Snow Kitty: 1973 Arctic Cat Kitty Cat

So yeah, 2020 has thrown us yet another curveball with winter coming basically a full month earlier than usual here in the upper-Midwest. With that kick in the… uh.. gut, I couldn’t resist showing the first snowmobile here on Barn Finds in a while. This cute little thing is a 1973 Arctic Cat Kitty Cat, a sled made for kids, obviously. The seller has it listed here on eBay in Wyalusing, Pennsylvania. There is an unmet opening bid of $600 and less than a day left to bid on this one!

It kills me that this one isn’t closer to home for me. At anything near this price I’d pounce on this thing like a kitty cat pouncing on, well, pretty much anything and everything. They were introduced in 1971 for the 1972 model year and targeted at five to ten-year-old kids. Arctic Cat’s shrunken sled, the Kitty Cat, was something that small kids would have dreamed of having in order to be able to ride with mom and dad and the rest of the family, albeit at only up to 8 mph.

The Kitty cat was made off and on – depending on the bankruptcy status of Arctic Enterprises and its successor, Arctco – through the 2000 model year when it was replaced by a more modern snowmobile for kids. They were loaded with safety features such as a headlight and taillight that stayed on and for $270 when they were introduced ($1,700 today), it was a million bucks worth of fun for the kids.

It was well-designed for safety, putting the choke knob up under the hood so kids wouldn’t mess around with it and the padded handlebars would have come in handy for any young racers who ran into anything at 8 mph – hopefully not too many did that. They were beautiful, though, and nicely-detailed. I would love to have one and would restore it to look and work like new, just for the memories of the golden era of snowmobiling.

The engine in the early production Kitty Cats would have been a Kawasaki 60 cc single-cylinder two-stroke fan-cooled unit that had a governor to hold it at or below that 8-mph number. The plastic gas tank was introduced in 1973 so this one has it and it looks like it’s in really nice condition on top and underneath. The seller gives us almost no information at all as to the condition other than it’s all original. I would sure love to have one, not to ride but to remember the good ol’ days. Have any of you owned an Arctic Cat Kitty Cat?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    Leave it to Scotty for coming up with this stuff. Just a knack for the unusual, which has become a BF’s exclusive. You won’t find this stuff anywhere else. A tip of the hat to ol’ SG!
    Sure do remember these, coming from the land of the snowmobile( Minnesota claims to be the snowmobile capital, but it was Wisconsin that invented it) Back from a time when snowmobiling was a family sport. Not like today, with sleds that have more hp than my S-10 pickup had ( 4 cylinder) and race at breakneck speeds, tearing up the trails to the next watering hole with front skis that never touch the ground. Children were encouraged at an early age to get into this, and the Kitty Cat was the coolest thing a kid could have for winter. The kids no longer had to ride on the back of mom or dads sled, LAME, and these were just the ticket. They sold a bunch, but like most childrens toys, the kids got older, and got bigger sleds ( or moms hand me down) and these got shoved in a corner under a pile of crap. I think these had a throttle limiter, and could be “turned up” by enterprising children, and it began. Snowmobiling, like motorcycles, is something, once you do it, it sticks forever. When I began snowmobiling, sleds were a dime a dozen. I had an old Scorpion ( terrible sled) I think I got for $100 bucks. Today, I know a guy, his daughter bought a new SkiDoo, all the doodads, GPS, reverse, 10 power ports, probably go 100 mph for,,,are you sitting down? Almost $12,000 BUCKS!! IDK, same old thing, either make them affordable and sell a million, or make them so advanced, nobody wants or can justify sinking $12g’s into something you may not even use, and only sell 4. Winters are funny, and fickle, and I wouldn’t put more than a grand into a sled today. Great find, however, with as twisted as our society is today, some kid with this would be the laughing stock of the neighborhood. It never used to be that way.

    Like 13
    • Brian

      Howard A, your description snowmobiles and the price of snowmobiling is outdated by 15 to 20 years! The old days of riding from bar to bar are long gone for the most part. DUI’s that will have you loose your driver’s license, fatalities, and the fact that it is more of a family sport that ever before has the likely hood that your wife and kids are with you on that snowmobile trip. $12,000 won’t get you much beyond an entry level stripper model. And the power of your S-10??? My ’09 has the HP of your S-10 only if you have put an LS V8 in it!

      Like 1
  2. Sean

    We’ve got one. I rode it all through the 80s. Still sitting in my dad’s garage in need of a restoration now. I think this has inspired me to get it out and get it running.

    Like 9
  3. On and On On and On Member

    Just sold my last sled a month ago. A 1997 Yamaha V-Max 600. I’ve owned at least 12-15 over the last 43 years. I’ll probably still go on occasion but I’ll rent or borrow. Back when, we saw lots of Kitty Kats in northwestern Wisconsin. They got each next generation into this fun and exciting sport. Most were just plain worn out……………..thousands of miles later and tons of winter fun memories will always keep my mind full of past trips……..This winter is the first I’m actually renting a condo in Palm Springs with sweetie pie enjoying the warm weather. I’ll sure miss running the powdery shoreline of the Chippewa Flowage while getting a “Shiney Hiney” on my bibs!

    Like 6
    • TCOPPS TCOPPS Member

      I have a 97 V-Max 600. Hottest handlebars you’ll ever touch.

      Like 2
      • On and On On and On Member

        You bet! Best and fastest sled I ever owned. Hated to see it go down the road but onward and upward.

        Like 2
  4. R.J. Rains

    Early “Cats were known to high side when ridden hard, been there. Looks like this would be a good retro skid for the young ones to learn on…

    Like 1
  5. jerry hw brentnell

    we have a dealer in the small village I live in he is a artic cat parts dealer [ not factory dealer; he dose not sell new kats] and he has a ton of used parts we are in south western new brunswick canada he ships parts every where

    Like 2
  6. TCOPPS TCOPPS Member

    First snowmobile I ever rode was the fullsize Arctic Cat w/the leopard print seats.

    Like 2
  7. Ron L.

    Remember them well! My son’s first sled at 9 years old was a Arctic Cat Lynx 275cc F/A. It was good for about 45 mph, a great starter sled. He has his own kids now, and just bought a little Ski Doo Z120 for his 4 year old. Similar to the Kitty Cat, its governed to 8 mph but looks alot cooler. The old Arctic Cats were the best, all of them from the Kitty Cat to the Thunder Cat!

    Like 3
  8. tom glashaw Member

    got one of these from a buddy of mine a couple of years ago it was a 1972 granddaughter drove it around then the coil went out and they don’t make it for the kawasaki engine so i found a spirit engine and put that in and back on the snow she went. a 4mile trip to mackinac isl mi on the ice bridge at 4 years old . parts are very pricie for these but for a grand kid it was fun lol.

    Like 1
  9. ROBERT WELTER

    I have 2 Kitty Kats sitting in in my shop now waiting for snow, The grand kids love them. Also a pink and a red 120 for the older ones.

    Like 2
  10. Des

    This is cool, and as of recently, I see a lot of them for sale. This one had zero bids at $600 so the owner relisted it for $650…To each his own I suppose.

    I remember when I was a kid my neighbor had a Lynx with an 8hp four stroke Kohler engine in it. It was good for about 30 MPH on the flat, but it was awesome for breaking trails!

    Like 2
  11. George Mattar

    Bought my first new snowmobile in 1972, a 340 cc Arctic Cat Puma. I hav2 since owned a 73 440 cc Arctic Cheetah, 77 Pantwra 500 and a mint 72 EX5 440 triple. What an animal. Yeah slow by todays 200 hp sleds, but they are butt ugly and all look the same. Arctic Enterprises was the king of marketing back in the day. In 1971, there were more than 100 companies building snowmobiles, even Sears, Wheelhorse and Coleman. Today, just four are left and Polaris owns Arctic Cat, which returned from bankruptcy in 1983. Great write up. Thank you for recognizing a great hobby. Old sleds are being restored to better than new. I wrote the first-ever snowmobile article in Hemmings Motor News 15 years ago.

    Like 2
  12. Chuck

    In 1973, I bought a ’72 Ski-Doo 775 TNT for trail riding. It had an 18″ track & 90HP, and would beat most everything around, except a King Kat! I never did know what the top end was on it, but I had the speedo saying 125mph across a lake at one time. That’s when I was young and indestructible! (foolish, stupid. etc) It was great for breaking trails, though. I also had a ’73 Ski-Doo 294 Silver Bullet for any female companion I had at the time. It was a nice ladies machine, and would do 85mph across a lake. Those were fun times! I sold my last machine in 1990, after not having any local snow for about 6 years. At 72, I don’t deal well with the cold well anymore!!!

    Like 2
  13. Darryl

    My father bought one of these for my brothers and I in the 70’s. We rode it all over the place including onto the huge Lake Hopatcong we were fortunate to have at the end of our front lawn. Neighborhood streets were also regularly trodden with the unmistakable footprints of the miniature sled. As the author suggests, it was a type of fun at a young age that is hard to match.

    Like 1
  14. KKW

    Never saw any of these here in western Wyoming, waaay too much snow for one of these little critters. Back then most everything on the snow was yellow, including the occasional spot created from a drained bladder. I cut my teeth on the families 1966 Ski Doo Alpine

    Like 4
  15. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    It got zero bids @ $600, so the seller relisted it @ $650.

    Weird logic, for sure.

    Like 1

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