TECH
28/12/2019 8:30 AM IST

Cats.com Is Back On The Market After Brief Cannabis-Selling Stint

California-based marijuana seller The Flower Co. has let go of Cats.com, which has gone back to Latvian domain investor Algis Skara.

Screenshot
What the Cats.com website looked like when it was run by The Flower Co.

One of the most recognisable URLs on the Internet is up for grabs, but only if you have over $500,000 to spare.Cats.com, which until recently hosted cat memes and links to California-based cannabis delivery platformThe Flower Co., is back on the market. On the site, its owner — Latvian domain investorAlgis Skara — has listed his email ID, and a terse instruction: “Please do not spam. $500,000+ offers only.”

The Flower Co. is a cannabis start-up based in California, one of a handful of American states to have legalised the recreational use of cannabis. It also has an Indian connection, as it sells a range of health products that use of herbs like tulsi and ashvagandha that are being farmed in Kerala. Its owner Thomas Bastin is from Kottayam.

Skara told HuffPost India in an email that the value of the domain is “around $1 million”. 

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“At the moment I am considering developing the project on the domain if there are no buyers soon,” he said.

Skara added that The Flower Co. had not bought the address, as was widely believed, but rather, had worked with the company as a partner.

This was also confirmed by The Flower Co.’s Bastin, who said, “We took it down as we didn’t want people to see unfinished work. The word was getting around so needed to make sure it was on point before we release it.”

The Flower Co. has a cannabis product called Human Catnip, which gave them the idea of buying cats.com—one of the easiest-to-remember URLs on the entire Internet—to get the word out. While the site was with The Flower Co., it had a picture of Grumpy Cat, a big bud of cannabis, and a link to sign up to their newsletter. Clicking on the menu revealed some more cat memes.

Once the partnership came to a close, Skara put the site back on the market for a new partner. He had purchased the domain from Buy Domains in 2015, according toDomainGang.com.

The domain appraisal site Estibot.com values cats.com at $1 million.

The short, easily memorable nature of the domain would make it attractive for any brand—we trieddogs.com andpets.com, which both lead to the website for PetSmart, a pet supplies retailer that operates in the US and Canada, and also runs a chain of dog and cat boarding facilities.Animals.com is “under construction and coming soon”, but then, it’s not as catchy as the others.

On domain selling siteFlippa, Skara wrote:

“Cats are the favorite pet in the world! And there is many things related to cats that can be done on the Internet. 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.”

Quartz further noted, “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.”

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