The game began quietly, with only Preston striker Jordan Hugill offering a tame effort to David Marshall's goal in the first 25 minutes.
Cardiff midfielder Joe Ralls then did well to find Joe Mason in space with a fantastic pass, but the frontman had a heavy touch and allowed Jordan Pickford to collect.
Hugill again threatened Marshall with a headed effort just under 10 minutes later, but Scotland international Marshall did well to get hold of the ball as both sides failed to break the deadlock before half time.
Into the second half, and Preston had an early penalty shout when Stevie May went down after a Sean Morrison challenge. Referee Stuart Atwell was quick to dismiss the calls, though.
The Bluebirds then had their own penalty shout when winger Craig Noone went down in the box, but Atwell said no for a second time.
Preston had an excellent chance to take the lead with just over 30 minutes remaining, but Tom Clarke could only watch as his header rattled the bar following a Paul Gallagher cross.
Peter Whittingham had an opportunity to score in the final 10 minutes, but Pickford was on hand to deny the veteran midfielder's free kick as the game finished goalless.