Antibacterial soybean-oil-based cationic polyurethane (PU) coatings have been successfully prepared from five different amino polyols. The structure and hydroxyl functionality of these amino polyols affects the particle morphology, mechanical properties, thermal stability, and antibacterial properties of the resulting coatings. An increase in the hydroxyl functionality of the amino polyols increases the cross-link density, resulting in an increased glass transition temperature and improved mechanical properties. Both the cross-link density and the amount of ammonium cations incorporated into the PU backbone affect the thermal stability of PU films. PUs with the lowest ammonium cation content and highest cross-link density exhibit the best thermal stability. With some strain-specific exceptions, these PUs show good antibacterial properties toward a panel of bacterial pathogens comprised of Listeria monocytogenes NADC 2045, Salmonella typhimurium ATCC 13311 and Salmonella minnesota (S. minnesota) R613. S. minnesota R613 is a “deep rough” mutant lacking a full outer membrane (OM) layer, an important barrier structure in gram-negative bacteria. With wild-type strains, the PU coatings exhibit better antibacterial properties toward the gram-positive Listeria monocytogenes than the gram-negative S. minnesota. However, the coatings have excellent activity against S. minnesota R613, suggesting a protective role for an intact OM against the action of these PUs.