Merlin, a rescue kitty from Torquay, Devon (UK) now has plenty to make a noise about after being confirmed as having the world record for Loudest purr by a domestic cat.
Merlin, aged 13, who was adopted from an animal rescue centre in nearby Kingskerswell by his owner Tracy Westwood and her daughter Alice, was crowned king of the purrs during recent filming of the Channel 5 TV show, ‘Cats Make You Laugh Out Loud 2’.
With a Guinness World Records adjudicator on hand to verify, Merlin registered a purr measuring 67.8 decibels, beating the previous record of 67.68 decibels set in 2011 by Smokey – another British cat.
Speaking of her record-breaking pet, Tracy said: “Occasionally when he’s really loud I have to repeat myself. When you’re watching films you have to turn the telly up or put him out of the room, if he’s eating he’ll purr loudly. I can hear him when I’m drying my hair.
“If he’s cleaning he gets louder and sometimes if the telephone rings I do get people asking me what’s that noise in the background, I tell them it’s the cat but I don’t know if they believe me.”
At almost 70 decibels, Merlin’s purr is as noisy as a conversation or an air conditioner and nearly as loud as a shower or even a dishwasher.
GWR spokesman Jamie Clarke said: “Here at Guinness World Records we enjoy coming across your typical everyday pet with a rather unique talent and Merlin the Cat from Torquay is just that. It was amazing to see just how loud his purr was in person and, despite a couple of readings of Merlin’s purr just under the current record, a bowl of tuna cat food proved to make all the difference and secure the record.”
Pet behaviour expert, Professor Peter Neville, who also features in the show, said: “No-one’s really sure why cats purr, we do know that they all purr at the same frequency, and cats tend to do this when they’re very relaxed and when they’re happy, while kittens do it when they’re suckling from their mothers. Interestingly the big cats – lions and tigers and so on, can’t purr. It’s only the little guys, the Felis genus cats who purr.”
Viewers in the UK can hear Merlin’s record-setting purr by tuning into Make You Laugh Out Loud 2, on Channel 5 at 8pm. Watch Merlin's appearance in the player below.