Play Eat Rest: It's Your Cat's Natural Energy Cycle. And A Way of Life.

True Nature Series

Cats are amazing creatures. Their bodies are graceful and athletic, and food and water is their fuel.

This means cats have a natural energy cycle that dictates much of their behavior. For cats in the wild, this mostly centers on the search for food and is repeated throughout the day. So after each successful hunt, the meal is digested while the cat rests. Once the body burns through the resources it provided, this cycle kicks in again and tells the cat it’s time to seek another meal. 

At Purina ONE, our experts call this cycle Play Eat Rest. And the more you know about this cycle, the more you’ll understand about your cat’s true nature. 


Hunting is part of their daily routine for cats in the wild. There, success is the difference between a well-earned meal or going hungry. That’s not the case for the cats in our homes. By providing for your cat, you make sure she doesn’t go without.

However, there are ways you can use play to mimic the types of instinctual behaviors she would call upon during the hunt. This increases her mental stimulation and activity level while helping her burn off energy and calories between meals.

To learn more about the important role of purposeful play in your cat’s day, watch How to Make Play More Meaningful. Or learn how to enhance the feeding experience with a Puzzle Feeder.


In the wild, cats feed on a variety of prey, but also graze on plants or berries. This means they experience a mix of flavors and textures. At Purina ONE, our recipes reflect this mix, both through wet food or dry kibble that offers a range of flavors and 100% complete nutrition. Or innovations that address special nutritional needs, like Healthy Metabolism™, a formula designed specifically to help spayed or neutered cats burn fat more efficiently. 

To learn about the advantages of feeding both wet and dry food in your feeding routine, check out Feeding Your Cat’s True Nature.


After a meal, you may notice your cat spends time under a bed, on the back of a sofa or high up on a shelf. Each of these settings helps your cat feel secure and in control of her surroundings. These behaviors are much like those of her wild ancestor, the African Wildcat, who would climb trees or conceal themselves in thick foliage or other hideouts on the ground. This allows her to relax while remaining keenly away of who or what is in her presence.  

To learn more ways you can make your home more cat friendly, check out Six Ways to Make Your Cat Feel at Home.

Putting it All Together 

How can you build a foundation of knowledge around this concept? First, check out our Pursuit on the True Nature of Cats. You’ll learn about our expert’s research of the African Wildcat and how this has informed our point of view.

Then, sign up for the True Nature Journal to get step-by-step activities designed by our experts based on what they discovered.  

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