It was the away side who started the stronger and Gary McSheffrey so nearly opened the scoring after four minutes, but his effort drifted wide.
The home side began to dominate possession as the half progressed, however, and Aron Gunnarsson produced a fine strike after 12 minutes.
Stephan McPhail nearly made it two after 25 minutes, but his effort from inside the box was high and wide when perhaps he should have scored.
McSheffrey remained Coventry's biggest threat, and he passed up their best opportunity of the half after 32 minutes.
Coventry were awarded a penalty after 50 minutes when Richard Keogh was felled by Gunnarsson in the box, but McSheffrey missed the spot kick.
McSheffrey headed wide just before the 60-minute mark, as Coventry searched for an equaliser in the lively encounter.
Coventry eventually levelled the match after 69 minutes when Jordan Clarke headed a McSheffrey cross into the back of the net.
Peter Whittingham came close to winning it late on for the home side, but he dragged his shot wide.
There was to be one last chance, however, and Whittingham made amends with a cool finish late on.
Coventry snatched a late point, however, through Oliver Norwood after good work from McSheffrey.
Cardiff remain eighth in the Championship table, while Coventry sit 22nd.