Becoming the Leader of the (Cat) Pack
When it comes to pack behavior and leadership, cats are very different from dogs. The dog's ancestor, the wolf, evolved as a cooperative hunter, banding together in packs to take down large game. They form social hierarchies within the pack, with leaders and followers. In contrast, most wild felids hunt alone, and never banded together to hunt. Even the lion pride is not a pack, but a group of cooperative hunters without the leadership that dog packs have. Domestic dogs are by nature pack animals, but domestic cats are by nature solitary. Although cats form attachments with other cats and with people, their relationship is very different from the social hierarchies dogs are known to form. Dogs at the bottom of the social hierarchy will grovel and act in a subordinate manner toward the other pack members, much as many dogs do toward their owners. Cats that are bullied by other cats will not grovel or otherwise try to ingratiate themselves; they will instead hide and try to stay out of the way, or may leave if the situation warrants.
This is not to say that cats don't consider themselves to be part of your family. In fact, cats will often bring home prizes from their latest hunting escapade, announcing the arrival with a series of yowls, just as they would bring home food for their kittens.
Because cats aren't pack animals, many of the training techniques traditionally used with dogs aren't as successful with cats. For example, cats will seldom work simply for praise. And if you use corrections rather than rewards, they're likely to quit and leave. People who tried to train their cats using the same techniques they used with their dog often ended up labeling cats as untrainable, when really the trainer was the one at fault. Cats respond to tangible rewards. Use a food treat as a reward and your cat is capable of learning a large repertoire of behaviors.
So if leadership is a pack concept, and cats don't form packs, how do you become your cat's leader? You can oversee multi-cat households by not allowing one cat to bully another. You can have your cat recognize that he is dependent on you for food by providing his food at set times rather than letting him free-feed. You can train him by using food rewards and by consistently not rewarding him for unwanted behaviors. You can use aversive consequences (squirt gun spray, for example) to dissuade him from acting in undesirable ways, because while he may not respond to threats and disapproval from you, he will form the connection between his own actions and the undesirable consequences they bring to him. Cats have a reputation for having a "What's in it for me?" attitude, and in large part that's accurate. Don't expect your cat to obey you simply because he loves you, or because he's afraid of you, or because you've demanded it. He'll obey you when the benefits of doing so outweighs the cost. That doesn't mean he doesn't love you, or doesn't depend on you. It just means he's evolved to have a more independent relationship.