Bladder cancer is a major public health problem. Currently available therapeutic options seem to be unable to prevent bladder cancer recurrence and progression. To enable preclinical testing of new intravesical therapeutic agents, a suitable bladder tumor model that resembles human disease is highly desirable. The aim of this topic paper was to discuss the problems associated with current in vivo animal bladder tumor models, focusing on the orthotopic syngeneic rat bladder tumor model. In the second part of the paper the development of a potential new orthotopic rat bladder tumor model is described.