The 41-year-old coach is confident the Wales international will remain in the game for several more years, despite hanging up his boots for the national team in October 2012
The Scottish manager has dismissed any notion that Bellamy will hang up his boots for good in the aftermath of his decision to retire from international football in October.
Bellamy turned 34 last Saturday, but Mackay insists the well-travelled striker still has plenty to offer to his hometown team as they prepare to sample life in the Premier League for the first time.
"Craig is a huge influence, a senior player who has been there, seen it, done it," Mackay told WalesOnline.
"He has a hunger and wants to play for his home club.
"Any thought of retirement is a few years off yet. He’s nowhere near that."
Mackay believes Bellamy, who has played for a host of Premier League clubs in his career, has great experience to share with the rest of Cardiff team.
"I have great belief in him," added Mackay. "He has grasped the nettle in terms of coming to Cardiff and buying into what we are doing, which something different to what he has been used to.
"Craig is used to a dog-eat-dog world at Newcastle United, Manchester City and Liverpool. Here at Cardiff it’s a different approach.
"He has to be a mentor to some of younger guys. There can be times when he is frustrated about something or other.
"That’s often when he realises there are times when he has to take a step back and go and help guys."