The Black Cats dominated against Manchester United on Saturday but had to settle for a 0-0 draw, which stretched their unbeaten Premier League run to five.
That run has also included games against Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City, teams Sunderland have tended to be more defensive against in a bid to stifle their opponents' star-studded attacks.
But Steve Bruce has changed his side's approach, putting greater faith in his players' ability by urging his widemen to take the game to the big-boys by pushing forward whenever possible.
And Cattermole reckons that new style will bring the best out of the Sunderland squad.
"We have played really well in the last four or five games," he told the Chronicle.
"We're unbeaten in five league games and I think the slightly different shape is working for us.
"I think we're playing more 4-3-3 than 4-5-1, which we have in the past and never really managed to attack teams. We have pace in the side and players who love to get on the ball.
"The extra man in the middle is giving us the chance for an extra pass and we are playing good attacking football, but we also look pretty solid.
"The manager trusts the lads on the ball - he wants us to get the ball and play - and we trust each other with the ball.
"It's the sort of form that gets you into the top half of the table and we really should have beaten Man United."
Sunderland head into the international break in 11th place and have a 16-day gap between the United game and their next match, a Monday-night clash at Blackburn.
"The good thing is that we've finished on a high," Cattermole added. "If we'd done badly then we would have wanted a game straight away.
"We've had a decent start to the season and the challenge is to maintain it."