We study the response of pre-defined cavitation nuclei driven continuously in the kHz regime (80, 100 and 200 kHz). The nuclei consist of stabilized gaspockets in cylindrical pits of 30 μμm diameter etched in silicon or glass substrates. It is found that above an acoustic pressure threshold the dynamics of the liquid–gas meniscus switches from a stable drum-like vibration to expansion and deformation, frequently resulting in detachment of microbubbles. Just above this threshold small bubbles are continuously and intermittently ejected. At elevated input powers bubble detachment becomes more frequent and cavitation bubble clouds are formed and remain in the vicinity of the pit bubble. Surprisingly, the resulting loss of gas does not lead to deactivation of the pit which can be explained by a rectified gas diffusion process.