Jean-Baptiste Perronneau (about 1715 to November 19, 1783), the French artist famous for his portraits in pastels, was a great observer of cats, and I agree with the author of the Great Cat blog, that this attention indicates a love for cats.
The blogger lists three portraits he did that include cats:
"Girl with Kitten" (1745) is below.
"Magdelaine Pinceloup de la Grange", (1747) and "Mlle. Huquier with Kitten", (uncertain date) also were portraits which included cats.
The author's commentary does not match the alert perfectionism of the artist Perronneau. She says, of a portrait we do not portray above: "Madame Pinceloup seems not to be at ease, as she is sitting straight up with her back away from the chair back. "
Rather than a sign of nervousness, this posture indicates the sitter is a member of the upper class. The ramrod spine was inculcated from a young age (as we see above) and is a class distinction. It was no doubt felt perfectly natural to the sitters.
We see the artist's devotion in the details, which extends to the cats. They are as individual as the women.