Alejandro Gomez's second-half goal proved the difference between the two as Catania followed in the footsteps of Chievo and Napoli by sending sixth-placed Roma to defeat on the road.
There was little sign of any trouble ahead for the visitors as they dominated the first half, with Italy international Mattia Destro looking unstoppable.
He fired inches wide in 11th minute before threatening again 60 seconds later with a shot that was parried by Mariano Andujar. Destro also got to the rebound first but shot just wide again.
The 21-year-old had another opening in the 26th minute and yet again the Catania goal led a charmed life as his superb volley from outside the area skimmed the outside of the left post.
Destro really should have made it 1-0 in the 35th minute but he contrived to miss with the goal at his mercy after the ball had slipped away from Andujar.
That was a remarkable miss from Destro and one that would end up proving costly.
Catania only created a couple of chances in the first half, Gomez firing wide before being denied by a good save from Mauro Goicoechea, but they took the lead in the 61st minute thanks to the Argentinian.
Gonzalo Bergessio's pass put his countryman through on goal and Gomez neatly finished past Goicoechea for what would prove to be the match-winner.
Roma had a late chance to salvage a point but Dodo's 89th-minute effort was somehow kept out by Andujar with a superb diving save.