How did .cat become a top level domain?

I can see how other top level domains came to be. It makes some sense but .cat refers to the Catolonian language or culture. By the way it expressly forbids using the tld for webpages about cats unless written in the Catalonian language.

Anyway seems by approving .cat they just open themselves up for a tld for every language that doens’t have it’s own specific country

I can’t find where ‘it’ forbids feline content.

Unless you have an uber anal domain registrar, I don’t see how it’ll be stopped. Trying to will just end you up on

Here is their application to become a sTLD. (sponsored top-level domain) from 2004.

And here’s an article about the new sTLD. From the article:

Apparently all pages must either be in or have something to do with the Catalan language.

This is not a good thing, IMNSHO.

I generally agree with you but it does have a legitimate use. By restricting a top level domain to one language, it would be easier for speakers of that language to find sites written in it and it should be much easier for search engines to index it.

Do think this case is worse than the aero or museum TLDs?

Personally, I think that any policy that restricts a site from a particular domain are wrong.

Webhosting rules (i.e. no porn or spam from this hosting company) are a different story completely.

You know, the more I read that last remark, the more I feel there are two exceptions to that:

.gov and .edu

When you type a .gov extension, you need to know you’re on an official government website.

And the same thing with a .edu extension.

So I guess I must partially retract my previous statement.

Well I agree many top level domains are not open. Like .aero .coop .jobs .museum .pro .travel but I don’t see why they would agree to give the Catalonians a top level domain in the generic field as opposed to a tld in the country field. Plenty of non independent states have their own tld. Like .um is forUnited States Minor Outlying Islands.

I know when Belgium was having issues they wanted .VL for Vlaanderen, but they didn’t go after a top level generic name like .cat.

Actually though not enforced .biz is technically restricted to business commerical use only.

That would be, right? I mean, you wouldn’t want to be reading a North Korean government website, would you?

.cat is not a top-level “site type” domain name like .biz or .edu or .com or .gov, but a top-level national domain name like .ca or .au or .jp – a “national” domain; in this case, that of the Catalan nation(ality) of Spain. I think it’s the sole three-letter national domain name.

This appears to be hinting at a decent explanation…nobody would suggest abandoning .es for all of Catalonia, yet at the same time there’s a very strong local opinion that there should be a recognition of Catalonia within the TLD setup, and so acception .cat in this manner is a bit of a compromise.

The precedent being set is for any number of groups with a linguistic identity making a claim for a particular TLD. On the other hand, I suspect it’ll actually just disappear and be forgotten, because nobody really cares about TLDs. Nobody’s insisted on a Welsh TLD, and the internal contradictions of doesn’t seem to worry anyone.

Nope. One of the effects of ICANN being in the US (and the US getting some credit for this whole Internet thing to begin with) is that at least two TLDs, .gov and .mil are US-restricted. .gov is open to any government in the US, though it can be confusing as several different TLDs are used. (For instance, Albuquerque’s website is while Las Cruces’ is New Mexico uses while several of the departments use .mil is only for the US military. And, of course, while anyone can use .com, it seems to be a primarily US usage. I mean, how many sites can you name that use .edu is pretty much only used in the US, though there are no restrictions on it either.

While it’s true that American companies overwhelmingly opt for .com, it’s not true that it’s ‘primarily’ seen as an indication that a site is American. Many companies outside of the US use .com URLs.