A British shorthair cat has set a Guinness World Records title for having the loudest purr in the world.
Smokey the cat, 12, a grey and white tabby from Northampton, has been officially recognized as the world’s loudest purring domestic cat. During the Guinness record test, Smokey’s purr peaked at a record-setting 67.7 decibels, and she has been known to purr at home as loudly as 90 decibels — that's as loud as a lawnmower. Most domestic cats purr at around 25 decibels.
"It's incredible to think that a cat's purr can be as loud as a vacuum cleaner," said Guinness World Records' editor-in-chief Craig Glenday, reports the BBC.
"Guinness World Records is a veritable cat-alogue of fantastic felines, and Smokey is a welcome addition to the family,” Glenday said.
A car horn reaches 110 decibels, and a rock concert 120 decibels, Guinness said. The loudest animal sounds are the low-frequency pulses made by blue whales and fin whales, which can reach 188 decibels.
Smokey’s owner, Ruth Adams, adopted the tabby from an animal rescue center three years ago. Adams said that Smokey purrs almost all the time, except for when she is sleeping.
“She even manages to purr while she eats,” according to Smokey’s official website, Smokey the Purring Cat.
Hear Smokey the cat's record-setting purr.
"When I'm on the phone friends often ask what the loud noise is and they can't believe it is coming from a cat," Adams told British tabloid The Sun.
"It can be annoying if her loud purring starts as you are watching television and it has reached a romantic bit in a film, because it's impossible to hear and spoils the moment,” she told The Sun.
"I don't know why she does it. It doesn't seem to bother her in any way. She's very happy and content, just very loud."
Smokey first got into competitive purring when Adams started a loudest purr competition in Northampton to promote a charity called Cats Protection. A local community college recorded the purr and submitted it to Guinness.
See more photos of Smokey.