I said "You need to put your foot down with these cats!"
Thus saith a member of the family who recently came to visit. Just goes to show how little they know about cats!
You don't "put your foot down" with cats. They say cats are truly independent beings who manage to tolerate their host home merely because that's where all their food and comfort is. But that's not to say that cats are "stand-offish" beasties who never interact with their owners, but that they interact at a place and time of their own choosing.
And do they interact! There is plenty of interaction from our cats - they herd along after us as soon as something really interesting is taking place - like moving the furniture, or eating outside in the garden, or evening playtime, or following us so they can sleep on the computer while we are trying to work. There is no question that cats are equally as interactive as dogs, and far more discriminating to ensure the object of their attention is truly worthy of it!
But - you don't "lay down the law" to a cat. Have you ever tried to get a cat in at night when it's warm and balmy and the moon is shining away high in the sky? You can stand on your head and whistle La Marsellaise through any orifice you choose to, but you aint gonna get that cat! He/she will sit and wait patiently for you to get tantalisingly close - say around 2m away, and then they will frolic off whisking the tail in the air - a grand rude two-fingered gesture if you like (cat style).
Yeah right - I'm going to hop round the garden at 2am like a demented animated garden gnome in pursuit of a frolicking cat who's leading me on just because it can. Dream on - which is what I'm doing at 2am. If the cat decides it wants to stay out, there's not a lot I can do about it, apart from wishing it well and hoping morning arrives with it still in one piece. We have our property fully fenced, so cats getting out is not a problem - and none of them bother anyway. It's merely a matter of them wanting to get themselves a bit more "me space" and enjoying the night.
And most of the time we find that if you ignore them, the stragglers all come in anyway - go about your business, shower and last thing before the light goes out, check for the prodigal cat. In luck? Bring him in, otherwise leave him be. He's (in our household it's a "he") happy - and that's the main thing.
I'd love to see my family member standing outside in the middle of our back garden at 2am telling the cat "come in - NOW!!". Yeah - sure. Pigs might fly. But they better do it quietly, because I'll be asleep.