Mad Catz is a company that makes a wide variety of third-party computer gaming accessories, including controllers for the PlayStation 3. These controllers operate similarly to the Sony-made controller that is included with the console. But there are some differences. These differences open up a variety of potential problems that can occur with a Mad Catz controller that wouldn't be present with the first-party alternative.
Turn off your Mad Catz controller and turn it back on using the "Power" switch on the unit's case (if applicable). Official PlayStation 3 controller's have no such switch and are turned on and off using the menu system on the console. Turning off your Mad Catz controller and turning it back on will reset the unit, allowing you to attempt to use it with your PS3 again without issue. Only certain Mad Catz controllers have this switch.
Replace the batteries that came with your Mad Catz PlayStation 3 controller (if applicable). Official PS3 controllers have a built-in rechargeable battery. Certain Mad Catz controllers come with AA-sized batteries that you must insert into the rear of the controller. Replace the old batteries with fresh, unused ones and attempt to use your controller again.
Connect your Mad Catz controller to your PlayStation 3 with the included USB cable to sync the two devices. The Mad Catz controller can only be used with the PS3 when the two devices are synced. Plugging in the cable to both devices accomplishes this syncing, which then allows the controller to be used.
Charge your Mad Catz controller's built-in battery (if applicable). If the indicator lights on the top of the controller start flashing and won't stop, this is a "Low Battery" alert. Connect the USB cable to the controller and the PlayStation 3. When the indicator lights stop flashing, the controller's battery is charged.