Today's Distraction: Cat Earns Guinness Record For Loudest Purr

Originally published on May 5, 2011 7:25 pm

Well, it's official: Guinness announced today that Smokey, a 12-year-old cat from Pitsford, England is now the official record holder for "loudest purr by a domestic cat."

Smokey's purr registered at 67.7 decibels.

This is a story that we've been following since March, when Smokey made her plea to Guinness.

"It's incredible to think that a cat's purr can be as loud as a vacuum cleaner," Guinness World Records' editor-in-chief Craig Glenday told the BBC.

For some perspective, the Christian Science Monitor reports the average cat purrs at around 20 decibels. It means Smokey's purr is about 16 times louder than you would expect.

Guinness points out that loudest animal sound are the low-frequency pulses made by whales, which register at 188 decibels. A lawnmower comes in at 90 decibels.

If you want more, Smokey has a website and here's a video of Smokey doing her thing:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit