Vuillard is well known for his 'intimiste' paintings. These feature intimate scenes that convey the comfort of a domestic lifestyle. 'The Chat' is one of a series of paintings depicting the artist's mother and his sister, Marie. In these paintings, Vuillard generally depicts his mother as a large, expansive woman, at ease in her surroundings, while his sister appears awkward and submissive. In this painting, his mother is imparting advice to her daughter who is about to get married. Vuillard integrates each woman into the composition by placing an item the same colour as their dress beside them: a black throw on the left and a white plant pot on the right.