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Cat As Loud as a Lawnmower

Smokey’s purr is a roar!

Her family says it’s impossible to hear the TV when she’s in the room.

Smokey the cat has a purr that clocks in at 92.7 decibels – and that’s as loud as a lawnmower or a hairdryer.

Most cats, by comparison, purr at about 25 decibels. But if you were to assume, then, that Smokey is about four times as loud as other cats, you’d be way too low. The way the decibel system works, each rise of 10 decibels corresponds roughly to a doubling of volume. Smokey’s purr is a roar!

Scientists would note, however, that there’s more to volume than just decibels. So, while Smokey’s decibels are very loud up close, she can’t be heard way down the street, like a lawnmower can.

“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,” said Ruth Adams, Smokey’s mom. “You don’t even have to stroke her to start a purring session. Often, she’ll do it for no reason.”

Ruth and her husband, Mark, who live Northampton, England, have submitted Smokey’s purr to the Guinness Book of World Records. They adopted Smokey three years ago, and Smokey is now an honorary volunteer for the Northampton Cat Protection Society.

“I have never heard anything like her purr in my life,” said Diana Johnson, of Northampton Cats Protection. “It can drown out your conversation.”

Loud . . . louder . . .

If Smokey is confirmed as a world-record holder, she will be in esteemed company. Not far away, in North London, lives Daz, a 6-year-old white German shepherd who has been recorded barking at 108 decibels — approximately as loud as a chainsaw, a train horn, or a jackhammer.

Daz is a retired sniffer dog, who used to work for the customs service. “He used to be a working dog and sniffed for explosives but he is more a pet to me now,” said his former handler, Peter Lucken, who adopted Daz.

. . . Loudest!

But Smokey and Daz are seriously out-noised by the three-inch-long tiger pistol shrimp. These little guys whack their prey with a pistol-shot sound that reaches 200 decibels. Next to that, Smokey’s rumble is just a comforting purr!