There was little in the way of goalmouth action between too shot-shy teams and the main talking point came as Stoke lined up a wall just before the hour mark.
Adam had already been booked for fouling Fraizer Campbell in the first half and the Stoke midfielder appeared to push the Cardiff striker to the ground.
Peter Crouch also seemed to swing an arm towards Campbell and it was the two strikers who ended up in referee Michael Oliver's book.
Mackay had not been aware the push came from Adam, but said: "If you lay hands on somebody and it's not going to be a sending off then it certainly warrants a booking. I suppose Charlie Adam was lucky to stay on the pitch then."
The Cardiff boss was also unhappy his side were not awarded a penalty for an incident not long before when Campbell went down after clashing with Marc Wilson.
"They seemed to suggest it was a tangle of legs but I was looking at it and Fraizer actually nicked in and got in front of him and was getting to the ball," said Mackay. "At the time I absolutely thought it was a penalty."
Despite those frustrations, Mackay was happy to come away from a ground renowned for being one of the Premier League's tougher away fixtures with a point.
The visitors might even have won the game in injury time but Asmir Begovic produced a smart save from young full-back Declan John's goalbound effort.
Mackay said: "We've come to another very tough place, been very resilient and been well worthy of a point.
"I think we managed to restrict Stoke to one attempt on target with a couple ourselves. It was a great save late on from their goalkeeper.
"I'm happy with my team and the way they played. Probably overall a draw was a fair result tonight.
"It was a physical game. There are going to be a lot of balls up to someone who's 6ft 7in and they're a big, strong team. We had to make sure we matched that if we were then going to go and play football the way we did.
"Clean sheets are the basis for picking up points in this league and I'm delighted we picked up another one."
The two sides remain locked together on 14 points, although the draw was enough to lift both of them two places in the Barclays Premier League table, with now a four-point gap to the relegation places.
Stoke boss Mark Hughes had called for a reaction after their 4-0 thrashing by Everton on Saturday, and he was happy with the performance if not the result.
He said: "I felt we were the team who were in control of the game. I was pleased with that aspect of our play. It's important that we control the flow of the game and I know we did that.
"We needed something to drop for us in the box, that was what was missing. We had a number of half chances but none you could say was a real clear-cut chance that we could have converted.
"Apart from one attempt that Asmir had to deal with towards the end of the game, I didn't feel Cardiff caused us too many problems.
"The hardest part of football is converting chances and at the moment we're not quite able to do that most important thing."
Hughes also felt Stoke were worthy of a penalty after Crouch protested he had been held by Ben Turner, but referee Oliver gave a free-kick against the Stoke man.
Hughes said: "He (Turner) didn't even look at the ball and I felt that was a good call for a penalty but the referee saw that differently."
The Potters boss, meanwhile, said he had not seen the Adam incident, adding of Campbell: "I saw him go down very readily."