I read somewhere that cats can mistake humans for being weird, giant hairless kittens. Human faces and cat faces look somewhat similar, since we don't have a big snout. Cats speak to us by meowing because the way they normally speak to each other is too high pitched for us to hear. And, in fact, the same goes for kittens. Cats meow to communicate with kittens until their ears develop. With this perspective, they may see us as just another, younger feline, and are therefore not interested in following orders. They may not see us as superiors.
Dogs on the other hand, do know that we are not dogs. They respect us because dogs value dominance and humans can easily establish dominance over dogs with our powerful voices, larger size, strength, intelligence, and ability to pick up objects with our hands. Dogs are loyal to us because their alliance with us provides them with security, strong competition, family, etc. Dogs like following orders and being disciplined for acting out. And on an interesting side note, dogs make a visual connection with humans that they do not make with other dogs. Dogs only communicate visually with humans by making facial expressions; the classic puppy dog eyes are an example.