Dilute calico cats are a pale version of the better known calico. They have a gene that fades out the tone of their black and orange fur, giving it a weaker shade. This gene can occur in any breed of calico cat, they just need to have inherited it along with that classic calico black, orange and white pattern. Today I’ll share how this insanely cool coat gene works, and what impact it has on other parts of your cute kitty’s body and behavior.
- What is a dilute calico?
- Does my cat have a dilute gene?
- Are dilute calicos rare?
- How does the dilute gene work?
- Male vs female calico cats
- Do dilute calico cats have a different personality?
Today we are going to find out what makes a dilute calido cat different from their standard calico cousins! We will look at what causes their pale coat, how unusual it is and whether you can ever find a male dilute calico.
What Is a Dilute Calico?
Calico cats are tricolored; that is, their coat is made up of three colors. Calicos have white as their primary color, with the other colors being secondary. This sets them apart from tortoiseshell cats, who only have small areas of white.
A normal calico is characterized by the colors white, black and brown or red. However, a dilute calico is exactly that – diluted. A dilute calico normally has a coat of grey, silver, and gold. Furthermore, the colors might also not appear as distinctly as a normal calico’s. Instead, they sometimes appear blended and smudged together. They truly are beautiful cats.
Spotting a Dilute Calico Cat
A dilute calico kitten is recognized by its grey, silver and golden colors, which are usually not nearly as bright and distinctive as a normal calico. Their smudged, soft coloring that makes dilute calicos stand out from their counterparts.
In some areas, these cats are also known as calimancos or clouded tigers, especially in eastern countries. Like standard calicos, dilute calico cats also occasionally have tabby patterning within their spots.
In this case, they are referred sometimes as caliby. This word, clearly, is an attempt to combine the words “calico” with “tabby”. Actually, one of my own beloved cats is a dilute caliby, though her stripes are only visible in her grey colored spots.
Are Dilute Calico Cats Rare?
Dilute calico cats are not specifically rare; though some types of dilute calico cats are. To understand this further, let’s look at the genetics of these proud cats.
Calico cats are, for the most part, genetically tortoiseshell. However, on top of their tortoiseshell genes, they also express the White Spotting gene, also known as the piebald gene. This causes their fur to grow out as white in various places instead of the default tortoiseshell coloring. In other words, a calico cat is basically a tortoiseshell cat with lots of white spotting.
The Dilute Gene
Furthermore, in order for a cat to become a dilute calico, they must inherit the Dilute gene. Since this gene is recessive, it must be inherited from both parents. However, this does not necessarily mean that both or even one parent has to be a dilute calico. Instead, parents can also be carriers of the gene.
In other words, parent cats can have the Dilute gene and pass it to their kittens, but not express it themselves because their non-dilute gene is masking it. This will cause the parents to appear like normal calicos, but they can produce dilute kittens.
Predicting Dilute Calico Kittens
Because of this, you can’t really know exactly what kind of calico kitten you are going to get just by looking at the parents. Cats can be carriers of the Dilute gene for generations before it actually shows up in a kitten.
Furthermore, sometimes it is hard to tell if a kitten is dilute when it is first born! You just really don’t know until adulthood with this coat pattern!
Can Dilute Calico Cats Be Male?
Have you ever heard that all calico cats are female? For the most part this is true. Owing to the way coat color is inherited in cats,it is very unusual for male cats to inherit the genes for both black and orange fur. So, they rarely achieve the magic genetic combination need to be a calico cat – dilute or other ise
Does That Mean a Male Calico Cat is Impossible?
It’s unusual, but actually in very rare circumstances, they can exist. Male calicos are created due to a genetic mutation called Klinefelter Syndrome. Basically, this syndrome is caused by the cat accidentally getting two X sex chromosomes AND a Y sex chromosome.
(To remind you, sex chromosomes normally come in pairs. XX makes a girl, and XY makes a boy).
The Y gene automatically makes the cat male. However, because the cat also has two X genes, it can also be a calico. And if it also has the dilute gene, it will furthermore be a dilute calico.
How Rare Are Male Calico Cats?
Of course, in order for this to happen, a lot of games of chance have to line up. The cat has to have XXY sex chromosomes (Klinefelter Syndrome), inherit a pair of X chromosomes that carry both black and orange coat genes, AND receive the Dilute gene from both parents.
Because so many things have to be inherited just right, male calico cats are exceedingly rare and have a tendency to cost a bit of money. Furthermore, they are also not the healthiest due to their XXY chromosomal mutation.
Klinefelter Syndrome in Cats
Due to their extra X gene, male calico cats completely sterile almost all of the time. The X gene greatly decreases the development of the male sex organs and the creation of male hormones, like testosterone.
One study found that nearly all cats with this disorder have degraded tubules, swelling in the testis, and complete loss of sperm cells. In other words, it is nearly impossible for these cats to produce kittens.
These cats also display some behavioral issues. On one hand, they are treated as females by other cats. However, they also attempt to mate with both male and female cats. They have been described as “aggressive females” when it comes to their behavior. But does that make them bad pets?
Personality vs Coat Color
Since “calico” is simply a coat color and not a breed, the color of the cat really doesn’t have much effect on the cat’s personality. Some owners suggest that calicos act differently from other cats. However, this is not scientifically supported; coat color really does not have any effect on a cat’s personality.
What does have an effect on personality, though, is how well socialized your cat is. While genes, of course, have an effect, early socialization can go a long way for a kitten. This is why purchasing a new kitten from a reputable breeder is always recommended.
Female dilute calico cats will display temperament of their breed. Male dilute calico cats will also take after their breed, however, they might also be more aggressive and exhibit strange behavior towards other cats. For this reason they may get along better in a household without other cats.
Can You Get Long Hair Dilute Calico Cats?
Because calico cats are a coat color and not a breed, you can find long hair dilute calico cats. Dilute calico Maine Coon and dilute calico Persian cats are both great examples of long hair dilute calico cats.
Of course, as previously discussed, they will almost always be female.
Your Dilute Calico
Dilute cats really are unique, beautiful animals. And they aren’t nearly as rare as you might think! Nearly all of these great cats are female, since males need to inherit a very rare combination of genes. Because dilute calico coloring isn’t tied to any particular breed, they come in all shapes and sizes. There really is a calico for everyone!
C J Lorett says
I had a long haired dilute cali named Emily for 19 years. She was a Norwegian Forest Cat and was very sweet tempered and very beautiful. She was not very social with the other cats. She weighed about 18 pounds. I miss her terribly.
Your baby Emily must have been really beautiful, they are a wonderful breed and very smart. We have a beautiful Norwegian Forest Cat, too. Buster is 17 years old, weighs 18lbs and is only beginning to slow down. They are the best cats, so gentle, sociable and affectionate. He acts more like a dog than a cat.
I have the same cat. She is probably 13. I cherish her every day. On top of being a long-haired calico Norweigan Forest Cat, she also is polydactyl. Yep, Duchess is a very special cat!
Lisa Selig says
I have a 1 year old female long hair dilute calico. She was semi-feral when I adopted her. She is a one person cat…shy. She is the most loving baby anyone could want. Hesitant to adopt another kitten, I stressfully volleyed the idea for weeks. I made a great decision to bring in a classic tabby mackeral kitten that was a stray. They LOVE each other! They take turns playing with me, they groom each other, and have a grand old time tearing up the house during “zoomie” time. I love both, but my gorgeous dilute is a precious being I will never be able to replace.
Julie Birkland says
I have a gorgeous 3 week old kitten thatvis dilute Calico/tortie with a corkscrew tail, she is going to have long hair, so unique! How can I send a pic?
They”re just playing. My little calico regularly takes on her bigger long-hair companion. They do that thing where they lay on their side, grab the other by the head, and then kick with their back feet. No harm done, and a few minutes later, they”re licking each other and falling asleep together.
I have a short haired dilute calico named Patches. I found her outside in my trailer park as a kitten, she is now about 3 to 5 months old, and is an amazing cat. She is very sweet and always around me. I can’t go anywhere without her following me around or wanting up on my shoulders! I don’t mind though, she is my baby <3 I also have a tortoiseshell cat named Spice. She is mostly black. She is, in many ways, just like her sister. They are about the same age. My dad, stepmom, brother and I have many different cats. We have between 20 or 30 cats. This includes kittens starting at 3 weeks up to full grown cats at the age of 3 years. I love them all equally but of course I am claimed by my two babies, Patches and Spice.
I was lucky enough that my husband discovered six kittens meowing in a steel drum in an industrial shop all of them except one the black one or dilute calico’s gray with patches of cream… I did not know that till the veterinarian told me they are now five weeks old
I have a 13 yr old long hair dilute calico and she is gray, cream and white. Beautiful regal look to her
We have almost a year old dilute calico (although I think I like clouded tiger better!) Named Kahlua. Family tradition to name pets after type of drinks.
She has a split face one half Orange and one half grey. I don’t know what kind of cat she is. A stray gave birth in our barn so I took one of the kittens in and voila.
We also have a 2 year old caliby although only her tail is tabby colouring
The “split face” might mean she is a Chimera. Kinda of rare, these cats have 2 sets of genes.
Dixie Zizek says
I have a split face long hair. Her name is Karma and she probably weighs around 16 lbs. Acts like a rag doll but has traits of Maine coon
I just adopted my dilute calico, Kiku. She’s 12 weeks old and loves being with her daddy! It looks like she’s going to have two different colored eyes as well- she’s my special little girl!
My dilute calico has been part of our family since she appeared in our back yard about 4 to 5 months ago. She is a medium hair with a long beautiful flowing tail and long ear tufts and she is now about 10 months old. When she first appeared, she was a cute little ball of fur. It took me a while to gain her trust and she has slowly adapted to coming indoors and hanging out with the family. She is my baby and sleeps in my lap every night (I sleep most nights in my recliner due to back problems). She came into my life when I really needed something to cuddle and hold on to. It’s been emotionally tough at times since my son died unexpectedly last September. My Piper girl is so playful and funny at times, and so very loving. I love her dearly.
I’m so sorry for your loss and glad for you to have a companion ❤️
Judy fritz says
Our dilute calico is a female named Princess Peach. She is 7 months old and quite tiny. She weighs bs 13oz. .just got her spayed two days ago.
I have a dilute Long haired calico named Tinkerbell, we adopted her at 11 years old from the humane society. She is white, has pale grey, and peach. Truly a unique looking girl! And light green eyes. She’s pretty small, only 7lbs but has tons of fur which makes her look bigger.
I just rescued Sophie, my dilute calico, from our local shelter about two weeks ago. I’d never heard of this coloring and normally don’t care for multi-colored cats, but she is exceptionally playful and keeps her brother Tucker, a Tuxedo cat, on his toes!
Great article. However, I disagree with the starement that Calico cats are Not rare. In fact the “Dilute Calico” is very rare and is not a color you can specifically breed for…The genetic makeup of Dilute Calicos is very hard and rare to produce. It takes a very specific set of parents, the parents colors, genetics & timing to produce a dilute calico. Many persian breeders can breed a lifetime without ever getting “Lucky” enough to produce a Dilute Calico. I have a “True Dilute” Calico female Longhair Persian she is a true Blue, Cream & Orange she has striking green eyes. She carries the genes to produce true Blue, Lilac, Calico, Dilute calico, and Himalayan Kittens. Due to her carrying all the different rare color variation genes… that she can produce in Kittens she is a Persian Breeders Dream…She herself is extremely rare. I had been looking for 6 + months to find a “Calico Kitten” in my area. I was not looking for a Dilute specifically or that could have taken years to find! I was just looking for a “Calico Persian Kitten…and I couldnt even find one of those. I dont know what state you live in but calicos are hard to find…After searching for 6 + Months…I came across a breeder who had 3 Persian Calico Kittens in her new litter…1 was a Dilute Calico, 1 was a Dominant Calico, 1 was a tabby calico, she also had 1 pure blue, 1 Himalayan, 1 Lilac. I put a hold on my kitten and reserved her immediately as It was so hard to find a calico in general of the Persian breed…I was not expecting to find a Dilute Calico as they are so rare. I just happened to get very lucky. I am not sure if I will ever breed her. I would love to have 1 litter to see the different variety of color of persian kittens she would produce. However, if I was to breed her ever I would breed her to an Orange Persian male only…as the Orange males are able to produce the largest variety of colors…along with her genes it would be Fascinating to see what colors they would produce together. My kittens mother was a Solid true Blue persian female & her father was a Grand Champion Orange/ White Persian Male. My dilute calico female is also one of the smartest cats I have ever saw. Granted she had been very well socialized as a kitten…that can & will affect their personality greatly later on. Good article I just wish you would have touched on how rare Dilute calicos actually are…No breeder can produce a dilute or breed specifically for that color…like I said it takes a very unique set of genes, parent colors, timing, and pure luck to produce a Dilute in the Persian breeding world.
I have 2 medium haired diluted calicos, litter mates Oliver and Chloe. Yep I have a male diluted calico. Both have copper colored eyes. The vet even said he is a rare one. Chloe is gorgeous with her spots bleeding in to each other. As for Oliver the coloring is soft on his back side but on his belly all 3 colors are very loud! Hats even more adorable, she has a bob tail and he doesn’t. Both are extremely affectionate and smart.
Both are fairly big, with Chloe at 16 pounds and Oliver at 15. They will be 3 in December. I adopted them from the humane society when they were 8 weeks old. Best decision I ever made!!
April Martin says
So glad to hear your boy is affectionate. My daughter’s cat just had a baby a couple weeks ago and looks like a male. Reading this article made me a little scared. We also have other cats so i was worried.
I have the most beautiful 1 year old short haired dilute caliby. She has silver hair and tabby striping in the orange. Her name is Frances and she is the most docile and loving cat I have ever owned. My son carries her around everywhere and she loves to curl up with him on the couch. She isn’t afraid to put our 6 month old orange long haired tabby, Wade, in his place though if he gets a little too rambunctious.
Sassy is a 7 week old kitten who found us. She is a delightful cat, follows us around and loves to snuggle. In addition to being well-marked, she is a polydactyl bobtail.
My short hair dilute calico (clouded tiger) has been in our family for 16 years. She looks a lot like the one in the video, but a bit more petite. Her name is Skye because when she was a kitten her fur looked like a soft cloudy sunset. She is the sweetest cat and loves everyone but she never retracts her claws so when she kneeds it can hurt a bit! She used to be a great mouser, but in her older years is no longer able to hunt. Now that she is slowing down a bit, I like to say she is living out the rest of her years like a lady.
my girl, tamago, is a dilute calico (and tabby!) british shorthair, one and a half years old now! she is smart, curious and brave and well socialized. she has a same age ragdoll boy companion and she displays leadership since the day they came home together 🙂 tamago likes to be with humans, following you everywhere, but stays at a distance!! i love how she drags her favorite toys by mouth to us to ask for play time!
Nadien Wright says
My Tabby Cat has had a litter of four kittens and one of them is strangely colored…. this kitten is Grey with some very light and distinct orange blotches. She doesn’t have an eye color while the rest are starting to develop eye color. Could she be a dilute calico?
Charlotte Johnson says
Adopted Dilute Calico from ARF center Walnut Creek CA April 2018
2 year old
Very petite 5#6oz……….in 2 months weight 9# I think a purebred seeing her weight gain.
Now GORGEOUS, gentle, sensitive Cat
Both ears cinnamon colored– face gray and cinnamon cream colored body and paws
Wash of deep colors down back into (15 inch) long fluffy tail ending in Darkest color. Long overcoat!
A work of art!
I have a male Siberian dilute calico. I agree with the article’s observations about temperament, as he is not particularly affectionate and can be randomly aggressive. I had been thinking of getting a 2nd cat but after reading the article, I don’t I will.
I think we have a dilute calico kitten. She was part of an abandoned litter, and is the only dilute calico. The others are grey tabby, 2 orange and whites, and a cream one. We kept the grey tabby and the dilute calico. Our Dilute Calico is now about 4 months old and her coloring is coming out, with a creamy brown stripe/patch down one side of her face and tinges of silver and creamy brown (apricot?) in her coat. She is a long-hair. We named her Valentine.
Christine Huc and says
I think we have a dilute calico kitten. She was part of an abandoned litter, and is the only dilute calico. The others are grey tabby, 2 orange and whites, and a cream one. We kept the grey tabby and the dilute calico. Our Dilute Calico is now about 4 months old and her coloring is coming out, with a cream and brown stripe/patch down one side of her face and tinges of silver and creamy brown (apricot?) in her coat. Her belly is silvery. She has goldfish green eyes. She is a long-hair. We named her Valentine.
Carol baldwin says
My beautiful girl has Amber eyes so I named her Amber.
I have a dilute calico cat. She is a British Shorthair. The silver is actually called blue (if dark grey) or lilac (if light grey) and the gold is called cream. My cat Freya is very affectionate, like all British Shorthairs, but also very playful! I thought the last owner said her father was lilac/cream but I dont think he was XXY because he was used for mating… But maybe I heard wrong and he was actually cream/white. Her mother was also cream/lilac/white. I think this pattern is very special and beautiful to look at.
Today I had to put down my 16 year old cat. I had been posting about him to my friends on FB. and one friend asked if he was a diluted calico. I had never heard of this, but since we were caring for him in his last days, did not have a chance to google the term.
He was majestic. I always thought of him as a grey striped cat with a white chest. In the summer (or under very bright lights, such as a vets office) you would see little peach patches. I don’t know if this makes him a calico, diluted or otherwise. I’m crushed right now. I miss my baby.
Lois C says
I fostered and then adopted a Siamese mix that is a dilute Calico. She has peach-colored ears and taupe-colored spots on her mostly white body. She has the telltale blue slightly-crossed Siamese eyes. Soooo incredibly sweet and affectionate. My Rubi is a gem!!!
I had a beautiful dilute girl named Opal. I had her for over 16 years, she passed away almost a year ago she was the greatest cat I had ever known. I miss everything about her every day. I was recently given a new dilute kitten by my Husband she is such a sweet little girl. In fact that is what I named her, she has helped with the sadness and loneliness after losing Opal…
I never had a cat before.
One day a cat just came at my house. Beautiful cat I!!! didn’t know it was a calico until my niece told me
So I think was a Male!!! Was female!! and she was pregnant.. !!!! So we just let her stay on the porch. I can’t bring her inside the house because I have a bird (macaw)
kittens (6) ?
I look for house for them
I keep one and she is a dilute calico
The mom still here I took her to the vet to get fix..
Now I have calico and dilute calico..
My long haired dilute calico, Faith, is 4 years old. She has always been healthy but her nose is fairly pale. Has anyone else noticed this with their cat? I asked my vet about it some time ago but she had no concerns.
Jennifer Hinton says
I have a bob tailed calico who has had two dilute calico in to separate litters. We gave the first away and they named her Lily. We kept the new one and we call her Tiger Lily as she has the tabby stripes in some of the gray and some of the orange/cream coloring. She is very beautiful.
Mary Beth says
Dilute calico Kali, soft grey patches and stripes mixed with orange and white.
Beautiful grey, blue eyes.
Found by a Belgian Tervuren search dog at 7 months.
Has an incredible bond with the dog.
Fiesty, aggressive, smart and sometimes charming.
I have a DSH diluted calico cat, named Mochi (Moe-Chee). Mochi is a japanese confectionary made of glutenous rice. It is soft, and gel like. It is a white ball covered in white dust, and when they add flavour to it, it has a soft pastel look to it. When I first met her, she was so tiny and softly coloured I really struggled to come up with a name, I was thinking about Galadriel. A character from the lord of the rings who is always potrayed so warm and bright. But I didn’t believe many people would know how to pronounce the name and the thought of someone calling my baby Gladys made me sad. So I thought about how soft and cute a Mochi is and the name fit her so perfectly. We call her Momo all the time. She’s the sweetest little lady I’ve ever met. I’ll always have a soft spot for diluted calicos.
This is my dilute calico Daphne! She follows me literally all day. Watches me cook, sleeps on my chest, even walks on me in the bath! I am normally allergic to cats badly! But not Daphne! I have no idea why! To me, she looks like she has some Maine Coon in her, which is my dream cat. Well, Daphne is my dream cat now!
She is super friendly and loves kids! Whenever the grandkids come over, she runs to them n watches them play!
She is white with light tan and grey. Long haired and very soft! She hides behind curtains and catches unsuspecting feet when they walk by!
Stan herrod says
My dilute calico has white feet and a white spot on her chest but that’s not what we find u usual it is the fact that the inside of her mouth is also multicolored just like the outside of her. What is this called.? Is this unusual ?
Sanny McCullough says
Wow my Apache has that too. I thought something terrible was going on, so I went to my vet . Just her being her.
My dilute calico is a female Siberian named Inara. The gold just blends in with the grey and white coat. Absolutely stunning.
I have a semi-feral dilute calico medium hair cat. She is nine months old. She is a Spitfire. I believe she has the characteristics of a calico, but also retains her cat Ness
About a year and a half ago, we moved into our house. About a year ago, Luna started coming around. Shes a dilute calico, with beautiful lilac, cream, and white, with pale green eyes. We have a bunch of stray neighborhood cats, but shes always been the friendliest. Our kids softened her up even more and she started running up to us every time we came outside. About a month ago, we found out she was pregnant. When we thought she was near her due date, we brought her inside. She had her 5 kittens 3 weeks ago (March 18th, 2019), 3 females with mostly white, black backs and heads with tabby in the black, GracieKat, Pixie, and Sweet Pea; a male orange and white tabby, Big Boy Zeus the Devourer; and a female caliby, Kallie. I’m excited to see if Kallie will turn dilute or not, it seems as though she has a bit of grey around the edges of the tabby black.
I had a dilute calico female. She was a medium hair cat (not quite sure of the breed because her mother was a stray before we took her in from the streets). My cat was named Olivya. I know, it’s spelled “wrong” but I wanted her name to be unique and different from all the others and it fit her personality to a T. She was a crazy girl and lovable. She would catch flies if we ever had them and she would lay in my hair and groom me if I was on the floor with her.
We have a Dilute Cali named Oighear, which means “of ice and snow”. Her markings look like snow capped mountains under thunderstorms.
I have a short haired dilute named Ahrie. I always called her a pastel calico until my vet told me the other day she is called a dilute. She has a very sweet, playful nature.
What an interesting article……I had no idea there was such a thing as a Dilute Calico! I was wondering about my little girl….she is predominately gray with tan and gold, Could someone tell me if she could she fall into this category???
I adopted three 8 week old kittens 13 years ago. They are sisters. Violet is a grey Tabby with fur like a chinchilla. Lilly is a calico with white, black and ginger colors and very petite. Daisy appeared to be white with blue, crossed, eyes. In the following weeks spots began to emerge on Daisy. She has the same colors as Lilly but they are softer, white, grey and apricot. Both Daisy and Violet have an apricot colored star on their foreheads. We love our “flower girls” (as our vet calls them).
I had a diluted calico called Lisa.
My Wrigley is a long hair diluted calico. At 16 she I still as feisty as she was when she was a kitten, maybe a few more naps now. She has been the best catpanion I could ever hope for.
I just adopted a Male dilute Caliby from the local shelter. Roscoe is incredibly affectionate and gets along well with both our dogs and our older female cat. He also loves to play fetch! I didn’t realize how rare he was until I read this article.
I have a Long haired dilute tortoiseshell calico named Safi. She also has curly hair on her belly. Someone dumped her at my house… we found her in the garage. Im so glad she found us. She is beautiful, loving, smart and a stone cold killer. I also have a 5lb maltipoo and they are best friends. When I first got my dog, I was afraid she would hurt her, because she was so small. I was so wrong, she actually tries to mother her. It is so cute. They play all the time.
Amanda Gulasi says
I am very lucky to have a long haired dilute calico male. And this article was very helpful in understanding his behaviour. I do look at him as almost being transgendered.
Is his coloring well defined or extremely muddled and very hard to know 100%that he’s a dilute calico? I’m having this trouble figuring out if my boy is a dilute calico or not.
I just rescued my girl. She is diluted. It said she was tortie point but her main dominant colour is white chest and belly. Her tail is short hair, almost grey and whote tiger striped, she has fine longer hair mixed in but mostly short hair. Her eyes are blue. She is very relaxed and a bit chubby for only being 14 months old.
I am not sure what she is.
I’ve only very recently heard the term dilute calico and am highly curious about them. I wish I could post the picture I have set up, but I think I have the rarest of rare. A dilute calico male!!! But I have no idea how to get that proven 100%. I know that momma cat was a calico but have no idea about dad because they’re just neighborhood outdoor cats. There’s A LOT of Tom cats roaming around here. Does anyone know how I can get this guy confirmed?
I was always curious about what pattern my cat was, and here we are! I knew she was a calico of some sort but I’d never heard of “dilute” calicos though. She is a grey mask and mantle except she has an orange eye patch and orange ear and some orange around her paws. She has patches in her grey fur that are a lighter colour as well and she has long tangly fur. As for her breed, I don’t think she has a breed unless “feral” is a breed. She was born in a cat colony outside of my old house and my husband and I took her in. She’s an angel of a house cat though, you’d never know she born feral. She was pregnant by then, and she had three female kittens and a male kitten. We kept her, the boy, and one of the girls, and gave the other two to a friend. The female kitten we kept is a grey long-haired (much smoother fur than her mother’s tangles) mask and mantle, and the male is a ginger short-haired tabby. The other two were a grey tux and a tortoiseshell.
I have a 3-1/2 month-old dilute calico kitten. Her eyes are amber. She has a white chest and belly and 4 white paws. The rest of her coat is mostly gray mottled with silver plus a light honey color, but with definite patches of the light honey on her face, ears, and limbs. She seems to be getting more of the honey mottling these days, but it’s hard to be certain. I suspect she will have at least medium length fur as she has cheek tufts, ears full of hair, tufts between her toes, and a full tail. Her Mom was a short-haired calico, Dad was unknown. Although she is still very kittenish, she has a really sweet, cuddly personality. Dana
I have a Dilute Calico she is the only kitten from the first litter of a BEAUTIFUL Torty that I have also taken in to my home. The mother ( Torty) is a feral adult that I used to feed with the others from her colony. Truly wish I could share pictures of ” Uno” my Dilute and her mama.
My baby is a diluted Scottish Fold. She’s only three months old but so far I can tell she will be sweet and lovely.
Kaye Kirk says
I grew up with 2 beautiful long-haired dilute calicos, Sugar Puff & Daisy, who lived to be 19 & 18, respectively. They were not purebred cats but they were so special to my family & especially to me. They were so sweet, affectionate and smart! Sugar Puff was the love of my life & still is and I’m 57 years old! (But my husband approved. He loved her, too.)
Several years after we were married we adopted a long-haired dilute, Abby Gail, and she lived to be 20. Another beautiful, sweet and super smart cat! There is just something about those long-haired dilutes I’m in love with!!
I do disagree with a few things in the article. The tabby striping is in the orange coloring—not the gray. And calicos do have a unique temperament different from other cats. (I’ve had calicos all my life and I see it. Even a vet tech will tell you that calicos are a little more “feisty.”) But they do love their owners very much (the ones that are good to them and love them back) and are very loyal to them.
Kaye Kirk says
I forgot to add to my previous post that I describe a dilute calico’s colors as: Creamy White (because it’s not a bright white like a “regular” calico), Gray and Butterscotch.
Wendy Carol Beecher says
My dilute calico has the same color pattern on the skin of her ears. At least it appears that way. I always called her white, yellow and grey. She has medium long fur. It’s the softest fur I’ve ever touched on a cat!
Susanne Cassel says
My Princess Grace is approximately a year old and tiny. She is such a beautiful cat..mostly white with a dilute tail, and a few dilute brown and Carmel spots. She has pale blue eyes. She is sweet, fearless but loving, and likes to explore every knook and cranny in my 3 level home. I just adopted her…she and 4 kittens were dumped at the river…thankfully rescued! Love my beautiful Princess!!
Harley Miller says
My dilute calico is named Kitty. She is very sweet and she was a stray that we brought home and had fixed. She didn’t like living inside that much so we let her stay outside where she is way more comfortable. She was a few years old when we got her so I don’t know her exact age but we think maybe around 9 or 10. I know some people are gonna be like “you shouldn’t keep your cat outside, it’s not safe” but she has lived outside for most of her life and has been fine. She knows how to take care of herself. We feed her regularly and she is around us a few hours every day, the rest of the time she hunts and explores as she pleases.
We have sister Dilute Calicos named Appy and Emmy. They are 13 years of age. Before that we a dilute Calico named Pink-a-chu. All females. Curiously, I am unaffected by them, being a test- diagnosed cat allergy and asthma patient as a young woman. Other cats cause me almost an immediate allergic reaction. So these may be hypoallergenic cats. Science should look into this.
Also, these lovies, while not too happy about being held, love to snuggle in your lap. Especially if you have a soft blanket on your lap.
Julie and Mark
We rescued a dilute calico kitten found in the middle of a country road. She is 7 months now about 5 lbs. she is white, bluish grey, and cream coloring. Her mouth is blue! She was a terror until we had her spade. Loves to bite our feet. More like a dog than a cat. Catches puffy balls in the air. Very sweet but quite the hunting instinct. My 13 year olld Orange make tabby is not buying any of it. I have upstairs cat and downstairs cat. They each take turns sharing the house spaces. So far so good but extra work for us.
I have a Maine Coon dilute calico named Rascal who’s 11 years young. I adopted a short haired dilute Tortie in 2019 named Pixie with her gray and white brother Gizmo. The little Pixie loves to play chase and fetch with small pieces of freezer paper (it lasts longer than regular writing paper, which I was replacing every few days) she brings them back to me and drops them inside my shoe. We currently have a paper ball pit in a box for her with about 150 paper balls. She brings them out when she wants to play and they all like to lay in the box. Such characters!! Lol
Debra L Clapper says
I have a one yr old dilute calico named Sasha. Her mother looked just like a sleek Siamese, but was solid black. I adopted her from a woman who took in the litter and mother to foster. She also got two other kittens from another litter where the mother never returned. I adopted the dilute tortie, Mysha, from those two. Sashas mother treated Mysha and her brother as if they were her own kittens. they were about 2-3 weeks apart.
We recently adopted a dilute calico from a shelter. She is about 1-1/2 years old, and we’ve quickly fallen in love with her. She’s beautiful, loves to play, and is quite a climber! Her shelter name was “Flower Child” and we’ve kept that name for her, calling her “Flowee” for short. We are very happy to have her as part of our family.
Jamie Trouskie says
I think a have a dilute calico named Junebug. She was pregnant and found wandering the streets in Fulton NY. She went to the Oswego county humane society where she had her kittens. She blusish gray with little colors of peachy orange under her throat and on her belly. She has somes speckled peach orange on the right side of her face. She also has faded lines of orange on her sides. Wish i could post a picture. I got her after my other cat Mystique passed away March 28 2021. I brought Junebug home April 5 2021. She is spolied.
Jade Kadel says
I adopted a young female cat of 3 years old from poor conditions after being rehabillatated at my home, although not great with strangers and suffers ptsd. After a few vet appointments she recovered and they told me she was a calico she is definitely diluted though. She is a very affectionate cat who sits on my lap and gives lots of kisses she can be vocal with a raspy meow has slanted big green eyes is short haired and loves climbing. No Idea what her breed is any insight would be greatly appreciated. She also has a point to a chin overall triangular face, slight build, very light, very petite long legs, high cheek bones 1 person kinda cat prefers females. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
Brittany Bryant says
Hi, I have a medium haired dilute calico named, Tootz. She has the softest silkiest fur I’ve ever touched and long feathering coming off her tips of her ears(it almost folds forward). She has got intelligent gold/green eyes that see right into your soul. She can be very temperamental at times and doesn’t really care for anyone else in the house besides me. She’s very vocal and chirps at me and chatters when she sees prey outside of the window. She also plays fetch and brings me her “ kills” (her toys). I’m not sure of her breed bc I got her as a kitten at a rescue. I do take her outside on a leash and halter and she has a blast being outside in a protected environment. She does have very high anxiety and is on medication for it but I’m also slowly working on counter conditioning her to stressors so she can gain confidence in herself. I love my Tootz and despite her behavioral issues I couldn’t ask for a better companion.
Lea Cook says
She could have some Absynian in her. I have a diluted who is very small with the triangle head and long legs
Lea Cook says
I recently lost my calico after 20 years. She had the classic tri-color and was just gorgeous. One month ago, I adopted two female litter mates, Pixie and Jasmine. Pixie is a distinctive Torbie with gold, and brown, grey and distinctive tabby markings. Jasmine is a grey diluted calico with tan and grey. They both have large, Snow White chest bibs. They are opposites in temperament. Jasmine is a layed back cuddler and is larger than her sister. Pixie is super high energied and is very small and lithe and athletic. It’s quite possible they were sired by different fathers, although they share the same mother. Both were rescued cats and we are so lucky to have them.
Ali Russell says
We adopted our stray diluted calico kitten, she turned up on our balcony very thin & starving hungry, she was virtually white except for grey tail, one ear beige grey, one peach & with beautiful blue eyes, we’ve had her for two years & her colour has changed to have lots if beigey grey & peach, she is the most adorable loving little girl, she’s my little shadow, her name is Misty Mae.
I had a male dilute tortie foster years ago. I named him Jasper, like the stone, because of his colouring. He was very sweet.
Today I brought home a dilute calico Persian foster that came from a breeder, she has beautiful gold eyes. She’s very unsocialized, terribly shy and scared.
Sheila Britt says
I have a sweet diluted Calico mostly gray, named Sassy. We rescued her from the local shelter when she was almost 6 months old. She has very long hair, almost has a mane. She is very loving & has gained 3 lbs since she came to our family. She seems to love all people, but is afraid of our grand pup when he visits. She greets me every morning with snuggles, then wants her breakfast.
I have 17 year old sisters (yes litter mates), that I adopted when they were 9. One is a diluted calico, and the other is a diluted torti.
Nicole Moreno says
I have a 2 month old diluted calico, I found her by herself.I guessed she was about 10 days old, her eyes had just opened. I bottle fed her every 3-4 hours for about 6 weeks, she loved her bottle. I introduced soft pate kitten food that I mixed with her formula at 6 weeks, she loved it. I have now introduced kitten pellet food that I mix with pate, she eats all by herself now. She is a love, so sweet. I took her to the vet for her first shots today, she weighs almost 2 lbs. Her coloring is so pretty, pale gray, peach, white.I hope to have her a long time
Ruthann R says
I have a dilute calico Named Daisy May.She is a year and a half old. And she is my love bug. She plays fetch, and if I don’t throw her toy she beside me and stares at me until I do. She talks to me alot,follows me everywhere I go around the house.. If I sit to watch TV or read she sleeps near by most days. If I leave the room she leaves the room right behind me. I have two other cats she gets along with well, she loves to chase her big brother Storm who’s a long-haired solid gray boy. She so sweet, intelligence and sassy girl I just don’t know what I wouldn’t do with out her.I have had numerous health issues and a relationship break up, and Daisy May has been my comfort and best friend, as are all my pets!
Thank you for this information. I have a now 8 year old male dilute calico (short hair) with green eyes who I love to death but has been the most exhausting kitty I’ve ever owned. He’s basically a perpetual toddler. He is giant (about 20 pounds with back legs like a kangaroo) and impulsive. When I first adopted him as a kitten, I was actually worried he didn’t feel pain because he would run full speed into a wall or furniture chasing something and then turnaround and do it again. He loves to cuddle and sleep with me at night, preferably taking up the space where I would normally put my feet. Other than some nerve damage in his back from his rough-housing when he was young and chronic constipation, he is healthy. I do worry that he may not live as long as some of my other kitties have, though.