Kitty Cat Snowmobile History and Description

This is the Kitty Cat snowmobile history that we have compiled from internet research and Arctic Cat documentation as well as input from a few individuals who volunteered their knowledge.

If you can add or improve the story of the Kitty Cat snowmobile, use our contact form to submit your information. If you enjoy the Kitty Cat snowmobile and everything it stands for, please share this on your favorite social networks and help promote youth snowmobiling.

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From the Mouths of Arctic Cat...

Arctic Cat makes fun for the whole family, including the youngest of snowmobile riders, and the Kitty Cat is made especially for the young snowmobile enthusiast. Watch a child's face light up as they take the seat and grab the handlebars of their very own snowmobile. It gives your kids the chance to be a part of the snowmobiling excitement they see every winter, but it also gives you peace-of-mind.

Kitty Cat General Information

The Kitty Cat is powered by a reliable 60cc, single-cylinder, fan-cooled engine. It is governor-controlled, limiting the Kitty Cat's top speed to 8 mph or less for safe operation and features an adult-controlled keyed ignition.

original kitty cat snowmobile
1972 Kitty Cat Snowmobile
For a small snowmobile, the Kitty Cat looks just like the big Cats, and is bound to make the youngest snowmobile enthusiasts feel like part of the family. The purple, salmon and black make it look just like "mom's" or "dad's" snowmobile.

Safety features were Arctic Cat's main concern for the smallest member of the Cat clan. The Kitty Cat has a constant-on headlight and taillight, all-around reflective tape, an adjustable engine governor, rubber-tipped skis, padded handlebars, a manual stop switch and a removable ignition key so you can decide when it's time to ride.

And it has full front and rear bumpers that look just like the big Cats. This style and the original features remained relatively unchanged throughout the production cycle of the Kitty Cat.

The Kitty Cat will provide your children with endless hours of safe outdoor fun, and all the while teaching them the valuable lessons in snowmobile safety, maneuverability and control.

The Kitty Cat also has a resale value that's unmatched in all of snowmobiling, so if you don't pass it down, you can easily pass it around. This has always been true since the snowmobile's inception back in the early 1970's.

Kitty Cat Snowmobile History

The Kitty Cat had a production run from 1972 until 2000 but has now made way for a mid-sized sled, the Z120.

kids snowmobile
Manufactured from 1972 to 2000
Changes throughout its history were minor in overall mechanics; the engine and chassis had some updates including the switch from Kawasaki to Suzuki powerplant. The pre-production Kitty Cat was actually equipped with a Clinton motor.

As for the cosmetics of the sled, changes were limited to color scheme, decals, seat covers, and the addition of a stock windshield in 1980. For the most part, Arctic Cat seemed to embrace the sled in its original form. For example, you can look at the specs from a 1979 Kitty and a 1986 Kitty Cat and you'll see not much had changed across the model years.

Overall, the change of its engine in the mid 70's from a Kawasaki to a Suzuki engine proves to be the single biggest change that the sled endured. Aside from the engine, there are many parts that can be interchanged between model years.

Chances are your local Arctic Cat dealer can help you with your parts needs. The only exception being the early Kawasaki motors whose parts have become quite rare since Arctic Cat stopped supporting these engines a few years ago.

Arctic Cat's Demise

Arctic Cat's demise came in the form of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February 1981. There were no 1982 Arctic Cat snowmobiles produced as Arctic Enterprises was in the process of liquidating the remaining 1981 sleds.

As a result of their financial problems, there were no Kitty Cats produced in 1982, 1983, and 1984. Legend has it that there were a small number of 1982 Kitty Cats produced, but some Arctic Cat documents show that there weren't even any 1981 models manufactured.

Arctic Enterprise's demise wouldn't last long before reorganization would revive the snowmobile operation in Thief River Falls. The popular snowmobiles returned in 1983 as Arctco Incorporated and began mnaufacturing models for the 1984 season. The Kitty Cat wasn't in the 1984 lineup, but came back in 1985 with its biggest makeover yet.

Here Comes the Headlight

The 1985 Kitty Cat was the first model produced by Arctco. This model would feature some changes to the electrical system including a headlight and taillight. The point and contact ignition was also updated with a CDI. The change in the ignition system provided a new level of reliability and less maintenance.

Cosmetic changes also made the 1985 Kitty Cat stand out from previous model years.

Have something to add to the Kitty Cat history? Do you see something you believe is inaccurate? Email us.

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