LONDON – No need to bell this cat: A gray-and-white tabby by the name of Smokey has cat-apulted to fame with purring so loud it has been recorded at a potentially record-setting 73 decibels.
The British community college that measured the sound said it peaked at 16 times louder than the average cat. By some estimates, that is about as noisy as busy traffic, a hair dryer or a vacuum cleaner.
The 12-year-old, ordinary-size feline first came to national attention last month when her owner, Ruth Adams, decided to run a local competition for the most powerful purr. That led to a local radio show appearance, and from there, media coverage snowballed, with the tabloids full of headlines like “Thundercat” and “Rumpuss.”
“Sometimes she purrs so loudly it makes her cough and splutter,” Adams said on a website devoted to the cat. Smokey “even manages to purr while she eats.”
Hoping to see Smokey recognized as top cat, Adams asked Northampton College in central England to provide the equipment needed to submit a world-record application.
The recording has been submitted to Guinness World Records, the college said.
Seventy-three decibels is louder than ordinary conversation, which is generally around 60 to 70 dB. On a video posted on the website, the purring sounded like the cooing of an angry dove.