Danny Wilson’s men led 23-20 at the interval thanks to a pair of Alex Cuthbert tries and a Gareth Anscombe drop-goal in a thrilling first half.
They remained in the battle in the opening stages of the half as Steve Shingler kept the scoreboard ticking but Gloucester’s power and strength in depth eventually told as cracks appeared.
Jonny May put the hosts back in the lead and Blues were dealt a catastrophic blow as Tom Marshall completed his brace.
And despite throwing everything at Gloucester in the closing stages the Blues were unable to get themselves back into the game with mistakes proving costly, and Henry Purdy rounded off the win with a try in the final moments of the game.
The Blues made an impressive start at a vocal Kingsholm with Matthew Morgan, Taufa’ao Filise and Sam Warburton carrying to good effect.
Morgan also dazzled along the left touch line as the Blues continually threatened in attack. They went through a succession of phases, with their big runners carrying with venom and eventually Alex Cuthbert powered through three defenders.
Shingler slotted the conversion from the touchline to hand his side a 7-0 lead after just five minutes.
However, five minutes later Gloucester hit-back in fortuitous circumstances. Richard Hibbard lost the ball in contact and it clearly appeared to go forward but Pascal Gauzere did not halt play and Ross Moriarty cantered home.
Burns levelled the scores with the boot and the helter-skelter nature of the game as the two marksmen further penalties.
Like last week against Leinster, Wales’ Capital Region were electric on the counter-attack with Morgan prominent.
He beat four defenders on one foray into Cherry and White territory, and found Lloyd Williams in support but play was brought to a halt as Navidi ran through Burns, knocking the fly-half out.
Shingler soon added a second penalty but it was cancelled out by Billy Twelvetrees and on 25 minutes the hosts surged in front.
Twelvetrees took centre-stage from a set move off a scrum just inside the 22, he broke the tackle of Shingler and offloaded for Marshall to crash over.
However Cardiff Blues responded with aplomb as they hammered away at Gloucester for ten minutes.
After kicking a penalty to the corner, Warburton won the lineout and a maul was launched but that was pulled down and the Blues kicked back to touch.
A second penalty was soon awarded and this time Navidi went agonisingly close after a pre-planned peel to the blindside.
The Blues were awarded yet another penalty and after a fourth indiscretion at the ensuing lineout referee Gauzere sent Josh Hohneck to the bin.
Again the Blues attacked in wave after wave before Anscombe put Cuthbert away for his second with Shingler running the decoy line.
Shingler added the extras and Wilson’s men remained in the ascent with Shingler and Lee-Lo combing inside their own 22 to put Navidi through a hole.
The flanker stormed into the Gloucester half and fed Warburton, who maintained the momentum before being hauled down.
They were unable to finish the opportunity with a try but Anscombe ensured they did not leave empty-handed as he bisected the posts with a snap drop-goal to give the Blues a 23-20 half-time lead.
Shingler booted the scoreboard back into action on 49 minutes, opening up a six-point lead but the Cherry and Whites edged back in front after Jonny May collected a Twelvetrees cross-kick with the make-shift fly-half converting.
With Gloucester now in the lead they turned the screw at the set-piece and after kicking a penalty the corner they struck out wide with Marshall completing his brace.
Twelvetrees converted from the touchline to stretch his side’s lead to 34-26 with 20 minutes remaining.
The Blues continued to battle manfully with a Tomos Williams snipe releasing Warburton but the flanker’s pass to Willis Halaholo strayed forward.
However, Gloucester found time for one final score, as replacement Henry Purdy touched down in the game's dying minutes.