Its power can be used for self-defense, as Cat Noir tries to use it to resist Guitar Villain's sound attacks, though this failed to work. In "Anansi", he uses it to keep the titular villain from stealing his Miraculous, since she would be unable to touch his hand without being affected by the Cataclysm's destructive energy.
While Cataclysm is a very helpful superpower, Cat Noir must use it wisely, as he can only use it once before transforming back into his civilian form five minutes after using it. In addition, once he summons the superpower, he can't turn it off and must use it to get rid of it. Another weakness of the power is that if a Cat Miraculous user's hands are restrained he/she can't use it, as first seen in "Robostus".
The effects of Cataclysm also seem to vary depending on an object's size and mass as well as also due to a Cat Miraculous holder's powers being more refined and under control when they are transformed. Such as Cat Noir being able to only damage beams of the Eiffel Tower compared to Plagg who was able to Cataclysm it in half.
Interestingly enough, whether a Cataclysm is used or not, just summoning it will cause the detransformation of the user as seen in "Anansi".
Plagg used this power to cause the sinking of Atlantis, the leaning of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and, most notably, the extinction of the dinosaurs when using his Cataclysm without an owner in the past as mentioned in "Style Queen".
However, as shown in "Catalyst", it turns out that Plagg can control his power when he wants, as it only the street was damaged and nothing else.
It's revealed that Cat Noir doesn't need to use his whole hand when using Cataclysm, since he destroyed the Bee Miraculous with just one finger in "Queen Wasp" and the titular villain's mask in "Animaestro".
"Miraculer" has the most uses of Cataclysm, totaling six times: five from Miraculer and one from Cat Noir.
According to Plagg in "Miraculer", Cataclysm has never been used on a Cat Miraculous holder until that episode.
In the alternative future of "Cat Blanc" it was used 11 times, nine of those by Cat Blanc.
It seems when a Cat Miraculous user gets older they seem to have further control of their powers, as seen in "Timetagger". When Bunnyx gave Ladybug her damaged Rabbit Miraculous, it was cracked, compared to the Bee Miraculous that was completely destroyed in "Queen Wasp".
Meaning Cat Miraculous holders can have further control of their powers but it's unknown if they have the ability to completely deactivate it.
Cataclysm can also work underwater even when a Cat Miraculous holder is out of Aqua mode.
In "Cat Blanc", it is revealed the power is connected to the user's emotions.
In the alternate future, Cat Noir used it on an akuma for the first time, and since they are living creatures, Cataclysm can negate the effects of Akumatization as long as it's used directly on the akuma.