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The Sunshine Home
Frequently Asked Questions
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We're Here for Your Cats and for You!


... so it's very important for us to address each and every one of your questions and concerns. Please click on the question to view our answer -- and contact us if there is anything else you need to know.







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How soon in advance should I contact The Sunshine Home about boarding my cats?


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It's never TOO early to contact us about boarding your cats! Rooms always seem to be at premium lately, so if you wait until the last minute you run the risk of finding out we could be booked full. So even if you are in the planning stages for a trip six months away contact us and let us know, and we can let you know about the availability of a room for your cats.

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What does my cat need done in order to be a guest at The Sunshine Home?


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New York State requires a current rabies vaccination. We require a current FVRCP (commonly called "feline distemper") vaccination. In lieu of either vaccation, a signed letter from your vet stating the reason for not vaccinating the cat is required. To be fair and equal to everyone, we also require a recent FeLV/FIV test (often called a "combo test" or a "snap test") proving negative for both. In lieu of the FeLV test a current FeLV vaccination with some history behind it is acceptable. We also ask for a recent fecal test. Of course if time is tight for you any tests or vaccinations could be done at our vet immediately upon your cat's arrival here. Contact us for more information.

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How do I get started in the application process?


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Visit our Application page and download one of our LTC Applications there. If you are considering temporary care (i.e., long-term boarding) check the TEMPORARY box at the top of the application. If you are considering permanent care (i.e., lifetime care) check the PERMANENT box at the top of the application. If you're not yet sure what type of care you'll need for your cats check the UNDECIDED box at the top of the application, and we'll discuss your options when we contact you.

Please remember that in submitting your application you are under NO obligation to use our services! That will only happen once you sign a Long-term Care Agreement. But what it does do is to help us better plan, and be ready for you and your cats should you decide to proceed.

You may return your completed application via an e-mail attachment, fax or US mail.

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Does The Sunshine Home also take in dogs?


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No. We are a home for cats only. We do love ALL animals equally however cats do need peace and quiet, not barking. We're not a kennel that added cats as an afterthought, we're not an animal rescue organization... the new building, our mission and our philosophy -- everything is geared exclusively towards ONLY cats and their long-term care.
Now, if you have a cat or cats needing our service and also need long-term boarding for your dog, we do have a few excellent options locally for you for long-term care for your dog. And we can coordinate it all, from getting them here to getting them all back home to you, and all with just one contract and one monthly payment to make it easy for you! Please feel free to contact us for more information about our recommendations for your dog.

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What if at that time all the rooms in The Sunshine Home are filled?


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We hope to always have a room free but we will not stress the cats by overcrowding in The Sunshine Home. If it is currently filled we will work with you on our "E-mail Waiting List Notification" and keep you posted on a regular basis as to the next available rooms. To be fair we try and work on a first-come first-serve basis.

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Does The Sunshine Home offer short-term boarding?


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We offer ONLY long-term care for cats. It makes for a better, less-stress environment for your cats as there are not a lot of people and strange cats coming and going all the time.

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How many cats will be in The Sunshine Home at any given time?


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Some places may house 50, 100, 150 or more cats. Many "cat retirement" places may house several hundred cats at any given time. To us those are "institutions", not homes. We, on the other hand, have averaged about 35 long-term care cats staying with us at one time, giving us the opportunity to offer more personalized care. For us it's definitely QUALITY, not quantity.

And unlike most other places we offer individual ROOMS, not cramped cages or large co-mingled holding rooms. Single cats wishing to have their own rooms get what they want. Multiple cat families get to stay together in their own room or rooms.

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Will the cats be left alone for long periods of time?


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Absolutely not. The Sunshine Home is a part of the home where we live. Cats in The Sunshine Home will have daily supervision, playtime and feeding care. We will also be in their rooms cleaning each day. During daylight hours they'll have music or television, too. This is not a part-time hobby for us, this is our full-time responsibility and we take it very seriously.

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What steps does The Sunshine Home take to reduce and eliminate stress for the felines?


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We feel this one question is probably the MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION YOU CAN ASK, yet surprisingly many places haven't a clue as to the answer. At The Sunshine Home it was Priority Number One from the beginning. A recent study completed by Tufts University Researchers (Assessment of stress levels among cats in four animal shelters, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Vol. 226, No. 4, February 15, 2005) concludes, among other things, that barking dogs, artificial lighting and cramped cages can contribute to high stress levels in cats. We have no barking dogs to stress the cats. The Sunshine Home has 35 windows and just about 33% of total exterior wall space is GLASS! We have extremely high levels of all natural lighting throughout the facility. And as previous stated, we have no cages... just spacious rooms. Another study (Quality of Life Issues for Companion Animal Shelters, a Doing Things for Animals presentation by Gary Patronek, VMD, PhD, Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy, Chicago, IL, October 2, 1999) found that, among other things, high stress in cats can be caused by exposure to too many people, no privacy, housing with dogs, chemical smells, overwhelmed caregivers, crowded small cages, noise from public and other animals, constant activity and changing traffic, confinement and even isolation from other cats. Suffice it to say The Sunshine Home addresses EACH AND EVERY ONE of these issues to keep the cats in our care healthy and happy... where they don't just survive, they thrive!

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Do I need to provide all of their food and litter or is that included?


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Litter is included in our rates. As for food, generally most brands are included in our rates. However if your cat is on a prescription diet or if you're feeding your cats an ultra-premium brand (for example, Wellness Core) you can provide it or we can get it at cost and charge you... whichever is easiest for you. Contact us for more information.

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Will you accommodate my cat's special diet and unusually rigorous routine of care?


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Most definitely! We will work our schedule around the cats, not the other way around. Our goal is to keep them stress-free, healthy and happy. If it's a prescription diet we'll work through our vet. We do now offer healthy grain-free diets, too.

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What about veterinary care for my cat?


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You can rest assured that we have some of the best veterinary care available, right in our area. Whether it's routine, special needs or emergency, your cats will receive the first-class medical care they deserve! Visit our Local Veterinary Care page for a sampling of what's available for your cats.

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My cat has prescription medications. How do I make sure her medication schedule isn't interrupted?


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We recommend that you bring a minimum 30-day supply of all medications and prescriptions. We then will arrange through our vet and pharmacy to make sure refills are available. If the medication has a very short shelf life (such as a liquid antibiotic, which may be only 10 days) please be sure to bring that to our attention and we'll work with your vet and our vet to insure refills are available.

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Are all of the facility's employees trained and experienced in cat behavior?


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With us, it's a simple answer: YES! We have no employees, no turnover of help, no concerns about untrained people working with your cats... it's the two of us, combined with over 60 years of experience with cats and their behavior. Check out a list of our qualifications here!

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Do you offer references?


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Absolutely. We've built this business on trust, with people such as you putting their cats into our hands. All the advertising in the world cannot replace what people have to say about us, so yes, upon request we'll gladly offer up references.

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What happens to my cats while at The Sunshine Home if something happens to the Deweys?


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We have made arrangements for the proceeds of our estate to go to the continuing care of The Sunshine Home. We will make sure your cat receives uninterrupted and continued love and care.

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Are permanent lifetime care admission fees tax-deductible?


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This question is best left to your tax advisor as we will not offer tax advice. From what we've read of the IRS regulations concerning this subject it appears to make no difference whether the organization accepting your cats is a for-profit or a not-for-profit business because either way you are receiving a substantial service in return for your admission fee payment and therefore you cannot assume it is a tax-deductible donation. Again, it's very important that you ask a tax accountant for his or her professional opinion on this matter.

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If my job requires me to use your services for temporary care of my cats, are your rates tax-deductible as a business expense?


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This question is best left to your supervisor, HR person or a tax advisor as we will not offer tax advice. Certainly if you're cats are with us while you're away on business, we would suggest you ask the appropriate people.

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How does The Sunshine Home measure the cats' living quarters?


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Square feet, NOT cubic inches. Our rooms range in size from 42 to 55 square feet with 7 foot high ceilings and a huge picture window in each room that measures at least 4 feet high x 4 feet wide! The others may call theirs "luxury condos" or "kitty suites" but don't be fooled! They simply are just fancy names for cages. We do NOT use cages, we have only INDIVIDUAL ROOMS.

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How does The Sunshine Home temporary care rates compare to others?


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Unlike most other places we charge by the room, not by the cat. Single cats wishing to have their own rooms get what they want. Multiple cat families get to stay together in their own room or rooms, meaning it may be less than $5 a night per cat with multiple cats.

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If I choose temporary care (long-term boarding) but have to pick up my cats early, is that a problem?


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Not at all! Anytime after their first full month here you will not be charge if they go home earlier than originally scheduled. We know plans can change, so you can rest assured that if you sign up for 6 months but they stay only 4, you won't have to pay for those last 2 months!

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How about 'hidden charges' or extra charges?


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Again, with us, it's a simple answer. While other places may charge you $2 to trim your cat's nails, or $3 each time they pill or medicate your cat -- or even $10 for 'playtime' -- We have NO EXTRA 'HIDDEN' CHARGES! We don't charge you extra for things such as most medical conditions, most diets, pilling, toys, local trips to the vet, lap time, nail trimming, play time or grooming... because at The Sunshine Home, your cats are treated as if they were a part of our family!

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What about 'special needs' cats, very old cats, aggressive cats or shy cats?


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We accept virtually ANY cat as long as we have a room available for them. We have the knowledge, experience, patience and most important, the DEDICATION to keeping your cats loved, healthy and safe.

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Does your facility have a disaster plan in place?


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Absolutely. While you don't have to worry about hurricanes and earthquakes here in Upstate New York, we DO plan for emergencies just in case and although we'll probably never need it we have it. One more way we offer you peace of mind.

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Will you arrange for transportation and do export paperwork if our cats have to go overseas?


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Yes. Whether you live next door, across the state, across the country or across the ocean we can help to arrange all your transportation needs! And if your cats are going to the UK, Iceland, Japan or Australia we're familiar with the process -- and we have a professional pet transport service we recommend that will work closely with us and handle it all for you! Visit our Transportation Information page to learn more.

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I'll be traveling overseas, and I worry about what would ever happen to my cats if something happens to me! Do you plan for this?


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Of course! We have what we call a "Letter of Guardianship". It's a form that, if you should die while your cats are boarded here, authorizes your estate executor or trustee to keep the cats here where they can live out the rest of their natural lives with love and plenty of quality care! Yet ONE MORE way we offer you peace of mind.

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Other questions? Please ask and we'll do our best to answer to your satisfaction! We want you to be fully comfortable and 100% confident in our commitment to your wishes and the care of your cat.







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Give your cats the luxury and love they so much deserve...
choose The Sunshine Home at This Old Cat for their long-term care!




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The Sunshine Home at This Old Cat * P.O. Box 320, Honeoye, NY 14471-0320
New York Local Phone 585.919.6557 * USA Toll-Free Phone 1.866.388.4707 * USA Toll-Free Fax 1.866.343.2737
The Sunshine Home