All posts by njchicaa

Bring the beach into your home with Yankee Candle’s Turquoise Sky Candles.

Yankee Candle Turquoise Sky Housewarmer Jar Candle


(4/5)


Pros: pleasant fragrance, strong scent, easy to find

Cons: produces black soot and smoke

I love scented candles and am always burning them around my house.  Friends, family, and coworkers know this so I often receive them as gifts.  Some people complain about getting candles as gifts and the fact that they have whole closets full of them that they’ll never use.  That clearly isn’t the case with me and I always appreciate getting them.  I recently received a Yankee Candle Turquoise Sky candle as a thank you present and have been using it in my front room for the past week.  I really like it.


The Details

Yankee Candle’s Turquoise Sky fragrance is described by the company as “calm, salty air with hints of sea grass and musk, float gently on ocean waves”.  It is, in fact, turquoise in color and is sold in a 22 ounce clear glass jar for $27.99.  The estimated burn time is between 110 and 150 hours depending on environmental conditions (wind, drafts, etc).

The Experience


As I stated, I’ve been burning this candle in my front room for the past week.  I’m totally a beach bum.  I live at the beach, my house is decorated in beach-themed decor, and I love tropical and beachy fragrances, so this Turquoise Sky jar is right up my alley.  The scent definitely reminds me of salty sea breezes and my many hours at the beach.  It makes me smile as I recall good times both here at the local beaches but also in my favorite tropical location.  The fragrance is very strong and easily fills my medium-sized front room even when the windows are open and the ceiling fan is on.

The one bad thing about this product is the same thing that is an issue with all Yankee Candles.  They will produce black soot and smoke which can stain ceilings and walls even when you trim the wicks religiously and keep them away from drafts.  Some scents are worse than others, but they all will eventually start spewing black soot and smoke.  (usually by the time they are half-burned) I don’t know why the company refuses to address this issue.  There are many other candle companies that make products that don’t ever produce black soot and smoke so clearly it can be done.  At $28, this candle is a bit pricey but I do have to say that they do have a very long burn time.

Final Thoughts


I do really like Yankee Candle’s Turquoise Sky offering.  The scent is pleasant and strong, it has a long burn time, and it is easy to find.  I wish the formula was improved to eliminate the black soot/smoke issue but I won’t hold my breath on that one.  I would definitely buy this candle in the future.

Caldrea’s Sea Salt Neroili Countertop Cleanser makes me smile as I clean.

Caldrea Sea Salt Neroli Countertop Cleanser

(4/5)


Pros: natural ingredients, lovely fragrance, no animal testing, environmentally-friendly

Cons: can’t remove really tough stains except bird poop

I’ve been a fan of Caldrea’s line of natural household cleaners for over a decade now.  I try to use environmentally-friendly, non-antibacterial, animal-friendly products in my home and this company’s philosophy is completely in line with my preferences.

One of their products that I always have in my cabinet is the Sea Salt Neroli Countertop Cleanser.

The Details

Caldrea’s Sea Salt Neroli Countertop Cleanser is sold in a 16 fluid ounce spray bottle for $9.  The company states on the label that it is a “hard-working cleanser (and) a naturally fresh way to remove odors from kitchen and bath”.   It is safe to use on finished surfaces like sealed wood floors, tile, laminate, porcelain, fixtures, walls, woodwork, and sealed stone.  To use it you simply spray this cleaning product onto a surface and then wipe it off with a hand towel or paper towel.  This item is not tested on animals.

The Experience

I love using this Sea Salt Neroli Cleaning Spray to wipe down my counters, kitchen table, cabinets, bathroom sink/fixtures, and any random mess I may find on the floor thanks to the cats.  It has such a lovely “beachy” fresh scent that lingers for many minutes after use. The one flaw in this product is the fact that it just isn’t powerful enough to clean *most* dried, tough messes like my stovetop range or dried tomato sauce that splattered onto the counter.

Pomegranate juice stains, smashed blueberry stains, and smashed cranberries are also stronger than this stuff. The one super-amazing thing about this cleaning spray is the fact that it is AWESOME at cleaning dried bird poop.  I recognize that this isn’t really a concern for most homeowners but, as a parrot owner, I’m always trying to find a way to clean up the poop that escapes from the cage and lands on the vinyl remnant under her cage.  This natural and environmentally-friendly cleanser is just as powerful if not more than bird-poop specific products that cost twice as much.

One of the very cool things about this stuff is the fact that you can buy the 32 fluid ounce bottle of Caldrea Sea Salt Neroli All Purpose Cleanser ($12) and use it to refill this spray.

The original recipe was 2 tablespoons and enough water to fill the spray bottle but it was eventually changed to 4-5 tablespoons for half of a bottle of water.  I use something in the middle and the formula works very well for me and is much, much less expensive than just buying the spray bottles over and over again.

Final Recommendation

I am a huge fan of Caldrea Sea Salt Neroli Countertop Cleanser Spray.  It is great for daily wipe-downs and spot cleaning while also having a secret talent of quickly dissolving dried parrot poop.  I’ve been buying this stuff for years and plan to do so for as long as the company sells this product.

Purina Tidy Cats LightWeight Clumping Litter is a great new kitty litter.

Purina Tidy Cats LightWeight Clumping Litter

(4/5)

Pros: excellent clumping, easy to scoop, absorbs odors, much lighter than typical clay litter, easy to find, reasonably priced

Cons: does produce some dust, somewhat strong fragrance

I have a one and a half year old cat who is extremely needy and who has severe separation anxiety.  He was hysterical last year when we left him to go on our annual Spring Break vacation, so a friend offered to kitty-sit him at her house while we were in Mexico this year.  I bought a bag of food, new litter box, litter scoop, and a jug of Purina Tidy Cats LightWeight Clumping Litter to drop off with the little monster the night before we left.

The Details

Tidy Cats Lightweight Cat Litter is a clumping litter that claims to have “all of the strength, half of the weight” and “24/7 continuous odor control performance”.  The directions state that you should maintain 3-4 inches in the litter pan for best performance, remove clumps daily, and basically use it as you would any traditional clumping litter.  It is not designed to be flushed down the toilet or to dispose of it outside.

Purina Tidy Cats is a national brand of cat products and can be found pretty much across the country in grocery stores, discount retailers, warehouse clubs, drug stores, etc.  I paid about $11 for my 8.5 pound jug of this product at the local Target after a $2 off coupon that was attached to the front label.

My Experience

I usually use Swheat Scoop cat litter in my home because I have the litter box in the same room as my parrot’s cage.  She is very sensitive to the clay dust and fragrances found in most cat litters so I use a natural wheat litter that won’t irritate her respiratory system.  I purchased this lightweight litter, though, because my friend was rear-ended at full speed on the night of Super Bowl Sunday and has been in pain and out of work since then.  I figured that a lighter litter was better than traditional for her.

She never got to tell me what she thought of this litter as my cat refused to use the box there.  He loved the people and the dogs and purred all the time but avoided the box or the immediate area near the box like the plague.  I told her to return the cat and litter box to my house after a couple of days.

When I got home several days later, both the wheat litter and this clay litter were used.  I scooped, refilled, waited, and watched.  The bad boy promptly peed in the box with this litter so he got over whatever issue he had.  Maybe the change of scenery AND litter substrate was just too much for him?

The cats have been using the secondary litter box filled with this product for over a week now and they all seem to like it.  I like the fact that it creates very firm clumps that are easy to remove from the loose litter.  I have definitely noticed the “odor control” fragrance and the small amount of dust that this litter produces.  It isn’t good for my parrot nor is it good for my asthma.  If I had the box in a room away from the bird, I would probably continue to use it but as things are arranged right now, I can’t.

Final Thoughts

I have to say that I do really like Tidy Cats’ new product, their LightWeight Clumping Cat Litter.  It is easy to scoop and absorbs odors even when several cats use the box in a day.  It isn’t ideal for my unique situation but I would definitely recommend it to others who are looking for a good-quality cat litter that makes scooping the poop an easier experience.

 

 

Not sure if it helps skin but it makes my husband laugh

Freeman Feeling Beautiful Facial Anti Stress Mask

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(3/5)

Pros: easy to use, inexpensive, easy to find, amuses spouses

Cons: not sure if it actually improves skin condition

Despite the fact that I’m not a girly-girl who wears makeup or nail polish, I do enjoy trying different skin care and body products.  I’m getting older so anything that promises the possibility of improving my facial skin will attract my attention.  I bought this Freeman  Anti-Stress Facial Mask several months ago and have used it many times.  I can’t tell if my skin has actually improved from the experience but using it helps me to relax anyway.

The Details

The full name of this product is Freeman Feeling Beautiful Anti-Stress Facial Mask with Dead Sea Minerals.  The description on the blue plastic tube states that this facial mask is supposed to “replenish and balance moisture while purging clogged pores”.  The instructions are simple.  You simply apply the mask to (a presumably clean) face and neck, avoiding contact with eyes, and then let it dry and rinse with warm water.  The company suggests using it two times per week or as often as necessary.

I purchased this skin treatment at the local grocery store for about $5.  Freeman products are widely available and found in grocery stores, drug stores, discount retailers like Walmart and Target, and also online.

The Experience

I have to say that I haven’t been very faithful in my use of this product.  I use it maybe once every two weeks or so whenever I remember that it is in the bathroom closet.  It is easy enough to use and hasn’t caused any allergic reactions or problems.  I can’t say that I’ve seen any visible improvement in my skin’s condition but I’m also not using it as often as the company suggests.

I do enjoy the process of applying it, waiting for it to dry, and then rinsing it away.  I feel like I am pampering myself which is a good thing even if I don’t see any major change in the appearance of my skin.  My husband also gets a good laugh out of the experience when he comes home to find his wife looking like a smurf from the neck up.

It is best to keep a wash cloth nearby when you are rinsing this mask off of your skin.  It clings on pretty well so I’ve found it helpful to have a damp towel to help remove the final bits of product that won’t just rinse away after wiping my face with my hands.

The Opinion

I can’t say that I’ve seen any visible improvement in my skin since buying and using this Freeman Dead Sea Minerals Anti Stress Face Mask but I also haven’t been using it as often as the company recommends.  If I had spent $15 or $20 or even more on this stuff, I’d be disappointed with my purchase but it was only $5 and at least I feel like I’m doing something good for myself.  It’s worth trying out to see if it works for you.

My favorite pedicure product in the Burt’s Bees line.

Burt’s Bees Honey & Bilberry Foot Cream

(5/5)

Pros: a little goes a long way, very thick and moisturizing, 99% natural, getting easier to find

Cons: pricier than drug store foot products

I have a pretty stressful job and long ago developed a routine to help myself relax and calm down each evening.  I fill the tub with lots of hot water and epsom salts or other foot salts, soak my feet while I read a book and drink a cocktail, and then scrub and moisturize them finishing with putting socks on.  I do that almost every night and it is a big point of how I try to unwind and de-stress after a long day at work.

For my recent birthday, I told my husband not to buy me anything big because he bought us first-class tickets to my idea of Paradise for Spring Break.  He decided to buy me lots of lip balm and pedicure products because he knows I use them every day.  Recently I’ve been using the Burt’s Bees Honey & Bilberry Foot Cream.

The Details

According to the label, this is a natural foot cream that combines honey, jojoba butter, and bilberry extract “to gently exfoliate and moisturize dry feet”.  The main ingredients include water, grape seed oil, jojoba butter, glycerin, beeswax, stearic acid, macadamia butter, honey, and sunflower seed oil.

The directions state to apply this foot cream liberally as needed.  It is sold in a 4 ounce plastic tube for anywhere between $7 and $12 dollars depending on where you find it.  Burt’s Bees products used to be difficult to find in this area a couple of years ago that totally isn’t the case these days.  You can find them in Target, Walmart, the local grocery store, and drug stores like Rite Aid and Walgreens.  That is a relatively new development over like the past year or so

The Experience

I’ve used this Honey & Bilberry Foot Cream off and on over the past decade.  I really like it because a little goes a long way and as you work it into skin it turns into a very thick and rich cream to hydrate feet.  You only need to use a small amount of it and it leaves your dry, tired feet feeling smooth, hydrated, and rejuvenated.

I always soak my feet for anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour as I read a book. It is part of my nightly relaxation routine.  I may or may not use an exfoliating scrub or file on them.  I really like using this foot cream because it is so thick and rich that a little goes a long way and it does an excellent job of hydrating dry, tired skin.

At $9 per 4 ounce tube, this Burt’s Bees Foot Cream isn’t cheap but it is definitely worth the price.  A little goes a long way and it deeply hydrates skin on your feet, ankles, legs, etc.

Overall Opinion

I’m a huge fan of Burt’s Bees Honey & Bilberry Foot Cream.  It is a thick and rich moisturizer that hydrates and softens even the toughest and driest skin.  I’ve been buying it for years and I will definitely buy it again in the future.

The Kitchenaid Pasta Roller and Cutter Set is expensive but I’m very happy to have it.

KitchenAid 3 Piece Pasta Roller and Cutter Set

 

(4/5)

Pros: so much better than manual pasta rollers, has a roller and fettuccini cutter, works with all Kitchenaid stand mixer models

Cons: very expensive, the spaghetti cutter is useless

My family is mostly Italian and I grew up with a strong tradition of making homemade pasta and ravioli.  In fact, every December we all get together to bang out almost 1000 homemade ravioli that we then divide and have for our Christmas dinner.

Years ago before anyone bought a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, my family used a traditional manual pasta roller that required a lot of muscle to crank continuously throughout the day.  Yes, it took almost a full day to roll out enough pasta to make the ravioli.  These days we use the KitchenAid Pasta Roller on their stand mixer and it takes us less than 3 hours to make the same number!

The Details

This set has four pieces: a pasta roller, a fettuccine cutter, a spaghetti cutter, and a brush to clean debris from the other pieces.  The suggested retail price on the KitchenAid company web site is a whopping $249.99.

These rollers/cutters attach to all of the company’s stand mixers and should be used on speed 4 for best performance.  They cannot be immersed in water or washed through the dishwasher so you have to use the firm bristle brush to just wipe out any remnants of dried pasta dough that may remain in the rollers.

The Experience

My family has been using these pasta rollers and cutters for over a decade now and we absolutely love them.  It was such a huge relief when we discovered that you could use the pasta roller with the KitchenAid and we didn’t have to rotate in shifts at turning the handle on the manual pasta roller.  We can now make the same amount of homemade Christmas ravioli in one-third of the time it used to take and possibly even less.  Also the pasta roller attachment allows the process to be a one-person thing as you have both hands free to feed and catch the dough.  With the manual machine, you needed someone else cranking so you could deal with the dough.

I use the pasta roller the most to make super-thin pasta dough for homemade ravioli, pappardelle, and pasta sheets for lasagna noodles.  When I have extra pasta, I use the fettuccine cutter to slice it up and then I freeze it for future use.  I tried the spaghetti cutter twice several years ago and was disappointed because it cut the pasta that I had kneaded and rolled thin into teeny tiny bits that pretty much disintegrated in boiling water.

Overall Opinion

I am very happy to have this 3 Piece Pasta Roller and Cutter Set though I would be happy if it was just 2 pieces.  I think it is a must-have for Italian-Americans and others who want to make their own homemade pasta and ravioli but the price is kind of crazy.  This is the kind of thing that you put on your bridal registry instead of actually buying yourself if you can avoid it.

I love my Kitchenaid Pro 6 Quart Stand Mixer!

Kitchenaid Professional 6 Quart Bowl Lift Stand Mixer

(5/5)

Pros: powerful, works with various attachments, many different colors

Cons: price, warranty is only for one year

I love to cook and am always whipping up something whether it is for my husband and I to have for dinner or a chocolate peanut butter cheesecake for my coworkers.  I had a 4.5 Quart Classic Pro Kitchenaid mixer but, as my cooking and entertaining load increased, I started to feel like it was too small for my needs.  My husband bought me this 6 Quart Professional version for my birthday last year.  Some women might be annoyed by receiving a kitchen appliance as a “gift” but I was thrilled with it then and I’m still thrilled with it now.

The Details

The 6 Quart Professional KitchenAid Stand Mixer is a larger-capacity mixer with a powerful 575 watt motor.  It is designed to combine heavy and dense mixtures as well as large amounts of foods (8 pounds of mashed potatoes or dough for 13 dozen cookies at one time).   The mixer head does not tilt up and down like the company’s smaller models; instead there is a handle that you use to move the bowl up and down.

This mixer comes with 3 mixing attachments: a flat paddle, a 6-wire whisk, and a PowerKnead spiral dough hook.  There also is a place at the top to use optional attachments like the company’s pasta roller, meat grinder, juicer, sausage stuffer, etc.  It has 10 mixing speeds so you can stir, knead, mix, beat, cream, or whip your ingredients.

According to the Kitchenaid web site, this product is available in 15 different colors.  I have the Cobalt Blue version which does not appear to be available any longer.  The suggested retail price is $569.99 but is currently listed at $449.99 on the company’s site.

The Experience

I’ve been using this mixer for a year now and I absolutely love it.  I’ve been doing a lot of baking these days so I’m using it every week to mix batters, mix fillings, and whip frostings.  I also use it regularly to knead bread and pizza doughs and to mash/whip potatoes.  I’ve never put the company’s claim of it being able to knead dough for 8 loaves of bread at once to the test, but I can report that it has absolutely no problem mashing and whipping 5 pounds of potatoes.

The spiral dough hook on this model is far superior to the J-shaped hook on the smaller models.  It does an excellent job of kneading bread and pasta doughs which is wonderful because that is one thing that I really just don’t enjoy doing.   Speaking of pasta dough, I have the pasta roller and cutter set that the company sells for $249.99 and use it all the time with this mixer.  I love the fact that the cap and screw where the attachments fit are permanently attached to the mixer head.  I was always afraid that I was going to lose them when I detached them from my 4.5 Quart Classic Pro.

The one thing that annoys me about this mixer is the warranty.  This mixer costs anywhere between $350 and $570 depending on where you buy it and the company only offers a one year warranty.  That’s pretty stingy, in my opinion, when you are investing literally hundreds and hundreds of dollars in a stand mixer.  I registered it as soon as I received it so it would be covered under the warranty.  The year has come and gone, though, so if it dies on me I will be both sad and angry at the same time.  I don’t have an extra $400 just sitting around to replace this mixer if it breaks.  My Classic Pro model served me well for 10 years so I am hoping and trusting that this model will do the same.

Overall Opinion

I have been very happy with this product.  I don’t know if a regular household of just two people necessarily needs such a large mixer but I am always cooking and entertaining so it definitely is something that this household needed.  I would absolutely recommend it to anyone who was looking for a large-capacity stand mixer.

Blue Wilderness Salmon Canned Cat Food is a big hit here.

Blue Wilderness Salmon Canned Cat Food

 

(5/5)

Pros: excellent ingredients, no by-products, cats love it

Cons: not cheap

We have five cats living here at the house at the moment.  I free-feed them high-protein, grain-free dry food but they do get a can of wet food on most evenings as a treat.  I try to feed them the best quality food that I can afford, so usually they eat the Blue Buffalo Wilderness line of cat food.  This week the canned food they are getting is this salmon variety.

The Details

Blue Wilderness Salmon Canned Cat Food is a high-protein and grain-free wet food that is sold in a 5.5 ounce can with a pull-off top.  The main ingredients include salmon, salmon broth, chicken liver, potatoes, carrageenan, flaxseed, and a bunch of vitamin and mineral supplements.  It does not contain chicken or poultry by-product meal, corn, wheat, soy, or artificial preservatives/colors/flavors.  The guaranteed analysis for this food is 10% crude protein, 9% crude fat, 1.5% crude fiber, and 78% moisture.
I buy Blue Wilderness cat food at the local PetSmart.  Each can of this product has a price of $1.59 though sometimes you can get it on sale for $1.29.  The feeding guidelines state that you should feed 1 can of this product for every 6-8 pounds of body weight per day.

The Experience

The cat crew absolutely loves this Wilderness Canned Cat Food.  They come running from every corner of the house when they hear me pull off the lid.  I only give them one can to share as a treat because the company’s dry Wilderness Cat Food is the basis of their diet.  If I were to exclusively feed them this canned food, I would be going through 7 cans per day at a price of $11 per day or over $300 per month.  That obviously is way too expensive for our budget so I give them a can as a treat on most evenings.  That is much easier on my wallet.

I really like the fact that this is such a high-quality food without mystery meat, by-products, or known allergens (wheat/corn/soy).  The cats have always done well on Blue Wilderness products and they continue to with this salmon canned food.

Overall Opinion

Both the cat crew and I are very happy with this Salmon Canned Cat Food.  They love eating every last bit of it and I love that I am giving them a food that contains excellent ingredients that are good for them.  I would definitely recommend this canned food to other cat owners.

 

Lafeber’s Nutriberries are a great treat for your parrot.

Lafeber’s Classic Nutriberries

Lafeber Nutriberries

(4/5)

Pros: parrots love them, easy to find, balanced diet

Cons: not something I’d use exclusively to feed my parrot

I have a 10 year old Eclectus parrot that I adopted from an avian rescue about 8 years ago.  They have pretty specific dietary needs and do not do well on pellets or formulated diets so I make her food mix from scratch.  I do like to give her Lafeber Nutriberries every now and then as a treat, though, or when I’m not going to be around to give her a fresh meal.

The Details

Nutriberries are nutritionally-balanced little balls of pellets, seeds, and grains that can be feed to your parrot as the basis of their diet or as an occasional treat.  The round shape is supposed to entertain your pet and encourage their natural instinct for foraging.

The main ingredients in this product include hulled white millet, corn, oat groats, peanuts, hulled canary grass seed, red millet, safflower, maltodextrin, rape seed, wheat, soybean meal, corn syrup, corn oil, ground limestone, and a bunch of vitamin and mineral supplements.  The guaranteed analysis is 12.5% crude protein, 8% crude fat, 5% crude fiber, and 14% moisture.

I paid about $30 for a 3.25 pound tub of these Classic Nutriberries at the local PetSmart. They are widely available in pretty much all pet supply and avian supply stores as well as being sold on many internet web sites.  They definitely aren’t hard to buy.

Personal Experience

Eclectus parrots do best on fresh-food diets that are full of fresh vegetables, beans, rice, and fruits, including things that are rich in Vitamin A like sweet potatoes and carrots.  They do NOT do well on pellets or formulated dry diets because they can be very sensitive to high levels of supplements.  If they get too much of certain things, they actually can start wing-flipping and toe-tapping which aren’t dangerous behaviors in and of themselves but they indicate an imbalance in their diets.

Although these Classic Nutriberries are designed to be a complete and balanced diet for parrots, I don’t use them in that way.  Instead I give them to my redhead one at a time as an occasional treat and she goes nuts for them.  Sometimes she bounces up and down when she sees it coming while others she wolf-whistles at it.  She definitely loves them and doesn’t let any of it go to waste.

If we can’t feed fresh food, like if we are going away overnight, then I will fill the bird’s bowl with some Nutriberries and she tears them up.  A couple of years ago I was in the hospital for a week and wasn’t home to care for my parrot.  My husband was trying to balance work and being with me in the hospital so he just kept loading up her bowls with Nutriberries and fresh water and she was fine in my absence.  Some people exclusively feed their birds this product all the time, but we would only do it in an emergency situation.

Final Thoughts

Lafeber Classic Nutriberries are a great product whether you use them as the sole basis of your parrot’s diet or just as an occasional treat.  They aren’t really appropriate for me to feed my ekkie day in and day out but she absolutely loves getting one or two as a treat.

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I LOVE the Tagg GPS Pet Tracker!

Tagg Pet Tracker

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(4/5)

Pros: helps to find your wayward pet, iPhone app, blinking light

Cons: requires monthly subscription, no sound, home zone is too large

I have an 11 year old cat who likes to wander.  He became an indoor/outdoor cat when I was too young and stupid to know any better and to this day he refuses to share a litter box with other cats so he has to do his business outside.  The problem is that he will happily hop the fence and then vanish for days and days during the warm summer months and then I start freaking out.

I’ve been looking for a GPS tracker for cats for years and was thrilled when I finally found the Tagg Pet Tracker last winter.  It isn’t designed for cats, per se, but it can be used on cats who weigh more than 10 pounds so it works for my bad boy.  It has really helped to ease my mind when he decides to go outside.

About This Product

The Tagg Pet Tracker is a GPS device that connects to your pet’s collar and can let you know where your pet is if they leave an area that you designate as the “home zone”.  You will receive both email and text alerts on your cell phone that your pet has left the area and, if you press the “locate” button, you will eventually get a precise location that says something like “Bandit is within 11 feet of 123 Alphabet St”.  There is a monthly/yearly subscription fee that you have to pay for as well as the tracker, dock, and collar assembly which costs about $100.

My Experience

I’ve had a Tagg GPS Pet Tracker on my cat’s collar for the past year and I am beyond thrilled with it.  The home zone area must have been designed in the company’s home state of Colorado because the smallest possible one is pretty big and easily covers 6 NJ houses and a street between them.  I would like the ability to make it smaller but I can’t.  When my cat leaves the designated “home” area, I get alerts via email and text message.  I can then try to “locate” him if I want or just let him do his thing.  Presumably, with dogs, you’d only get the alert if they escaped from the yard and you’d go scrambling after them.  As with any electronic item, it does need to be recharged periodically and the app will let you know when the juice is very low.

The Tagg Pet Tracker has a few bonus features as well.  First, it has an Activity Tracker which tracks the motion and frequency of the motion of your pet to let you know exactly how active they have been throughout the day.  You can check their “activity points” each day to see how they did.  To me, at this point, it is kind of a funny thing to watch how my cat doesn’t do a damned thing from the time I go to work until the time I get home.  I can also see how it can be a good thing, though, if you have a sick cat and you are trying to see if they are still having a good quality of life.  The second bonus feature of the Tagg Pet Tracker that I love is the fact that the tracker will blink for 15 minutes if you press a button on the docking station.  This has helped me to find my bad boy when he was under a car in the driveway or in the backyard but just not coming when I called him.

At one point last spring, the tracker actually became disconnected from my cat’s collar.  I got the text message at work that “Fluffy’s tracker has disconnected from the collar”.  I freaked out and was afraid that someone had taken him and took off his tracker but there was nothing I could do until I got home from work.  I marched right around the block to where the tracker was and the cat came right away when I called him but I never did find the tracker.  I tried going to that property at night when it would be flashing and I didn’t see a thing.  It would be great if Tagg could incorporate some kind of sound component that owners could use as a last resort to try to find their pet or tracker.  Obviously you wouldn’t want it combined with the blinking as a loud sound emanating from their collar would probably freak out most animals.  These days the trackers come with a neoprene sleeve that you put over the collar and tracker which helps to prevent snags and disconnections.

I’ve dealt with Tagg’s customer service several times and 3 of the 4 times were great.  They understand that you are a crazy pet owner and want to be able to keep tabs on your furry baby.  I’ve been very happy with both the Tagg Tracker that I have on my cat and the customer service that I’ve had from the actual company.

My family and friends spent a whole day trying to find a dog who was staying here and who bolted out the door as I tried to leave for the morning.  We all were looking in the wrong area and it was just pure dumb luck that I drove past a guy’s house who watched me try to chase the dog down earlier that morning.  He told me what direction the dog headed in and eventually he came out of the woods for his owners.  I tried to convince them to buy a Tagg Tracker for their dog but they said “but he never runs away!”  I tried to remind them how distraught they were when he was missing just a day or two earlier but in their minds he will never go missing again.  For me it would be a no-brainer! I was happy to see that my husband’s cousin had Tagg Trackers on her rescue greyhounds the last time we saw them.

Overall Opinion

I love the Tagg GPS Pet Tracker! It helps me to find my bad boy cat when he goes wandering and gives me peace of mind that he hasn’t been stolen or has run away.  The blinking light feature is very helpful to find animals in the dark and I love the fact that I can track his movements all from my iPhone.  If you love your dog or wandering cat, you absolutely should consider putting a Tagg Tracker on their collar.