It is frequently said that cats are not pets in the typical sense of the word. That is to say that, although a dog feels very much that its owner is its master, a cat thinks very much that it owns its owner, and that we are their humans rather than them being our cats. While there is some kernel of truth in the suggestion that cats are more independent than dogs, this is not quite how it works. It would be more accurate to say that cats see us as being other cats.
To your cat, you are essentially just a bigger cat who walks on your hind legs. This can work in your favor. Although there is less of a hierarchical aspect to how cats behave – while packs of dogs usually have a “leader”, cats are more egalitarian – you still have the power to a large extent. It is you who controls the food, and you who solves the “problems” that a cat may have. Therefore, a cat may feel indebted to you for feeding it and fussing it, and this is beneficial in terms of training.
It is futile to attempt to persuade a cat to ignore its instincts. These are what cats live by and what they revert to when they do not have you to call upon, so they will never be overridden. However, by being ready to reward good behavior with a pleasant treat and by being prepared to put a stop to problem behaviors, you can mold the way a cat behaves – just don’t let that go to your head, and treat a cat with respect. It’s better for you and for them.