Guinness: Smokey the cat is really loud

In this handout photo released by Northampton College, Smokey, a gray and white tabby cat prepares to receive a treat from owner Ruth Adams, in Northampton , England. A British community college says it has a recorded a house cat whose lawnmower-like purr hit 73 decibels, 16 times louder than the average feline. (AP Photo, Alisdair Tait, Northampton College)

May 5, 2011 1:23:51 PM PDT
It's official: Smokey the cat has roared her way into Guinness World Records having achieved the loudest purr by a domestic cat. Guinness said Thursday the gray-and-white tabby earned her place with record-setting 67.7 decibels. In a video on the cat's website, the 12-year-old, ordinary-size feline purrs with a sound akin to the cooing of an angry dove.

Smokey first rose to prominence in February, when her owner, Ruth Adams, ran a local competition for the most powerful purr. A community college recorded the purr and submitted it to Guinness.

Guinness says the loudest animal sounds are the low-frequency pulses made by blue whales and fin whales when they communicate with each other -- sounds that reach 188 decibels. By comparison, a lawnmower is 90 decibels.

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