The calico cat is one that is very recognizable due to having unique coat patterns and colors. Calicos are not actually a particular breed of cat, but rather a term used to describe the pattern and coloration unique to these cats. Calico markings are generally orange, black, and brown, with many cats also having large patches of white fur on their bellies, faces, and legs.
The calico markings can appear in the majority of cat breeds with the major exception being the Oriental cat breeds. There is no one particular color or pattern combination familiar across all calico cats. Their coats have been thought of as being just about as unique as snowflakes, with no two ever being alike. In fact, scientists have determined that cloning calicos will never result in the same coat patterns and colorations appearing in the next generation of cats.
The dilute calico cat is very similar to the calico; however, the colors of their coats tend to be a lot softer toned versus the vivid oranges, blacks, and browns seen in calicos. Their coats appear to be faded, or diluted, when compared to a regular calico cat. Dilute calico cats can be both shorthaired and longhaired, because this pattern and coat coloration can be found across a wide range of cat breeds.
Calico and dilute calico cats tend to primarily be female cats because the gene that is responsible for the unique calico pattern is found on the X chromosome. Very rarely a male dilute calico will be born, but he will likely be sterile.
There are no personality and physical characteristics unique to the dilute calico because this pattern and coloration can appear in a variety of cat breeds.