- This submit incorporates affiliate hyperlinks. Learn extra here.
Let me introduce you to Mr. Tippy. This can be a cat who managed to get misplaced inside a automobile (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 out of doors entry. We enable him out for a couple of hours mid-day.
Whereas our different cats are content material to lounge round in our yard, Mr. Tippy likes to discover the neighborhood. Largely he comes dwelling when known as. Generally he doesn’t. We had been spending quite a lot 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 choose 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. (Sure, this can be a cat with points and a subscription.)
This overview offers 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 system, and the charger—and Mr. Tippy. He’s a male calico cat, and sure, his ears had been trimmed to take away solar injury. However that’s one other story.
How the Jiobit for Cats Works
Units utilizing satellite-based World Positioning System (GPS) know-how are all over the place in the present day, from navigational software program to bundle monitoring. Simply as you should utilize 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 observe a number of gadgets.
The Jiobit works finest when it might probably entry a number of knowledge methods: mobile knowledge methods (together with 5G), WiFi, and Bluetooth.
The short-range Bluetooth wi-fi know-how enables you to maintain observe of a cat’s place inside your home or in a close-by yard, whereas WiFi enables you to observe 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 system should be charged repeatedly—at the very least as soon as every week for the most recent Jiobit mannequin. You’ll must cost extra typically if you’re utilizing the Jiobit in Dwell Mode (which streams real-time location updates relatively than sending them periodically). Fortuitously, the app reminds you when the system’s battery wants charging.
All of the settings and experiences seem on the Jiobit app in your smartphone. Jiobit’s satellites comply with your cat’s distinctive system and ship that positional data to your telephone, the place it seems on a map. Whereas most of us shall be monitoring our cats regionally, a Jiobit may allow you to trace your cat if it obtained right into a delivery container or shifting van and traveled throughout lots of of miles (sure, cats have done this).
With the app’s Care Workforce function, you may give family members or a pet sitter the power to make use of the app to trace your cat.
How Large Is the Jiobit, and How Does a Cat Put on 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 bundle you obtain contains:
The Jiobit tracker. The Jiobit tracker is a medallion-style tag you clip onto your cat’s collar. Whereas most of the early GPS pet-tracking gadgets had been pretty cumbersome, the present generations are affordable 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 forms of attachment clips. The strap clip is designed for pet collars and makes it very straightforward to string the monitoring system (gray aspect going through out) onto a cat collar securely.
A charger. The small charger can plug right into a USB energy supply or an ordinary family outlet. You don’t want to take away both the attachment clip or the cat’s collar to cost the system. The blinking inexperienced gentle signifies that the system is charging; you get an alert in your telephone when it’s absolutely charged.
Monitoring Your Cat With the Jiobit App
Upon getting downloaded the Jiobit app, step one is to allow Bluetooth in your telephone. Then place your Jiobit into the charger and comply with the prompts in your smartphone’s display. You’ll arrange House WiFi and create a profile on your cat.
The Assist part (on the decrease left of the Jiobit app display) has dozens of fantastic articles that can clarify nearly each side of configuring and utilizing your Jiobit.
You’ll probably need to begin by establishing some easy parameters. You outline House because the place the place you’re feeling your cat is secure (in our case, it’s our home and yard). When you’ve entered that data within the app’s settings, you’ll get an alert in your telephone (and, sure, in your Apple Watch in case you put on one) every time your cat leaves the premises.
There’s additionally a Bluetooth Alert alarm which you could configure to emit an ear-splitting alarm if the system leaves House. The Bluetooth “Ring Jiobit” perform will get the system itself to emit a brief, smooth chirp that will help you find it (and your cat).
For those who research solely one of many Jiobit Assist articles, make it “Understanding Your Jiobit’s App Standing.” The article explains the essential distinction between the “With You At House” standing (when your cat’s Jiobit is linked to you by way of Bluetooth) and “House” standing (when your cat is close by within the designated House space, however there isn’t any Bluetooth connection). That is important—as a result of with out Bluetooth, your capability to find the close by system utilizing “Ring Jiobit” gained’t work.
Actual-Life Testing: The Jiobit Meets Mr. Tippy
We had hassle believing that the considerably nervous Mr. Tippy could be completely happy carrying a 0.8-ounce system, full with a strap clip, on his collar. He shocked us. It doesn’t appear to trouble him. (Aside from the few events when somebody in our family connected the collar in such a means that the system was the other way up. Let’s not go there.)
It’s fantastic to get reminders through the day when Mr. Tippy comes and goes from his House space.
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 massive vegetable backyard. Each day. Generally a number of occasions a day.
Solely twice has the map revealed Mr. Tippy venturing any additional. That’s fearful us, however at the very least we knew the place he’d gone—if not why.
What Can Go Flawed With a Jiobit for Cats?
Utilizing the Jiobit, together with charging it each 4 days when it will get all the way down to about 20%, has been really easy that six months glided by earlier than the inevitable disaster occurred: Mr. Tippy misplaced his collar.
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 system?
I had set the parameters of “House” to be massive sufficient that it included adjoining yards. The Jiobit app saved telling us that our cat (nicely, his system) was House. Sure, however the place?
We crawled round within the neighbors’ shrubbery however couldn’t discover the Jiobit.
Sadly, the system was simply far sufficient away that we had been within the Bluetooth-free “House” zone relatively than the Bluetooth-connected “With You At House” 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 Buyer Service For the Win
Inside 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 more than happy with Jiobit’s customer support (and glad we’d saved the system fairly nicely charged).
Because it seems, Mr. Tippy had not gone fairly far sufficient for the GPS to register the system as out of the House space. I’ve since re-set the House boundaries so the app will alert me a bit sooner that “Mr. Tippy has left dwelling.”
We found that in case your cat has really misplaced the system (as an example, if the misplaced system not has sufficient cost to be tracked), you should purchase a alternative Jiobit on your current monitoring subscription. The alternative Jiobit is normally barely inexpensive than buying a brand new one.
The Jiobit Is a Should If You Have an Outside Cat
The underside line: We love the Jiobit. Whereas we’d want it if Mr. Tippy had been an indoor cat, the Jiobit reduces my nervousness 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. However that’s one other story.