Pettifer first attracted the talent scouts when he was awarded the Larke Medal for his outstanding performance during the Australian Vic Country's Under 18 team at the 2000 AFL Under 18 Championships. Later in the 2000 National AFL Draft Kayne Pettifer was selected by the Richmond Football Club at number 9 overall, which was unexpected for such a short forward. For the next four years Kayne Pettifer had sporadic form rarely playing more than nine games a year. In 2005, however, Kayne Pettifer played a very different role. He lined up to play in all 22 games and was the Tigers third highest goal kicker (31). He also led the side for inside 50's cementing himself into Richmond's top 22.
In 2006, he established himself as a high flyer, capable of taking a spectacular mark, with an unprecedented three consecutive winning nominations for the Mark of the Year. He finished top 5 in Richmond's Best and Fairest in 2006 and has continued his form into 2007.
In 2008, he had a bad start to the season, being suspended. It got worse, when he required a full knee reconstruction. This opened the door for other players to take his position. He was a chance to be delisted but coach Terry Wallace kept on him on for the 2009 season.
2009 was another horror year. He managed only four games for the season and he badly injured his knee once again in a VFL match. His father died in a car crash in August. Then Richmond delisted Pettifer on 30 October.
Pettifer returned to his home town club, Kyabram, for the 2010 season. He was one of the leagues leading goal kickers.
In 2011 he played half a season in the WAFL for East Perth before returning to Victoria and playing in former teammate Troy Simmonds Montrose side in the Eastern Football League.
Pettifer then became a high profile recruit for Montmorency in the Northern Football League for season 2012. Pettifer made his Montmorency debut on 14 April 2012 with a nine goal haul in the Magpies win over Macleod.