An untimely injury to Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand created a space in Fabio Capello's plans ahead of a qualification double-header against Kazakhstan and Andorra.
Looking to fill that void, the Italian has offered Bolton centre-half Cahill a first taste of life on the international stage.
The Trotters' Player of the Season for the 2008/09 campaign has previously been included in preliminary squads, but has never made the cut.
The 23-year-old is determined not to let his latest opportunity to make an impression pass him by and is hoping to be awarded his debut at the highest level over the course of the next seven days.
"I was at home and I got a phone call from the FA saying that they wanted me in the squad," Cahill told Bolton's official website.
Dream"I've had to get a few tools together - the boots and the shin pads - and now I am really looking forward to the opportunity.
"I know a couple of the lads already like James Milner, Ashley Young and Gareth Barry. It's come so quickly that I haven't had time to take it all in.
"But, like I say, I'm just looking forward to going down there and doing my very best. I'm thankful that I have got the chance and I'm determined to take it with both hands.
He added: "I've had a good season and I've worked really hard. I've been in the provisional squad twice before and then this third time I was included again, so I'm obviously delighted to get the call.
"It has just capped off a great year and to have the chance to play for your country is any footballer's dream. Making the squad is an achievement that I'm very proud of."