Abstract The activity of Cu/CeO2 and Cu/Ce0.8Zr0.2O2 catalysts with 5 and 10wt Cu was investigated in the low-temperature water-gas shift reaction (LT-WGSR). CeO2 was synthesized by the urea gelation co-precipitation (CeO2-UGC), hydrothermal (CeO2-HT) and Pechini (CeO2-Pe) methods Ce0.8Zr0.2O2 only by the Pechini method (Ce0.8Zr0.2O2-Pe). The catalysts were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction (XRD), hydrogen temperature-programmed reduction (H2-TPR) and BET surface area. The catalysts showed activity in the sequence 5Cu/CeO2-HT > 10Cu/CeO2-HT ~ 5Cu/CeO2-UGC ~ 10Cu/CeO2-UGC > 10Cu/CeZrO2 > 5Cu/CeZrO2 > 5Cu/CeO2-Pe ~ 10Cu/CeO2-Pe. The same sequence was observed in the BET surface area, indicating the existence of a correlation between particle size, metal dispersion and catalytic activity.