Single-celled bacteria are capable of acting as a community by sensing and responding to population density via quorum signalling. Quorum signalling in Chromobacterium violaceum, mediated by the luxI/R homologue, cviI/R, regulates a variety of phenotypes including violacein pigmentation, virulence and biofilm formation. A number of biological and organic molecules have been described as quorum signalling inhibitors but, to date, metal-based inhibitors have not been widely tested. In this study, we show that quorum sensing is inhibited in C. violaceum in the presence of sub-lethal concentrations of cadmium salts. Notable Cd2+-inhibition was seen against pigmentation, motility, chitinase production and biofilm formation. Cd-inhibition of quorum-signalling genes occurred at the level of transcription. There was no direct inhibition of chitinase activity by Cd2+ at the concentrations tested. Addition of the cognate quorum signals, N-hexanoyl homoserine lactone or N-decanoyl homoserine lactone, even at concentrations in excess of physiological levels, did not reverse the inhibition, suggesting that Cd-inhibition of quorum signaling is irreversible. This study represents the first description of heavy metal-based quorum inhibition in C. violaceum.