Supported Pd single atom catalysts (SACs) have triggered great research interest in methane combustion yet with contradicting views on their activity and stability. Here, we show that the Pd SAs can take different electronic structure and atomic geometry on ceria support, resulting in different catalytic properties. By a simple thermal pretreatment to ceria prior to Pd deposition, a unique anchoring site is created. The Pd SA, taking this site, can be activated to Pdδ+ (0<δ<2) that has greatly enhanced activity for methane oxidation: T50 lowered by up to 130 °C and almost 10 times higher turnover frequency compared to the untreated catalyst. The enhanced activity of Pdδ+ site is related to its oxygen-deficient local structure and elongated interacting distance with ceria, leading to enhanced capability in delivering reactive oxygen species and decomposing reaction intermediates. This work provides insights into designing highly efficient Pd SACs for oxidation reactions.