The 22-year-old knows all about the rivalry in the area having spent three years with Middlesbrough doing battle with the Magpies and Black Cats.
The midfielder made his debut as a 17-year-old for Boro against Newcastle on Tyneside, picking up the man-of-the-match award in a 2-2 draw.
While some of Sunderland's signings may see Sunday's game at St James' Park as just another outing, Cattermole understands the significance of the Tyne-Wear clash.
Cattermole knows it will be a difficult game for Steve Bruce's side, especially given their away form, and the no-nonsense midfielder is eager to give their fans reasons to smile.
"I can definitely understand the mentality," Cattermole told the club's official website.
"I had three years at Middlesbrough and I know playing against them isn't as big a game for Newcastle but they were big games for us.
"By the time we get to the ground and get the reception we're going to from the fans we will understand what Sunday is all about.
"We have to go there, do what we've been doing and not treat the game any differently. If we can send our fans home happy that would be brilliant.
"The atmosphere will spur us on although it will give them a big gee up too. They struggled last time against Wigan but I'm sure the tempo will be really high with a few tackles going in.
"This game means everything to our fans. In every working environment here Sunderland and Newcastle fans mix and the winners can hold their head up high knowing their team came out on top.
"We must go to work on Sunday, be organised and stay disciplined. If we keep doing what we're doing then hopefully we'll be okay."