A British moggy with a purr as loud as a lion’s ROAR has broken the record for the world’s nosiest CAT.
Merlin has been recognised by Guinness for her deafening meows that have been recorded at around 100 decibels – FOUR times louder than the average feline.
Owner Tracy Westwood suspected Merlin was a record breaker but official testers confirmed this during a visit to her home in Torquay, Devon.
The previous official record for a cat’s purr was set in 2011 with a 67.68dB rating by Smokey, from Pitsford, Northampton.
A typical cat hits just 25 decibels when purring but Merlin’s emissions are often as loud as a classroom full of children, a DIY drill and a tractor.
Rescue cat Merlin’s noise is also the same as a roar from his relative the lion – which typically measures between 100 and 114 decibels.
Tracy, 49, had the record confirmed by a team as part of a new Channel Five show Cat’s Make You Laugh Out Loud 2, which Merlin starred in when it was broadcast last night (WED)
Merlin wasn’t quite at his loudest when a sound engineer and an adjudicator from Guinness World Records arrived at her home with the testing kit – but he still did enough to take the official record.
Using high-tech equipment, and holding a microphone 1m away and 1m above the ground, they registered Merlin’s purr at 67.8dB.
Tracy said: “He can do a lot louder but he was a bit shy with a full house. But he still did enough to break the record. An extra bowl of tuna definitely helped.
“I initially contacted for Merlin to be part of the show.
“The producers had seen him on YouTube and we explained we think he is the loudest cat but we could not afford the #1000 testing fee.
“They arranged it all for me and filmed him breaking the record.
“To be officially tested they had to record the decibel level one metre above and one metre away from him.
“I just had to start stroking Merlin and he just purred away. He was in a house full of people so was not totally relaxed but he did it on his third attempt.
“They recorded him and said straight away he had broken the record. We have been given an official certificate to say this.”
Merlin has previously been recorded at 100 decibels – a level that sound experts say can result in hearing loss after prolonged exposure.
Divorcee Tracy, who has had Merlin since he was a kitten, said he typically drowns out their favourite television shows – but they wouldn’t have it any other way.
She said: ”He purrs when he wakes up. He purrs when he’s hungry. He’s always purred very loudly. I guess I’m used to it now.
”But when I’m on the phone I often have people asking me what on earth is the noise in the background. It’s just Merlin the cat.”
Merlin’s purrs are louder than a car’s horn from 25ft away and even noisier than the London Underground to a passenger stood 65ft away.
Tracy, mother of Lucy, 30, and Alice, 22, and grandmother to four-year-old Violet, rescued Merlin when he was a kitten from an animal rescue centre in Kingskerswell, Devon.
She decided to start measuring Merlin after reading about Smokey in the Guinness Book of World Records in record in 2011.
Tracy, who runs a candle business, said: “We’ve measured Merlin at peaks of 100dB. But we know he is much louder than that, even 105.
“He is naturally loud and you don’t have to stroke him to start it off. It can be pretty constant unless he is asleep.
“We had not thought any different as we don’t see many other cats. But other people kept hearing him and saying to me that we must get him in the record books.
“We listened to the previous record holder on the internet and just thought Merlin was a lot louder than him. We are thrilled he has officially broken the record.”
“It is a bit surreal having the loudest cat in the world. He had a nice bowl of tuna to get him going and an extra bit to celebrate.
“He has always been noisy. But we wouldn’t have gone for the record unless others had suggested it.
“I don’t find it an annoying noise and it is not piercing. He doesn’t know any different bless him.
“The only trouble is he is louder than the television so we always need to turn the volume up a few notches if he comes in.
“He can be a bit of distraction while we are watching Eastenders or Mr Selfridge.”
A Guinness World Record Spokesman said: “It was amazing to see just how loud his purr was in person. It was indeed a new record.”