Bella, of Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, gave out a purr that registered at 54.6 decibels — matching the sound level produced by a boiling kettle.
Record-breaking moment confirmed by Guinness World Records adjudicator
A Guinness World Records adjudicator officially confirmed the new record-breaking sound — exceeding the previous 50 dB mark.
Expressing her joy, Nicole Spink, Bella’s proud owner, exclaimed, “I couldn’t be more thrilled that Bella has broken the world record.” Spink continued, “She has been our family’s companion for many years — we love her to bits and are so proud of her achievement.”
According to Sky News, Dave Wilson — the official Guinness World Records adjudicator overseeing Bella’s record attempt — remarked, “It’s always an exciting day when there is the potential for a new world record so we waited in anticipation to see whether Bella would be able to do it.”
In order to document Bella’s achievement, Mr. Wilson and an acoustic engineer took measures to eliminate external sounds in the Huntingdon residence and arranged recording equipment. As Bella nestled comfortably on her favorite cushion — ready to set the new record — her purring began, and the outcome was “immediately obvious.”
Loudest purr world record by a ‘living domestic cat’
“We’ve always known Bella had a really loud purr — we even have to turn up the volume to hear the TV over her purring — and that’s always after mealtimes,” Ms. Spink shared. “So, when we saw that the record for the World’s Loudest Purr was up for grabs, we knew we had to put Bella forward, and we’re so pleased we did,” she added.
Nevertheless, while Bella’s purr is truly remarkable, the certificate specifies that it is the “loudest purr by a domestic cat [living],” with other cats — now deceased — surpassing her record.
The other record-breaking cats
As per Guinness World Records, Smokey the cat achieved an astonishing 67.7 dB for his purr in March 2011, with the record registered in Pitsford, Northamptonshire. However, 13-year-old Merlin from Torquay, Devon, later surpassed this feat controversially by reaching 67.8 dB.
To put this into perspective, 65 dB represents the typical volume of a normal conversation — almost as loud as laughter at 70 dB.
Both cats have since passed away. Nevertheless, Smokey’s owner — Ruth Adams — succeeded in reinstating her late pet’s record status. She argued that “no decibel reader in the world — even in a scientific soundproof room — can offer an accurate reading as there is a margin of error with all machines to the extent of 0.6 dB to 2 dB.” In fact, Adams went to great lengths, conducting research alongside sound engineers and seeking technical assistance from Massey University in New Zealand.
In recognition of her dedication, Guinness World Records awarded both Merlin and Smokey the prestigious title of the loudest purring cats ever, revising the 2011 record up to 67.8 dB.
Meanwhile, Ms. Spink noted that Bella’s world record certificate would earn a “really prominent place in the house.” With a playful tone, she added, “We’re going to have to choose which child’s photos to take down first.”