Ms Norlien was shocked at the meteoric rise in the number of followers of Potato’s Instagram and Facebook pages. She initially believed the cat’s attraction was all-encompassing; a cute cat and nothing more. But it was Potato’s eyes that attracted the most interest. The cat’s eyes are bulging, lending the animal a constantly startled expression.
“Potato has been with me for about two years now,” Lorien told The Mail Online. “As soon as I got him, I started uploading pictures online, and people immediately noticed there was something different about his eyes.”
Potato’s fame mirrors that of Tardar Sauce (AKA Grumpy Cat) who, at the height of her fame, had 8.2 million followers on Facebook. Tardar Sauce sadly died in May of this year.
Lorien does not know why her cat’s eyes are abnormally large although she suspects the condition is caused by a congenital defect.
It is likely Potato suffers with a condition called bilateral macropthalmia. This is a genetic condition that causes both eyeballs to be large in size from birth. In cases such as this, cats may not show obvious signs of discomfort but the condition is thought to be painful. A cat with macropthalmia is also at risk of injuring its eyeballs.
Sometimes the wide-eyed appearance is caused by a condition called Glaucoma. Feline glaucoma is rare however. The condition is due to the buildup of an abnormally high pressure within the eye. Glaucoma can affect the sight of the sufferer in due course and also tends to be painful.