Reactions involving highly reactive carbocations play a central role in many important chemical processes, such as cyclization reactions. However, the potential for controlling the pathways of such reactions to obtain energetically disfavoured (but desirable) products has been hard to realize because of the difficulties inherent in controlling the conformation and chemical environment of the carbocation intermediates. Antibody catalysts, with their high specificity and binding energies, can provide the degree of conformational and chemical control necessary for directing such reactions. Here we show how antibody catalysis can guide cationic cyclization reactions selectively to form products (in high yield) that would otherwise be highly disfavoured. Most notable is the formation of a strained bicyclic compound containing a rare cyclopropane group. To explain our results, we propose a common reaction scheme in which the key step is the formation of a highly reactive protonated cyclopropane intermediate; subtle structural modifications to the substrate (the compound on which the catalytic antibody acts) lead to dramatic differences in the structure of the final product.