-time location updates fairly than sending them periodically). Fortunately, the app reminds you when the gadget’s battery wants charging.

All the settings and studies seem on the Jiobit app in your smartphone. Jiobit’s satellites observe your cat’s distinctive gadget and ship that positional data to your cellphone, the place it seems on a map. While most of us will probably be monitoring our cats regionally, a Jiobit may allow you to trace your cat if it obtained right into a transport container or shifting van and traveled throughout a whole lot of miles (sure, cats have accomplished this).

With the app’s Care Team characteristic, you can provide family members or a pet sitter the flexibility to make use of the app to trace your cat.

How Big Is the Jiobit, and How Does a Cat Wear One?

The Jiobit requires each a tool worn by your cat and a subscription to the GPS monitoring service (about $9 a month) that sends your cat’s location data to your smartphone. The package deal you obtain consists of:

The Jiobit tracker. The Jiobit tracker is a medallion-style tag you clip onto your cat’s collar. While most of the early GPS pet-tracking units had been pretty cumbersome, the present generations are cheap in measurement and weight for grownup cats. The Jiobit measures 1.96 x 1.45 x 0.47 inches and weighs simply 0.8 ounces.

Three attachment clips. The Jiobit comes with a built-in loop and three kinds of attachment clips. The strap clip is designed for pet collars and makes it very straightforward to string the monitoring gadget (gray aspect dealing with out) onto a cat collar securely.

A charger. The small charger can plug right into a USB energy supply or a normal family outlet. You don’t must take away both the attachment clip or the cat’s collar to cost the gadget. The blinking inexperienced gentle signifies that the gadget is charging; you get an alert in your cellphone when it’s absolutely charged.

Jiobit in charger

Mr. Tippy’s Jiobit (and cat collar) cost up.

Tracking Your Cat With the Jiobit App

Once you have got downloaded the Jiobit app, step one is to allow Bluetooth in your cellphone. Then place your Jiobit into the charger and observe the prompts in your smartphone’s display screen. You will arrange Home WiFi and create a profile on your cat.

The Help part (on the decrease left of the Jiobit app display screen) has dozens of wonderful articles that may clarify nearly each side of configuring and utilizing your Jiobit.

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You will possible wish to begin by organising some easy parameters. You outline Home because the place the place you are feeling your cat is secure (in our case, it’s our home and yard). Once you’ve entered that data within the app’s settings, you’ll get an alert in your cellphone (and, sure, in your Apple Watch should you put on one) each time your cat leaves the premises.

watch with Jiobit alert

I get an alert on my Apple Watch when Mr. Tippy comes and goes.

There can also be a Bluetooth Alert alarm that you may configure to emit an ear-splitting alarm if the gadget leaves Home. The Bluetooth “Ring Jiobit” perform will get the gadget itself to emit a brief, delicate chirp that will help you find it (and your cat).

If you research solely one of many Jiobit Help articles, make it “Understanding Your Jiobit’s App Status.” The article explains the important distinction between the “With You At Home” standing (when your cat’s Jiobit is related to you by way of Bluetooth) and “Home” standing (when your cat is close by within the designated Home space, however there isn’t any Bluetooth connection). This is critical—as a result of with out Bluetooth, your skill to find the close by gadget utilizing “Ring Jiobit” gained’t work.

Real-Life Testing: The Jiobit Meets Mr. Tippy

We had hassle believing that the considerably nervous Mr. Tippy can be completely happy sporting a 0.8-ounce gadget, full with a strap clip, on his collar. He stunned us. It doesn’t appear to hassle him. (Except for the few events when somebody in our family hooked up the collar in such a means that the gadget was the other way up. Let’s not go there.)

It’s great to get reminders in the course of the day when Mr. Tippy comes and goes from his Home space.

Jiobit messaging

We had been, in fact, fascinated to see what the maps would inform us about the place Mr. Tippy had been going when he left our yard. What we found was that he goes both throughout the alley to a neighbor’s overgrown yard or three doorways down to a different neighbor’s giant vegetable backyard. Every day. Sometimes a number of instances a day.

screenshot of Jiobit timeline

The Jiobit app particulars Mr. Tippy’s wanderings.

Only twice has the map revealed Mr. Tippy venturing any additional. That’s frightened us, however a minimum of we knew the place he’d gone—if not why.

What Can Go Wrong With a Jiobit for Cats?

Using the Jiobit, together with charging it each 4 days when it will get right down to about 20%, has been really easy that six months glided by earlier than the inevitable disaster occurred: Mr. Tippy misplaced his collar.

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Mr. Tippy wears a breakaway collar for security. The collar got here off, and Mr. Tippy walked away from it. We had the cat secure, so the query was the place was the collar with the costly gadget?

I had set the parameters of “Home” to be giant sufficient that it included adjoining yards. The Jiobit app saved telling us that our cat (nicely, his gadget) was Home. Yes, however the place?

We crawled round within the neighbors’ shrubbery however couldn’t discover the Jiobit.

Unfortunately, the gadget was simply far sufficient away that we had been within the Bluetooth-free “Home” zone fairly than the Bluetooth-connected “With You At Home” space. I lastly despatched an e-mail to Jiobit’s web-based help group (a U.S.-based operation) detailing what I’d tried and asking for assist.

Jiobit Customer Service For the Win

Within 24 hours, they despatched us a satellite tv for pc map image displaying the placement of Tippy’s Jiobit and collar in a tangle of blackberry bushes within the neighbor’s overgrown yard. We had been very happy with Jiobit’s customer support (and glad we’d saved the gadget fairly nicely charged).

satellite map of lost Jiobit

Red pointers present the placement of the misplaced Jiobit.

As it seems, Mr. Tippy had not gone fairly far sufficient for the GPS to register the gadget as out of the Home space. I’ve since re-set the Home boundaries so the app will alert me a bit sooner that “Mr. Tippy has left residence.”

We found that in case your cat has really misplaced the gadget (as an illustration, if the misplaced gadget not has sufficient cost to be tracked), you should buy a alternative Jiobit on your present monitoring subscription. The alternative Jiobit is normally barely inexpensive than buying a brand new one.

The Jiobit Is a Must If You Have an Outdoor Cat

The backside line: We love the Jiobit. While we’d choose it if Mr. Tippy had been an indoor cat, the Jiobit reduces my anxiousness about his whereabouts. We want we’d had it 10 years in the past when Max the Neighborhood Cat was youthful and routinely obtained himself locked within the neighbors’ garages. But that’s one other story.

Jiobit (2021)

The Jiobit GPS tracking device

See the Jiobit on Amazon See the Jiobit on Chewy

Further Reading

  • The 4 Best GPS Cat Collars (and Why You Might Want One)
  • The Best Dog GPS Collar Trackers
  • 5 Cat Doors for Cats Who Demand to Move Freely

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