A control system is provided and includes a catalyst module that generates a multi-mode enable signal based on a catalyst light off enable signal. A transition control module controls transitions between a single pulse mode and multi-pulse mode based on the multi-mode enable signal. The transition control module receives a first torque signal and generates a second torque signal based on the first torque signal. The engine torque control module generates an air per cylinder signal, a throttle area signal, and a spark timing signal based on the second torque signal. The single pulse mode is associated with a single fuel injection pulse per combustion cycle. The multi-pulse mode is associated with multiple fuel injection pulses per combustion cycle.