Last month in Los Angeles, an observant animal lover noticed an extremely thin adult female cat passing through her yard. She ran outside to check on the cat, who meowed loudly and ran right up to her. She noticed the cat – although alarmingly thin – looked like it was pregnant or had just given birth, and that the cat desperately needed help.

She contacted the Feral Cat Coalition in San Diego for advice, who first recommended feeding the cat as much as it would possibly eat. Then they recommended to follow the cat’s movements and hopefully track down her babies – who undoubtedly were in dire need of help as well. 

The concerned homeowner quickly realized climbing over neighbors’ fences and walking through their backyards made following the cat nearly impossible – and that’s when she turned to Tractive GPS. They overnight-shipped the CAT Mini tracker and were able to get it on Mama cat the very next morning. Using Tractive’s Location History feature, they went to work.

Says the homeowner:

“I was concerned the tracker would be too big and heavy because Mama was so, so small – but she didn’t seem to have any problem at all with it. We fed Mama and then monitored her tracker for a few hours and saw that she very clearly spent a solid amount of time in three spots outside of our yard.”

“When she came back that day, she was accompanied by a tiny kitten! We didn’t want to assume that that was Mama’s only baby, so, with the help and permission of our neighbors, we searched three yards adjacent to ours where Mama’s tracker showed her spending significant time. We found a kitten in each “hot spot”! It turns out Mama had been looking for help in our neighborhood for quite some time, and these three kittens were significantly more sickly looking. Mama allowed us to pick up each baby and take them inside our spare bathroom for the night, where she joined them once we had double-checked the neighborhood and felt confident we had found the entire litter.”

The Tractive GPS Heat Map feature which helped locate the kittens.

Cats tend to frequent familiar environments – so one of the features of the Tractive GPS is a Heat Map. It shows you where your pet might wander most often. It’s a simple way to identify their local haunts and favorite spots so you can pick them up quickly.

Tractive’s Location History works similarly: it helps you pick up what spots your pet might like to frequent. It’s valid for 24 hours on a Basic subscription and 365 days on a Premium one.

Mama cat had dropped over each kitten to a different spot likely for safekeeping – which turned up quickly and easily on the Tractive Heat Map. Along with Tractive’s Location History, they helped the community rescue the family just in time.

So if you’re a pet parent looking for complete peace of mind, invest in a Tractive GPS tracker.

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Feral Cat Coalition immediately contacted Smittens rescue, and the kittens were placed with foster mom, Krystle Padilla. Padilla took the tiny, sick kittens and their Mama to Smittens for medical evaluation, as it was obvious they were malnourished and lethargic.

Smitten’s veterinary team gave each cat various levels of dewormers, flea treatment, fluids and other types of supportive care. Afterward, Krystle took the little feline family home to foster them, including syringe-feeding the sick kittens who needed it.

“I think we got them just in time. A few more days and I doubt those tuxedos would have been able to be pulled back from the brink,” said Anna Brown, Registered Veterinary Technician at Smittens.

Mama cat and her kitten on a doctor's visit.

Padilla said once they were home, Mama was just happy and grateful to be off the streets and safely together with all her kittens, and was so friendly to her new foster family on that first night home that she purred as they gently pet her. And now that the kittens – Bear, Seamus, Sprite, and Toaster – are healthy, they’re starting to show off their unique personalities.

The three rescued kittens playing in their new cat jungle gym.

Toaster is the bravest and LOVES cuddling in your lap, “ said Padilla. “She’s always down to hang out with you and play. Seamus is a touch shy but is getting used to people, and he also loves playing – especially with his brother Bear.

Bear is a sweetie, a little shy but other than Toaster he’s the next bravest one. He loves playing and cuddling with his brother Seamus.

Sprite is so cute! On the surface she’s the shyest, but you can tell that she’s really trying to warm up to people. She loves playing the most, and with a little more work, I think she’d be a lap kitty too.

Mama cat is not shy at all, she really loves and trusts people. She is also the most talkative, she’ll hold a whole conversation with you and will definitely voice her opinion.”

This happy ending wouldn’t have been possible without the observant homeowner who first noticed Mama in her yard looking for help – but she says it was all a team effort.

“I can’t stress enough what a positive community experience this was,” she said. “We met neighbors who jumped right in to help find the kittens once they saw the map that the Tractive tracker had created, and various contacts knowledgeable with cat rescue provided advice on what to do while housing the kittens overnight. It honestly took a village. In all, we first spotted Mama on a Monday, and we had her entire family safe and cared for by Krystle with Smittens Rescue by Friday night!”

“They’re doing great now!,” added Brown. “Over this next month they’ll all be vaccinated, spayed and neutered, microchipped, and put up for adoption.”

More than a million pet parents around the world depend on Tractive to keep their pet safe, but animal welfare organizations are also using Tractive to help save animals in need.

“This is actually becoming common in our industry,” said Audrey Stratton of Feral Cat Coalition. “Not only are these trackers great for our pets, but they are helping rescuers find litters of kittens by watching where mama cats are going. Pretty awesome stuff!”

So how does Tractive work?

Tractive works with all major cellular networks to send GPS information straight to your phone:

  • In Live GPS mode, their location updates every two seconds. That means no matter where your pet roams, Tractive is recording every step.
  • In addition to LIVE Tracking, Tractive’s Location History and Heat Map features allow you to revisit every step your pet makes – whether you’re with them or not.

All this and more make Tractive GPS the best GPS for Search and Rescue teams.

Tractive CAT Mini GPS tracker with a safety collar

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Where can I get Tractive?

Tractive GPS works in over 190 countries worldwide, and is available for purchase at, Amazon, or another pet retailer near you. So if you’re looking for complete peace of mind as a pet parent, invest in your very own Tractive tracker today.