The spirurida is an order of nematodes of which many different families occur in cats. The bodies of spirurids tend to be white, although some of them can be red or yellowish in color, as in the case of the gnathostomes. All spirurid parasites of the ct probably utilize some form of arthropod as an intermediate host. In some cases the cat is infectged by the ingestion of the arthropod, e.g., in the case of Dracunculus, while it other cases, the cat probably ingests a vertebrate intermediate host, e.g., Gnathostoma. In the filarioids, e.g., Brugia or Dirofilaria, the cat becomes infected by the bite of the mosquito intermediate host.
Most of the spirurid parasites of the cat are rather rare or often unreported. Many are found more commonly found in tropical developing nations, and thus, have received little study as they relate to disease within the domestic cat. It is expected that this will change to some greatly in the next few decades.