Without a win since their remarkable come-from-behind triumph at Roma, Stefano Pioli's men were finding goals hard to come by, but Tiberio Guarente got the Rossoblu rolling once again with a cool first-half finish.
Alberto Gilardino made it five for the club he joined on loan from Genoa with a goal either side of the break with Panagiotis Kone completing the rout following Ciro Capuano's late dismissal.
Bologna were on the back foot in the early exchanges, Guarente forced to clear a loose ball after home goalkeeper Gianluca Curci hesitated.
Lucas Castro beat the offside trap to find Curci stranded again but, fortunately for the hosts, the Argentinian blasted wide of the target.
Guarente launched Bologna into a lead they would never surrender in the 19th minute, calmly controlling Gilardino's knockdown to beat Catania goalkeeper Mariano Andujar from outside the area.
Nicolas Spolli was soon forced to leave the pitch through injury but Catania rallied regardless, Castro nodding wide before Gonzalo Bergessio jinked past Mikael Antonsson.
Castro's compatriot failed to hit the target and the visitors' verve quickly faded away, Bologna steadily regaining control before doubling their lead in the 40th minute.
Defender Gyorgy Garics picked out Gilardino's run from deep, the ex-Parma man beating the offside trap to slip the ball beyond Andujar.
Federico Agliardi was called into action in first-half stoppage time as Curci pulled up injured in his six-yard box and was unable to continue.
Catania looked for a quick response after the interval, Castro going close before Agliardi was called into action to push Francesco Lodi's drive out for a corner.
But in the 61st minute Bologna struck again, Alessandro Diamanti bursting through the back line to tee up Gilardino for an easy header.
Capuano received his marching orders for a foul in the 83rd minute, and with only 10 men at his disposal, Rolando Maran knew a dramatic comeback was beyond his side's means.
The Sicilians did well to weather the storm, though, and when Diamanti was denied a penalty three minutes into stoppage time it looked like Bologna were spent.
But Diamanti ensured a fourth goal of the day arrived eventually by feeding Kone for an easy tap-in just moments before the final whistle.