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British cat wins Guinness record for loudest purr

With a purr whose volume has been likened to that of a vacuum cleaner, Smokey the Cat, a tabby from England's East Midlands, has been recognized by Guinness World Records in its 'Loudest Purr by a Domestic Cat' category.

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Smokey, a gray and white tabby, prepares to receive a treat from owner Ruth Adams, in Northampton, England.

Alisdair Tait/Northampton College/AP

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Smokey the Cat, a gray and white tabby living in Northampton, England, has been recognized by Guinness World Records in its 'Loudest Purr by a Domestic Cat' category.

According to the announcement from Guinness World Records, Smokey's purr peaked at 67.7 decibels, which is about the sound of a rather loud human conversation. By comparison, the average cat purrs at about 20 decibels, meaning that Smokey's utterances are about 16 times louder than what you would expect from a domestic cat.

According to Smokey's website, smokeythepurringcat.com, securing the record wasn't easy for Ruth Adams, Smokey's owner. In the first attempt, which was made on March 25 and witnessed by a sound technician from Northampton College, a veterinary nurse, a representative from the UK's Cat's Protection charity, and a Member of Parliament, the cat peaked at 73 decibels at a distance of one meter. But the sound technician used a decibel reader that wasn't equipped to provide the data printouts required by Guinness. So they had to try it again.

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