Important notice about dry-pilling your cats
I don't really have anything to add to the actual act of pilling a cat, but it is super important that after you give the cat its pills, you should either syringe 4-5 cc's of water/tuna juice into the cat or feed the cat some wet food.
If a cat is dry-pilled, the pill will sit in their esophagus and cause irritation. Humans will feel the pill in their esophagus and drink water to make sure it enters the stomach, but a cat doesn't understand that's what they're feeling and how to make it better. They just feel the irritation and burning as the pill dissolves in their esophagus.
In a study "Evaluation of the Passage of Tablets and Capsules Through the Esophagus of the Cat" presented at the 2001 American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum, when cats are dry-pilled:
After 5 minutes 84% of capsules and 64% of tablets are still sitting in the esophagus. Similar results were published in another study by JP Graham (American Journal of Veterinary Research 2000).
For the wet swallows: (i.e., the pill was followed by 6 cc of water)
At 30 seconds, 90% of the pills were in the stomach. All pills were in the stomach by 120 seconds.
This can cause serious damage:
The main concern with this information is that if tablets and capsules sit in the esophagus for a prolonged period of time, this can cause damage to the tissues in this area. This damage can lead to esophagitis, which can lead to nausea, vomiting and megaesophagus. At times, the esophagus can also respond by developing an ulcer or stricture. The latter is a very serious complication requiring aggressive therapy, preferably with balloon dilatation.
For more information on this study and others, Lisa A. Pierson has a very comprehensive site on pilling cats.
I've had a cat with severe esophagus damage (he died of it and complications). Please don't dry pill your cats!