The best decorative rat cage filler?
My opinion is that it is better for decorative rats to use natural dry sawdust (if the sides are high or the cage is plastic) or pressed sawdust. Since rats love to bury themselves and sleep in burrows. In any case, which filler you would not choose, you need to monitor its contamination and change it in time
Regular sawdust DO NOT. Their dust and small particles can get into the respiratory tract of rats, and it will be good if the animal just coughs, and it can be worse.
Pressed granules are popular - they are not expensive, hygienic, convenient, not dangerous. Rats have nothing against them.
There is a suspicion that such fillers may contain parasites such as microscopic mites, which cause itching and other consequences in animals. My opinion is doubtful. Rather, the parasites can be brought in with the grass, which some hobbyists bring in in the summer and put in their cages.
Someone will say - a rat, they say, itches and this is because of the filler. Also not a fact. Rats generally love to scratch themselves, they enjoy it. And infection with ticks is accompanied not only by itching, but also by other symptoms: scratches, wounds from them, hair loss. If all this is not there, itching can be caused by the food eaten.
You can use paper (but not newspapers) as filler. I did this sometimes, as a last resort, the rats did not mind)) The paper will not do any harm, but it must be changed often and put in pieces in a few words, otherwise they will squelch on wet paws. Not ideal.
When the rat was sick, it generally lived on soft rags, which I constantly washed and changed.
As for the corns, they often come from the cage lattices. The upper floors (if any) must have a floor, NOT a grill! And below is the filler. Rats should not walk straight on the grate, take pity on their paws.
It is up to you to decide what your favorites will walk on, there are not so many options.