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Describe a pet that you once had

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 318 with Model Answer:

Describe a pet that you once had.

You should say:
  • what kind of animal it was
  • what type of care it needed
  • what you liked/didn't like about it

and say whether it is a popular pet to own or not.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:
I once had a cat which I really liked, and perhaps he had been the most favourite pet of mine ever. His name was Tom, and the name was given by my little sister who thought our cat looked like the famous cartoon character "Tom". I loved this cat for its amiable nature, affection and funny behaviour. Tom was a calm and quiet pet and did not have any bad habits.

Tom tried to take as much attention as he could from me and my sister. He often behaved as if he was unhappy when I was busy with other works. Since I liked him so much, I gave him my attention and affection whenever I could.  Besides, I used to feed it and sometimes take it outside in the evening. He was such an attention seeker that if I did not pay attention to him due to some important work at home, he used to come to me and kept on making a ‘meow’ sound until I took him on my lap and talked to him for a while. He did not need much care except for cleaning and feeding regularly. In his 6-year time when he was with me, I never had to take him to a pet doctor. He was quite an exceptional pet, I would say.

Tom was my beloved pet, and I liked him so much for his gentle nature, loving quality and his love for us. I had heard that some cats steal food and create many nuisances for the owners. But I never had to face such troubles with Tom. When Tom needed food, he came to me, and I understood that I need to feed my cat. My smart cat understood my instructions and also learned to use the toilet with very little training and effort. He was such a great pet to have.

Of course, a cat is a popular pet to own in my country and most parts of the world. It is a common choice when it comes to deciding to take a pet. I believe people love cats as pets because they are adorable - both the way they look and behave. We can cuddle them, feel their soft furs, play with them, make fun with them, and they love to seek our attention. For all these reasons, they are often the number one choice as a pet for many.

Model Answer 2:

Thank you so much for the opportunity to let me talk about a pet I once had. I love to have pets, and I had a canary bird when I was a teenager. It was a small yet charming bird that I loved so much. I did not keep it in a conventional cage, rather, I built a small hut for it.

The bird needed lots of care. Whenever it saw me, it started chirping, as if it expressed its happiness this way. The seller of the bird gave me some tips when I purchased the bird from him, and I tried to follow these tips as long I had the bird. I was required to give food to the bird in time, and I preserved some grains in its hut so that it could get food whenever it was hungry. I also stored a small jar filled with water for it to drink. I used a small artificial room-heater inside the bird’s shelter during the winter season to keep the room warm for the bird.

I liked the chirping melody of the bird so much. It was so refreshing, or at least that is what I thought. I had many imaginary conversations with this bird. In fact, I liked to believe that it felt glad whenever it saw me and expressed its happiness through its language or sounds. Moreover, I loved to feed it. But cleaning the wastage from the hut was a bit troublesome. When the bird dies due to an unknown reason, my heart was filled with great sadness.

Canary is not so popular as a pet in my country. I guess it is not native to our country and not available in the pet market. Moreover, someone needs serious patience to pet it. Considering all the reasons, I guess people often opt for other birds when they want to have a pet bird.

Idea generation for this Cue Card topic:  

"Describe a pet that you once had."

Having a pet is a hobby for many, and they have various kinds of experience while keeping a pet. We hope, some potential hints here will help the candidates to answer the cue card topic from a different perspective.

1.  In my childhood, I adored pets- almost all kinds of pets as they looked adorable. My dad bought a parrot for me as a pet when I was 9 years old. The parrot was able to imitate my voice and often talked to me. That was an amazing experience for me as a kid. I was deeply in love with the bird. Passing some moments with the bird in the evening was a regular routine for me.

2.  Raising a cat is not easy if you do not have the patience and passion. Luckily, I had a cat and I got it when it was only nine years old. I nurtured the cat and had a great friendship with it. So, it was painful for me to leave the cat behind when I had to leave the town to stay in school boarding when I turned 14 years old.

3.  House rabbits are the best kind of pets, in my opinion, as they are quiet and peace-loving pets. I got a pair of house rabbits on my 17th birthday, and I still have them. They are so adorable and need little care. I believe it is not a very common type of pet in my country.

4.  I used to love having pets and had a couple of fish as pets when I was just 14 years old. I kept them in a small-sized aquarium and took good care of them so that they could live comfortably. I was shocked to see that one day these two fishes were stolen. I could not trace back who did this heinous act. Since then, I gave up the hobby of having fish as a pet.

5.  Riding a horse was my hobby during my teenage years. My dad arranged for me a horse and I made the horse my pet and a companion. In fact, the horse did not allow anyone else to ride on him except for me. I did not have to take much care of the horse as we had a paid employee to look after it.

6. Pigeons were my best friends in my childhood. Though they were my pets, I treated them as my buddies. I fed them, took other necessary cares and spent a great deal of time with them. I felt glad when they flew in the sky.

7. Having a rat as a pet may sound strange to many. But I had two rats at my home and I considered them as my pets. Though my mom did not prefer rats, I had them anyway and I mostly avoided bringing them in front of my mom. But feeding the rats and cleaning their wastes were the most difficult tasks for me. Yet I owned them for a long.

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