In fact, it turns out that .cat is is a sponsored top-level domain intended to be used to highlight the Catalan language and culture.
With all the daily announcements about new GTLD's these days, one could be forgiven for incorrectly believing that ICANNN had perhaps made an announcement that we all missed. In reality however, this TLD was approved in 2005 and there have been a handful of domain name disputes already:
|WIPO Case Number||Domain name(s)||Complainant||Respondent||Decision|
|D2013-0860||nespresso.cat||Société des Produits Nestlé S.A.||Case active|
|D2010-2202||bellaterra.cat||Entidad Municipal Descentralizada de Bellaterra||Francesc Pérez Torres (SROW - 1385681)||Complaint denied|
|D2007-1196||caixalaietana.cat||Caixa D'Estalvis Laietana||Victor Manuel Pendas Suarez||Transfer|
|D2007-1119||marieclaire.cat||MARIE CLAIRE ALBUM||Narcis Subils Pages||Transfer|
|D2007-0784||bmw.cat||Bayerische Motoren Werke AG||Carlos Requena Algarra||Transfer|
|Col.legi Oficial d’Enginyers Industrials de Catalunya||Col.legi Oficial d’Enginyers en Informàtica de Catalunya (COEIC)||Complaint deni|
- There are apparently some registration requirements for this TLD, such as these ones according to Wikipedia:
- already have content in Catalan published online.
- have access to a special code (sometimes called ENS), issued during special promotions or by agreements with certain institutions.
- develop activities (in any language) to promote the Catalan culture and language.
- are endorsed by 3 people or 1 institution already using a .cat domain name.
But as Wikipedia points out, it has also been used for some "cat hacks" such as lol.cat, cypto.cat, and nyan.cat.