the petco near me seems to be a pretty good one, so far. all the cages are nice and clean and the animals look healthy. only complaint i have is the rat cages are way to small.
Most any petstore who is a mass provider of small animals will have overcrowed or insufficient housing. I don't find that to be much of a turnoff as long as they pass my checklist...
-Some form of 'house' or hideaway
-full to half-full waterbottle(it has to be a hanging one)
-Full to half-full food bowl with lab block(most petstores won't make a blend there in the store)
-some form of exercise(wheel, namely, perferrably solid-surface wheel)
-Moderately clean walls(a little dirt in the corners is expected, olmost, but it's a great plus for me if it's absolutely clean)
-paper pulp bedding or aspen(cornncob grows molds when moist, and everyone knows what the cons are to other beddings)
-animals seem to be active, healthy, and curious about you(at least the rats should be; I'm not up on my hamster, gerbil and guinea pig knowledge)
...so, ja, that's my 'petstore checklist'.
I find that I usually get good pets if the petstore has the above qualities. Any store that doesn't meet those demands are either selling them as feeders, or just don't care and don't provide sufficient pets.
and I, personally, highly discourage 'feeder rescues'. I know it feels great when you've saved a feeder or two, but that only raises the demand for them and cuases more to come into production.
...end of ramblings, I swear...xD
(EDIT) It just hit me you might be talking about the cages they sell for you to take them home to. It's rare that you find cages actually built for rats, to be honest. you usually have to buy big birdcages or find a cage online.