In the present study the rheological and mucoadhesive properties of three viscosity grades of a cationic polymer, chitosan, were investigated to assess the suitability of this polymer for gastroadhesive formulations. The influence of the pH, ionic strength and temperature of the hydration medium on the rheological properties was studied. The mucoadhesive performance was assessed in vitro by means of rheological synergism and tensile stress testing. A correlation was found between rheological synergism and tensile parameters (force of detachment and work of adhesion), which proves that both methods can correctly predict the mucoadhesive performance of the polymers examined. It was found that the interaction of chitosan with mucin decreases on increasing molecular weight.