The shape and size of the unit cell of a ceramic monolith have a profound influence on its geometric and mechanical properties. These, in turn, affect the catalytic performance, converter durability and vehicle drive-ability. This paper presents the important relationships between cell geometry and monolith's open frontal area, geometric surface area, hydraulic diameter, bulk density, structural rigidity, strength and heat transfer characteristics of the monolith; both the square and triangular cells are considered. These relationships provide a rational basis for selecting the cell shape and size which will yield the best balance between the various performance requirements, i.e. light-off characteristics, conversion efficiency, back pressure and long-term dutability. It is shown that certain tradeoffs are necessary in selecting the final cell geometry which is best accomplished by prioritizing the various performance requirements.