Bartonella spp are the causative agent of cat scratch disease in humans. Cats are the natural reservoir of these bacteria and may infect humans through scratches, bites or fleas. Blood samples from 47 cats aged up to 12 months were collected for this study. All animals were lodged in municipal animal shelters in the Vale do Sinos region, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Bartonella spp were detected by genus-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and when the PCR was positive, the species were determined by DNA sequencing. A Giemsa-stained blood smear was also examined for the presence of intraerythrocytic elements suggestive of Bartonella spp infection. Phylogenetic analysis was also performed for all positive samples. Using molecular detection methods, Bartonella spp were detected in 17.02% (8/47) of the samples. In seven out of eight samples confirmed to be positive for Bartonella spp, blood smear examination revealed the presence of intraerythrocytic elements suggestive of Bartonella spp. Phylogenetic analysis characterized positive samples as Bartonella henselae (5) or Bartonella clarridgeiae (3). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first molecular study demonstrating the presence of Bartonella spp in cats from the Southern Region of Brazil.