Microwaveassisted catalysis technology has the advantages of high reaction speed, simple equipment and convenient operation, showing broad application prospects in the field of water treatment. A complete understanding of the interactions between microwave and the catalyst can be conducive to the further development of microwaveassisted catalysis technology for application to wastewater treatment. This review first introduces the microwave theory and microwave heating mechanism during microwaveassisted catalysis processes briefly. Microwaveresponsive catalysts are then classified in detail, and common characterization methods of catalysts are also described briefly. Subsequently, the effective parameters, kinetics, and mechanisms and pathways in microwaveassisted catalytic reactions are emphatically discussed. Typical practical cases are also provided to introduce the applications of microwaveresponsive catalysts in the water treatment field. Finally, possible research challenges and directions for microwaveresponsive catalysts applied to wastewater treatment in the future are summarized.