Cats.com is for sale.
In the very specific world of internet domain-name sales, cats.com is the kind of gem that doesn’t come on the market often. It’s short. It’s memorable. And it’s a term that, according to the domain’s current owner, some 15,000 people already type directly into their browsers each month, hoping—we can only assume—to satisfy a desire for cat pictures not currently met by lolcats.com, funnycatsite.com, funnycatpix.com, lovemeow.com, cat-bounce.com, thecatsite.com, procatinor.com, cat-lovers-only.com, iheartcats.com, and catster.com.
What they find instead is a note dated Dec. 9, 2015 from a Latvian domain investor named Algis Skara. Skara purchased cats.com in 2015 for an undisclosed sum, according to DomainGang.com. (“Buy Domains was the seller, so we’re certain it cost a purr-ty penny,” the site notes, in the kind of pun that is hard to avoid in the animal-related domain market.)
“Cats are the favorite pet in the world! And there is many things related to cats that can be done on the internet,” Skara writes in the sales pitch. “To name a few: pictures of cats (everyone loves them, they are one of the most popular things in the world), buying and selling cats, cats supplies and vitamins, grooming, cat food (huge industry) and many many more.”
So why do I tell you this. This is possibly your best life changing opportunity. As it is now possible to acquire this domain name and create a massive website and service from it.
Instant brand name right here. You don’t need to tell people about your company name. Hello, this is cats.com – is more then [sic] enough to provide credibility to your clients.
Skara declined the highest bid of $350,000 at an online auction in January. The domain appraisal site Estibot.com values cats.com at $1 million. At that price, it would be the second-biggest domain sale of the year so far—behind 01.com, which sold for $1.82 million on February 1, but ahead of the $500,000 sale of refi.com on March 15, according to DNJournal.com.
It’s not clear what other offers Skara has received; he did not respond to Quartz’s attempts to contact him by email, Twitter, and Facebook. A look at similar properties offers clues. Fish.com is an online aquarium supply shop. Birds.com is an online encyclopedia of all things bird. Dogs.com and pets.com redirect to the homepage of PetSmart, the US-based pet supply giant that owns the domains. The company declined to comment on cats.com. (Cat.com belongs to the construction equipment company Caterpillar Inc.)
You don’t see “For Sale By Owner” signs fluttering in front of Malibu beachfront estates; so too is it unusual for an owner to go it alone in a virtual real estate deal of this potential magnitude.
“Something like coolcats.com, funnycatsoutside, they’re a dime a dozen,” says Alan Dunn, managing director of the domain management firm NameCorp. (Not exactly; Estibot valued funnycatsoutside.com at $0 but coolcats.com at $19,000.) “Cats.com is fantastic.”
Image by Evan Blaser on Flickr, licensed under CC-BY-2.0. It has been cropped.