I can't speak for the relationship between others but with me and Motoko (2 and a half year old long haired tabby) it's not an owner/pet relationship. I no more 'own' her than she does me, what the two of us have is a type of symbiotic relationship. I feed her give her fresh water and buy/make her toys so we can play, not to mention I'm the all powerful destroyer of the poop and holder of the sacred can opener (she gets wet food as a special treat). In return she gives me lots of love and affection. I don't own her any more than I own my mom or my sister or girlfriend, we love one another and so we both look out for the other in our own way.
I think that a big factor of a cats personality is environment, when I first took her in Motoko was just about a year old and was living as a stray in my apartment complex after her previous owners moved out. She was the victim of severe abuse, having been denied regular feedings and a clean home to live in, not to mention never having been given real love. I also found out that she had been severely and repeatedly beaten with a broom (I still have to move her to another room when I want to sweep up but shes terrified of anyone with a broom)
Given these factors one might think she would be unaffectionate and even hostile to humans but all it took for me to win her over was a bowl of milk and bread and a bit of love. She bonded to be and now won't let me out of her sight, following me from room to room and curling up in my lap as soon as I sit down. Her son Korgoth (turns out she was pregnant when I took her in, and one of the kits was given to my roommate) is like a completely different species. He tends to act more like a dog than a feline, drooling when you give him some love, running headfirst into the sliding glass door to our balcony playing fetch (yes he grabs the toy and drops it at your feet to throw again) and the like.
We gave him constant attention as a kit, holding and petting him constantly to reaffirm his bond with my roommate. As a result Korgoth loves to interact with people, he'll jump right into a strangers lap expecting the same level of love we give him. But on the flip side we have problems with discipline.
While it took us no more than a few weeks to get Motoko to abide by the rules of the house such as, no clawing on the couch no eating people food when we leave it unattended to get a drink from the kitchen, etc etc. We did this with a spray bottle in combination with making a hissing sound when we sprayed them. Motoko stopped breaking the rules and if she does anything wrong a simple hiss will now deter her. Korgoth on the other hand just grew accustomed to being wet and started ignoring us. It took awhile but be finally got him to obey the same set of rules.
My point is that these two cats are worlds apart. Where simple rules of cat psychology may apply to Motoko, Korgoth will eat said psychology book then deposit the remnants in your shoes while you're asleep. Theres no one thing you can do to make them more affectionate other than make yourself available, try to play with them and learn about them. Cats have likes and dislikes just like people, Motoko has a favorite toy (a fuzzy leopard print mouse that can be refilled with catnip) and she won't play with any of the dozens of other toys I got her. It doesn't mean she doesn't want to play with me, she just doesn't want those other toys.
My advice is to try spending some time with the kitty, get to know it and what it may like. I would also recommend you not think of yourself as the cats owner, because I guarantee the cat doesn't think of the situation that way, as best you're a friend and protector, at worst you're some guy who keeps bothering her. Remember, cats are extremely smart and have a better grasp of the situation around them than most people think. Just like people, you can't force a cat to love you, but if you love your cat you can change yourself to be what she wants to love.