1719, variant of kitten,
perhaps infl. by kitty
"girl, young woman" (c.1500), originally a pet form of Catherine.
The sense of "pool of money in a card game" first recorded 1887, probably from kit,
in a sense of "collection of necessary supplies" (1833; see kit
(1)); but perhaps rather from northern slang kitty
"prison, jail, lock-up" (1825), of uncertain origin. Kitty Hawk
, N.C., is apparently a mangling of a native Algonquian name; it also has been written as Chicahauk