Meet Smokey, the cat thought to have the loudest purr in the world – making a racket which feels ten times louder than a regular purr.
Her roars of contentment have left her owners reaching for earplugs and unable to watch television or talk on the phone when she is nearby.
‘She has always been very vocal and purrs at some level nearly all the time,’ said Ruth Adams, who adopted Smokey from a rescue centre for her ten-year-old daughter, Amy.
‘She even manages to purr while she eats. The only time she is quiet is when she is asleep.
‘When I’m on the phone, friends often ask what the loud noise is. They can’t believe it is coming from a cat.’
Most cats purr at about 25 decibels but Smokey averages more than 80 and has been recorded at a deafening 92 – the same as a hair dryer.
‘It’s either adorable or annoying, depending on what mood you’re in,’ said Mrs Adams, who also shares her house with husband Mark, two children, two dogs and two other cats. ‘You don’t even have to stroke her to start a purring session – often she’ll do it for no reason.
‘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.’
Smokey, 12, did not seem bothered by the noise, although it sometimes made her cough, said Mrs Adams.
‘It’s not just the volume of her purr which is unusual – she makes quite a unique sound, as if she has a dove stuck in her throat,’ she added. ‘My daughter thinks it is adorable.’
The family, of Pitsford near Northampton, has now sent an application to Guinness World Records. ‘The record for the loudest scream by a human is 129 decibels,’ said a record official.
‘If Smokey the cat is able to purr at over 80 decibels, it would be an astonishing feat.’
More Smokey the cat hopes for a world record with 92-decibel purr