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#trending: Apple AirTag helps Singapore family find missing pet cat in bushes along MCE

SINGAPORE — A Singapore family who thought that they had lost their pet cat found it about 8km away from their home along an expressway with the help of an Apple AirTag.

#trending: Apple AirTag helps Singapore family find missing pet cat in bushes along MCE
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  • A Singapore family who thought that they had lost their pet cat was able to trace it with the help of an Apple AirTag
  • The TikTok video of the family's ordeal went viral and had many people rooting for the reunion between the family and their cat
  • However, some online users pointed out that the AirTag might not be the best tool for tracking pets, since it was not designed for tracking moving objects

SINGAPORE — A Singapore family who thought that they had lost their pet cat found it about 8km away from their home along an expressway with the help of an Apple AirTag.

On Wednesday (Jan 18), TikTok user “osrastays” posted a video describing every pet owner’s nightmare — their pet cat Tofu had gone missing. 

The Apple AirTag on the cat's collar was mysteriously detected along the Marina Coastal Expressway (MCE), a distance away from the family’s home in Geylang. 

Apple AirTags are marketed to help users keep track of their items using bluetooth technology.

Fearing that someone may have thrown the AirTag away and taken their pet cat, the family, enlisting the help of a friend, went on a search for Tofu around the expressway. 

After a few hours of futile searching, the family finally heard the beeping sound of an AirTag among the bushes along MCE and managed to retrieve their missing pet from deep within the shrubs. 

“Osrastays” theorised that the cat was able to travel from the family's home in Geylang to MCE by hitchhiking on a lorry. 

The TikTok user ended the video expressing thanks to the multinational tech company: “Tofu’s tragedy was saved by Apple’s AirTag. We are grateful to Apple’s tech and our family and friends.” 

Although Ms Kaiann Drance, Apple's vice-president of worldwide iPhone product marketing, has said in an interview with American business magazine Fast Company that the AirTag is not meant for locating pets, the nifty gadget proved to be an indispensable tool for the family to track down their missing cat in a secluded area.

The heartwarming story of the family’s reunion with their cat gained 2.4 million views and 286,000 likes in a day. 

One user pointed out the improbability of the family finding Tofu without the AirTag: “I’m so happy for you. Imagine if there is no AirTag? You will never find him again.” 

However, some users warned that the AirTag may not be the best tracking device for pets: “Glad you found him! But AirTag is not designed for living things that will move around frequently. There might be better animal tracking devices out there.”

Another person advised: “Had an AirTag for my cat and only realised this, they also only show within a certain radius so I think investing in a live GPS tracker is better.” 

@osrastays 😭 Tofu the cat went missing. He had an airtag around his collar. We opened the app & found him located at Marina Coastal Expressway… In our minds someone must have thrown the tag along the way.. Thankful for friends & family who helped us find Tofu. We are also thankful for Apple Singapore for creating airtags.. Here’s our Tofu Tragedy… Tofu never gave up on us , so did we…We love you Tofu 🥹 #sgfyp #sgtrending #mothershipsg #sgtiktok #tiktoksingapore #catssg #fypシ #viralsg #tiktoksgviral #airtag #airtagsapple #tofuthecatsg ♬ A thousand years - Zeus

SHOULD YOU USE AIRTAG FOR YOUR PETS?

Apple AirTag works by using both Bluetooth and a positioning technology called ultrawideband (UWB) to locate an item being tracked in close range, The New York Times reported. 

If the item is further away, the AirTag piggybacks off the network of other Apple devices such as Apple’s Find My application network and Bluetooth from other iPhone users. 

Thus, the tracking device only works if the pet is in close proximity to the Apple user or if another Apple user comes close to the pet that has ventured further away. 

A TikTok user explained: “AirTags relies on nearby Apple devices to ping its location. Probably an iPhone user passed by Tofu in a car.”

Another said: “They only work when an iPhone comes close. So if you are in the middle of nowhere, it will not work.”

One alternative to the Apple AirTag, as suggested by The New York Times, is a GPS pet tracker.

Although it is typically pricier than the AirTag's S$45 price tag, a GPS pet tracker is more responsive and can immediately tell you when your pet has escaped home.

If both options are out of reach, a properly labelled identity tag will be your best bet to finding your missing pet.

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