This work presents investigations of cavitation properties of different austenitic microstructures formed by laser beam machining of X5CrNi18-10 and C45 steels. X5CrNi18-10 steel was alloyed with TiC and Mn powders and surface layer of C45 steel was enriched with Ni, Mn, Cr and Nb. For alloying the cw CO2 laser beam was used as a power source. Cavitation behaviour of produced layers was investigated in a rotating disc facility. The results reveal different susceptibility to plastic deformation and strain hardening degree of surface in the early stage of cavitation erosion.